But to Annie, sorry I mean ‘Papa’, it was water of a plastic back and he went on to show the doubters just how much of an orange bit of plastic he was. Having now worked with all the best teams in the world and a quite a few of the worst as well, ‘Papa’ is on first name terms with the likes of ‘Buck’, ‘Flower’, ‘Youngy’, ‘Steindo’ and George.
These are his rambling and ridiculous observations.
When I woke this morning I remembered why my mini-bar had been locked. Nothing to do with being late for training, it had been earlier locked to keep me away from snacks within. I am intolerant to nuts you see, particularly KP’s nuts *.
Nothing an Irn Bru couldn’t cure though. As a tough Scotsboard no weasly, measly intolerance was going to slow me down. If you are going to be the best you’ve got to stop the moaning, block out the pain and get on with things.
Anyway, after a couple of days in hospital I was more or less ready for action, however another day on the couch as well did me no harm. After that I was raring to go, I spent the rest of the week with the England Women’s team at Kent and then Chelmsford for their T20 series against India. They are doing really well at the moment and look the most professional of all the international teams going around. Which is not difficult really since they are the only team who get paid.
Everybody has been sticking up their hands and taking credit for helping them reach the top of the tree and it has been disappointing to see some folk take the plaudits for others work. The Coaches, administrators, physios, even the players have taken credit. I know the truth but it never looks good to blow one’s own trumpet. Modesty is an admirable quality and I think it is better to let others do the talking for you. But failing anybody else saying anything their success had a lot to do with me.
It was great to be back with the women and the welcome they gave me when I arrived in the dressing room made me feel very special. The screaming was deafening ** and the bouquet of flowers were beautiful but why the card had ‘well played Charlotte’ written on it I have no idea.
The one disappointing thing is the lack of skirts within the women’s game these days. Many people would say this is the 21st century and such comments are sexist. Others say that long trousers are important for performance, especially fielding were sliding and diving on abrasive surfaces is common place. But this is all poppycock I think everyone should wear skirts, except men of course.
To back up my thought I go back to the late 20th century and the expression ‘sex sells’. Cricket has had ingenious ideas in the past to monetize and take advantage of the players’ athletic good looks. In the 90’s the Victoria Bushrangers in Australia sexed up the men’s team, to bring in the crowds. They did this by making the players wear shorts during their one-day games and cricket was better for it. The sight of Merv Hughes’s knobbly Knees and Darren Lehman’s hairy pins, I was told, were a fabulous addition to a day at the cricket and I can’t for the life of me imagine why the idea was not rolled out around the world to pull in the public.
Cricket wise it was a good week for England; first the women did the double over India and then the men knocked over Australia at Lords for the first time in 15 years.
The victory was mostly due to man of the match Eoin Morgan***. It is great to see him back to form, he had a torrid winter in Dubai, dropped for the tests in Sri Lanka and not selected for one of the IPL games. As is the way when things are not going well everyone from colleagues and coaches all the way down to the media were giving him advice for an instant fix. But players should always ignore this, look within themselves, work it out and have belief and they will come out the other side. I still think he needs to change his grip though.
*Again a reference to a tasty salty snack and nothing to do with Kevin Pietersen
**Why is it that communal showers echo so much?
***Pronounced Ian, or maybe it’s Owen, or is it Oyne, no definitely Ian.