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Alan Tyers goes behind the scenes

Protecting poor Mitchell

Watto and Katto come up with a cunning plan

Alan Tyers

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A
Mitchell Johnson chats with his girlfriend Jessica Bratich, Victoria v Western Australia, Sheffield Shield, MCG, November 20, 2010
"Every time you bowl a loose one, I can karate kick you in the side of the head. I think that should do it" © Getty Images
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Simon Katich, newspaper on his knees and tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth, worked quickly and diligently with his crayon. He crossed out "wayward" and "mentally feeble" and wrote "handsome" and "hostile".

He held up the paper for Shane Watson's approval. Watson read out the headline.

"Handsome And Hostile Mitchell Johnson Is Total Liability."

"What do you reckon, mate?" said Katich. "He always checks the Brisbane Morning Gallah. This should give him the boost he needs."

"Mate, it's nearly there," said Watto. "But it's missing a tiny ingredient. Like one of Haydo's koala gallbladder fricassees. Yeah, I reckon your headline needs just one key word."

He grabbed the crayon from Katich and scrawled. He held it up for Katich to read out.

"Look, Handsome And Hostile Mitchell Johnson Is Total Liability."

Katich nodded approvingly and began to sing "The Southern Cross" in triumph. Ricky Ponting entered the room, muttering to himself.

"Hello skip," said Watson. "We're working on the strategies for remotivating Mitch that you talked about."

"Are we bringing back flogging?" asked Ponting hopefully.

"Not corporal punishment, skip, mate," said Katich. "Media management." He showed Ponting the doctored newspaper.

"Bloody idiot, Katto," said Ponting. "You've left in the bit about him being a Total Liability. What happens if he sees this?"

"He'll probably lock himself in the dunny again," said Katich.

"Remember at Lord's when we had to lure him out with a bit of cake and a cowbell?" said Watson. "I thought we'd never get him on the paddock after lunch."

"I thought that was just because he was hiding from his mum," said Katich.

Mitchell entered the room. He tripped over a kitbag and spilled the cup of milk he was carrying. He hurled the beaker at the sink. It missed. Mitchell sighed.

"Look you blokes, we can't let him see these," hissed Ponting, gesturing to the pile of newspapers.

"Hi everyone," said Mitchell Johnson. "Is there cricket today?"

An idea struck Ponting. And they said he wasn't an innovative captain.

"Aw, no mate," he said. "No, it's the light. No cricket because of the light."

Mitchell peered out of the window.

"But it's all sunny," he said. "People have got ice-creams."

"That's right mate," said Ponting. "It's so sunny that it could be actually dangerous. The safest thing to do is for us all to get in this cupboard and lock ourselves in and hide until it gets a bit darker. Now, you go in first…"

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Comments: 13 
Posted by ManishJadav on (November 30, 2010, 7:00 GMT)

"Aw, no mate," he said. "No, it's the light. No cricket because of the light." this one is awesome...

Posted by SRT_GENIUS on (November 30, 2010, 4:24 GMT)

featurewriter: Are you saying there is no BCCI in Australia ? No wonder the Australian cricketers are so unruly. Why are you talking about your childhood friends ? I had some great friends as well. We all like Sachin.

Posted by featurewriter on (November 30, 2010, 2:23 GMT)

In response to SRT_GENIUS: Are you familiar with sarcasm? This isn't a real news report. It's a tongue-in-cheek narravitve (and not a very good one, I might add). And seriously, you do know there's cricket played outside of India, right? The BCCI of Australia? (Just to help you out a little, BCCI is an acronym for Board of Control for Cricket in India...note the destination: India.) Every player experiences lean times. Take a look at Tendulkar's recent innings. Ah, I hear you say, "But let's look at his career and not just one series." Exactly. Johnson is a strike bowler with a Test bowling average of 30 (better than any current Indian Test bowlers who have played 20 Tests or more); he also has a Test hundred to his name. I've known Mitch since he was a kid, and I played grade cricket with him in Townsville and Brisbane. I'm amazed to read comments here about him being a big-mouth, a bad sport and a talentless hack. He's a great guy, very loyal, fiercely competitive and very talented.

Posted by SRT_GENIUS on (November 29, 2010, 22:33 GMT)

This is very very bad. Does ICC know about this ? Or the BCCI of Australia ? Shouldn't Ponting be punished for putting his own bowler in the dark ? I knew Ponting's end is near when he didn't listen to Sachin in the 2008 Sydney debacle.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2010, 22:03 GMT)

How fickle the media is. Last year he was considered one of the world's premier allrounders and now he can't play cricket. Please! Go Australia and Mitch!

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (November 29, 2010, 16:37 GMT)

Not sure if he ever gets to read that doctored paper, but I sure hope he reads this and locks himself up.

Good ribbing.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2010, 16:26 GMT)

Spot on boys, Mitch Johnson has all the mouth of a typical Aussie but not the trousers. It was great seeing him suffer. How could he be Test Cricketer of 2009 after his abysmal tour to England where he showed his true colours???

Posted by jackshilling7 on (November 29, 2010, 15:26 GMT)

"Remember at Lord's when we had to lure him out with a bit of cake and a cowbell?" said Watson. "I thought we'd never get him on the paddock after lunch." Haha brilliant!

Posted by   on (November 29, 2010, 13:44 GMT)

I feel for Mitch, I really do, but this classic.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2010, 11:59 GMT)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDiIES7sy4I

even ponting makes fun of johnson.

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Alan Tyers
Alan Tyers writes about sport for the Daily Telegraph and others. He is the author of six books published by Bloomsbury, all of them with pictures by the brilliant illustrator Beach. The most recent is Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects. Alan is one of many weak links in the world's worst cricket team, the Twenty Minuters.

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Alan Tyers Alan Tyers writes about sport for the Daily Telegraph and others. He is the author of six books published by Bloomsbury, all of them with pictures by the brilliant illustrator Beach. The most recent is Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects. Alan is one of many weak links in the world's worst cricket team, the Twenty Minuters.
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