The Heavy Ball

This, that and the other. Mostly the other

The reflections of MJ Clarke, cosmetics model

It was all so different not so very long ago, wasn't it?

Alan Tyers

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Michael Clarke was left with plenty to think about, England v Australia, 5th ODI, Old Trafford, July 10, 2012
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Michael Clarke called for silence. The noise in the Australian dressing room did not die down. From his locker, Michael grabbed a large carton full of shampoo bottles - he was the face and hair of a major cosmetics brand in certain limited Oceanic territories and could get as much product as he wanted. Free. He allowed himself a brief moment to drink that little fact in. He was worth it, no matter what those old farts with their blazers and their moustaches and their tired, volume-less hair said. They were looking at a three-time Best Moisturised Australian Sportsman.

A three-time Best Moisturised Australian Sportsman who was now a leader, a shaper of destinies. He would mould this team the way Hi-Performance No Frizz Putty could mould a style that's rugged enough for the sports field but funky enough for fooling around with a hot babe afterwards.

A hot babe afterwards. A sudden, stabbing thought of headlines past, headlines from a perfect, long ago time: "The Australian Posh and Becks." "Blonde on Blonde." "Jeez Alf, I Can't Tell Which One's the Sheila." He drew his breath in sharply, the same hollow, watery feeling in his guts he got when he wrote out the batting order with Smith, S at No. 6. He shook the feeling away.

He looked at his demoralised men. Maybe they should do some sort of bonding exercise like with Steve-o? Couldn't risk a plane journey to Gallipoli, given all the injuries. No chance the quicks would get through an EasyJet flight without tweaking or twisting something, not with that legroom. Maybe if they could get the big units into an emergency exit row. But what if Mitch woke up from his barbiturate milkshake, panicked, and tried to get out of the emergency door? He could get tried as a terrorist. An adult terrorist. No way could Mitch hack it in Guantanamo.

Maybe something more local. There was the hair salon in Alderley Edge where Becks first had the auburn lowlights put in, the month after he got the cover of Arena magazine. But that was the thing about these team-bonding exercises: one bloke's stirring story of up-and-at-'em mateship and courage was another man's boring old war memorial where the sandy air played havoc with your foundation. Maybe it was better to let people get over this series in their own way.

He looked around the dressing room. Clint McKay was still trying to teach the younger bowlers how to play three-card brag. No… looked like he'd given that up in favour of snap. From the looks of it, there was something to build on there. Young Patto had done himself a mischief getting out of the shower and was getting treatment. Mitch looked happy; he'd found an interesting shaped leaf on the outfield at Edgbaston and it seemed to calm him somehow. He was pouring the leaf an imaginary beer.

Michael sighed. There didn't really seem to be much to say. A soft whimpering could be heard from Xavier Doherty's corner. No wonder Ricky's skin got so wrinkly, thought Michael. He got down off the shampoo box and put it carefully back in the locker. Home soon.

RSS FeedAll quotes and "facts" in this article are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?
Made-up Anglo-Australian unkindness aplenty in CrickiLeaks - The Secret Ashes Diaries by Tyers and Beach

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Comments: 3 
Posted by lilyblackcapsfan on (July 14, 2012, 23:38 GMT)

Haha! Absolutely hilarious!

Posted by SagirParkar on (July 13, 2012, 18:36 GMT)

really funny, loved reading it !! my favourite part was the 'Best Moisturised Sportsman'.... hehe.. almost got a side-strain laughing at that one...

Posted by D-Ascendant on (July 13, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

Oh Tyers you beaut! This is as funny as Mitch!

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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 TyersClose
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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