Nudity, girls and texts
Not so stumped "Doing Cosmo centrefolds feels like the first time you get naked with a woman," grinned Chris Tremlett as he stripped off to promote the Everyman campaign, a male cancer charity. Hmm, if that means standing in harsh lighting, holding a bat across your shoulders with your right hand, and gripping something else with your left, then you can only feel for the lucky lady. Cosmo adds: "You might be interested to know Chris is currently single." Interested, maybe. But, surprised...?
Texts about girls! Absolutely outrageous!
It's not just Shane Warne who gets into trouble over texts and girls. Leicestershire's chairman Neil Davidson has managed to upset the entire women's cricket sorority with his ill-judged text to his Somerset counterpart Giles Clarke. As Somerset's men crumbled against Leicestershire in a floodlit match, Davidson wrote: "I can see why Somerset is the home of girls' cricket." Clarke promptly informed the ECB who are investigating the complaint. That seems a bit of an overreaction from Clarke, until you consider that Davidson recently wrote an article on Leicestershire's website suggesting Clarke and Glamorgan's chairman Paul Russell should stand down from the ECB management. Boys, put your handbags away.
McFly are busted
Cricket can be showstopping - and not just on the pitch. Boy band McFly set back rehearsals for their tour opener in Sheffield by two hours when one of their members whacked a cricket ball into a fire alarm. In true back-garden cricket style, the band refused to snitch on the batsman, although our money's on Harry Judd, the floppy-haired drummer who proved himself adept at cricket in the tour to India for Sports Relief. The show still went on in front of 9,000 screaming fans, more than Harry would have played in front of in an entire career if he'd become a county cricketer.
The Beefy and Boony show
Apparently one rotund cricketing big-mouth just isn't enough for Foster's brewery. On the back of the outrageous success of their talking Boony doll - who burps "Time to get a beer, cricket's about to start" and "Got any nachos, I love nachos" among other boyish Boonyisms - they are bringing out an Ashes rival for this winter: talking Beefy. The press release says that "In a new take on the old talking Boony, the dolls will argue and respond to one another's wry comments." Foster's didn't confirm whether every other Beefy utterance would contradict the one before.
Swinging to success?
"If I get through the first few weeks, I'll want to stay in till the end." No, it's not Tony Blair talking about his leadership but Mark Ramprakash looking forward to his turn on Strictly Come Dancing, after following in Darren Gough's twinkling footsteps in signing up for the ballroom dancing show. While we hope he doesn't freeze on the big stage, his footwork is actually the least of his concerns: "I'm really not keen on sleeveless shirts," he winced. Shirtfronts are another matter, as he's shown this summer with his best season for Surrey.
Rachael Flintoff has joined Freddie in promoting Asda's George collection, a cheap clothing line which aims to be chic. Mrs Flintoff will follow in the bra stra of the football WAG Coleen McLoughlin, who already models the range. But the ECB are hoping that's where the comparisons will stop and, in a bid to avoid a repeat of the football WAGs' behaviour during the World Cup, ECB bigwig - or was that Big Brother? - Colin Gibson has already laid down the law ahead of the Ashes. "The Aussies are bound to be interested in the WAGs and the girls have been warned they could be in for a lot of unwelcome attention," said the kindly old concerned uncle. "They have been advised to avoid talking to the media or drawing attention to themselves in any way." No shopping or drinking binges? What are they going to do? Watch the cricket?
Don't Count your chickens
An enigmatic Austrian count has left a village cricket team without a pitch after he evicted them. Representatives of Count Konrad Goss-Saurau refused to renew the club's licence to play on the ground, leaving them homeless from October after 23 years on the former piggery field. The count wanted the club, Winterbourne Bassett, to support a planning application for four houses which would have split the pitch. They refused. The club captain Ian Sharpe said of the count: "We never understood him to be a lover of our English pastime."
Look what you could have won
However, what you can count on (sorry) is a county's PA announcer to come up with a good story. Shortly before the tea interval during Hampshire's Championship meeting against Lancashire at The Rose Bowl the PA boomed out some disappointing news for one spectator. "I have some bad news for one of you," he said, "the fifth prize in the prize draw was not in fact ticket number 27469 but 27467. Would the holder of the correct ticket please collect their prize." Can you imagine the heartbreak: fifth prize in a county draw; a world cruise, Ashes holiday, a new car...Hmm. More like a dusty blue blazer with tacky plastic gold buttons or a pair of used gift-shop socks.
"I would like to thank Allah too because he's clearly played his part."
Sussex captain Chris Adams makes a joke on Sky after Mushtaq Ahmed thanked Allah profusely following his Championship-sealing exploits at Trent Bridge
Jenny Thompson is assistant editor of Cricinfo