The Prof had the binoculars and with assistance from Mr Bean, a schoolboy linguist, faithfully translated the on-field exchanges between The Captain and KP on Day 3 of The Oval Test in the best interests of Australian cricket. The Freak who was fielding at wide fine leg at the time, and who is himself an accredited translator and lip reader, confirmed its authenticity.
Coach2.0 issued a blanket approval of this record based on the pledges he had received to cover his ICC fine: £525,218 from English spectators, USD$666 from pickpockets, £101.48 from ASTSports Tours, £31.23 from the Royal family and £10 from KP.
“Are you going to block all day Kevin?” The Captain asked at a change of over in the afternoon session. “I’ll put Plopper on to give you a sporting chance.”
“I’m ok blocking your tennis balls matey, fast or slow.”
Wicky chipped in clapping his gloves together. “It would be nice if you bloody hit one.”
“It would be nice if you bowled one worth hitting.”
A few overs went by. A no ball added a single to the total. The Captain signaled to the dressing room with an up and down wave of the hand.
“What call is that?” Darren asked thumbing through Webster’s Pocket Dictionary of Captain’s Calls he carries for odd occasions.
Mr Bean replied “It’s a metrosexual’s mating call, Daz. He wants a consult.”
“He looks frustrated” Sarah (from CA Marketing) added, peering through the Prof’s binoculars.
“Has anyone given the review signal?”
Mr X moved to the balcony and made the T sign. The Captain mouthed a few words towards us slowly. “I don’t think he wants a review” I suggested. Sarah blushed, cradling the binoculars in her lap. “Perhaps not” she squeaked.
The banana chairs for the outfielders arrived shortly before drinks as Plopper began a fresh over. Nothing was happening.
“Your backside is getting flabby,” Wicky said, as KP leaned forward to block another arm ball. “Seriously, it’s looking much bigger than it did at Trent Bridge. You should see a Doctor.”
“The right side in particular looks enlarged. It gets like that when you play defensively”, added Trapper.
“And reduces when you clear the ropes on your way to a ton” KP replied lifting an arm ball over long on.
“It goes up and down so often it must be as dimpled as a golf ball”, Wicky suggested “Maybe it has a stitched seam and a rubbed shiny side.”
“Ooooooo. Yes. Like shining duco with a round loving action”, said The Captain.
“We’ve got the Urn matey” KP replied full of mastery. “How many times is it now?”
“So what. You backside is still huge.”
Block. Root called for a leg bye.
“Over” yelled the Umpire.
Block. Block. “That’s a crock” The Captain said. “Can you see the cherry at all?”
“As big as a beach ball matey.”
“Is it 3-0 still?” asked KP.
Hollywood, Wicky and The Captain met to compare notes. “Is it really 3-0?”
“So we can’t win the series at all?”
“Seems unlikely even with rain.”
“It’s been raining since Manchester” Trapper volunteered “when their over rate dropped to a ball a minute.”
Block. Misfield. “Yes. One.”
The next over began. “No one likes you.” [Ed. This could have been said by anyone to anyone]
“No one likes you, and you’re The Captain!” [Ed. This was more particular]
“Your legs are shorter than the rest of you, Kevin. Which parent is that from?”
“There is nothing you can do to win, matey”
Plopper shifted around the wicket to change the angle.
“Must be your big [Ed. Expletive deleted] bat Kevin”
“Or is it your tender calf” Hollywood added. He felt able to sledge forcefully since his miracle 176. “Did you drop the soap in the shower?”
KP turned a little red. “In front of Broady or Belly was it”.
“You’ll need more than soap to get those DRS marks off your front pad, matey. You are so hit and fizz.”
“How many tons have you scored?”
“Belly has three this series matey. Get the picture?”
Hollywood went a little red. The Captain didn’t know what to say next. He doesn’t really endorse sledging and doesn’t think it really works.
Puff had his hands full with the shadow boxing forex trader in the front stands. The video crew replayed it on the big screen at drinks so the players could enjoy it. Everyone laughed, including the WAGS and the England balcony. Even Sarah smiled. Weird.
Nothing was going right. KP blocked another ball.
“How much did you pay the Umpires” The Captain said, earning himself a quiet reprimand from the Umpires, followed by more delays as they checked for bad light on a cloudless afternoon. To waste time, the Umpires asked KP if he thought tidal movements in the Thames estuary were related to the decline in the native bee population. No answer.
“Well?” The Captain asked KP. “How often do you practice with them [the Umpires]?”
“Do they attend team meetings? Weather forecasts?” The Captain earned a second reprimand and a mention in Umpires dispatches.
The Umpires asked KP if the chatter upset him. He spent 5 minutes explaining that he thought cloning native bee populations was a form of Aryan eugenics – he couldn’t support that.
“You are a total suck.” (from Mitch)
“What? That is so weak I’m surprised your tatt’s sleeve hasn’t walked off in disgust.”
Plopper returned for another over.
KP wafted at a loose ball. OUT. He may have hit it, he may not he thought as he walked off shaking his head. It was more important to check his backside. [Ed. KP’s thoughts supplied by Plopper and confirmed by the square leg umpire.]
“That was close” Wicky said.
The Captain replied “I had nothing left to say, but I know the Umpires love native bee honey and a few jars after stumps.”
“A few reprimands, and a tiny fine, is inconsequential then?”
[Ed. Apart from the weather, the only thing to prompt the English to bat sensibly – 100 runs at 5 an over on day 5 – was the prospect of winning on the back of The Captain’s gracious declaration (again). The Umpires kept the game going until it was clear an England win was possible, at which time they thought a win for the home team would reflect poorly on the game and the series. Amid some unsettled light they asked The Captain what he knew about the native honey bee. He replied “The decline in the total population is clearly linked to fracking and pesticides not tidal movements in the Thames estuary or elsewhere.”
In a nice ironic twist to end the series, the Umpires called bad light. The Captain accepted the verdict gracefully, England complaining all the way as they do. Everyone was happy.]