Tour Diary

The temerity of Ashley Giles

You know it's time somebody presented Ashley Giles with a dictionary when he stomps around the media centre demanding to know meanings of words like temerity and irony.

A bad day at the office for Ashley Giles- 0 for 45 and an oh-so-vital dropped catch, Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, December 3, 2006

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You know it's time somebody presented Ashley Giles with a dictionary when he stomps around the media centre demanding to know meanings of words like temerity and irony. The sequence of events was roughly in this order: Giles, in an interview during this Test, talks about Tendulkar's declining powers, Tendulkar compiles 91 before being wrongly adjudged lbw, David Hopps, a cricket writer with the Guardian newspaper, writes a piece on Tendulkar-mania, and slips in a line that reads, " … Ashley Giles, who had the temerity at the weekend to remark that Tendulkar's batting prowess had waned a little ...."
Giles obviously didn't get the irony. In fact, when Hopps tried to explain the context, he shot back: "What is irony?” His main contention was "temerity", which he felt was too extreme a word. A serious argument soon turned ugly: Giles demanded an explanation, Hopps told him to stop being "paranoid", delightful verbals bounced off the walls before Hopps thought it best to take a walk around the ground to cool off.
Two bits of background information are vital, the first more so than the second. Hopps coined the term "wheelie bin"; he also ghosted Giles's column during the 2005 Ashes series. But Giles' inability to get the humour, his refusal to understand where Hopps was coming from, had several members of the press corps cracking up.
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Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is a former assistant editor at Cricinfo