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Saturday, 01 November 2014

England dish out a real spanking

Paul Turner
Paul Turner

ENGLAND are the world champions – it’s not very often you get to say that and doubtless those words will uttered countless times over the next two years while it still holds true.

The victory by our cricketers in the ICC Twenty20 in the West Indies was as emphatic as it was surprising.

Paul Collingwood’s side won the tournament by playing the best cricket out of any of the sides involved and put the exclamation mark on their triumph by bloodying the noses of the Australians ahead of this winter’s Ashes series Down Under.

After 35 years of trying, with 18 global cricket tournaments spread over that time, England lifted the trophy in Barbados amid scenes everyone hopes will be recreated in two months time in South Africa.

There seems little chance of that happening given England’s footballers are about as far from the cohesive, well-bonded unit Collingwood and coach Andy Flower have shaped with the cricketers as you can get.

You can’t imagine Collingwood being splashed across the front of the News of the World for having an affair with Ryan Sidebottom’s wife can you? Nor Flower deciding to start up a website to rate his own player after every match they play in and tell the world rather than the men themselves.

Still, that is to look ahead to darker times, when at present all is bright in the England sporting garden. Certainly Jonathan Agnew on Five Live was a happy man as he rubbed the victory in on Ian Chappell, an Australian who has had more than his fair share of opportunities to gloat in years gone by.

Five Live was my medium of choice for listening to the final as I was headed back from that most un-Caribbean of places, Halifax.

Fortunately, Aggers and the boys provided me with more insight in the first few seconds than the likes of Nasser Hussain would have given me the entire afternoon on Sky, and some quality comments that should come with a health warning when you’re doing 70 along the M62.

Ian Bishop – a man mocked throughout the afternoon for a spell with Derbyshire for no reason other than Aggers holds within him a long-sustained ‘loathing’ from his Leicestershire days – is not a man who should use the word spank quite so liberally.

The former West Indian pace bowler carries with him a deep burr that plays nicely with his occasional Caribbean lilt. Therefore, when talking about an Australian bowler and saying he ‘deserved a good spanking’, the images conjured up are little to do with cricket and loose deliveries.

Things were not helped when in the post-match celebration, Aggers describer England analyst Gemma Broad – sister of bowler Stuart – as being tall, blonde and jumping up and down surrounded by men.

By this point, I was no longer sure if I was still listening to the cricket, or if another more adult programme was being broadcast on the same frequency.

One last note on the Twenty20. Beforehand, I commented on how this was just the latest in a never-ending run of global tournaments being shoved down our throats.

Now, however, we’ve won it, so obviously it’s important.

Don’t buy that logic? Just ask Alex Ferguson what he thinks of the Carling Cup this year!

Have your say

What complete and utter rubbish this is. Just when I thought cricket couldn't get much more boring, he finds a way to make it even more dull.

Posted by I P Freely on 19 May 2010 at 11:22

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