February 17, 2014

Agony Aunt

How to qualify to coach England

Trish Plunket
A good strip routine is like a magic act: you have to convince your viewers that you have nothing to hide  © BCCI
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I am a top international cricketer recently sacked by my team for being too much of a prima donna. They say there's no "i" in team but I say there is "m" and "e". Am I wrong? asks Fired-up
Well, no, linguistically you're completely correct. That's not going to help you, though, because what they really mean is they have been waiting forever for you to get over yourself and stop feeling special for being able to hit a ball with a bit of wood. However, since you don't seem to have gotten the message that they want you to behave like an adult and not a 14-year-old with access to far too much money, they have decided to get rid of you. After all, there are a dozen other MEs in the team. And as I have often said, there's no "i" in "team", but there's a "u" in "dumped".

I run the cricket board of Timbuktu and have ambitions of overthrowing and replacing the BCCI as the overlord of international cricket. Inspire me says IM Bicious
Do you have a lair? I think that every super villain should have a lair - and don't be mistaken, the BCCI is full of super villains. Having some kind of radiation poisoning in your back story and the ability to look good in tight PVC/latex is also a must. You must have TV companies in your pocket, so that they want to cater to your whims as much as their own, because you're in a parasitic relationship. You should be hell-bent on having the game run exactly as you want it, even if you have to ban something that would help your team, just to prove you're in charge. And you should be able to bend other cricketing boards to your will by controlling the drip-feed of that sweet, sweet money.

I'm really not sure how you're going to achieve this from a medium-sized city in Mali. A lair will probably help, though.

I'd like to coach England. What qualifications do I need to possess? asks Guy on the Street
Are you English? If so, don't bother. Even the English realise they need a bit more bite than one of their own can provide, in order to stop the team becoming overly polite/dependent on tea.

But be careful - you don't want to be too out there. Nothing that will upset anyone in the MCC. (If you're not white, at least be willing to pretend you are.)

You should be particularly good at issuing unspecific nonpologies when you lose, promising sweeping changes while going with the same things over and over. And you have to like Ian Bell.

The ECB does seem to have a thing for former players. So if you used to play cricket for your country, spent a few seasons playing county cricket in England, and retired within my memory, you'd be perfect.

You should also know how to use a computer, and what a Twitter is. Given that's where players talk about you these days, keeping them in fear that you're one of their two million-odd followers might encourage them to behave.

I'm the event manager for the IPL auction, which is usually a pretty drab affair. Do you have any advice on how I can jazz up proceedings in the future? asks All Fame No Shame
Oh yes. I have Ideas. Who are the dozen biggest names? Have them present at the auction. Put them on stage. Emphasise the player's qualities - low RPOs, high strike rate, great abs.

As the bidding gets higher and you think your audience - and your bidders - might be waning, have the player get progressively closer to naked, until he's down to his undies and you have secured top dollar. Try not to let them get naked, though. People find that a bit much.

Have cheerleaders smack the player's arse and help him strip off. Yay, objectification for everyone! I'm pretty sure you could sell that to a number of networks around the world.

I will be travelling to New Zealand for the World Cup. Are there any phrases or gestures I can learn so I can blend in with the locals? asks Somewhat Barmy
It is always worth remembering when you come to a place like New Zealand that it's very difficult to tell locals from tourists anyways. One look at Jatinder Singh, the young chap who took a one-handed catch to win NZ$100,000 recently, and most pegged him as a tourist. Then we heard him speak. So really, the message is to keep your mouth shut and either everyone will assume you're a local, or everyone will assume you're a tourist. You can take a wild guess at what factor tends to sway the guesses.

But yeah nah, there are a few key phrases you should know before you come watch cricket here. The first of these is obviously "yeah, nah". This is a standard response to any question. It means, "I heard you and understand you have asked a question." The actual answer will follow from there.

The phrase "nek minnit" has become ensconced in Kiwi vernacular, it means either "and then" or "and then something that was supposed to happen [or not] did not happen [or did] and this produced amusing results".

"Yeah right", which you will see on billboards around the country, means, "No, that is absolutely wrong / will never happen."

But in all honesty, New Zealand loves these kinds of things. We're small, we don't get to have big parties all that often, and when we have them we go over the top in embarrassing but hopefully endearing ways. So if you're planning to come watch some cricket next year, we'd be pleased to have you, so long as you're nice, willing to play backyard cricket wherever you find yourself, and always remember to buy a round at the pub.

Leave your questions in the comments below

Trish Plunket is a grumpy old man. Except she's not old. Or a man

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Posted by G_Banger on (February 18, 2014, 0:29 GMT)

I am a red blooded male who like's cricket. However, i also have an obsession with wearing womans underwear. Will this hinder my chances of making a club or international team? The only real issue i have struggled with so far in my career is keeping my box in place..

Posted by ygkd on (February 17, 2014, 21:05 GMT)

Sagarneel - the most appropriate answer to that question would seem to be "Yeah, right!"

Posted by Sagarneel on (February 17, 2014, 11:35 GMT)

I am in the process of being appointed as India's bowling coach, and my top priority is to convert Ishant Sharma to Mitchell Johnson (bowling quality wise). Any tips?

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