It's the reality show that's taken the cricket world by storm! Each episode sees four amateur moaners compete to avoid elimination from the Moan-Off pavilion. This week it's the turn of Bob Willis, Ian Chappell, Shoaib Akhtar and Ian Botham to prepare their moans for the scrutiny of expert judges, Geoffrey "Mary" Boycott and Mike "Hollywood" Atherton.
Geoffrey: Right. You're all evenly matched, which is to say you're all equally roobish. This is your last chance. You've got 20 minutes to come up with a proper bit of moaning, and your time started five minutes ago.
Narrator: This week, Bob has decided to prepare a traditional grumble.
Athers: So, Bob, I can see you're watching footage of England's defeat at Lord's and you're paying close attention to Alastair Cook's dismissal.
Bob: Yes, I always like to start with the captain. Most captains are useless, present company not excepted, so if you can knock him over early with a sweeping condemnation, the rest is fairly straightforward.
Athers: And you're not taking notes?
Bob: I have a photographic moaning memory. In fact, I can still remember my first ever moan. It was about the consistency of the pureed carrots my mother was feeding me. When it came to softening up root vegetables for her infant son, she simply was not up to the job and there was no point sugarcoating the facts. The carrots were appalling.
Athers: Well, I look forward to sampling the finished grumble.
Bob: No, you don't, you're just saying that.
Narrator: Meanwhile, Ian and Ian are having another little disagreement.
Ian: I was moaning while you were still in nappies, you fat Pommie.
Ian: I'll knock your block off for you. I've already done it once.
Ian: In your dreams, son. You're a hopeless moaner and you always have been.
Ian: Let me at him!
Narrator: While security steps in to separate Ian from Ian, Shoaib is taking it easy, reading a magazine and sipping from a bottle of mineral water.
Athers: Shoaib, you're very relaxed about today's moan-off. What have you got planned for us?
Shoaib: I don't know, yaar. Probably something to do with Misbah not being a sexy, long-haired tearaway fast-bowler. Pretty much all of Pakistan's problems come from that.
Athers: You don't think there's a place in the game for the reliable, dependable, slightly stodgy but ultimately heroic grinder?
Shoaib: Yes. Their place is back in the pavilion after I have shattered their middle stump into a thousand tiny pieces.
Narrator: The preparation time is over and the contestants must present their final moans to the judges. Bob is going first.
Geoffrey: Now Bob, I've known you for a long time. You were in the same team as me on a couple of occasions. I'm sure you won't mind me saying that you were overrated during your cricket career and you continue to be second rate in the commentary box. How often are you allowed to commentate on Test matches?
Bob: Only when all the other commentators have come down with Ebola.
Geoffrey: Exactly. Let me tell you why...
Athers: Actually Geoffrey, we do need to move along.
Geoffrey: Listen, sunshine, I won 108 caps for England, so pay attention and you might learn something. Now Bob, people say you're roobish, but I don't agree with them. You're not a bad moaner, maybe not in my class, but good enough to be doing Royal London Cup semi-finals and the like. But you're too miserable. You're too down all the time. You need to lighten the mood a bit, instead of droning on and on in that monotonous accent that is guaranteed to make people want to tear out their…
Narrator: Geoffrey's advice to Bob takes up another 17 minutes. Then, with Ian and Ian still rolling on the floor, the judges move along to Shoaib.
Geoffrey: Now then young man, that's not a proper hair cut. No-one's going to take you seriously like that. What have you got for us?
Shoaib: I've got a short complaint.
Geoffrey: Let's hear it then.
Shoaib: I was never properly appreciated in my career, everything was everyone else's fault, and if they just let me run cricket, all our problems would be over.
Geoffrey: I like it. Exactly what I've been saying for the last 30 years. Congratulations, here's your prize.
Narrator: Shoaib is presented with a signed copy of Geoffrey Boycott's autobiography, Moaning My Way, a year's subscription to the Daily Mail, and the chance to take on Bishan Bedi, Jeremy Coney and the ghost of Fred Trueman for a place in the final.