An Ashes series can mean only one thing – picking up the phone to that crusty old blighter, Steve Rixon.
Me: Hello Steve, long time no talk,
Steve Rixon: Hmm yes, what do you want you little runt?
Me: I was just checking in to see how you are travelling, it’s been a long time.
Steve: Look I’m fine I have had a few projects on the go. I started up my own tour group for the Ashes – if bloody Merv Hughes can do it, I thought why can’t I!
I got Chris Rogers to use his vast network of county contacts to get the match tickets but he went and funked that up big time. So that scheme went belly up pretty quickly but I’ve been doing my usual coaching gig with CSI Chennia in the IPL.
Do you mean CSK – Chennai Super Kings?
Yeah yeah that’s them Samurai Pizza Cats or whatever. I was doing some fielding coaching there and hoping to get on the T20 circuit gravy train but no one seems to want an ex-wicket keeper as a fielding coach anymore they want bloody ex-base ballers as throwing consultants, someone else as a ground fielding tutor and another person as a bloody hand positioning expert and the like.
I put my profile out on iwantacricketcoach.com and I got no hits
I was down at the local cafe and I saw one of those hipster types who seems to spend their days growing their beards, drinking endless lattes and tapping on their smartphones. He was asking me how I perfected the half handlebar moustache and I gave him a few expert facial hair tips and in return he updated my profile:
I’m on facetime, tinder and googledocs now too.
Do you mean facebook and twitter?
Yeah those too. Anyway would you believe it the very next day I got an email from the Barbados Duck Bills in the Carribean Premeier League and they said they were in desperate need of a gloved artisan whisperer and could I fly over the next day.
Do you mean the Antigua Hawksbills?
Yeah probably. Anyway I’m island hopping around the Caribbean for the next 6 weeks!
Will you be watching the big contest this evening?
Oh king oath I will, I never miss Origin. I can’t stand those damn Queenslanders I’ll be rooting for the Blues over here in Jamaica.
I meant the Ashes.
Ah yes of course, I’ve had a look at the England line up and noticed a few things. Nealry everyone has a 4 letter noun as their surname and if they don’t it’s a verb!
The Poms have brought in a couple of newbies and they have 4 letters in both their names – Adam Lyth and Mark Wood.
The Poms XI looks like this
Their batting line up is missing a verb – Trott – and of course the guy with far too many peters in his name Kevin Peter Peitersen from Petermaritzburg. But what they lack in South Africans they have made up for in Zimbabweans with Gary Ballance coming in at number 3.
The revolving door at the top of the order to partner Captain Cook goes to Adam Lyth. I know nothing about him, he must be pretty good though if he’s nudged Michael Carberry out of the team…
The middle order is Bell and Root then Stokes is the allrounder and we know he can play because he’s a kiwi. Josh Buttler has..
You mean Jos Buttler.
If you are you going to keep interrupting me this is going to take a long time.
As I was saying Josh Buttler has the gloves and looks solid – definitely better than Johnny Baristow!
As for the fast bowlers Broad and Anderson are there plus Steve Finn. Despite David Saker’s best efforts to ruin him as a bowler Finn has bounced back and may play or more likely just tour the country ala Australia in 2013/14.
There is also the new fast bowler Mark Wood. This bloke is off his trolley – he makes Phil Tuffnell look sane. He pretends he’s riding a horse around in the field and even feeds it granny smith apples. Also his idols are Steve Harmison and Graeme Onions. If that doesn’t scream ‘Weak Link’ nothing does. Expect him and his horse to be carted.
Spinners. The Poms have gone down our path after Warnie retired and played a batsmen as a spinner. Mooen Ali is the incumbent but Adil Rashid the leg spinner could come in . Both are about as dangerous as Ashley Giles I reckon.
As for Australia well the team just about picks itself, the county pros – Rogers and Voges – have to play. That locks the top 5 – Warner, Rogers, Smith, Clarke and Voges. The only place in question is the allrounders spot but I think all of Australia would be disappointed if Watto didn’t play – everyone loves watching an enigma and you can’t beat a boundary laden 46 followed by an inexplicable dismissal for entertainment.
Hadds has the gloves of course then the bowlers are pretty settled now that Rhino is out – MJ, Starc, Hazlewood and Nath. Nath hasn’t been bowling great but he has great awareness that this is a test match and he needs to improve. Don’t be surprised if Sidds comes in for Lords – that slope has caused mayhem for the left armers in the past – Mitch in 2009.
I can’t believe this first test is in Cardiff – I still have nightmares about Pannesar and Anderson batting out for a draw in the first test in Cardiff in 2009 ! It cost us the series and the Ashes. And to think Marcus North made a century in that match!
A tip Steve?
New South Wales by 6 points. Ah cricket – Australia by plenty and look out for a very low scoring first innings – under 300 – for whoever bats first tonight.