A Fairytale for Sydney?
But come Christmas morning there it is – just what he asked for. Nestled among the socks and jocks and the rest of the crap is a brand new English cricket team! Leeful has a closer look.
What have we got here?
Two new openers: Little Barry Wood and Sgt Wilson (Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard). Good choice he thinks. His dad had regaled him with great stories of derring-do as Little Barry withstood an avalanche of intimidatory chin music from the fearsome Australian spin twins Ashley Mallett and John Inverarity in 1972. Perched on his toes and looking every bit his full four-foot-seven; Little Barry ducked, weaved, dodged, twisted and turned as he stared down the relentless, frightening barrage of well flighted, full length, gently turning throat balls from our wily spinners. Yep, who better to open with?
His partner has to be Sgt Wilson. Who could ever forget the graceful 78no for the home guard against the wardens in that classic 1970 Dad’s Army episode? The way he kept his cool while Mainwaring, Pike, Jones, Fraser and Walker succumbed. His glorious square drives and deft late cuts were in their zenith when Godfrey’s six ended the match.
At number three we’ve got the legendary Colin Cowdrey. Do you remember when they bought him out of retirement to help out in the 1974-5 Ashes series down under? Australia had a new bowler called Lillian Thomson, Sounded pretty easy so old Colin thought he’d help himself to a few runs to bolster the average. I can still remember him wearing thirteen sweaters in 60c heat in Perth. He made 3 runs and 150 leg byes in the series, taking the brunt of the Lillie and Thomson barrage on the body. He was 67 years old and it was one of the gutsiest performances you’ll ever see.
At number 5 we’ve got Lady Herries – Colin’s old lady. Now there’s a socks down no nonsense type if ever we saw one. So tough she could have won an Iditarod. She bought Taufan’s Melody down under for the 1998 Caulfield Cup. She didn’t suffer fools so it was never going to be easy for the Victoria Racing Club. She proceeded to tell them that her horse would be running in the Cup and the fact that it wasn’t qualified was irrelevant. Her only instructions to jockey Ray Cochrane were: “Flatten ‘em!” He did that – took out half the field and the first five rows of racegoers. He got a nice holiday but the Lady got the bikkies! Plenty of British spunk there. In fact, I think we’ll make her captain.
At number 6 we’ve got Liz Hurley. England wouldn’t have won the three Ashes series without her. (Ex) lover boy was dead set going to make a comeback until she got the better of his googlies. If Warnie plays England lose – and lose and lose and lose. Don’t worry about it. It’s just a law of nature.
At number 7 we’ve got Sir Ernest Shackleton. Don’t know if he could play but he sure was good at digging in, holding on and getting out of a jam. He might as well keep wickets and probably has some of them big woolly Antarctic gloves out in the shed. He’s 139 these days but he’s got to be better than Prior doesn’t he?
Leading the attack and batting at 8 is John Snow. Now he was up for it. He flattened Terry Jenner in 1970-1 and I figure he wouldn’t mind doing the same to Dave Warner. Nothing scarier than facing John Snow on a sticky.
Sharing the new ball is Robert George Dylan Willis. If you want to shut an Aussie up just say the magic words: “Headingly 1981’. It still gets us right where it hurts. It turns out that Bob is still a Dylan tragic. That makes two of us.
And now for the spin twins: Tuffers and Dirty Underpants.
You’ve got to pick Tuffers because…..because…. well you just have to don’t you? It wouldn’t qualify as an England test team without at least one genuine eccentric froot loop.
As for Dirty Underpants? Well for a start you don’t see comb overs like that in test cricket these days. And he was a beauty – absolutely unplayable on a sticky. He made his first and only first –class century in his 591st match. How’s that for persistence? Not a strong point of the current tourists.
So there you go Leeful Lee. The jolly ol’ Polska has produced the goods – an England team with ticker. Some would say it’s a Christmas miracle!
That’s it for me for this series. Sydney will be another flogging – just like Melbourne. I’d like to sign off by wishing all Betting Agency punters a very happy and safe New Year and above all – Let’s Get Punting
See you in January for the Aussie Open tennis. What do you think of that Andy Murray? Is it just me or is he punching so far above his weight in the lady department it’s just not funny?