First of, welcome to the Daily Kos readers that seem to be flooding my little site. I’m not sure how an American political blog is linked to an angry cricket blog, but what ever you find here, I hope it isn’t baffling. Or frightening.
The point I’d like to make is that following the England team in New Zealand is much like a visit to the public baths. Can you be bothered? Oh, I suppose I must.
You don’t really dive in and manically eat up the lanes, but you slide into the pool and have a float for a few minutes before you get going. Then you decided you can’t be bothered to get going at all, in favour of doing a bit more floating.
Then, you hit a problem. A bit of brown – who we shall call Jacob Oram – begins to drift towards you. Panic strikes. You attempt to splash it away. No effect. The relentless march of the brown cannot be stopped.
There is only one thing for it. Run away. Or, at least, swim away. For the first time in many years, your limbs begin to whirl away. But your technique is poor, your extremities are badly co-ordinated and your stroke selection is ill-advised.
Stranded in the middle of the lane, far out of your depth you begin to wave for help. Perhaps Ryan the life-guard will save me? Or maybe Jimmy the pool clearer will remove the brown.
But, in their haste and through their incompetence, Jimmy accidentally knocks out Ryan with his telescopic net and then falls into the pool himself. Jimmy begins to drown.
You wonder if “useless bastards” will be your final words. But then, as you begin to sink, you take solace in your under-water opportunity. Perhaps you’ll be able to ogle the attractive girl in the adjacent line – wasn’t she called Kevin? There nothing like a below-the-surface perv, you think.
But, to your horror, it doesn’t seem to be the Kevin you remember. But a huge, hairy 30-stone man, who is lumbering about with the most ugly strokes imaginable. Worse still, it doesn’t seem to be getting anyway.
As you watch his undulating flab sink down with you, you look up you see the little speck of brown dance upon the surface. It seems to have triumphed over you without much effort. And as you lie motionless and defeated on the bottom of the pool, you wonder whether you should have just stayed in to watch Celebrity Ice Prance instead.
It’s amazing what a trip to the public baths can do to the creativity.
Anyway, I promised some nude cricketers, and dammit, I shall deliver.
Actually, a certain somebody criticized the English players for allowing the lighter side of life get in the way of training. But there are literally hundreds of images of Australians frolicking. Far more than any other team. You can't stop these lads stripping of and getting down to some serious paddling.
For all my criticism, the English know how to do it best. Here’s a recent shot of their swimming session.(From left to right, Alastair Cook (head just above the water), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara and Paul Collingwood.)