I wrote nothing last week or the week before. What could one sensibly write that would stand the test of time?
Hughesy’s tragedy has been all consuming. Attending his funeral provided a marker from which to ring-fence everything, compartmentalise it, and begin to think about the game and series ahead. What else can you do (apart from retire his character in this diary)? Reminders are everywhere, yet the sun rises and sets every day putting a lengthening distance between the events of yesterday and those of the present.
Coach2.0 has clearly shifted gear. His attention to detail is legendary. He is starting to drive our focus towards the First Test on Tuesday with long net practices designed to get the top order reacquainted with pace and the bouncing ball. His latest broadside was designed to remind us of our responsibility to the Baggy Green and game of cricket. It was a powerful reminder to focus on the here and now.
“Wearing the Baggy Green is a great privilege. It is also a privilege to be a member of the player’s squad or a member of the army of supporting experts and coaching staff. We all represent Australia.
I am sure everyone is enjoying the great facilities at the Adelaide Oval and the team Hotel. So far we have managed to keep the dressing rooms at the Oval reasonably tidy. The soap dispensers in the showers have been washed clear of muck. Those who like to pick their noses clear of the day’s detritus and smear it against the shower walls have learned their lesson. Well done!
It is a different story behind the closed doors of the Gents where it matters most…..a few complaints, most notably from the Governor General, have forced my hand.
Fair dinkum, Richard Attenborough could film a 10 part series in there. I don’t know why there is urine on the floor. The urinals are new and better designed with a protruding lip to catch any sprinkle when you shake, however vigorously. I have been told that shaking is far less effective than squirting and then pulling, especially in full kit, but I leave this up to you.
The stalls are starting to look like a scene from the Walking Dead. The toilets do not flush automatically; the button is on the top of the cistern. Make sure your load flushes. Keep flushing until it is gone. This is your responsibility just like building a big score – don’t leave it to someone else.
The bathrooms have hand towels and two powerful Dyson hand dryers. The hand towels come out ok without shedding smaller pieces when pulled at an angle, so there is no need for unused sheets to be lying abandoned on the floor. If you pull a paper towel out and another one hits the deck, or you see one on the floor, pick it up! If you are scared, spend more time in the nets. Otherwise, grab a towel from the dispenser and use that to pick up the stray sheets. Then wash your hands. A word about the Dysons. They dry hands not playing equipment like jock straps and inners.
Make sure your hands are dry before touching the door handles. The Doc is running low on anti-fungal hand and foot ointments. He is refusing to order more until hygiene improves.
Selectors and other official interlopers, including the Governor General and the PM, also use our facilities from time to time. I would like to think that we can avoid issuing surgical gloves or HAZMAT equipment.
Cricket is a simple game; so is bathroom etiquette. Personal hygiene and selection go hand in hand.
I have spoken to the Marsh boys personally. Cleanliness begins at home.
“That will get us all focused!” The Prof said when I met him for an evening drink at the Hotel bar. He is big on hygiene. The Prof like myself is a reserve batsmen better known for his role as resident intellectual and Chairman of the Player’s Pension Fund.
“Perhaps”, I replied “although nothing will replace battling it out in the middle on Tuesday.”
“What’s the bet a bouncer is bowled in the first over?”
“One outside off stump?”
“A certainty, out of respect.”