13th January 2011

The press continue to lavish praise on Team England’s off-field preparation, in particular the quality of our support staff. I wish I could be quite so enthusiastic, as the tour psychiatrist is, to momentarily dip into the argot of Freud, doing my bleeding noggin in.

His ‘confidence building’ Pavlovian call and response techniques have been causing us trouble at airport check-ins since the start of the tour and now we’re flying from city to city on an almost daily basis the disruption is nigh on intolerable. Whatever possessed him to ingrain Chris Tremlett’s responce to the question “Anything to declare” with “Grrr, I’m a tiger” is beyond me. What’s the point in having a new, rough and tough, I believe in myself, Trembler, if he spends half the tour undergoing psychiatric evaluation by Australian customs?

If that wasn’t bad enough, today’s flight to Adelaide was thrown into further confusion when a request at baggage control for Jonathan Trott to “Open up for me” led to the confession “I have a lot of anger inside. A darkness, just waiting to explode”; thus triggering a silent alarm and the drawing of several taser guns.

God knows if we’ll get Trotty back for the second 20/20. Last I saw he was being manhandled into a holding area by security guards he was threatening to “punch like a Pakistani bowler”. Whether or not Andrew Strauss’ screamed clarification of “He means through cover-point” will be taken into mitigation remains to be seen.

If Jonathan remains under lock and key then I guess we’ll have to play Luke Wright again. Bit of a mystery his continued selection. The current team rumour is he’s got hold of incriminating photos of Andy Flower high-fiving a smiling Robert Mugabe.

It does seem the only plausible explanation.