With speculation still rife as to the identity of the next England coach, there are a number of highly suitable candidates that the ECB seem to have overlooked. This article aims to draw Hugh Morris' attention to six men that urgently demand his consideration.
1. Boris Johnson. I may not be his biggest fan, but his emotive 'ping pong is coming home speech' at Beijing could hardly fail to bring a tear to the eye of this proud Englishman. Surely this is the grand, motivational stuff the boys need before taking on the big, bad Australians this summer.
He'd be useful during play, as his shocking white hair could be carefully positioned to blind opposition batsmen from the pavilion. An added bonus of this appointment might be that he forgot he was Mayor of London and so save that fine city from utter ruin. Definitely one to consider.
2. Dr House. If there is a man able to diagnose the many problems of English cricket and proscribe radical solutions, surely that man is Dr Gregory House. With the intellect the size of Jupiter, what nation could fathom the tactics of an England side with the mark of House upon them? Bowlers facing the new ball instead of openers...four silly points...Monty bowling from a 50-yard run up...
Yes, the unorthodox batting orders and strange field placements may shirk a few traditionalists, but when House brings home the Ashes who will care? However, his intellect is rivalled by his ego, which could disincline the ECB following the Moores/Pietersen fall out.
3. Gareth Keenan. The Office's most gormless nerd may initially seem like a strange suggestion, but he could in fact be the perfect candidate. He has the impression that he is important and makes a difference despite everyone else knowing otherwise, which seems a perfectly suited delusion for the role of cricket coach. Having an inexhaustible laughing stock may be exactly the thing the boys need to keep up morale whilst on tour.
Despite occasional outbursts he is loyal, offering the media enough tit-bits to feed upon without ever seriously threatening team unity. On the down side, he would spend so much time retrieving balls and bails from inside jellies that he might end up neglecting those few necessary duties the coach actually does have.
4. Sooty. Quiet, yet with a deadly weapon—his magic. Although the team may feel that they're always carrying the little bear, by keeping a close eye over proceedings he would make sure England never go off track with a few swifts taps of that wand. How demoralising for the opposition to be frustrated every time they inch ahead!
An uncannily wagging tail...dropped catches...perhaps even they disappearance of a strike bowler in extreme cases. Knowing England's lot though, he'll probably lose the magic wand halfway through the Ashes.
5. A Tree. The ECB are seriously considering the appointment of A Flower. Surely A Tree would be a more solid choice?
6. Me. Currently unemployed, I'm a little bemused as to why the ECB haven't snapped me up. Apologies for egoising, but let me just give you a run down of my eminent qualifications:
- Tactical knowledge: I have been watching England play for nearly two decades now, surely enough studying to make even the dimmest mind an astute, tactical, cricketing brain.
- Experience: I have been playing International Cricket Captain since I was twelve. Having recently won the 20/20 cup with Somerset, what more experience could the ECB want?
- Technical proficiency: Making my cricketing debut in an under-12 match, I took a hat-trick in my second over (we'll keep quiet about the following 12 years).
- Bravery: Just a month ago whilst in South Africa, I padded up to face a swarm of swaggering Afrikaans quickies. That's the thing real men are made of.
- Thick-skinned: Given the media hype around cricket politics these days, this is an essential characteristic for any coach. In the same net session detailed above, I took three balls to the thigh, as my guard wholly failed in its appointed task. If I can take the leather of Steyn-wannabees then surely I can take the venom of the press gaggle.
Mr. Morris, I'm just waiting for the call.