Therapy for England

There's a terrific spoof-piece by Giles Smith in the Times today in which he explores what telephone calls England's cricketers might make were they to have access to a 24-hour psychiatry helpline.

November 13, 2.43pm GMT:

Request for help from highly distressed player complaining about crowd abuse during the warm-up matches in Australia. There hadn’t been any. Caller explained that, in several days of fielding, the abuse he had suffered had been either non-existent or so lame as to beggar description. Caller quoted Oscar Wilde to the effect that there was only one thing worse than being on the end of a chippy mouthful from beered-up Aussies, and that was not being on the end of a chippy mouthful from beered-up Aussies. In the absence of the expected response, the caller, who regularly took up boundary positions, had begun to question the entire point of his being there. Therapist diagnosed insecurity, coupled with low-level depression arising from disappointed expectations. Caller was asked to contextualise the issue and re-centre the problem, not on himself but on the Australian crowd, who had taken the loss of the Ashes in 2005 very hard and had yet to recover their traditional buoyancy. Therapist then ran through the received strategies for instigating crowd reaction in its natural absence — exaggerated crotch-fondling in the spectators’ direction, hand gestures formed by the fielder behind his back, etc. Caller urged to ring back for further advice if none of this worked.

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