With the size of the entourage and the WAGs group attached to the team, there’s no moving around to the country side in an impromptu manner. [Ed Try getting on AirBnB and saying you need 50 beds in one place at a day’s notice.] So, we’re stuck in London for a day, although on the bright side Coach2.0 gave us the day off. [Ed. Truth be known, there are no training grounds available, and Coach2.0 must surely be sporting a hangover that would launch a thousand ships.]
The Prof arranged a wake up call for me at 8.30, and we met for breakfast on the balcony of our Presidential suite soon after. The clouds were looking pretty heavy overhead.
“Just as well the boys got through them yesterday,” he said through a mouthful of Eggs Benedict. “Might have been touch and go with the weather today.”
I hate it when he’s beating around the bush. I like to be more direct.
“So, where is Parker taking us today?” I asked. “This smoked salmon is good, innit?”
“We’re going to celebrate our win with a tour of the city,” said The Prof, wiping a dollop of Hollandaise off his chin with the linen napkin. “Not that we’re taking any of the players who actually did the winning, of course. We’ll leave them to “oohing and ahhing ” on The London Eye.”
Parker was waiting for us outside the hotel with yet another Rolls Royce, this one lacking a little subtlety in its two-tone gold paint job. “Something with a little bling, sir, to celebrate your win,” he said, holding the rear door for us.
“I thought it would be fun to go out with the team today. Don’t fancy going around a few times on the giant ferris wheel?”
“Not really, but I’m keen to watch.”
He handed me a note.
“What does this mean?”
“Simple. Someone apparently not at all connected or traceable to the England team is going to prank the team during their joy ride.”
“Shouldn’t we warn them?”
“Not at all. They won’t mind more time with the view. I fancy rapid and pre-preemptive retaliation instead.”
“Of course. What have you got in mind?”
“I’ve arranged for a fake press release to go out from the England team management announcing that Ballance has been dropped, to be replaced at No 3 by Bell, with Root at 4 and Bairstow at 5.”
“Bell at 3? No one will believe that!”
“You never know. In any case, they’ll either have to go with the team as “announced”, or let everyone know that their security has been compromised by person or persons unknown – who used an email address remarkably like Piers Morgan’s.”
We cruised around the city for a while sipping on Pims and Lemonade from the bar in the back of the Rolls and ended up at White Hall Gardens, across the Thames from The Eye, which was stationary. Parker served a picnic lunch and turned on the radio.
“The London Eye has been closed down this morning after a suspicious package was found in one of the carriages. The situation has been resolved, however, with the suspect item proving to be a cricket kit bearing the initials “KP”. Members of the Australian cricket team were mildly inconvenienced by the disruption.”
“Those bastard really hate KP, don’t they.”
“Even more than they hate losing.”
“Or winning, sir,” said Parker.
“Quite,” we said in unison.