Stumbling around in a state of catatonic shock following their team’s abject surrender at the hands of a resurgent Australia, the English press are demanding that heads roll (although in private they all agree their batsmen wouldn’t connect those either).
In an act of desperation, the England selectors have announced that Andy Murray, Olympics tennis men’s singles champion & current world no. 4, will make his test debut for England at Adelaide in a few weeks time.
Chairman of selectors Giles Clarke gloated “I really like the way he rides the bounce on these hard Australian surfaces, unlike our top order who batted in the last match as if they’d left the oven on in their flats. He’s difficult to set a field against as he hits the ball in unusual areas. And yes, he’s not English”.
When pointed out that Murray is in fact a tennis player & not a cricketer, he barked back “So what? I once picked Adam Hollioake, and he was no cricketer. And I keep picking Ravi Bopara, and he’s no cricketer either.” Indeed over the years there have been several controversial selections. Graham Onions was accidentally picked after Andy Flower overheard Samit Patel asking “So, what’s for lunch today?”
Murray is up for it. “I will give my all, but I must warn you that I am yet to win an Australian open. Oh and by the way you should also get Rafa on your next tour to India, he’s darn good on mud”, he said.
In another none too surprising event, the England cricket selectors have finally announced the inclusion of Mrs. Boycott (better known to the cricketing world as ‘my mum’ from son Geoffrey’s constant extolment of her hitherto unknown batting exploits during his commentary) in the squad to shore up their brittle middle order. Apparently they were influenced by Geoff Boycott’s reaction to Mitchell Johnson’s bouncer barrage with “I reckon my mum could’ve hit those with a stick of rhubarb”.
“These lads are battin’ as if they’re trying to sell advertising space on the outside edges of their bats. One session with my mum & they’ll be hookin’ and pullin’ like fishermen in the salmon mating season”, Boycott was on the attack, an event rarely, if ever, witnessed in his playing days. In a press briefing, Mrs Boycott, who will also become the first England-born player to represent the team for more than 20 years, admitted she was looking forward to the challenge and, despite the fact she was pushing 90, would strive to give 100 per cent of her energies. “I’ll stop those damn Aussies even if it costs me a hamstring or two. Playing for England is an honour. You’d never catch me running off to India to play in the plenty plenty league….oh yeah, you would’ve caught me”, she said.
Unfortunately this also signalled the end of Boycott’s aunt’s promising first-class career after Boycott proceeded to describe how Chris Tremlett’s bowling “reminded him of how his auntie Annie would bowl after she had a couple too much to drink”.
Even as this news was breaking, a member from the MCC announced that the team’s British citizenship will be revoked and new rules will be put in place to decide whether people are eligible to play for England or not. Clearly this does not affect half of the England squad as they are South African anyway.
ECB CEO David Collier said “We have exploited..err discovered a clause which allows anyone from the former British Empire to play cricket for England. Previously we thought this only worked with South Africans, now we know that Indians, Pakistanis, Australians, New Zealanders and West Indians can also play for England. Then we shall finally win the World Cup”.
“The new stricter rules mean that to play for England you must now be able cobble together atleast three good sentences in either English or Afrikaans, and either have an English first or a South African second name, or at least one that doesn’t sound American. So that rules out Monty Panesar on two of those counts. There could also be a call up for Neil Johnson, although born in Zimbabwe, but now living in South Africa, which makes him a South African really & therefore qualifies him to play for England”, continued Collier. Moves are also being made to bring Allan Donald out of retirement on the grounds that he shares his surname with a street in Yorkshire and that automatically makes him British.
But some in the sport were not particularly pleased with the new amendments. Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said: “I’m not happy with this. This smacks of racism. Why, with this three English sentences stipulation, neither me nor any Pakistan captain will stand any chance”.
One player, who wished to remain nameless so we will call him Kevin, is fuming. “You can’t just decide that you’re English just because it is convenient. Nationalism needs to be nurtured and the England cap must not be paraded for free. You have to be a real Englishman to be able to wear the Union Jack on your England shirt”, hissed the South Africa born and raised batsman.
Amidst all this, Australia remain unfazed and have promised to field a full eleven for the series, not willing to underestimate England. Although, it is rumoured that Australia might pick Don Bradman, dig up his grave, mummify his body, strap a bat to it, drag him to the crease, wait till he smashes a couple of boundaries off Chris Tremlett’s floating half volleys, then let him retire very hurt, with his average finally equalling 100.Published 25 Nov 2013, 16:29 IST