The Monday Mash

With the IPL currently dominating the headlines there’s been very little to write about of late. I guess I could have written about India’s domestic T20 circus but there are two big reasons why I didn’t:

A) I’m simply not following it, so any article would’ve been guesswork.

B) I doubt TFT’s core audience gives a crap anyway.

Consequently I’ve decided to do one of my food themed weekly roundups instead. There’s plenty to get your teeth into below …

Firstly I’d like to comment on the strange rumours that David Warner and Jonny Bairstow have become best mates. Apparently they’ve formed an inseparable bond whilst opening the batting together in the IPL. However, I’ve done a little digging and it seems their friendship is based on much more than mere franchise camaraderie.

You might not know this but the two star batsmen go way back. They first met as teenagers at a gingers-only jiujitsu school in Wakefield. Jonny started going at the age of 16 when his orange locks – a medical condition frequently referred to incorrectly as gingivitis – was diagnosed as permanent.

Warner was in the UK at the time on a sports scholarship at Queen Ethelburga’s College in York. His inherent aggression didn’t sit well with the other pupils so his PE teacher, Martyn Mocca, recommended martial arts as an outlet. As cricket lovers Jonny and Davey soon hit it off big time. And they’ve enjoyed an enduring kinship ever since. Warner was even maid of honour at JB’s wedding.

The next item on today’s agenda is Harrison’s Harebrained Have A Hit. According to this authoritative report the television broadcasters are not only insisting that innings should be one hundred balls long; they’re also demanding that entire games should last no longer than one hundred minutes. This leaves just under an hour for each innings.

Obviously this stipulation is going to put fielding captains under considerable strain. However, the likes of Eoin Morgan should fear not. As an organisation that’s always been unflinching in its concern for player welfare, the ECB plans to make life easier by restricting bowlers’ run-ups in a way not seen since the old Sunday League in the 1980s.

When quizzed on the subject at a recent media scrum Tom Harrison, who was wearing a blue DKNY Slim Fit Summer Blue suit yet still somehow managed to appear somewhat dishevelled, announced that all bowlers (whether pacemen of spinners) would be restricted to run-ups of just five paces.

These new regulations will ensure that the combined number of steps taken by bowlers in each innings reaches no more than five hundred. And obviously five hundred is one hundred divided by five, which is the time at which evening games are likely to commence. One has to admit that the symmetry is irresistible.

Sat next to Harrison at the press conference was ECB chairman Colin Graves, who appeared to be wearing nothing at all despite his insistence that he was wearing a magical suit tailored by Savile Row’s finest. Graves argued vociferously that bowlers shouldn’t really need any run up at all. Instead he suggested they release the ball from a stationary start on top of a circular mound of dirt 60 feet and 6 inches away from the batsman.

In other news Mark Ramprakash has had his contract terminated as England’s test batting coach. It was hardly a surprise. England’s test batsmen have not improved much if at all under Ramps’s guidance so a change was probably needed.

However, according to some alleged reports Ramprakash did not take the news well at all. He lashed out viciously at his former employers, arguing that he had actually followed his brief to the letter.

When asked what brief this might have been, Ramprakash uttered something about creating a team that “was brave” and prepared “to risk losing in the pursuit of wins”. So it simply wasn’t his fault that England’s batsmen had no idea what to play, what to leave, how to pace an innings, and how to resist the temptation to slog every ball over cow corner.

The ECB has of course denied Ramprakash’s claims. Tom Harrison, who was at home lounging in his favourite pink mink dressing gown when asked to comment, immediately shot the theory down: “at no point did I ever say that England players should be forgiven for having a bad day if they’re doing everything to try to win a game as opposed to trying not to lose it” he said. “And I specifically never said it to the Daily Telegraph on 20th March 2017”.

Rumours as to who might replace the outgoing Ramprakash, who is thought to be mulling over an offer to serve as Craig Revel Horwood’s false hip, has intensified in recent days. Initially it was thought that Graham Thorpe would be the natural replacement. However, TFT can exclusively reveal that Theresa May is now the hot favourite whenever her current contract as Prime Minister expires – which might have actually happened by the time I’ve finished writing this insane article I might not be brave enough to publish.

Insiders believe that the ECB covets May because of her ability to bring strength and stability to the batting order. However, I can personally reveal that it’s actually because Graves and Harrison believe her to be the reincarnation of Peter May, the legendary England middle-order batsman.

Either that, or it’s because she’s a big fan of Geoff Boycott. Or something.

Happy April 1st.

James Morgan


  • You had me at Wakefield ! I was born very near there . Beautifully written as always . A real tonic for the day .

  • Good stuff, and I see that you have decided to revert back to having a go at our “friends” at the ECB! Great stuff. Maybe they could be given a “100” days to solve Brexit. Well might be worth a try.

  • Don’t have a problem with restricting bowlers run ups for white ball games. Anything to reduce time wasting possibilities, especially when rain has intervened and things are so much of an advantage for the side batting second. The more different white ball is from red the better as far as I’m concerned and it’s an ideal opportunity it’s to try new legistlation for the game in general before passing some of it down to the more serious red ball stuff. White ball is by nature artificial anyway, geared totally for the batsman, so why complain about more bowler restrictive regulation here. At least it may encourage more spinners. In baseball, a game I find pretty tedious generally, ‘knuckle’ ball pitchers are a joy to watch.
    Incidentally there ‘maybe’ if you’ll pardon the pun, something to your ‘May’ theory, even if it is only April. Wouldn’t it have been great if she was christened ‘April’ or ‘June’ rather than Theresa. She is however about the same build as Peter and if you take a look at the two side by side there could be a family resemblence. Certainly enough to excite the weak minded. ‘Nuff said eh?
    Couldn’t help but have a chuckle when I noticed the traditional season opener in Dubai between the MCC and county champions was affected by rain. Had it been played at Lords not a drop. Fine, sunny and warm. Don’t you just love the good ol’ British weather.

  • Sorry old chap this stuff is getting banal and a bit Partridgesque but not in a good way. I’m off !

    • Partridgesque? I’ll take that as a compliment. Exactly what I was going for :-)

      There really is nothing to write about at the moment. I’ll get back to the serious cricket stuff when the serious action starts again.

  • The prospect of Jason Roy making his debut against Ireland without any f/c cricket is quite funny.

    • Tell me about it. I’m not necessarily against Roy playing test cricket, if only because the cupboard is so bare at the moment and I’m all out of other ideas, but the whole situation seems ridiculous. This kind of thing (brought on in large part by crazy schedules) really devalues red ball cricket.


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