Buchanan saves the kookiest ideas till last

Sydney is not only the swansong for Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath; it is also the last Test for John Buchanan as Australian coach. And not a moment too soon, if his latest media intervention is anything to go by.

Speaking to reporters at the MCG this morning, Buchanan said Australia was hoping for more of a challenge from England, which he thought had played without aggression, self-belief or thought of challenging the opposition for large parts of the Ashes series.

“I’m hoping that they really enjoy the New Year, come back with a new resolve and are really ready to take us on head-on in Sydney,” Buchanan said.

“I think we’ve been tested at certain periods of time but England haven’t been able to sustain their skills through the course of a five-day Test match. We’re quite looking forward to that in Sydney.

Short of baring his arse at the England team bus, I can’t think of a more insulting thing that Buchanan could have done. As an Australian, I can tell you that I wouldn’t have been too impressed if Duncan Fletcher had come out before the Oval Test in 2005 daring Australia to fire up.

It is a well established rule in all sports, not just cricket, that when speaking to the media of your opposition, you speak of them respectfully, and give them their due as worthy opponents. It does not matter if Australia are playing England, Zimbabwe, or Andorra at Test cricket.

When it comes to religion, I am an atheist. However, I am a devout believer in the cricketing Gods, and I fear their wrath. Buchanan’s actions could provoke a powerful response.

And I give thanks to all the Great Cricketing Gods that this is Buchanan’s last Test in charge. I’ll miss Warnie and Pigeon. Not sure I’ll miss Ned Flanders though.

Cricketing lookalikes

Patrick is doing grand things with his blog. He’s proving that a broadsheet correspondent can react and adapt to the slightly more relaxed format, all the while maintaining his own style across both. Other papers and large media establishments have adopted blogs with worrying bandwagonnery, forgetting that it remains an editorial tool; the best blogs are well written, be that by a fan or an editor. The emphasis really must remain on quality content, not just the fanfare of joining in the party (and putting up your hand). I am as guilty as most of writing bullshit, as the rest of this post perfectly demonstrates – but at least I’m a consistent waffler!

If you haven’t read his blog yet, do.

He asked me for some lookalikes (see his post) and the only one I could come up with, off the top of my cranium, was Ned Flanders and John Buchanan. I’m surprised the Barmy Army haven’t cottoned onto it yet; perhaps they will this winter with cries of “Okily-dokily-doo”. In fact, as depressingly cheery Ned is, I’d rather him at a press conference than most coaches.

“Hididdily-ho, paradise dwellers”
“Hello, John. Happy with today’s performance, or do you feel you’re perhaps a hundred runs short?”
“Hot diggity! Indeedily-doodily-do!”
“Yyyyep, moving on…”

Incidentally, “Ned’s three Cs” are: Clean living, chewing thoroughly, and a daily dose of vitamin “church”. Loser.

So – your lookalikes, please.

Incidentally I’ve never really bought the Simpsons thing. I think it’s a bit like Marmite, but not nearly as tasty. I was further put off when I heard Richard, of Richard and Judy “fame”, said it was the best thing since sliced bread; he really is a twit. And continuing this tremendously pointless ramble, I saw him not long ago in a dingy pub in London. He double-parked his Jag outside, rushed in with a face like thunder and stormed to the gents. No sooner had I alerted the entire establishment of a TV personality in our midst – and Richard Madely – than he sprinted out again and flew off in his car.

Here endeth the waffle.