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Mumbai, India – In what is being billed as his most challenging illusion to date, Derren Brown will attempt to convince the England cricket squad currently touring India that they are instead still at home and preparing for a Test match in the familiar confines of Trent Bridge.

Brown approached Andy Flower with the offer of help after watching footage of England’s dismal first innings during the recent Test at Ahmedabad.

“There was such irresponsible shot making, played almost as if the batsmen didn’t fully value their wicket,” explained a source within Brown’s production company,“ it reminded Derren of Steven Brosnan, the subject of his recent TV special Apocalypse.”

In Apocalypse a young man who has become complacent whilst enjoying the creature comforts of living at home with his parents is forced to become decisive and self reliant after being convinced a meteor shower has left him abandoned in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It’s understood that Brown sees the current England tour as an opportunity to try and reverse the process from Apocalypse by taking a group of people who believe they are stuck in a nightmarish situation over which they have little or no control and to return them, mentally, to the safety of home.

With just two days until the Second Test in Mumbai, members of Derren Brown’s production team are already in India screening squad members in order to find players who are “open to the suggestion that they are still at home” and have so far identified fifteen possible candidates.

“Pretty much everything is in place now,” confirmed our source, “all we need is for Derren to work his ‘magic’ on them by using a combination of suggestion, positive reinforcement and slowly moving a tin of baked beans suspended on a string back and forth in front of their eyes. Before long they’ll be imagining themselves on the outfield at Trent Bridge, watching the ball swing all round the place.”

However, when asked if Brown would be able to convince England’s batsmen that they could play spin, our source was less confident.

“Derren’s an illusionist, not a miracle worker.”

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