|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
Alan Tyers goes behind the scenes
Players/Officials: Sir Ian Botham
"Gentlemen. Foreigners. It is my pleasure to deliver this motivational speech," said Botham. "It takes me back to those days when I was captaining England to 12 straight Test victories, many of them against the West Indies."
Miguel Angel Jimenez looked puzzled.
"Who is this man?" he whispered to Peter Hanson.
"He is one of England's most legendary sportsmen," whispered the Swede. "I think he was in darts playing."
"Is that the one with all the fat people and the drinking?" asked the Spaniard.
"That's right, I did enjoy my greatest moments against Australia," said Botham. "Now get your hair cut."
He lit a large cigar.
"Now, I understand that your American opponents have asked some heroic airforce pilot to deliver a teamtalk," he said. "We can match that: a big hand, please, for David Gower."
The ethereal left-hander wafted into the dressing room. Jimenez mouthed "Who the hell?" at Hanson.
"I think he is in the Tory government," explained the Swede.
"At ease, you fellows," said Gower. "Now, notwithstanding the fact that golf is frightfully non-U, I want you all to go out there and jolly well give it absolutely your best shot, what."
The golfers looked blank.
"Please to translate into English?" asked Jimenez.
"That's enough from you, or we'll have you sent off to Pakistan with your mother-in-law," said Botham.
"I am not sure golf is played there," said Hanson. "And it is most definitely not in Europe."
"Three cheers for Europe," shouted the assembled Spaniards, Italians and Swedes.
"They want to ban bendy bananas and make us all eat garlic," shouted Botham. "Europe? I don't know what's going on out there. Vote UKIP! It's common bloody sense. Carlsberg don't make teamtalks. They make lager for Danish people. It's a disgrace."
"Erm, right, well thanks very much for popping in Sir Ian," said Colin Montgomerie.
"I'm just getting going here, if you don't mind," said Botham. "And how many Test wickets did you get, anyway?"
Monty looked sad, and bit a passing photographer. Botham pressed on.
Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
|Comments have now been closed for this article