He Just Couldn’t Quite Get His Leg Over

I can’t better this today. Graeme Swann rules.

From The Times September 24, 2009

India coach encourages sex before matches.
Richard Hobson, Deputy Cricket Correspondent, Johannesburg

It used to be said that sexual intercourse close to a sporting event sapped energy. But India’s players have been advised otherwise in a confidential document written by their coach that effectively tells them to boost their performances on the field by hopping into action off it.

The four-part paper written by Gary Kirsten, who has helped India to become the leading one-day side in the world, became the talk of the Champions Trophy yesterday as a taboo subject was thrust into the open. The relevant chapter is headlined “Does sex increase performance?” and the answer is explicit: “Yes it does, so go ahead and indulge.”

Kirsten’s reasoning is that sex increases levels of testosterone, which leads to greater strength, aggression and competitiveness. “Conversely, not having sex for a period of a few months causes a significant drop in testosterone levels in both males and females, with the corresponding passiveness and decrease in aggression,” he writes.

Andrew Strauss, the England captain, was caught unawares when an Indian television reporter asked him directly about “sexual practices” within the squad. “I don’t think it has come up in any of our dossiers ever,” Strauss, oblivious to his own double entendre, said. “I am not sure it is likely to either.”

Graeme Swann described the idea of more sex as “the kind of forward thinking the game needs”. The England bowler said: “I assume he [Kirsten] does not mean within the team. Wives and partners must be involved. If they [the ICC] want to make the game more exciting, fly in the wives and girlfriends or other parties to improve the standard of cricket.”

Mike Hussey, the Australia batsman, was more rueful. “I have been away from home for four months so I reckon I’ve forgotten how to do it,” he said. Hussey may, then, be interested in the part of the document that reads: “If you want sex but do not have someone to share it with, one option is to go solo whilst imagining you have a partner, or a few partners, who are as beautiful as you wish to imagine. No pillow talk and no hugging required. Just roll over and go to sleep.”

Advice is also that enforced celibacy affects performance. “You may experience that your mind spends more time focusing on the fire in your groin than on good sport practice, preparation and sleep,” the dossier says.

Dispersed to all 15 members of the squad, it quotes Tim Noakes, a professor and sports scientist at the University of Cape Town, as saying: “Sex was not a problem, but being up till 2am, probably having a few drinks at a bar while trying to pick someone up, on the eve of a game, almost always was.”

And it seems like the perfect opportunity to listen to this again: