23rd January 2011

I am, to use the local parlance, crook. A scan has revealed I’ve copped a Blighty one and therefore face an early return flight to the land up over. Once safely back, I can start my rigorous regime of morning physiotherapy followed by afternoons of Doc Martin and perving over Rachel on Countdown.

Team England has given me a detailed rehabilitation plan, which I will of course ignore. You can forget your ice-baths and sports massages. We do things differently in Yorkshire. We get Brian Close to stare at an injury until it heals itself out of sheer terror.

As you can imagine, that means everyone at Headingley lives in fear of a groin strain. It’s certainly not something you want in the run up to Valentine’s Day. Brian’s intense gaze tends to kill the mood. There you are, romantic meal for two in your local Italian, and suddenly you catch his eye as he dines at a nearby table, occasionally breaking off from conversation to peer at you over his linguine marinara. Trying to intimidate your loins back into rude health.

Frankly, if it wasn’t so damn effective, it’d be weird.

Obviously I couldn’t take part in the game today. It’s hard to bowl a disguised slower-ball bouncer whilst mentally preparing to have an octogenarian hypnotise your extremities, let alone cope with only having one good leg. I was willing to give it a go if needed, but management were worried if I limped in off a couple of paces and bowled medium-quick, people would think I was taking the piss out of Mike Yardy.

Fair point.

Although I’d still fancy myself to make a better job of running between the wickets than Cap’n Ring-on-a-string and Trotty managed today. What a mix up. I’ve heard Sky are taking the footage of that incident, titling it “After the Lord Mayor’s show” and entering it as a piece of conceptual art for this year’s Turner Prize.

At least the Sky commentary lot are in a good mood now. Australia winning means Willis and Hussein can start drooling over their domestic set-up again. When are we going to learn that cutting back to six teams is the only way England can dream of winning back-to-back Ashes?

Anyway, time to pack up. It’s been a grand tour down under, but I need to get back, this calf isn’t going to stare at itself.