Nana Boycs

Like a certain former England captain, she has a degree in people

How does one deal with the burdens of stardom?

Our agony aunt turns her attention to this vexed question among others

Nana Boycs

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Michael Slater donned a pink suit in aid of the McGrath Foundation, Australia v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Sydney, 3rd day, January 5, 2010
Michael Slater: corrupter of RT Ponting © Getty Images

I'm a huge fan of Ricky Ponting. I bat like him and even field like him. But I am unable to get a permanent place in my club side. Do I need to be a compulsive spitter to break in? asks Punter Protector
No. Ricky started spitting only after he became a Test cricketer. His grandmother once told me he was an unusually germophobic little boy who'd scream blue murder if his "Inside this shirt is an Australian Test cricketer" t-shirt was not starched and bleached to his liking. I always suspected that Michael Slater turned him rogue.

What's wrong with your club? Don't they want talented batsmen? Or are they like Australia, who are more interested in getting players who are tattooed, waxed and buffed like hot rods? Book a session at your nearest beauty salon, dearie. And buy some bubblegum (stick-on tattoo).

How do I deal with the tremendous expectations and burdens of superstardom once I become an international cricketer? asks Fame Chaser
Change your diet to accommodate demi-glazed pork ribs, deep-fried cheese, steaks and potato, and triple-layered chocolate cake. That'll thicken your skin (and arteries) enough for the trappings of international cricket.

Last year I was being called fat, lazy and washed up. Now I am the Man of the World Cup, the darling of the media and the most eligible bachelor in the country. Is fickleness a trait human beings are born with? asks Y Singh
Fickleness made its first recorded appearance in the cricketing world on December 15, 1960. The best Test had just finished and it dawned on everyone that nothing better would ever happen. The players couldn't stage a game that could be more exciting, the public couldn't feel any more thrilled than it already was, and the press couldn't write any better than it had (so they let TV take over).

They all became blasé, traded in their "joy of cricket" attitudes for convenient memories and decided criticism was more fun when it was imperceptive rather than constructive. Bradman didn't have to deal with it, but you do. To make the best of it suck up to everyone and keep in mind that whatever you do, you're always better off than Sreesanth.

I get paid to watch the IPL. Am I the luckiest guy in the world? asks IPL Watcher
No. The luckiest guy in the world is one who has never heard of Samir Kochchar. Or one who has never seen Shilpa Shetty wave the Rajasthan Royals flag. Or one who thinks "shameless plugging" is what a vain bald man indulges in. Or one who doesn't have to endure to the IPL theme music as his neighbour's mobile ring tone. Or one who has only ever seen orange and purple combined in a paint-spill accident.

You are not lucky. But you are employed. Which is quite impressive given the times we live in.

Nana Boycs was speaking to Samantha Pendergrast between games of mahjong

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