"Are England's Ashes Winners Resting on Their Laurels?" read the newspaper headline in the Daily Mail. The captain chucked the paper across the dressing room in disgust.

"Have you girls seen this?" asked England women's captain Sarah Thomas.

"What, this article about 'Are Cricketers Giving Pensioners Diabetes?'" asked star batsman Sally Thomas. "That's totally unfair. And actually why I left the Witwatersrand - get away from all this politics."

"Ja, my ook. Ek is maak sommige quid binne-in die winskoop," said latest batting sensation Boeremeisie van der Thomas (whose great uncle on her mother's side once visited Scotland).

"That's right, Chewie," said Sally. "And make a few rand into the bargain as well, you're spot on."

"No, no," said the skipper. "Not that article. Here. They're saying losing to India proves we've got soft and that the Ashes win has gone to our heads. And then there's a lot of stuff about house prices and how tomatoes can prevent the council fining you for having the wrong wheelie bin, but I'm not sure about the relevance of that."

"That's a disgrace," said allrounder Sue "Two Kegs" Thomas. "Just because we've gone out and let our hair down for 18 months or so while still focusing 110% on the job in hand - people don't realise the pressure we're under. And all that fuss about the stolen hang glider: I wasn't that drunk, and how was I to know that the Russian military would be so touchy about their precious no-fly zone?"

"Ha ha ha, good one, Two Kegs. You're the bestest," said intermittently threatening pace spearhead Wor John Thomas. "You allus say the funniest things. Let's do more face-painting."

"And how could I know I was going to get injured trying to carry those crates of lager upstairs on my head?" said Two Kegs. "That was just simple bad luck."

"Actually, I think it's well out of order," said the skipper. "Just because we was all made Dames and Baronesses by Her Majesty, that doesn't mean we think that we can stop putting our hands up and doing the simple things well."

"I played a full part in that victory," said the team's nuggety middle-order battler Ginger Thomas. "And I've earned the right to be addressed as Baroness Block of Shotley Bridge. Anyone that says different, we'll sort it out the old-fashioned way, out there on the golf course."

Alan Tyers is a freelance journalist based in London. Any or all quotes and facts in this article may be wholly or partly fictional (but you knew that already, didn't you?)