How it went at The Oval
The ECB debriefs phase one of Operation United Marching Forward Together Going Forward
1) Several empty seats. Disappointing. However, the ECB believe that an unnamed individual may have been whistling outside the ground, putting people off coming in. He is without doubt to blame for the mediocre attendance.
2) However, it is very important that we do not have any speculation from people outside cricket as to what exactly the person outside the cricket did to the people outside the cricket to make them not want to come inside the cricket. The ECB considers that to be the end of the matter.
3) It may very well be that the unnamed South African individual was responsible for Alastair getting out cheaply, but it would at this point be unfair to speculate no matter how wrong and disruptive the unnamed South African individual called Kevin may have been while Alastair was trying to bat.
4) It is important for everyone's sake that we respect the confidentially clause in place around the actions (alleged) (but totally reprehensible and naughty) of the unnamed South African individual called Kevin Pietersen of 23 Millionaires' Row, Chelsea, London SW1 4KP.
5) It is not for us to say if Alastair was somehow hypnotised or possibly controlled via some sort of black-magic bargain with the devil from India. There is no smoking voodoo here.
6) The important thing to state is that the shot Alastair got out to was very much our sort of shot. A good, stout, manly, honest, upstanding, public-school sort of airy drive and edge that would know which knife and fork to use and wouldn't do anything embarrassing like calling a sofa a settee.
7) Not some sort of oikish heave to leg or non-U lbw.
8) Ian Bell once again demonstrated that he is ready to assume the senior leadership role within this team, making an attractive fifty and then getting out to give the others a chance to develop as batsmen.
9) James Tredwell was hit for a couple of boundaries and did not retire, nor did any player have to return home from The Oval with personal problems, and all the boys were seen looking interested at all times. Hashtag Progress.
10) Team spirit and communication among the lads was excellent with everyone putting his hand up to get the same hymn sheet to the party up at the plate. And apparently we won a game, which is also nice.
More behind-the-scenes nonsense in CrickiLeaks: The Secret Ashes Diaries, at www.tyersandbeach.com