Butcher on lead; Ramprakash on vocals

If you haven’t seen it, you’ve not missed out a great deal. But it’s a bit of a laugh anyway. Here are Mark Butcher and Mark Ramprakash in Surrey’s Twenty20 promo video.

Via Nathan Ross on Youtube

Mark Butcher on ‘Just the Two of Us’

First there was Darren Gough. Then Mark Ramprakash. And now, Mark Butcher is the third recent England cricketer to swap his whites for the mic. It’s passed me by until now but, on a drizzly Sunday evening, what else can you do but wade through the TV channels and find some nonsense to watch? The nonsense is called Just the Two of Us and is one of these reality TV things. I hate them with furious passion.

Whereas Gough and Ramprakash had no dancing ability whatsoever, yet still somehow managed to win, Butcher is a guitarist and musician of repute. So he’ll probably win it like his two England colleagues did.

All is not lost, England. Andrew Flintoff is a keen Elvis fan so look out for him on this show next year, with Steve Harmison on maracas and Chris Read and Geraint Jones fighting for the drumsticks.

“It’s not a blood sport; this is music,” Butcher said. “It’s not about hurting people it’s about making you feel good, and hopefully we did that tonight.”

God help us all.

Update Superb work from Will. Moments after posting that, Butcher was cast off into oblivion. Sorry!

Butcher’s time is nigh

Quite a sad day – never been Butcher’s greatest fan, but he made some pleasing knocks over the years. He’s ruled himself out of Thursday’s Test and surely has made his last appearance for England. Key, his replacement in the last Test, urgently needs to make a hundred or a significant score and not one of his injudicious shots – Ian Bell is ready and waiting in the wings for the number 3 spot.

Robert Key’s chance to displace Butcher

David Gower spoke to Butcher today, who was forced to pull out due to another injury (albeit yet another freakish one). He was replaced by Key again who, in the summer, scored freely and brilliantly for England v The West Indies (see pic above). Gower mentioned that he [Butcher] being the 2nd and youngest of the 2 veterans in the team (the other Thorpe) could have a key role (pardon the pun) in sheperding the younger players in the years to come, assuming Thorpe retires after The Ashes (which some speculate he might).

I’m not so sure……

Butcher has, for the past 3 or 4 years been touted as England’s most consistent batsman; and yes, he has. But he hasn’t scored a century in a long time, and right now looks like a man with 1001 troubles on his mind. The shots he’s got out to in this series alone have been woeful, criminal, ugly bloody shots – and he’s our 2nd most senior player! A player once spoken about as a potential successor to the now retired Nasser Hussain! Not good.

The memories of his marvellous, wonderous, one-off innings v Australia aren’t as fresh in our minds as before. One great innings – and, yes, it was great – doesn’t secure your future as a Test number 3 ad finitum, and so now’s the time for Key to be our new number 3. And – on this pitch – he has a terrific chance of cementing that place (mind you, after his 200ish this summer you couldn’t blame him for getting the mortar ready then!)

Butcher edges out Key

England team to face South Africa A: ME Trescothick, MP Vaughan (capt), AJ Strauss, MA Butcher, GP Thorpe, A Flintoff, GO Jones, AF Giles, SP Jones, SJ Harmison, MJ Hoggard.

More than likely the probable team for the First Test v SA. Meanwhile, Graeme Smith has some confident and encouraging words to say about his team’s chances here. The title of that peice is “Ray may have an ace up his sleeve,” but Smith’s article fails to imply what that ace might be……..?