Monday, February 13, 2006

Trouble in Paradise #1

Australia score their highest one-day tally ever.

"Aw no, not again! Last time it was a stand-in who ran me out and made me look a berk. Now some would-be bloomin' stand-up does the same..."

And that was even after starting off at 10 for 3 wickets... Yes, king-of-the-sledgers' captain Ricky Ponting shrugged of the pain of his humourless whinge after having the mickey taken out of him by gurning England buffoon Phil Tufnell, by helping crank up 368 against a Sri Lanka team that had humbled the Aussies just a few days earlier [lots of links here, if you're interested]. If there was ever a reason to caution against the use of illegal substances, Tuffnel is it, but poor old Ricky just couldn't see the funny side, could he? This is what Tuffers (sic) actually said:

"Evening all. And I'm thrilled to be in the presence of such great men. The cream of Australian cricket, or the cream that's just slightly curdled a little bit since last summer.

Boys, where did it all go wrong? Losing to Bangladesh wasn't a great start. Now, they're a good side but you lost, probably the biggest upset in world cricket. But that didn't stop old Pigeon McGrath from predicting a five-nil whitewash against the old Poms in the Ashes. Hey, Pidg, give us a tip in the 3.30 at Ascot. Not. And I hope the ankle is a little bit better since that nasty accident before Edgbaston. And you can take some consolation because you did average with the bat more than your wicketkeeper did.

Talking of Edgbaston, Punter, what were you doing? You won the toss and you stuck us in - 407 we scored that day and they've even stuck a plaque up commemorating that fact at Edgbaston. Thanks mate.

Warnie. The legend that is Shane Warne, batting like a maestro, bowled like a magician - zooters, wrong-uns, they were all coming out. But just because you're a mate of Kevin Pietersen didn't mean on that last day at the Oval that you had to drop him twice. Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and thought you might have dropped the Ashes? I've got Herschelle Gibbs' phone number here if you want some counselling.

Anyway, about 50,000 of us Poms are coming down to Australia this summer to watch us retain the Ashes. That will 'Crown' it. Have a great night."

A big fuss here, of course, although most commentators appear to have rolled their eyes in embarrassment at poor old Penfold's rant, who squawked:

"I probably wouldn't have minded so much if it had been someone who had actually played in that series, but for someone that has never really done anything against Australia in any game he's ever played, it was a bit hard to swallow, I guess.

It certainly got under my skin a little bit . . . here we are sitting at our Australian Cricket's night of nights and we've got to put up with some of that stuff that he had to say."

And suddenly; and I never thought I'd find myself saying this; Phil Tuffnel skyrockets in my estimation... even though he apparently believed he was being recorded for a satirical Aussie Rules show rather than the prestigious Border Medal awards show.

The shame is that Penfold's 124 and last-seen-hitting-six-cold-ones-in-Tesco's-in-Didsbury-beer-aisle, Andrew Symonds' 151 may be used as justification for Ponting's pissiness: proof that they are really "up for it" after the bloody Poms' sarcasm and arrogance... Yes, yes, pots, kettles, all that.

But lovely that he's still smarting over his decision to put us in to bat at Edgbaston, all the same...


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