18th January 2011

These must be confusing, worrying times to be an Australian cricketer. Suddenly you’ve become the punch line to every joke in town, your chairman of selectors appears to be fighting a one-man war against common-sense and the requirement to field during Cooky and Booger’s mammoth innings has cut deep into valuable endorsement signing time.

What makes matters worse are the mixed messages coming from all quarters. When Clarke apologises for not walking, he’s a big pansy, unworthy of the real men who used to wear the baggy green. But if he blows the froth of a couple with Phil Hughes the night before the final rapier thrust, then they’re both unprofessional.

In Clarke and Hughes’ defence there were only three wickets to take the following day, so in effect they’d already made their final contribution to the game. In fact they could have probably been permanently shit-faced throughout the entire Ashes and it would have had no significant effect on Australia’s overall performance. I’ve never seen a late night stumble from a kebab shop as clumsy as Phil Hughes’ footwork. Frankly I’d breathalyse him to be sure he never walked out to bat sober.

Yet everyone’s having a pop at them. Even Dean Jones isn’t impressed. He said so. With words. If not perhaps, complete sentences. You can see where he’s coming from though. He’s clearly taken one look at Phil Hughes’ stubble and thought, ‘potential terrorist’.

You know how his mind (doesn’t) work.

Thank God you don’t get that kind of crap from commentators when you play for England. All I have to put up with is Bumble mentioning I’m from Yorkshire every other sentence; the rest of the time telling you I’m a ‘good lad’. Which to be fair are more incisive observations than David Gower’s ever managed.

 

In any other business: Use of the phrase “territorial seagulls” on one of the local news bulletins, has, unfortunately, seen Chris Tremlett refusing to leave his room for a second successive day. Attempts to lure him out with a trail of Maltesers (as well as reassurances of a cull undertaken with axes) will re-commence in the morning.

Hang in there, big dog. We’ll get you out.

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