English Try not to Lose Match. Questions in the House.


Australia scored a huge moral victory today when the world’s media decided, as one, that the England Cricket Team were batting too slowly. In a test match. Newspapers and media commentators from both ends of the globe were united in their damning of English tactics in the Fifth and final Test at The Oval.

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Down under, Ockers in bars across the colony— from Wagga all the way to Wagga—could be heard to whine in celebratory unison at the attack on the English decision (on the season’s slowest pitch) not to lose the match and consolidate their 3-0 lead. The Aussie team, led by skipper Michael ‘Bloody’ Clarke, and in lieu of bowling the opposition out, opted for calling Pietersen nasty names and bowling the ball to 2nd slip (presumably as some sort or Homage d’Harmison). This enormous vote of disapproval at the speed of the English batsmen means the scoreline in the series has now changed to …er…3-0 to England.

Not since a girl called Mary was followed about everywhere she went by her companion with a fleece as white as snow has there been such constant bleating for so long. Much has been made about the plummeting of Australia down the Test Match Rankings, but the ACB will be proud of the fact that their fans have reached the top of the Whinging Fans Table, removing French Rugby Supporters from the top of the “Whole World’s Against Us Championship” (Sponsored by Brains Beer).

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But this is no fluke, no flash in the pan. It has been worked on all summer, ever since the Aussie Tourists lost to Roedean Girls School by an innings and 74 runs on a slow turner in May. While the Strines‘ Upper, Upper Middle and Lower Middle batting order practised batting collapses, the fans were drawing up a war chest of moans, complaints and whines to be gradually introduced to and shot at the English public throughout the season.

And how they’ve fired them off:

The Umpires are too foreign; DRS is too unreliable; The grounds are too small (they can’t get tickets to the matches so they can moan about the English); The pitches are too dry; it only rains when we’re winning ; Stuart Broad is a Cheat; Root provoked the Punch (and he’s a cheat); they’re batting too slow; the commentators are too posh/biased/insulting/use long words; The grass is too green (ok, I made that last one up—but only that one) . etc etc etc.

The ICC are investigating claims by the BCCI, the ruling body of Indian Cricket, that they have the monopoly on Sore Losing, and that the Aussies are in danger or breaching their copyright on it.

The MCC have made a formal apology to Australia and indeed the whole of the Commonwealth and given an undertaking that they won’t try to save a cricket match again, or ensure that they don’t give the opposition a sniff.  Rather they will play dashing, exciting cricket, giving no heed to throwing away the contest. It is believed the have contacted Mickey Arthur with a view to a possible advisory role.

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In a totally unrelated incident, Police have discovered a small heard of sheep in a bar in Brisbane. The animals have remained undetected in the Inn for six weeks, mingling with the local sports fans. They were only given away when one of their member got into a fight with a group of cricket fans when he asked them to keep the bleating down.

Malcolm Conn is 108

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World Exclusive: Hotspot Footage Proves Trott Hit the Ball


The Sharp Single can this morning Exclusively reveal to the world that South Af English batsman Jornathorn Trortt was erroneously given out LBW my neutral South African umpire Marais Piper Erasmus.

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Trortt, 32, of KwaZulu Natal, East Sussex, immediately asked for a referral of the decision to Mr Piper, who was in his suite busy examining the footage of earlier completely wrong decision by umpire B.Pew (T.Island) to give out Root Minor of the lower Fourth even though he clearly hadn’t hit the ball, (but was too frightened to say so).

England had already fallen foul of the new ICC “Wonder/Blunkett Method” when 12 year old Australian debutante Ashton Kutcher was given not out when stumped by reluctant-appealer Mat Howwozthatonethen Prior when the batter was closer to the non-striker’s end than his own,having amassed just 10 runs. Mr Kutcher went on to score 98, a world record for a number 11 batsmen who should have been given out two hours ago.

England were understandably furious with the officials. In an display of petulance and defiance, the former bowler Steve Finnish, playing in his last Test for England, bowled 17 consecutive overs at his own toes.

The ICC have apologised to England for the pisspoor decisions made during the day, and offered the whole team free tickets to the final of next year’s IPL  (sponsored by Lehman Brothers).

Now The Sharp Single can exclusively bring you the missing Hortsport foortage. If you look very closely, you can just make out the faintest of white marks, as the ball just nicks Hansie Trortt’s bat.  You be the jury.

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Keith Vaz is expected to make a statement at lunchtime today.

 

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Great Touch for a Big Man


Paul Collingwood, having just captained the English cricket team to its first ever victory in a world final (albeit in pyjamas), is reported to have been given a few months of to recoup. He says he feels mentally drained and physically exhausted. It’s been a long season and he’s picked up a ‘couple of niggles’ along the way which ‘aren’t getting any better’. With the Ashes coming up in the winter, the English cricket authorities have begun a rotation system, having rested Andrew Strauss and Jimmy Anderson last winter, Collingwood along with Stuart Broad looks set to recharge his batteries before the main business begins in Australia in November. Broad would certainly need to rest his jaw, given the amount of bleating and whingeing he does on the playing field.

The rotation system of course is a favourite of soccer managers, and Fabio Capello is not different. He may well have to do a bit of it while shepherding his 23 young men through to what he hopes is an appearance in the World Cup Final. He’s not against rotating his opinion as well as his team. He’s already picked unfit players (something he said he wouldn’t) picked players out of position (which he’d previously ruled out) and those out-of form (ditto). Still, so far he’s not budging on the WAG question. The players will only get to see their loved ones once-a-week during the tournament, thus preserving their natural bodily fluids to sweat on the pitches of South Africa rather than in the bedroom/the balcony/the back of a limo. Colleen’s had the first result of the Cup, I reckon, and at least John Terry will be close enough for his team mates to keep an eye on him.

Capello is running a tight ship at the team’s high-altitude training camp in Austria: Peter Crouch has to sleep in the same size bed as everyone else this time round, and has been bollocked for wearing slippers around the camp. Capello likes his boys smartly dressed. It must be some relief to all that King David isn’t in the squad as Christ knows what the boss would have made of him swanning around in a sarong, Victoria’s drawers and slingbacks. The games room is off-limits for most of the side, so Wayne, Rio and company will be barred from playing as themselves on the PS3. Diets will be monitored at all times.

Austria was chosen as the venue for the pre-tour training camp as Capello wanted to replicate as near as damn it the conditions in the High Veldt where the English will be playing their matches. This is where we see the Italians genius: Not only is the atmosphere similarly thin to that in South Africa, but there are almost as many neo Nazis in Austria as they’ll encounter among the farming communities when they arrive down south. Once the competition begins England will make their base in Rustenburg, SA, not to be confused with Rastenburg, Poland where A. Hitler‘s Third Reich XI set up camp during their own quest for world domination.

Historians point out that Hitler’s men may well have succeeded but for the fact that, although they possessed a devastating attack, they were a team packed with right-wingers, and were vulnerable in the air – which an RAF Select XI exploited in the quarter-final played at Biggin Hill.

Hitler's back three discuss zonal defence during summer training at Rastenburg

But I digress.

So taking a leaf out of the books of the great minds from cricket and football, I have decided to rest myself, to recharge my batteries, to get my mind straight. I’ve picked up ‘a couple of niggles’ over the season (which, let’s face it, has lasted since 1983) and they’ve shown no signs of getting any better. In fact I get more niggly as the years pass. My week’s low-altitude training in Amsterdam didn’t pay the dividends I’d hoped for, but I can’t blame the fact my WAG came along with me. No, a strict rotation policy is what I need. I know you think rotating a squad of one is gonna be difficult, but I have a carefully planned strategy to get me through the closed-work season. Playing in a solid 0-0-1 formation, I shall alternate between The Crown, O’Neills and, when I really want to punish myself, The Railway.

In the games room (my couch) I shall play no more than three hours per day, switching from Tiger Woods Golf , FIFA 10, and Red Dead Redemption, which I’ve just had a couple of hours on and is quite superb. Tiger might get squeezed out (not for the first time).

A strict diet from the Sun Bo chinese takeaway (chilli beef me-up), Khans curry house (mismas every time) and the imaginatively dubbed Blackheath Fish and Chips (all major credit cards accepted, and at these prices highly recommended) will keep my girth at the diameter to which it’s accustomed.

I have promised myself the bathroom will be painted, the banisters sanded and the bushes and hedges in the garden kept neat and trim. If I can’t find a source of income soonish, I may have to rent (or even sell) Railway Cuttings, so a month off is a great opportunity to get the house in top shape to impress any potential buyers.

But with 3 World Cup matches every day and villains and varmints to shoot on a video game, I may have to break a promise or two. Now where are my slippers ?

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