Posted by: tootingtrumpet | December 19, 2017

The Ten Ashes Commandments

You lost before Christmas again?

With apologies to Biggie Smalls and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

I been in this game for years, defeats are becoming annual
It’s rules to this shit, I wrote me a manual
A step by step booklet for you to get
your game on track, not your cap pushed back

Rule Nombre Uno

Send out the call, for bowlers fast and tall. Give ’em the ball and watch the wickets fall. Pick no- one small, cos they’re gonna get mauled.

Number Two

From 1 to 11, they’ll you hit between the eyes. Sure they’ll apologise, but they’re the same ruthless guys, as you find out as the next one fizzes by. Never show you’re yellow – they’ve learned from Jardine and the little fellow – so do not flinch nor ever give an inch

Number Three

It’s bounce not spin that’ll make you win, so twist with the wrist for the jumps the splice thumps or the inside edge that pops in the air, but make sure you’ve got a fielder right there.

Number Four

Attrition’s a fiction. You can’t bowl dry when the ball’s straight as a die, it’s just another pie, so go stump high and don’t worry ’bout the drive. You’ve gotta break down the door, hit the stumps hard more and more and more, and keep short leg and slips in or you’ll never be quids in.

Number Five

The loam at home is too slow and low, so comb the counties for the bounty of pitches fast and bouncy and award central contracts to ground staff who deliver the shiver of pace to the places where the batsmen quiver.

Number Six

Practise and practise your catches, they win the matches – in patches of play when it’s not going your way, they turn a day, keep opponents at bay, so for every mistake, you’ve get to make them pay.

Number Seven

Get your best players on the park, no matter what larks have led to flying sparks – or maybe they’re just a mark. If we don’t know if they’re guilty, write rules that show pity – don’t let them waste time in pyjamas playing with Kiwi farmers.

Number Eight

Use the red ball when the sun’s high in the sky. Early / late summer is a bummer for developing the skills that thrill when you go for the kill – so the schedule for the championship’s looking dumber and dumber.

Number Nine

The Kookaburra’s like no other with its stitching and its cover and if Aus won’t play ball with the Duke nor field proper warm-up XIs at all, a ball at home with a seam not proud, has gotta be found, else we’ll be back in the pound.

Number Ten

What’s our cricket’s purpose? An income surplus? World Cup glory? Well listen to our fury. We want to compete not get beat in the heat of Asia and Australia where we’re too often failures. Prioritise that prize or risk Test cricket’s demise – that ain’t no lies, so weak is the bond that ties the game to its fans of the future, the wound needs a new suture.

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