The Ashes Squad 2013
Mr Bean (Opener): Debonair. As casual as you like. Precise kit packer. Prankster. Jazz player. IT man. Thinker. Theme song: Wild Thing – The Troggs
Puff (Opener): Short and powerfully built backwoodsman. A big six man. Loves a joke. Quick. Dives for everything. Hands bigger than Wicky’s gloves. Tweeter. Theme song: The Power and the Passion – Midnight Oil.
Unlucky (Opener): A man with a list of first class batting achievements as long as his test career is short. The oldest player in the touring party, he has teenage children and a Walkman. Theme song: The Oldest Story in the Book – Paul Kelly.
Lucky (No3): Lefty. Unstoppable when in form. Straight shooter. Desperate to prove a point in India. Theme song: Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves.
Hollywood (No4): Tall, well built surfer class all-rounder batsman. Takes time alone to reflect, relax, renew. Joker and gentleman. A true cricket brain. Theme song: An Innocent Man – Billy Joel.
The Captain (No5): The consummate cricket professional. Leads from the front “power of one”, Type-A. Loves winning Tests. Footwork like a dancer. Tweeter. Theme song: World Leader Pretend – REM
Wicky (Wicketkeeper) (Vice Captain) : Short and hairy. Communal spitter due to larynx injury removing a stump in U13 20/20 final. Loves sledging. Keeper of the team song. Learning to tweet. Theme song: Almost With You – The Church
The Freak (Quick): Reliable ‘Go To’ man when behind the eight ball. Takes the mickey. Innovator. Drawer, pastel painter. Easily bored. Theme song: SuperFreak (Rick James)
Rocket Man (Quick): Young clean tearaway with occasional reverse swing. Huge wraps. Heavy mortgage on his future. Guitar player, dancer and Boy band lover. Tweeter. Theme song: What Makes you Beautiful – One Direction
Mr Darcy (Quick): Engaging dark hair dark-eyed striker with an action smooth as silk. The right word for every occasion. Ladies man. Tweeter. Theme song: Not Pretty Enough – Kasey Chambers.
Plopper (No1 Spinner): Test regular. Only ever wanted to bowl for Australia. Slept with a ball since he was six. Will play even if not selected. Theme song: Straight to my Heart – Sting
Trapper (Reserve): Spare whatever. Likes running out with the physio when players are injured and at drinks with messages for the players. An optimist in batting and fast bowling. Theme song: One Way or Another – Blondie
The Reject Club
Mantis (Quick): Tall beanpole. Second change swinger. Fitness fanatic. Yoga man and ocean swimmer. Theme song: Short People – Randy Newman
Prof (Batsman, occasional keeper): The curly-haired bespectacled brains of the team. Triple maths major. Soothsayer and satirist. Loathes curry but loves India. Thinks only birds tweet. Theme song: Money – The Flying Lizards
The Natural (Quick) A solidly built mountain of a man from the backblocks who loves flinging the ball down hour after hour at pace. Prone to conspiracy theories, broad smiles and injury. Theme song: Supernatural Superserious – REM
Mr X. (Batsman). The mystery man of the squad, and rumoured to be the future of the middle order. Theme song: Future’s So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades) – Timbuk 3
17th Man (Batsman): Diarist. Theme song: Always the Last to Know – Del Amitri
Citizen Kane (Leggie). Journeyman spinner who the government wanted in the team so much, they changed the law to make it possible. Quiet, unassuming and unknown. Theme song:
Coach: Brown-eyed giant. Former insolvency practitioner (somewhere south of the Capel). Styled himself as a performance turnaround expert after sharing a bottle of bubbly with the late Bob Woolmer in Kingston, Jamaica in 2007. Rates the current Australian Tour of India as his biggest careeer challenge. Shows mild bi-polar symptoms. Risk-taker under pressure. Likes a bet. Theme song: I Shot the Sherriff – Bob Marley
Darren (team psychologist): Catholic seminarian turned clinical psychologist (Oxford) after a stint as first XV rugby coach with a name public school. Member, IOC Banned Substances Committee 2010-2011. Chummy with the Chairman of Selectors who signed him up on a “losing tour” so he can finish his PhD in predictive on-field decision-making. Greeny. Occult expert and exorcist. Theme song: Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
Massai (team masseur): Warrior. Sought a city change in 2007 as back-walker in the Dallas Cowboy’s defensive unit. Minor scandal with the Cowgirl’s masseuse. Transferred to Mathilda’s in 2008, and to the men’s Test squad after the Ashes defeat in 2012. Arthritic knuckles. Champion muscle tenderiser. Darren likes him. He thinks Darren is a prat. Theme song: anything Queen
Team management: A motley crew of 15 Gen Y seasonal fruit-pickers from the Lachlan Valley, NSW hired on the cheap by the ACB to manage press (keep them away) book team events, accommodation, and repair player kit etc. (Money saved has been added to the player bonus pool). Otherwise they are a waste of space
© 2013 Dave Cornford & Jeremy Pooley
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.