OBIT: Bye Bye, Love


tt_image_791421Al Cook, (29 August 2012 — 7 January 2013), of the Not Very Cleverly Brothers died here, again, at the SGC, Australia.

He will be best remembered for the chart-toppers :“Bye Bye Match, Bye Bye Captaincy”; “Wake Up, Middle Order”; “Swann Dog”; “Andy’s Clown”; and “All I have to do is Bat“.

Cook is survived by 15 loyal band members.

And Graeme Swann .

 

SAADVVVERT

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England Find Secret Weapon


Those England cricketers who’d had the decency to see out the whole tour received a boost yesterday. Spied amongst the MCG crowd were some of the traveling supporters sporting new {and extremely reasonably priced) garb to cheer on their boys.

“Those shirts definitely made a difference to the way we played to” Said Alastair Cook, a part time estate agent from Rhyl (no relation).

Swanny fvcks off. New T-shirts arrive. England have best day of tour. Coincidence ? You be the judge. Shirts (available in the foyer and from all good stockists.)

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Swann Upping Stumps


Graeme Swann_0With the wit, professionalism & loyalty usually found in Premier League footballers, the timing of an oil tanker and the charm of a panzer division, the once-loved and admired Graeme Swann has quit English cricket, leaving a sorry bunch of former colleagues in the lurch, left to shore-up and salvage what they can from the present disaster that is the Ashes Tour.

“When the going gets tough” — a phrase not remotely applicable here. It has long and often been documented here that the cheeky chappies of the famous English Ashes-winning sides become a less savoury bunch when they aren’t steamrolling the oppo. As Corporal Jones would say “They Don’t Like It Up ‘Em” .

If only he’d had the grace to retire once the tour was over — or preferably before it had begun.

Graeme is survived by the memory of his petulance and the nasty taste in the mouth of his rape “jokes”.

(Appearing soon in a Sky TV commentary booth near you.)

The Freemantle Doctor Will See You Now.


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“But Grandfather, you have read the London Times. How bad do they say it was?”
“So bad, my boy, that they are even considering recalling Ravi Bopara !”

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The Barmy Army watch patiently at an England net session at The Paul Hogan Academy Ground, Perth

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After a couple of overs knock-about at the WACA, and having let Mike Atherton study the ball for a while, hopes are high of reverse swing for the English.

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Other former MCC captains are drafted in to help improve the morals of the team, but not all seem to be concentrating on cricket.

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The Tourists seek clarification of the LBW, using local knowledge

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Meanwhile back in the nets, Joe Root tries to unravel the mystery of the Australian non-spinning off break bowling which has winkled out so many. (“WINKLED !!! fnarrr fnarrrr,” squeals young Joe) …

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…Stuart Broad strives to perfect his now legendary “Stick the ball down the throat of the only fielder on the boundary” shot. (Apologies for no live footage from Channel 9. So here’s a filer of Stuart developing the shot back at Hogwarts during the 1990s)…

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…while Ian Bell treats himself to a haircut before the next battle. Spiffing.

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Completely coincidentally, Dr Who (50th Birthday Box set Edition now available from BBC Online) sends a message of support to the traveling Englishmen (other bandwagons are available)…

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…and possibly the last man to be transported from the mother country arrives in Oz, and is immediately asked if he fancies opening. He doesn’t. (NB: Fawad Ahmed fielding at 2nd slip, having had his application for English Citizenship accepted).

Root and Tim Bresnan accept a cigarette but, bravely, decline a blindfold, before the last rites are administered on the English batting line-up

Plucky England Show Signs of Steady Improvement


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Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad, March 29 1994.

England should take great pride in their batting over the past few days. It wasn’t that long ago (19 years ago in fact) when they were skittled by West Indies’ Curtley Ambrose for 46 in their second innings in Trinidad. Ambrose (who took 11 for 94 in the game) was one of the greats of the game. But he needn’t had been. This was an age when they were regularly getting routed by all and sundry, good, the bad and the distinctly average of world cricket.

Nowadays, England can be content that they give a good account of themselves against some of the world’s fifth best test sides — often making three figures in the process! On taking up his position as..er…wait a minute, I have it here…er…yes, here it is: COACH of the English team, Andy Flower was quoted as saying “My Goal is to get this side to a level when they can play out a whole spell by Nathan Lyon without losing any more than two or three wickets. Also I’d like to turn Mitchell Johnson from the Sunday Morning Lummox he currently is, into someone who can run through our upper and middle order like Jimmy Savile in a Children’s Ward, no matter how many times he telegraphs his short balls (Johnson, not Savile, that is).” Only Mr Fowlers’ strongest critic would accuse him of failing to achieve his goals.

DECEMBER’S “SPOT THE DIFFERENCE” COMPETITION ANSWERS:

The Answer to last time’s SPOT THE DIFFERENCE Competition:                                                          The 2013/14 side has a Different Photographer.
Winner: Mr D Pringle or SW1 who wins a Poacher-turned-Gamekeeper outfit.

That 1994 Match Summary:

West Indies 252 (Richie Richardson 63, Brian Lara 43; Angus Fraser 4 for 49, Chris Lewis 4 for 51) and 269 (Keith Arthurton 42, Jimmy Adams 43, Shivnarine Chanderpaul 50; Andy Caddick 6 for 65) beat England 328 (Mike Atherton 48, Graeme Hick 40, Graham Thorpe 86; Curtly Ambrose 5 for 70) and 46 (Curtly Ambrose 6 for 24) by 147 runs.

…and by 2013 England have improved to this:

Australia 570-9 dec & 132-3 dec beat England 172 & 312 by 218 runs

Andy Fowlup calculates that, at this rate of progress, by the year 2030, England can expect to rack up scores of well in excess of 500 against a Bangladeshi Presidents XI, and even offer Holland a Five Test series.

Don’t Ask Why, it Just Is.


Bradman in Canada, Toronto. The Australian players photographed with the cast of The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) including Boris Karloff (as Fu Manchu, back row), Myrna Loy (middle front row) and director Charles Brabin (far right, back row). Bradman is seated 2nd front row, far right. Image courtesy of The Sir Donald Bradman Scrapbook Collection at The State Library of South Australia

The greatest ever batsman, Donald Bradman in Canada, Toronto. The Australian players photographed with the cast of The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) including Boris Karloff (as Fu Manchu, back row), Myrna Loy (middle front row) and director Charles Brabin (far right, back row). Bradman is seated 2nd front row, far right. Image courtesy of The Sir Donald Bradman Scrapbook Collection at The State Library of South Australia