April 26, 2014

The truth about Farbrace

Andrew Hughes
"There's only so much of Danny Morrison I can take"  © AFP
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The official explanation for the hiring of Paul Farbrace is a straightforward one. Having begun a new era in English cricket by plucking the best CV from a tempting array of applications (Ashley Giles, Peter Moores, Kermit the Frog and Tony Blair) the ECB naturally wanted to recruit a high-quality assistant blame-taker to assist Peter in his three-year mission to stop England from getting any worse.

Paul Farbrace was the obvious choice. Kidnapped by SLC and forced to work for them, he sorted out Sri Lankan cricket from top to bottom in just three months before almost single-handedly winning the Asia Cup and the World T20.

Yet all this time, the saviour of Sri Lankan cricket was being held against his will by the evil masterminds at SLC, languishing in three-star hotel rooms where he existed on meagre rations and IPL commentaries. Every morning, an emaciated Farbrace begged his captors as they brought him his daily bowl of stale crusts and murky tap water.

"Please, can't you make me a bacon sandwich? Or a couple of lamb chops? A pasty? You must have pasties! And show me how to turn off Danny Morrison, I beg you!"

But the guards just laughed, maniacally, in the way that Sri Lankan prison guards are taught to do in Sri Lankan prison guard schools.

"Win Test match, then you get pasty!" laughed the guards.

If the ECB wanted its man, it had to act. So in the dead of night, Wing Commander Clarke flew Allen Stanford's old helicopter deep into the Sri Lankan jungle and dropped a crack team of ECB lawyers behind enemy lines. They infiltrated SLC headquarters, sprayed the building with legal jargon and money, and freed the grateful captive.

Farbrace is now safely back in Blighty - where he can eat all the pasties he can fit on his plate - and has already started work at the ECB's new Centre of Cut Price Excellence (a shed in Peter's garden, fitted with a black and white portable TV and a chalkboard.)

That's the official explanation. But who believes official explanations? I'll tell you who: the same kind of sheeple who believe that men landed on the moon and that Mitchell Johnson's moustache was real.

Something happened to Farbrace during his well-paid (but not all that well-paid) nightmare in South Asia. He is not the man you think he is. He is a double agent.

How do I know this? Have I got access to phone intercepts, secret documents or surveillance footage of Farbrace and Kumar Sangakkara chortling in front of a big white board upon which is written the words: "Top Secret Plan To Undermine The ECB"?

No. I've got something better than that. I've got a hunch.

Think about it. Farbrace has been working with the Sri Lankan players for months. He knows everything there is to know about them. He knows their food allergies, their least favourite film genres, which parts of Mahela Jayawardene are the most ticklish. The ECB hired him so that it could use this information to ensure complete victory in England's up-coming must-win two-Test series against Sri Lanka.

Farbrace will appear to play the ECB's game. He will pretend to like Peter Moores. He will smile politely at Alastair Cook's jokes. But behind the scenes he will be planting false information, tricking Ian Bell into batting left-handed and leaking Peter's top secret "One Hundred Reasons Why I Don't Like Kevin" file to the press.

Then, some time in late June, as the second Test is reaching its conclusion, Farbrace's taxi will arrive at Heathrow. As he listens to the Test Match Special commentators discussing Sri Lanka's shock series victory, Farbrace will smile, reach under his chin and slowly peel off his prosthetic Mission Impossible style face-mask, and the sound of Arjuna Ranatunga's maniacal laughter will echo through the departure lounge.

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Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (April 28, 2014, 15:41 GMT)

lol good Andrew, didnt see the twist in the end coming :D

Posted by ramli on (April 28, 2014, 8:17 GMT)

Everything was hilarious, okay ... but peeling off the face-mask to reveal Arjuna Ranatunga is too much ... and the piece, "how to turn off Danny Morrison" was ecellent ... a million dollar question by millions!!!

Posted by   on (April 27, 2014, 17:01 GMT)

superbly written column about the lack of integrity on Farbrace's part peppered with sublime humor..

A Good read..

Posted by   on (April 27, 2014, 14:34 GMT)

Well written sir, well written sir

Posted by Nmiduna on (April 27, 2014, 6:40 GMT)

Wow mate!! This one is so chillingly brilliant! Great great humour and a sense of elation(coz im sri lankan) mixed in an outstanding piece of writing.. one of the best i have read in my short life so far!

Posted by   on (April 27, 2014, 0:32 GMT)

Let Sri Lanka players show ECB that they don't need Farbrace. The local Marvan could do better.

Posted by   on (April 26, 2014, 23:51 GMT)

Top stuff mate Priceless !

Posted by AjayB on (April 26, 2014, 22:38 GMT)

Priceless piece of writing. Almost in the same class as PG Wodehouse. Keep them coming.

Posted by wmendis on (April 26, 2014, 21:11 GMT)

I repeatedly stressed the issue of Coaching staff changing sides when there is a series coming up less than 6 months of leaving a side and joining the rival side.

This a similar case.Sri Lanka is having a series with England very soon.

ICC must take some action to stop this happening by making a rule that a Coach cannot leave one side and join the other when a series is on less that 6 months of his leaving and joining the other side.

Otherwise this will be one of the major issues of loosing honesty and integrity.

Posted by SLSup on (April 26, 2014, 20:42 GMT)

"Yet all this time, the saviour of Sri Lankan cricket was being held against his will by the evil masterminds at SLC, languishing in three-star hotel rooms where he existed on meagre rations and IPL commentaries. Every morning, an emaciated Farbrace begged his captors as they brought him his daily bowl of stale crusts and murky tap water." Haha. Beautiful satirical piece altogether.

Posted by   on (April 26, 2014, 18:49 GMT)

Now I'm gonna have nightmares about Farbytunge. This is insanely funny.

Posted by   on (April 26, 2014, 18:41 GMT)

top post !!! nice...last para is awesome

Posted by Zofo on (April 26, 2014, 17:16 GMT)

You absolute BEAUTY! Last paragraph was EPIC!

Posted by FawltyBean on (April 26, 2014, 16:06 GMT)

Andy, I was waiting to read your thoughts/analysis about Farbrace Saga for the last few days!

Posted by   on (April 26, 2014, 15:52 GMT)

You creative genius! iv gotta share this with my mates!!

Posted by   on (April 26, 2014, 10:00 GMT)

hilarious piece of work expect more such blogs on ipl activities

Posted by Rawal on (April 26, 2014, 7:11 GMT)

"He knows everything there is to know about them. He knows their food allergies, their least favourite film genres, which parts of Mahela Jayawardene are the most ticklish."

Hahahaha!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Hughes
Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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