Posted by: tootingtrumpet | February 26, 2009

The Strauss Tapes Part I

cassette02A strange package arrived at the door of The Tooting Trumpet in deepest South London. Postmarked “Sunny Barbados – the holiday island that isn’t Antigua” inside was a tape, a transcript of which appears below.


“Okay boys – good of you to leave the dorm, sorry hotel, so early for this team meeting. I’m just going to run through our individual objectives for the match, so let’s have a bit of quiet please. Swanny – don’t do that to Monty – you know he doesn’t like it and it’s probably not hygienic. Belly – be a love and nip along to Harmy’s room and see if you can wake him up.”

“Cooky – Fresh guard at fifty might help. You’re my deputy remember. Stop laughing – all of you, now!”

“Owais – Acey Boy – no need to be padded up already. Take the helmet off. Play positively, but watch the runouts. They do count against your average you know.”

“KP – Is that “Teach yourself Hindi” you’re reading? No, I won’t be needing it thanks very much”

“Colly – Just because your place isn’t under threat until next week doesn’t mean I don’t want a shitty, sorry, gritty ton this week.”

“Fred – Where’s Fred? Oh, not again!” “Ravi – you’re in. Just do what Fred does for the team. Come on Ravi, a couple of wickets and a thirty-odd isn’t too much to ask is it?”

“Matt… he’s where? What’s he doing there? Well, you’d never see me missing a game for a reason like that… except when I did. Tim – you’re in. Stand up now. All right, I see now that you are.”

“Stuart – Don’t stand next to Tim… makes you both look ridiculous. Yes, KP will lend you his book for next year.”

“Swanny – you’re the joker in our pack. No, I mean you offer an alternative to the pacemen. Nobody over the age of 12 thinks you’re actually funny.”

“Jimmy – Let’s see it swinging. Let’s see you running in hard. Let’s have lots of penetration. Swanny – stop that juvenile giggling”

“Okay – that’s it. Let’s go and have a net. Owais – me first, I’m the captain.”



  1. A strange package indeed! I haven’t seen an audio cassette in years.

  2. You know England – always a generation behind when it comes to cricket.

  3. I keep reading – not from your pen Toots – that this is a must win game for England. That isn’t entirely correct as they hold the Wisden Trophy and a draw at Barbados and a win in the last Test would see them retain it.

    They should still play with an aggressive intent but there is no need to take needless risks and believe that a win is the only acceptable result.

  4. I agree Nesta – there’s a bit of a witchhunt in the media after the Stanford and Moores debacles, but the fact is that the squad is looking better and will have to take responsibility without Flintoff now.

    1-1 in an away series is seldom a bad result and a combination of a win and a draw will see us through to that.

    After Antigua, England have a real platform to win this match – I think they’ve every chance.

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