But to ‘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.
After the furor died down over my big money transfer last week (my mother would just not stop ringing). It was down to business as usual and the reason I am here, to make England Cricket the best. It is a lot of hard work being a professional cricketer. The public only sees the performance on the day of a game but the hard yards that go on the training ground are a wonder of dedication and commitment, a necessity for staying at the top of the game and being No 1. The early morning runs, mornings in the nets, afternoons in the gym, evenings and nights with the KATCHET. As a result the players have little time for anything else in their lives.
Added to that with the team only having 4 days to prepare from moving from Test Cricket into a period of playing the one day pyjama stuff it is a busy time honing the different skills required. The test finished on Monday and after 3 days of sitting around, watching the rain, twiddling thumbs and counting our well earned match fees it was nice to have some days off on Tuesday and Wednesday but it was great to get into competitive action on Thursday with a round of golf with the guys. Trotty and Belly fancy themselves as golfers and Swanny just plain fancies himself but despite there misplaced self-confidence it was only by a miracle and a vicious cross-wind which seemed to affect only my shots that they snuck past me by ten shots. To be fair to them they did not gloat, the wedgie and loser scrolled across my forehead just mere high jinx. In fact though we had training to go to the lads spent the rest of the afternoon helping me with my approach play. Teamwork and dedication is why England is No 1.
Once we made it to training, fashionably late, the coaching team were fuming and in the mood to punish us. Locking the mini bar was one thing but the extra catching practice was just plain mean. There is a strict code within the team that what happens in the dressing room stays there and we all stick together no matter what. Due to the days events a few of the guys are thinking of quitting and there was mention that Flower is a pansy. This strict team code means I can’t say who said this *. Not that it matters as Flower is a pansy, even I know that and what do I know about interesting flora and fungi.
As far as the cricket went we won the first two one-dayers against West Indies quite comfortably. Hundreds from first Belly and then Cookie supporting yet more fantastic bowling from the ‘ Bowling Unit’, which I like to call them, saw us through and will give us confidence going into the Aussie series.
It was all the more satisfying winning without KP ** in the team. The big man decided to quit one day and T20 international cricket as he wanted to preserve himself long term for the Test arena. We all had to respect that decision. He was obviously doing it in the best interests of the team so he could give his all for England in the most important form of the game, how everybody can’t see that is beyond me. The fact it clears him to play in the IPL and pick up a cool $2 million for a months work is beside the point and had no influence on his decision.
After a hard few days playing golf and getting balls thrown at me I had a long ice bath to soothe my bruised ribs and then it was back to the hotel where I managed to break into my mini bar for a packet of KP Nuts ***. Not my favorite kettle of bananas but failing the presence of anything Orange it did the job.
The third and final one day game against West Indies was another washout, another day being used as an umbrella and another day for the players counting their match fee. Well played England and Lets hope the summer starts soon.
*It was Swanny
***A well-known tasty light snack, not a statement of fact about Kevin Pieterson.