From the Ginger Assassin at Headingley

Hello again Eagles, this time from Headingley, as we all prepare for another five days of disappointment.

We’re three tests in with two to go and still no victories as yet for the Aussies in this Ashes series, or as it will forever be remembered , Umpire R. Koertzen Vs Australia.

Things aren’t going well over here, and if Ricky Ponting doesn’t get his act together, people are going to start calling Kim Hughes a successful captain. But seriously folks, back to Rudi, even he must acknowledge now after another string of horrible decisions that its time to slip out the back door and never be heard of again. There were at least three LBW decisions that even Crimmo would have given out. The whisper over here is that Rudi could soon find himself promoted to the elite panel that is ECA LOC 4 umpiring division where the main tasks are signalling Phil Spinella sixes and Jimmy Vear wides.

Australia has suffered due to horrible batting collapses in the first innings of the second and third tests, which doesn’t make a lick of sense when you examine the Poms bowling attack. Just look at these hacks we’re getting rolled by, Jimmy Anderson is a grown man who still calls himself Jimmy. Graeme Onions has a name that’ll bring you to tears and he looks the bloke from the Toyota footy moments ads. Stuart Broad has had to get a permission slip signed by his parents so he could leave school early to play in this series and Graeme Swann breaks my number one rule, ‘Never trust an Englishman with a tan!’ It just doesn’t make sense. Where would he be finding the necessary sunlight and heat to be able to develop that unhealthy glow? While playing for Tossershire or whatever cold  damp hole in the earth this show-pony plays for when not bowling gentle tweakers for his country? I think not. Get Phil Tufnell back. At least tuffers knew how awful he and his country were at cricket, and he was willing to have a laugh about it.

A bit closer to home and the Australian boys seem to have been struck by the injury bug, or as its better known in cricket circles “The Taits”. It seems like everyone’s got a case of “The Taits” at the moment, with Haddin and Manou both suffering hand injuries, Michael Clarke has a stomach strain and Brett Lee still covering up his impending forced retirement with a ‘side/chest/heart/lack of pace and penetration’ strain.

These alleged injuries are not the Australian way and scream “excuses!”, to cover a lack intestinal fortitude and courage in battle, the same lack of intestinal fortitude and courage shown by Australian selectors as they seem determined not to pick Australia’s number one red-headed all-rounder in what will surely turn out to be one of the greatest travesties in cricket, dare I say sporting history.

The greatest Australian captain of them all, Allan Border had no time for injuries and would be turning in his grave* if he was around to see the Aussies drop like the proverbial nine pin. Dean Jones almost died for his country in the famous Madras tied test of 1986. After batting for almost two days in 50 degree heat, Deano had reached about 180 not out when after constant vomiting and involuntary urinating while still fully padded up, he thought he’d mention to AB that he wasn’t feeling 100%. AB gently reminded him that he was here to represent his country and that he had better harden up or catch the next plane back to Tullamarine. Inspired by the great skipper’s words Deano went on to make 210 in one of the most inspiring innings known to man, then proceeded to pass out, almost die of dehydration and spend that night in one of Madras’ finest rat infested hospitals only to come back out the next day and take one of the all time great catches at cover. I can’t imagine Messrs Clarke or Haddin doing all that for their country. Then again, I can’t imagine Messrs Clarke or Haddin reaching 180.

Shane ‘What State should I play for this year’ Watson was a surprise selection for the third test narrowly beating out McDonald for the opening slot. Understandable though, when you’ve got a bloke who’s only fit 12 out of 365 days of the year you’ve gotta play him when you can provided it’s one of his 12 allotted fit days, and Venus is in a certain position in relation to El Nino, and whatever month it is happens to be has a ‘U’ in its title somewhere.

While we’re on the subject of blokes not pulling their weight, Mike Hussey is apparently operating on the Mark Taylor “We can’t drop him ‘cos he’s a really good bloke” rule. One century in the last 19 matches isn’t going to cut it in the MOCCC U14’s let alone the number one test team in the world (for the time being). If the Australian team needed a number four batsman who could often get starts then play a stupid shot to go out on, they would have called Nic Bortolotto up years ago.

Well only time will tell if the Aussies can square the series and then win it. If they can’t though, you can be guaranteed Brad Hodge will be sitting in a pub somewhere here in England with his Andrew Hilditch voodoo doll laughing and dribbling like the bitter and twisted old man that he has every right to one day become.

Keep Swingin Lads

Your Friend,

The Ginger Assassin

* At time of publication Allan Border’s death had neither been confirmed nor denied.

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