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Oh, Lord’s! The Ashes Diary of the 17th Man – Jul 19

jul 19 embarrassment

Day 2 – Second Test

There are times when it’s better not to be in the team, and today was one of them. Coach2.0 had been generous enough after our First Test defeat, but after today’s performance, The Eleven coped both barrels from him in the dressing room at the end of our innings.  Just when I thought it was all good to put that in the past, he really wound up after play finished.  Prof and I kept our head down and our mouths shut, lest there be some collateral damage.

There was some frank discussion among the team, and some resolution to do do better.  We’ll see.

At the end of the blood-letting, Darren (team psychologist) was supposed to say some soothing words at this point, to make sure we were able to move on and focus tomorrow.  All he came up with was some wishy-washy analysis that said when you thought about it, England lost 6/103 today, so our 10/128 needed to be put into perspective.  Coach2.0 looked like he was going to explode, then politely but firmly asked Darren to look for some “perspective” out of the room. Darren nodded sagely and walked out of the room just quickly enough to avoid the broken bat that Coach2.0 threw in his general direction. “Just to tidy up,” he said afterwards.

Sarah has arranged to give a presentation on some research results she’d just got in from CA, but she knew that tonight wasn’t the night.  Unless there was some wisdom in the research like how not to play the wrong shot and how to review the right decision, relevance to a team hurting real bad wasn’t going to be “high”.  “Maybe next time,” she said discretely.

The bus was very quiet on the way back to the hotel, apart from the jeering from the crowds of English supporters flooding away from the ground, panama hats askew. The Prof pulled out a thick document from his backpack and started reading it hidden inside a copy of New Idea. Needless to say, I wanted to know what he was up to.

In the crush to get to the team bus, The Prof had managed to grab a copy of Sarah’s detailed research report from a side table  – the full report, not the rosy bits and pieces she had planned to share with is. The report runs for 100 pages or more, but here are some highlights:

– 0.5% of male Victorians wish Jim Higgs was still playing Test cricket.

– 87% of Australians think Broad should have walked, but only if Warnie said so.

– 17% of club cricketers world wide don’t know what LBW stands for

– 26% of female cricket fans don’t eat Mars Bars on Sundays.

– 48% of people under 20 can’t explain what “Howzat!” is a contraction of.


Which is a shame, as there are only 17 more times they can hear it this match.


England 361 and 3/31, Aust 128.


NEW WEBSITE HERE THIS WEEK.  The 17th Man has updated his web diary, so please forgive him if there are a few glitches.  It will be all sorted before the Second Test on Thursday.

OUT NOWThe Ashes Files 2013. The secret applications file that Cricket Australia assembled when they threw applications open to all comers. Ebook available at amazon now.

OUT NOW: Coach2Coach – The story of Australia’s chequered preparation for the 2013 Ashes, as told by The 17th Man. (US/UK)

© 2013 Dave Cornford, Jeremy Pooley & Jock Macneish

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