January 27, 2014

England's secret plan to not play Australia revealed

The ECB explores South American options and the merits of playing inanimate objects

"You mean they're not discussing a knighthood for me?" © Getty Images

Following the furore over the ECB, BCCI and Cricket Australia "position paper" outlining their plans for world domination cricket, it has emerged that the ECB has produced a further, unilateral, document.

"It has become critical that we become more selective about the international sides against whom we play," reveals an extract. "If we have to keep on playing Australia regularly, UK consumers are simply going to stop watching."

The report outlines the belief that a competitive national side is vital for the health of cricket in England, and that "if we keep getting slaughtered by Australia then people are not going to keep paying for TV subscriptions. In addition, our most important match-day supporter stakeholders (i.e. drunk financiers who take a box at Lord's) are success-driven people who want to see results. They don't want to watch England being beaten."

In order to give England a greater chance of winning a cricket match or two, the paper proposes trying to form "a new power block" with other countries.

"Obviously it would be nice to be playing the big teams in major series, but with the team in the current state that might be unrealistic.

"Instead we envisage a new power block involving Bangladesh Under-19 B, Chad, and Emerging Patagonian Tribeswomen Who Have Never Seen A Cricket Bat Before. There is no reason why England cannot put its hand up and come to the party to take a seat at that table."

There is confidence that rather that getting beaten by Australia game after game, cricket could be grown as an entertainment product if people see the national side competing against more evenly matched opposition.

"If beating a bunch of tribeswomen who don't know what cricket is turns out to be an unrealistic ambition - and current evidence suggests it certainly might be - then we would go to a plan B of having Alastair Cook and the lads play some games against some traffic cones.

"Ashley Giles has rightly said that the team is on a learning curve journey and he thinks there is no reason at all why we could not give a bunch of inanimate plastic objects a real run for their money if the guys execute their skill sets and everything comes together on the day."

There is further concern that England may have to actually stop playing cricket on humanitarian grounds if immediate change cannot be brought about.

"The plight of poor Alastair Cook is already the subject of sustained lobbying in and around parliament," the report notes. "It is now a source of real concern that making him continue captaining the England cricket team might leave the ECB with a case to answer in the European Court of Human Rights."

The first 12 pages of the report deal with finding some teams for England to compete against. The next 388 mainly focus on blaming Kevin Pietersen.

All quotes and "facts" here are made up (but you knew that already, didn't you?)
More undercover documents in CrickiLeaks: The Secret Ashes Diaries at www.tyersandbeach.com