The Heavy Ball

This, that and the other. Mostly the other

A fair-dinkum post-mortem

Australia's elders gather to mourn the loss of the Ashes

Alex Bowden

Comments: 16 | Text size: A | A

An Australian pub. Kim Hughes is gently weeping at a table in a corner. A gaggle of sour-faced ex-Australian cricketers go and join him.

Glenn McGrath, flanked by Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin and Shane Watson, promotes the "Pink Test", Sydney, January 1, 2011
"…And anyone who says we've lost the Ashes is a pinko commie traitor. Yes, I said pinko" © Getty Images
Enlarge
Related Links
Series/Tournaments: England tour of Australia
Teams: Australia

Merv Hughes: Shut it.

Glenn McGrath: Yeah, it's not like we've lost the Ashes or something.

Steve Waugh: Glenn, we have. I keep telling you this. What don't you understand?

McGrath: I still think we'll win 5-0.

Waugh: We won't. The series is over. We lost the Ashes.

Damien Martyn: What went wrong, Tugga? How did we lose to the Poms?

Waugh: You name it: batting, bowling, fielding - we were rubbish all round. What did you make of the batting, Haydos?

Matthew Hayden: The skillset execution wasn't as consistent as we have come to expect from the batsmanship executors.

Waugh: Er, what?

Hayden: The batsmanship executors needed to get in the box seat to drive a controlling interest in the field of play. That's what's so integral to our core values. That's the magic and the fabric of playing for the baggy green.

Waugh: What?

Hayden: When Matthew Hayden first put on that baggy green, he took an oath to the cricket that he would one day execute. Matthew Hayden played for the traditions, mateship and skill execution of Australianism as we have known it since…

M Hughes: Shut it.

Waugh: Well said, Merv. Sorry Matty, but you were talking out of your arse.

Hayden: What you have just done is a slight on the noble traditions of the baggy green [storms out]

Waugh: Glenn, what about the pace bowling? Is it as bad as it seems? Can we fix Mitchell Johnson?

McGrath: Oh yeah, easy. He's not doing much wrong.

Waugh: Really? He's been all over the place everywhere bar Perth.

McGrath: Yeah, just a couple of tweaks. That's all that's needed. If he could bowl, say, six balls out of six at the top of off stump, that'd make a big difference, for a start. Then if he could hit the seam a bit more, get his arm a bit higher, maybe be a bit taller. Easy.

Waugh: Easy... [rolls eyes]

McGrath: Maybe bowl right-handed as well.

Waugh: Riiiiight. And the rest of them?

McGrath: Same. 5-0. Easy.

Martyn: Why didn't Punter never bowl Glenn or Warney, Tugga?

Waugh: Because they're retired, Damo.

Martyn: But why?

Waugh: They weren't playing. They're retired.

Martyn: But why?

Waugh: Because... say, Damo?

Martyn: Yeah? [looks excited]

Waugh: You couldn't go and get me my lucky red handkerchief, could you?

Martyn: Yes, yes. Definitely. Where is it?

Waugh: It's at the WACA. It'll probably take you a couple of weeks to get it. Is that okay?

Martyn: Yes, yes. Definitely, definitely. Anything for you, Tugga. Anything.

Martyn exits. He passes Hayden, who is on his way back in, baggy green in hand.

Hayden: Gentlemen, look at this. This is what it's all about. This is why we continually evolve our skillsets. This is why we execute. This is all the pride and mateship and Australianism made tangible. Behold its green, baggy majesty.

A tear forms on Hayden's cheek and he gently lays a hand on Kim Hughes' shoulder.

M Hughes: Shut it.

Waugh: Well said, Merv.

McGrath: 5-0.

RSS FeedAlex Bowden blogs at King Cricket

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 16 
Posted by   on (January 13, 2011, 15:01 GMT)

This just brought the laughter out with all its venom! haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Posted by Gerry_the_Merry on (January 12, 2011, 6:14 GMT)

After all these years, no one can forget Kim Hughes crying in the press conference...after 6 consecutive thrashings by West Indies. Well done. Only complaint on the piece was that it finished too soon, it was too short. There were a few other interesting characters in the champion Australian team (Brett Lee for example). Australia will bounce back - i hope so, as cricket is already poorer for the decline of West Indies, and if Australia sinks so fast, standards will not recover for a decade.

Posted by Raju_Iyer on (January 12, 2011, 4:45 GMT)

An excellent read, mate, keep the series going, let Punter enter the bar next....

Posted by   on (January 12, 2011, 4:31 GMT)

meh..not too funny. alan tyers is 10x better

Posted by SSRajan on (January 11, 2011, 23:34 GMT)

BTW, was it Kim Hughes or Merv Hughes??

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (January 11, 2011, 19:12 GMT)

Funtastic!!! Thank you for bringing a smile...finally.

Posted by A_HTIMAN on (January 11, 2011, 18:58 GMT)

Great article. A really good humour

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (January 11, 2011, 18:29 GMT)

Wow, this is a classic. Summed up the characters of these guys really well. Steve Waugh is the only smart one out of the lot, while McGrath not surprisingly is the dumbest one. Really loved Hayden's dialogues. Keep up the good work Alex. You are almost as good as Andrew Hughes.

Posted by Rakim on (January 11, 2011, 18:23 GMT)

Aussie domination is over !!!

Cricket is more entertaining now (At least for me) !!

Posted by   on (January 11, 2011, 17:48 GMT)

@Steven : You didn't laugh because you did not understand the fact that each of these players is living 8 years in the past. All of them exhibiting their characteristic funny stereotypes : Kim Hughes crying , Steve Waugh heading proceedings , Glenn McGrath's simple contributions, Hayden shooting his mouth about the Baggy Green and executing skillsets.

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email this page to a friend Email Feedback Feedback Print Print
More in The Heavy Ball
RSS FeedAll
  • Still plenty of ifs for Butt
    Rob Steen: Salman Butt insists players should refrain from "wrongdoing" but that shouldn't gain him back the trust of those he duped
  • Outside the Grace Gate
    Shot Selection: You think MCC members have it easy when it comes to watching a Test at Lord's? Think again
  • Drowned out by the hype machine
    Sharda Ugra: A lot has gone wrong with the Indian T20 league but as its seventh season begins, everything will be brushed everything aside like nothing is amiss
  • Notes from a Dutch adventure
    Netherlands coach Anton Roux looks back on their incredible wins in the World T20, late-night bonding, and pizza intake
  • Ducks, and a tadpole
    Ask Steven: Also, most World T20 caps, most Test lbws, low-scoring Test wins, and a quartet of tons in an ODI
  • ESPN
  • ESPNF1
  • Scrum
  • Soccernet