Instead of amending the old glossary, and given we’ve got a lot of time between test matches, we’ll start an all new one. We’ll add entries from time to time, obviously using and updating the entries from the old one as well.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer (wherefore art thou, Phil A) to write entries, or for some less obvious subject matter, let us know in the comments.
AB Syndrome – 1.A rare, but perhaps increasingly more common ailment, whereupon player delivers chronic fatigue and mental exhaustion of a sudden nature. The relief is that there is a cure. See Money; IPL; T20, Hundred, The. A beyond question ultimate team man, who bravely volunteered to play World Cup cricket having sat out a year of the mundane stuff. A national treasure.
Agnew, Jonathan – Stalker of Cook, Alastair. National Treasure or hopeless fanboy, we will leave it to the readers to decide. Lead commentator on Test Match Special, and chief cricket correspondent on the BBC, will now spend winters carrying out the cricketing equivalent of ambush marketing. Not a fan of Talk Sport. Founder proponent of the much missed Kicca, which was a replacement for the beastly Twitter. The rematch between him and Jessica Taylor would gross more than Mayweather v MacGregor. Well, it would be more entertaining. Penpal with Liew, Jonathan.
Alcohol-related incident – A phrase which encompasses anything from a fight with potential to pouring a drink over a teammate, and will likely have exactly the same consequences for the player in question.
Ali, Moeen – Everyone loves Moeen Ali. Especially Australian batsman at home. And Australian pacemen. And Australian offspinners.
Allen, Maxie – Doyen of critical cricket bloggers and writers alike. Founder member of the Cook, Alastair Appreciation Society. Upset many inside cricket. A world class diplomat!
Ammon, Elizabeth – She’s a journalist, on cricket, and she’s a woman. Divides opinion on Twitter, but to many’s surprise, a key purveyor of Good Journalism (definitely not Leaks) from the inner workings of the ECB. Has blocked us on Twitter as we once disagreed with her.
Anderson, Jimmy – Anyone who calls him the Burnley Lara should be shot. On the spot. That’s how we roll. England’s leading wicket taker, all round grump, and strangely ineffective away from home in the latter part of his career. I think Selfey is in love with him.
Aplomb – Forever Bunkers. Used to describe the way Downton, Paul answered KP related questions at his first press conference. Not to be confused with “a plum” or “an unmitigated fucking disaster”.
Archer, Jeffrey – Who Geoff Boycott thinks is currently playing for England. See Archer, Jofra
Archer, Jofra – Not Joffrey, Ata Ali Khan? Makes grown men palpitate at his pace, hardened cricketers swoon at his ability, experienced watchers salivate at his potential, and some journalists (not all purveyors of Good Journalism) lose their shit. And not in a good way. See C***.
Army, Barmy – Annoying group of 50 somethings who act and behave like they’re 15 when they’re at the cricket. The bloke with the trumpet should have it inserted up his rectum.
Ashes – Vitally important bi-lateral Test series, unless England lose 5-0, in which case see Taking the Positives.
Atherton, Michael. – Former England captain who now commentates on Sky and writes for the Times. Known for being just so bloody good that he doesn’t need to change his opinion every 5 minutes or write ludicrous stories. See Shiny Toy, Click-bait.
Australian Journalist –
1. Extremely talented writers of books and articles, revered and honoured in equal measure, even if they are a bit of a show off. Example – Haigh, Gideon.
2. People who want to be 1, but are about as close as I am to Mars, Example – Lemon, Geoff.
3. Regular beat journalist, with no pretensions to be 1 or 2, but notoriously thin-skinned. Example – Lalor, Peter.
4. Conn, Malcolm – an entire sub-genre, all of his own.
Bairstow, Jonny – See also YJB. Slightly mad, socially awkward wicket-keeper batsman who engenders a lot of good feeling from England fans, but who seem mad keen to bat him at number 5 and have him not keep wicket. Not saying the debate is tedious, but it has us head-butting our mates when they talk about it.
Balls In the Right Areas – Synonym for “Bowling”. Used solely when balls haven’t been in the right areas.
Bangladesh – If Oliver Holt can go there, so can Eoin Morgan. And if Oliver Holt went there, then Oliver Holt will tell you about it. Also, a test cricket nation not very good at test cricket, but still beat England in a test because the whole team performed a “Duckett”.
Bayliss, Trevor – If Mike Bassett were Australian, but with no emotional presence, you’d probably get to Bayliss. Creates a “good environment” which means he doesn’t bother knowing county cricket, tells people to hit out a bit more in “white ball cricket” and appears to believe test matches are at the Swan Vesta ignition standards facility. In short, we aren’t entirely sure what he does, other than wheel “Chuckles” out, now and again.
Betting – 1. Authority definition – nothing to do with us, nothing to worry about, no hints or allegations. 2. Everyone else – if games aren’t rigged, I’m Mohammed Azharuddin.
Big Bash, The – Recently engaged to Toy, Shiny.
Big Bats – The greatest problem facing cricket today.
Big Three – Where England and Australia get to pretend that their combined population of around 90 million is the equal of 1.2 billion India. A money making scheme where the rich get richer and the poor. Who needs them?
Blast, The T20 – An unpopular and widely ignored competition, according to Evidence, which desperately needs revamping and rebranding to appeal to Mums and Kids. Those full houses across the country are to be ignored if you are Empty Suit, The or Costcutter Colin, because they do not have Mums and Kids, but instead Obsessives.
Bloggers – The fungus on the foot of cricket writing. Purveyors of Unbalanced, Propaganda, to an audience of Three, of being bilious inadequates, social media zealots and keyboard warriors. Definitely not Stakeholders. Located in mum’s basements, these individuals are seriously not to be trusted.
BOC – Being Outside Cricket, of course.
Body soreness – Ailment that strikes experienced seam bowlers when they are facing a match that may damage their career stats and an opposition batsman-captain they’ve just been ungracious about. Not to be confused with Swann’s elbow.
Booth, Lawrence – erstwhile editor of Wisden. Still checking over his shoulder for henchmen of Giles Clarke after a spectacular falling out at the Wisden dinner. Supports Manchester City, so considered an all round good egg by one BOC writer and not so much by the other three for the same reason.
Bowler’s Fault – The moment the England brains trust drop a bowler in response to another dreadful batting performance. See Collapse.
Brearley, Mike – (1) A level of captaincy no mere mortal could ever aspire to. If you lose test matches, and are new to captaincy, you are “not Mike Brearley”. see Root, Joe and the cult leader. (2) A captain who was made to look great because he always seemed to avoid captaining against the West Indies, the dominant team of the time. As in, sure you can smash a World Series decimated Australia team 5-1 away, but as soon as Andy Roberts or Viv Richards appear, it ain’t for me…..
Brenkley, Stephen – See also Bunkers. Still putting “salt in his tea”.
Bransgrove, Rod – Determined to turn the county of Hampshire into a mini South Africa. Can’t understand why the ECB won’t grant them more Test Matches when their ground is in the middle of nowhere.
Broad, Stuart – Twitter account expert notorious for annoying Australians and having the worst understanding of DRS this side of Ian Botham. Walks less too.
Bumble – David Lloyd. A tired vaudeville comedy act that should be put out to pasture on Cook, Alastair’s farm. About as funny as a bout of gout, and about twice as painful to experience live.
Bunkers – See also Brenkley, Stephen. Genial cricket writer, formerly of the Independent, one of the four horsemen of the old guard (Selfey, Muppet, Newman and Bunkers) who did great impressions of ECB Press Officers. Now in constituency unknown, much missed by those who read him. Which if Mark is correct, was him and his proof reader.
Buttler, Jos – FICJAM picked him for the test team, and many grown men wept. Has one fewer test hundred at time of writing than Jennings, Keaton. Latest flame of Newman, Paul. Outstanding ODI batsman, has grown men in tears of inadequacy.
Bystander, Innocent – Cricket’s answer to the oracle and makes Twitter vaguely bearable. Likes a bet or two.
Captaincy, The Art of – A book, not by Alastair Cook. Can mention the title only in a reverential whisper.
Champions Trophy – Our priority. Don’t ask why. Scratch that. Now it’s the World Cup. Reports of the competition’s demise are tediously off base.
Chief Press Officer at the ECB – For people who think that being Press Officer for Donald Trump is a walk in the park, and who want a challenge. Position currently vacant.
Chuckles – Paul Farbrace, (about to be former) assistant coach for the England men’s team. Typically does press interviews after England have played woefully (which is quite often), in which he downplays any problems the team might have and does so with a smile. And often an occasional chuckle.
Clarke, Giles – Lest we forget. The architect of hide cricket behind a paywall strategy that must never, ever, be questioned or cited as a contributor to the dire state of youth participation in cricket. Instead, blame should be diverted away from him. Very popular man in cricketing circles. Should be remembered for Best Supporting Arsehole role in Death of a Gentleman. Sold international cricket out in the Big Three coup as he did when he gave the game to Sky on the back of the 2005 Ashes. Known for modesty and owning half of Paraguay.
Clarke, Michael – 1. Is to commentary as Liew, Jonathan is to sitting on the fence. When Australia are playing, and he is on the mic, you will be inundated with non-stop chatting, persistent idiosyncratic tactical advice, more green shoots of form in players off colour than a fragrant spring, and an even-handedness that rivals Slater, Michael. The Noise Abatement Society have been contacted. 2. Top class salesman for Australian medical services.
Click-bait – The way of trying to get people to click on your site even if there is nothing to bloody report. Hughes, Simon is a well known artist of this.
Club Cricket – Used as a reason for the lack of youth cricket development when England Collapse. We should all play T20 cricket or the game will die. Pays no heed as to how keen club cricketers want to play the game. Not to be confused with county cricket, lack of technique in the longer form, or bad coaching at professional level, and definitely not to be confused with the live game in England being totally behind a paywall for the last 14 years as the reason for the demise in techniques. You fools for thinking it is anything other than Old Farts who want their batting time.
Compton, Nick – Former Test Match player for England. Always criticised by the media for batting too slow or supposedly not fitting in. See Stocks, Chris
Cockroach – The insect which will, according to some people, survive when everything else dies around it. A name given to people who should have been fired or dropped but haven’t. Given the ECB’s lack of accountability, this list might include Clarke, Strauss, Flower, Whitaker, Empty Suit and many others. This definition aged well.
Collapse – A frequent occurrence in England cricket. When it occurs, there are needs to find reasons to pin the blame. This is never cricket behind a paywall, poor coaching at international level, or the fault of the players. Latest reason – old codgers in club cricket.
Conference System – idea for reforming the international Test schedule that would see teams divided into two groups with the winners of each group playing off in a Final. Sudden support for such an idea from England and Australia not at all connected to a desire to reduce the amount of Test cricket played against ‘lesser’ teams with new TV contracts looming and to reduce the amount of Test cricket played generally so they can play more T20.
Conn, Malcolm – Is to balanced, even-handed journalism as Katie Hopkins is to balanced even-handed journalism. Presides over a lot of Crying, then calls people of English origin “sanctimonious” for being a teeny-weeny bit sceptical of this stage-managed drivel. A big fan of soccer, an even bigger fan of contorting statistics for attendances. Never seen an English pitch that isn’t rigged, an an Aussie pitch that isn’t the very definition of fair to all sides. Notoriously magnificent sense of humour. Last seen as a doorman.
Conversion Rate – When two batsmen of almost equal standing fail to convert 50s into hundred how do you determine a conversion rate problem? If you are a cult leader, you deserve a hundred, it is as good as a hundred, and you are almost back to your best. If you are a younger man and threaten the cult leader’s records, you are letting the side down, have a massive problem and prevents you from achieving greatness. 13 tons in 65 tests. Hang him. Flog him!
Cook, Alastair – Former captain of England cricket team, highest run scorer in English test history, most test hundreds as an England batsman, farmer, family man, deer hunter and cult leader. Subject to stalking campaign by many members of the media obsessed by his middle England appearance. Rumours he has a restraining order out on Agnew, Jonathan.
Cook Hating Blog – A comment that easily allows us to deduce that the purveyor of it is an ocean going idiot.
Costcutter Colin – See Graves, Colin. Former businessman and professional Yorkshireman. He says what he means, only it means something else when the pressure is on. New resident at “Downton’s Cupboard”.
County Cricket – The Terry Waite Radiator to the Empty Suit’s The Hundred.
Crying – Default Australian cricketer reaction when caught beyond the line, banged to rights. Usually supervised by Conn, Malcolm, who calls everyone else sanctimonious after the cynical charade.
C*** – Term of endearment used to describe SABMOB and Liew, Jonathan. Mainly used in off air badinage by the public school types Agnew, Jonathan and Strauss, Andrew.
Curran, Sam –
1. The future of English cricket, great temperament, super batting style, promising bowling style, need to stick with him through the rough and the smooth to develop a total gem who was man of the series in his first full long-form test series.
2. How the hell do you pick him in the West Indies? What are you? Idiots?
Dauphin – Once used as a nickname for Cook, Alastair.
Dawson, Liam – shock call-up to the India tour when Zafar Ansari had to go home. Favourite of Andy Flower who likes “low maintenance” players. Trevor Bayliss liked “something about him” despite only seeing him in the nets. His selection may have been designed to give Paul ‘An Elephant Never Forgets’ Newman the opportunity to recount that he dismissed Kevin Pietersen for two golden ducks.
De Villiers, AB – A beyond question ultimate team man, who bravely volunteered to play World Cup cricket having sat out a year of the mundane stuff. A national treasure. Chronic fatigue syndrome poster boy, an ailment which has been renamed to reflect how playing anything beyond 20 overs is a recipe for total exhaustion. See AB Syndrome.
Death Bowler – In twenty years the only ambition a bowler will have. You fire in yorkers, slow ball bouncers, or if you are a “spinner”, fire the ball in. Let me at it.
Denis – One day, maybe one day, we’ll explain the rules for the Wisden Five Cricketers of the Year. And one day, maybe one day, he will take them on board. And one day, maybe one day, I’ll spell his name correctly.
Denly, Joe – Affable individual but one who should be nowhere near any Test Team. Tends to make pretty 25’s before getting out loosely. Doesn’t have the backing of a former England captain’s management team. See Vince, James.
Difficult Winter – Downton, Paul’s beautiful description of the 2013/14 Ashes, making it sound like a minor signal failure on his local branch line, or a scone shortage at his village fete. Not to be confused with a massacre of a team that a year previously had been number 1 in the world and beaten that conquering team well at home. A team that mentally disintegrated and physically collapsed. A team that fell apart at the seams in bitter rancour. A description of aplomb.
Diversity – Ensuring a good spread of public schools are represented.
Downton’s Cupboard – At ECB headquarters there is, by reputation, a little cupboard under the stairs. When an individual high up the social strata at ECB “mis-speaks” or has a “difficult press conference” the chief henchman, previously Clarke, Giles and now Suit, Empty, lock said individual in cupboard whenever a press or media person is within a 1000m range. Named after the first incumbent, Downton, Paul, who had such a press conference of “aplomb” he followed up with an interview that didn’t drive so much as a coach and horses through a confidentiality clause, but opened up the Dartford Crossing for free over it. Locked away, only to be spoken to on rare lapses, he has been replaced by a Yorkshireman who went off message and has his head up his arse.
Downton, Paul – The greatest gift a blog could have. Media, who studiously avoided Good Journalism, now want us to believe that they knew he was rubbish all along. You could have fooled us. Has a cupboard under the stairs at Lord’s named after him.
DRS – Supposedly the great hope in stopping wrong decisions being given but most of the time looks like it was made up by an intern on his holiday. Broad, Stuart still doesn’t understand it. Currently causing more debates than ever. See Umpire Standards
Duckett, A – 1. The appearance of having never ever seen a bowler turn a ball in the entirety of your cricketing life, and yet still getting to the England first team level. See also, Opener. 2. The act of pouring beer over an established player’s head and being sent to the naughty step.
Durham CCC – Currently sitting on the ECB’s naughty step despite producing players like Stokes and Wood for being made to build a ground that was financially unviable. See Graves, Colin.
ECB – An organisation we are frequently accused of being too beastly and mean to, and not quick enough to recognise their great works. I apologise. An organisation that calls fans obsessives, people who disagree with them “Outside Cricket”, opposition teams mediocre, every simple step “fantastic”, employed in our time Clarke, Giles; Downton, Paul; Costcutter Colin; Empty Suit, The in positions of authority and decision-making, hides the game behind a paywall, comes up with The Hundred, handled the KP Affair with all the subtlety of the Incredible Hulk with a hangover, sold the international game out in the Big Three coup and alienates just about every ally who isn’t paying them Money, doesn’t deserve ridicule or contempt. How did we get it so wrong?
Elite Mateship – Aussie speak for “total bollocks”. Has been known as a justification for everything from ball tampering to a declaration of war.
Emburey, John – Has a surprisingly decent record as a finger spinner in Australia. Millwall fan. Infamous for the reported outburst “Effing hell, the effing effers effed.” A World Effing Record. Also the only England player to go on both Rebel tours to South Africa during Apartheid. And was selected after both.
Empty Suit, The – See Harrison, Tom. Employed by ECB as replacement for Collier, he sacked Downton, employed Comma, and is now on a route march to stamp out county cricket. His few games for Derbyshire allow him to pass the “cricket man” test, and his IMG experience means he gets “media”. We see him as another Empty Suit wanting a legacy with no clue. In fact, not much change from Downton, Paul, if we’re honest. Coined the word “obsessives” for people who don’t hate county cricket.
England’s Top Order – A myth.
Etheridge, John – Chief cricket correspondent for the Sun. A bit like being chief lifeboat inspector on the Woolwich Ferry. Purveyor of “Good Journalism”.
Essayist, The – Alternative term of non-endearment for Ed Smith. Smith appears to have first used the term as a self-description during a debate about ‘Death of a Gentleman’ where Smith declared that Kimber and Collins had missed the point and proceeded to correct them. See previous Glossary for other terms of non-endearment for Ed Smith.
Essex Mafia – A dying phenomenon. When at one point the captain of England, the batting coach, the head coach, and a number of media members all originated, or were very linked, to the county north east of the capital. That there seemed all good news on the England participants from that county, and anyone against them was a bad egg, or outside cricket, was perhaps happy coincidence. Day of mourning in certain quarters when Don Cookieone retired from tests.
Evidence – Currently in the possession of Empty Suit, The, but may be like Chocky in that John Wyndham book, and he’s working on behalf of some alien force. This evidence suggest Mums and Kids need a simplified game (reminiscent of Ron Noades once saying his new pools competition was so simple even women could do it), and that County Cricket would not work, via Blast, The. When asked to produce Evidence, Empty Suit, The evades.
Expectations – For example, England’s 2016 test tour of India. What need to be managed to pass off a 4-0 defeat as okay because “the expectation was that we’d lose 5-0” (or 7-0 if you’re Jonathan Agnew).
Experience, lack of – all-purpose explanation of any England defeat, even – or especially – to be deployed when England are playing a team with 150 fewer Test caps. Never to be mentioned as self-created or that anything could be done about it by picking more experienced players (especially ones who have been “moved on”). Creates the illusion that England team are “eternal Peter Pans” (TM Zephirine).
Farbrace, Paul – See Chuckles
FICJAM – Fuck I’m Clever, Just Ask Me. A term of non-endearment for Ed Smith after another pseudo psycho-babble article, more often than not invoking a US sport he played but shows little or know deep knowledge of, is produced where on its conclusion you envisage him leaning back after the final key press and say to himself “Gosh, I’m clever” (I call this Beautiful South Syndrome). His public are not worthy. See also Plagiarist, The and Essayist, The. And even more ludicrously, Chief Selector.
FIGJAM – Term of endearment usually used by those of inferior ability to those they label.
Flower, Andy – Should be renamed Shingles. Bloody tough to get rid of. Still in around English cricket, despite destroying a champion team he inherited and grew, not producing much in the way of anything at Loughborough, and somehow, even temporarily, got the top job in the England team hierarchy after Strauss had to leave for personal reasons. Although blame is pinned on SABMOB, we rarely saw the coach who presided over the 5-0 humping as ZBEC. Instead we have “dignified silence”.
FourFux – Saker, David. Former bowling coach to England, who liked things dry, very dry. Also close friend of Selfey, which means when the information was coming from inside the England camp, and Selfey was reporting it, the finger pointed towards Flower, Andy.
Giles, Ashley – Current Director, England Cricket. Last seen sobbing under a blanket during the Ashes series.
Good Environment – Where players are treated nicely. Where everyone is able to contribute and be nice to each other, and to sing in perfect harmony. Where comfort is everything and not having a loud mouthed South African middle order bat, an ego-driven show off keeper, a man on the verge of mental collapse, run by a tyrant, captained by a cult leader and a bowling team led by a man who has beer thrown over him and a shit bloke almost certainly behind a twitter feed in some way, aided and abetted by a gobshite spinner with a dodgy elbow. Bit like following the Rolling Stones with S Club 7. Created originally by Moores, Peter and carried on to Ashes Away Awesomeness by Bayliss, Trevor. Compulsory Yucca plants and whale music.
Good Journalism – A phrase coined by “Etheridge, John” to differentiate the doughty press scribe from the “in their mum’s basement” bloggers. There are many definitions of “good journalism”. 1. Having someone who leaks decent information to you to assist their agenda. 2. Snark at anyone who hasn’t been a press scribe for at least 10 years. 3. Personal prejudices dressed up as news 4. (almost extinct) holding truth to power, finding out what is going on and telling your readership the truth.
Grassroots – Vitally important foundation of the game which should never be funded properly or treated with seriousness when a good dinner at Lord’s is available instead. Also the term for England age group teams where much of the money goes instead of the ahhh, grassroots.
Graves, Colin – See Costcutter Colin. A communication guru par excellence, starting his reign by telling KP he had a chance, then denying it, he has since gone from strength to strength, eulogising over four day tests, franchise T20 and getting his loans repaid by Yorkshire. A sort of destitute man’s Donald Trump. Only allowed out when the Empty Suit lets him have the key to Downton’s Cupboard. Currently (as at December 2017) in hiding in Australia from county chairman who appear to have been victims of another “I didn’t really say that” ruse. See also, notes to the accounts about conflict of interest re test match advertising at Headingley.
Great Question Wardy – See Wardy. An appropriate response in a hard hitting interview to a rigorous question asked by the interviewer. See Empty Suit, The. Usually when the opposite quality of the question is applied. Absolutely not intended to convey the impression that the said interviewer’s company and the ECB are joined at the hip, and give passable impressions of the ventriloquist and dummy.
Great Shot – Stroke that clears long on by six inches. See Poor shot.
Gurney, Harry – he’s got more social media followers than you. So there.
HABAFO – Have a bat and F*** Off. That person who turns up to nets, has a bat and goes home. Also, see Pietersen, Kevin in T20 matches when his team bats first.
Haigh, Gideon – They are still all really, really jealous of you Gideon. You know that.
Hales, Alex – He’s a lover, not a fighter.
Hameed, Haseeb – Exhibit A why you should wait before anointing a player the real deal, by comparing him to Sangakkara, to pump up his tyres. Last seen at Lancashire Seconds. We wish him really well.
Harrison, Tom – See Empty Suit, The
Hayden, Matthew – Devout Christian, who spent his time at gully calling every batsman a C***, which definitely did not cross Line, The. Definitely did not play to save his career rather than the Ashes at the Oval in 2005. Definitely not.
HDWLIA – How Did We Lose In Adelaide – to anyone new to the blog who sees this acronym, it was a blog written when Dmitri Old was good. Like English cricket, it hides behind a “wall” now, with the last proper entry in February 2015.
Henderson, Michael – The living proof that life just isn’t fair, because he gets paid, still, to write. A nasty, vindictive, snob allowed free rein to vent his prejudices and bile in a national monthly publication, with seemingly carte blanche to spread his poison. Another writer who thinks citing a classical music piece, or some sort of ancient fiction, or classical reference, makes him Neville Cardus. Instead it buttresses the impression that he is no more than small-minded, bigoted prick. No, I don’t like him.
Holt, Oliver – Jumped on the Eoin Morgan bandwagon as if he was the next Mother Teresa and not a Daily Mail hack. Often now seen only at the most important sporting occasions. See Bangladesh
Hoult, Nick – Chief cricket correspondent of the Telegraph, a newspaper so happy with its lot it made its website (a) unreadable and (b) made us pay for the horror. Took over from Pringle, Derek (see also Muppet) and immediately raised the standard from ocean trench to sea level. Not part of the problem.
Hughes, Simon – See Number 39. Editor of The Cricketer, all round big head, thin skinned, ECB Stooge, available to parrot the party line on all things important when push comes to shove. So humble, included himself in the 50 most important people in English cricket in his own poll. Once told your Editor that he had plenty to say but let myself down by being so aggressive and rude. No truth that Editor told him to Foxtrot Oscar. Revered by fellow press corps.
Hundred, The – What happens when you let an Empty Suit come up with a tagline and then try to fit a game of cricket into it. Popular with stakeholders. Not popular with people who like cricket. They don’t count.
Hunger – What Alastair Cook needed to carry on as captain (also sometimes known as passion). Not to be confused with brains, attacking instincts, the ability to read a pitch or having the foggiest what to do with a leg-spinner / any spinner not named Lovejoy.
Hussain, Nasser – formerly an outstanding captain and trenchant critic of all things England cricket. Now gone thoroughly native and prone to slating those who do all the work in club cricket. See Vaughan, Michael.
Illegal Streaming – The greatest problem facing cricket today. Other than Club Cricket.
Indian Premier League – If cricket made films, this would be the Wizard of Oz. Usually won by Mumbai Indians.
Irresponsible – Term to describe the top scoring batsmen in a team who is reponsible for everyone else getting out after he does.
Jamaican Boycott – If Michael Holding had been an opening batsman, he’d be just the same commentator as Geoffrey. Permanent grump. Hates T20. View of Old, Dmitri.
James, Greg (extinct) – BT Sport’s cricket anchor. Former yoof radio presenter and BCC Three presenter. Godfather of James Anderson’s child. Maintains a good humour despite hours in the company of Lovejoy (see old Glossary) but expect a first Test feeling of “this bloke’s not too bad” to be replaced by a third Test feeling of “I want to watch the cricket, not listen to your jabber”. Has a very annoying blue and green checked shirt. Your grandad’s interpretation of an “edgy” presenter. Has as many edges as an in form Sachin.
JAMODI – Because absolutely no one can remember what happened more than 10 minutes after it finished, it’s Just Another Meaningless One Day International.
Jennings, Keaton – A piece of the Ashes’ jigsaw. Alternatively, Jennings, Johannesburg-born-former-captain-of-SA-U19s-Keaton – a piece of the Ashes’ jigsaw if he turns out not to fit. Not to be confused with Sangakkara, Kumar for making a test hundred on debut. Subsequent display highlighted “technical flaws” making him “unselectable”. Wash, rinse, repeat….
Jerusalem – For the love of God, Barmy Army, pack it in.
Kallis, Jacques – Had a better batting average than Tendulkar, Sachin, took nearly 300 test wickets and was one of the greatest slip fielders ever. So obviously the main thing to do is to destroy his record. He could be a bit boring.
Karun Nair, A – To allow an ordinary player to make an extraordinary contribution. Named after the aforementioned Karun Nair made 303 not out in Chennai against England, thus signalling the end of Cook, Alastair’s captaincy career. Recently spotted in Barbados when Jason Holder made a double ton. Or when Roston Chase took 8 wickets. Happens a lot to England.
Kimber, Jarrod – Purveyor of writing courses and advice on line, and occasional analyst (is he allowed to breach that copyright) for the St. Lucia Stars. How did that go? Will always be remembered favourably for Death of a Gentleman which was as great as his book on Test Cricket wasn’t.
Kicca – I have literally no idea why that failed. Was to Twitter as Cook was to Brearley in captaincy.
Knight, Nick – “Can somebody PLEASE tell me how Nick Knight has worked his way into the commentary box for Home Tests?? RIDICULOUS!!” SABMOB wasn’t wrong….Main catchphrase is “Would you believe it?”. And the answer is no, we wouldn’t. The questioning party in “C**tgate”.
Kohli, Virat – The most important cricketer, possibly in history. Lover of test matches, his zest for the format keeps India interested. A treasure for the game, even if Money appears a main love.
Kolpak – A phrase meaning an overseas player entitled to play in English cricket without taking up the one “overseas” player slot. In practice it is English authorities doing more damage to South African cricket than it ever did during the Apartheid era. Then saying “there’s nothing we can do about it, guv”.
Lara, Brian – A god to many, including Dmitri. There will never be another like him. Or a Shit of the First Order according to Dmitri’s cricket club legend.
Leak – Something the ECB absolutely NEVER does. Not to be confused with Good Journalism, or “I have been told that….”
Lemon, Geoff – A Jarrod Kimber / Gideon Haigh combination tribute act. Once wrote a very funny article on Channel 9, the media equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel, but has lived off it ever since. First half of his recent book compared unfavourably to having your fingernails removed with pliers.
Liew, Jonathan – “I’m Like Marmite”.
Line, The – Ephemeral phenomenon reportedly seen occasionally only in Australia. No confirmed sightings as yet, although several members have been caught beyond it, and commenced supervised Crying under the supervision of Conn, Malcolm as a result.
Liverpool Echo – We rest easy knowing it employs someone who knows the game backwards.
Llong, Nigel – Umpire particularly revered in New Zealand.
Lord’s – The “Home of Cricket” if you ignore that it wasn’t even England’s first home. Bastion of snobbery, class separation, sexism and privilege, all studiously ignored by the media who forget Good Journalism and weep with joy at being given a sniff of the perks. The citadel needs to be stormed, and we’ll believe we’re serious about Mums and Kids when both are let in the Lord’s Pavilion together at a Lord’s test (and no, the Queen and Prince Charles does not count).
Lovejoy – England’s greatest modern spin bowler, Graeme Swann, unfortunately became England’s most annoying cricket commentator and pundit. His nickname comes from Soccer AM and Sunday Brunch TV presenter Tim Lovejoy, an almost insufferable combination of lad humour and ‘bantz’. Need elbow surgery after writing this, so I’m buggering off home, complaining of the other writers being up their own arses, and rescuing cats while drunk.
Mankad – The next time one of these happens in a reasonably high profile setting, all self-respecting, sane cricket followers should hibernate, to protect yourself from the sanctimonious spirit of the game bores on the one side, and the people about as anarchic as S Club 7 on the other. Cricket “debate” at its teeth itching worst.
Masterclass – Great TV programming on the first viewing, quite good on the second. Novelty is wearing off by the 583rd viewing on the “Sky Cricket Channel”. See also, 2016 World T20 Final.
Maxwell, Jim – legendary Australian commentator who has the notable distinction of caring far more for the wider health of English cricket than his English colleagues. Which says far more about them.
Mediocre – Term for cricket teams notably inferior to England who nevertheless hand them their arses on a plate at regular intervals.
Meritocracy – Huh?
Mexican Wave – Anyone who starts one of these at the cricket should be made to work full time as the PA to Hughes, Simon.
Mike Selvey’s Blog – Once upon a time there was a journalist. He wrote about cricket. He was, at times, very popular. Then he turned, and many of his followers were most bemused. How could he be such a sycophant, a stenographer, a company man? They were most afraid. When confronting their erstwhile hero, he doth get mad at them, and when innocent little bloggers poked fun, he doth insult them. It came to pass that he was asked to leave by his employers, and with fury in his heart, rejection in his soul, he smote his erstwhile employer with bitter barbs and freelance columns in The Cricketer. With time on his hands, he decreed he should write a blog, even asking his dwindling band of followers to come up with a name. He then issued the proclamation that he would, of course, be monetising it, for he did not “work for nothing”. Said blog is now a thing of mystery, a spook story, something you tell your kids to worry about, “rat on your pops, and you’ll be forced to find Selfey’s Blog” (is it too soon for Usual Supsects references?). Now it is like Atlantis. The Marie Celeste. Or an occasional Sky Sports Column. He actually thought he could blog for money? Now witters about beer, golf, fraying connections with the game, and, of course, his past employers.
Miller, Andrew – Big shot at ESPN Cricinfo. Great writer. Authority in his scribbling, witty in his words.
Miller, Peter – Not to be confused with Miller, Andrew. Seriously don’t.
Mints – The greatest problem facing cricket today.
Money – Cure of AB Syndrome. The main Success Criteria. Acquisition of said term is key driver for Big Three. Symbiotic relationship with IPL. Important to Stakeholders. Not relevant to BOC, and many Bloggers, although Selfey thought it came naturally. TV money is very good. Money in betting – I have no idea what you are on about. Provision of makes you a Stakeholder, or inside cricket. Unless it is your subscriber money, or gate money.
Morgan, Piers – Thoroughly Outside Cricket. Best illustrated by doing things like playing the game. Causes no end of cognitive dissonance by making legitimate points while remaining intensely irritating. Source of some lunatic’s conspiracy theory that we are all, at BOC, part of some cabal acting on his behalf.
Mums and Kids – Numbering in their billions, the new replacement for fans who are no longer needed. Do not understand Blast, The, but certainly going to know Hundred, The.
Muppet – See Pringle, Derek
Mute Button – The discovery of this wondrous function has reduced Dmitri’s blood pressure.
Newman, Paul – A Dmitri winner for services to journalism, and one of two journalists known to have blocked Dmitri on Twitter. Newman had real problems with Pietersen, Kevin. The origins are not precisely clear, but the output was. Newman had no problems with Cook, only problems with people who had problems with Cook, Alastair. When you had a go at Al, or had a good word about KP, good journalism would be implemented.
New Zealand – A quaint, genteel cricketing outpost to be ignored and belittled due to Money (lack of) in playing them. To be patronised and patted on the head, and to be tacked on to an Ashes tour, or before a South African one, because, well, reasons. Play the game in great spirit, somehow not resorting to crossing mythical lines, and are laughed at.
Nicholas, Mark – Lord Haw Haw. And then Channel 9 lost the contract.
North London Nonsense – The team who squat at the fake home of cricket, from a mythical county. According to lore, they are Surrey’s rivals.
Number 39 – See also Hughes, Simon, The Analyst and host of Inside Cricket podcast. Inside Cricket, the silly arse. #39 given after putting himself in his own cricket power list, which created a massive good laugh. Left out of 2017 list, presumably to avoid further humiliation. If you look up patronising in the dictionary, you’ll probably find a picture of Simon Hughes.
Obsessive – To obsess is “To preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone) continually and to a troubling extent”. That’s how Empty Suit, The views County Cricket fans. In his own words. Good Journalists turn the other way. Stakeholders care only about Money. Meanwhile the likes of Shiny Toy and Gurney, Harry sing the praises of the new order. That’s why we have Bloggers.
Old Farts – in a cricket context, often to be found doing pointless things like preparing wickets, painting pavilions, coaching youngsters, running the bar and compiling fixture lists. Part of the problem.
Opening Batsman – English; A term to describe a short-term opportunity to humiliate yourself in public. Akin to putting two cannon-fodder up to protect the dashers, a tactic seen most commonly in school Under-12s. A pre-requisite is to have a Technical Issue, that Experts can pick apart to look knowledgeable after the fact.
Over Rates – The greatest problem facing cricket today. As long as you aren’t captain of India, England or Australia.
Over-scheduling – The greatest problem facing cricket today.
Paine, Tim – Mother Teresa in pads and big gloves. Rumoured to know where the “line” is. Not rumoured to be remotely test class.
Pakistan – A walking cliche. If they lose, it’s typical Pakistan. If they win it’s typical Pakistan. Make your own cliche.
Player Participation – Set of statistics rarely seen in recent years after showing precipitous declines since the game was paywalled. This is entirely a coincidence and must not, under any circumstances, be considered related. Briefly highlighted when the ECB realised they could add male and female numbers together for a year and hope no one noticed.
PEDs – Not the greatest problem facing cricket today. Not your personal Ed Smith either.
Pitch the Fucking Thing Up – Cherished motto of all England cricket fans.
Plagiarist, The – A term of non-endearment for Ed Smith after it was revealed by The Cricket Couch that his July 2016 Cricinfo article ‘Why Sportsmen Need Stress’ bore some uncomfortable similarities to an Economist article published a few days earlier. See also ‘Essayist, The’. Any absence from that platform since that piece is purely coincidental, and has not stopped him from having gainful employment at other, more gullible, establishments. Namely the ECB.
Pod-person – Name for where a previously independent and intelligent media figure becomes a fountain of ECB-speak and –thought. As in “oh no, Nasser Hussain’s become a pod-person”.
Ponting, Ricky – AKA Punter. Annoyed many England fans by being so good with the bat and now annoys them by being as equally good in the commentary box.
Poor shot – stroke that doesn’t quite clear long on. See Great Shot.
Pringle, Derek – A Muppet who was sacked from the Daily Telegraph for actively hating his customers. Once had a pop at your’s truly for using a pseudonym, calling this blog “Irrelevant”. Now Chief Cricket Correspondent at the Metro, which is the equivalent of being the Deputy Lifeboat Supervisor on the Woolwich Ferry.
Problem Number Three Position – Perennial England selection issue, now less important given the new Problem Top Six Positions.
Propaganda – Main failing of this blog according to Harry Gurney. And rubbish propaganda too given he says we only have three readers. Who this is on behalf of has yet to be worked out, and no bugger is paying us for it either.
Rain – Peculiar meteorological occurrence only ever found in England, see Rainy Season
Rainsford-Kent, Ebony – The female equivalent of Knight, Nick
Rainy Season – Period in which England tours to “lesser” opponents is scheduled. In England it’s the period between January and December, get over it.
Rankings – A flawed and incomprehensible system when they place England fifth. Not to be confused with the system that placed England “first in three formats” which is robust, clear and just peachy.
Ramprakash, Mark – Best county batsman to watch in my lifetime, but now former England Batting Coach. Sacked by Giles, Ashley because, frankly, England’s batting is crap, prone to collapses, and Bayliss, Trevor’s Good Environment, doesn’t extend to the middle.
Rashid, Adil – Holder of a card which has been marked.
Reverse Swing – Linkage to use of sandpaper yet to be proven in Australian climate.
Right Kind of Family – Essential component of an England captain. Qualifications include not being remotely like most people in England who play or watch cricket, but being very like most people in the ECB.
Ronay, Barney – If he were an ice cream, he’d lick himself.
Root, Joe – Captain of England, with all the charisma of a damp rag. Has a Conversion Rate problem. Allergic to the number Three.
Roy, Jason – Fantastic ODI Batsman, but is to Test Cricket what I am to ballet. Currently still trying to locate the middle of his bat.
SABMOB – South African Born Middle Order Batsman. Henderson, Michael is particularly keen to remind you that borderline scumbag Kevin Pietersen was born overseas, but curiously forgets that when mentioning Strauss, Andrew and Prior, Matt. A pejorative term coined when having a pop at the greatest England batsman of his generation (Cook, Alastair was born in Bedford).
Salt In His Tea – Why Pietersen, Kevin should be fired. Or something like that. Put one grain of salt in your tea and you don’t notice. Put a thousand in and the tea tastes awful. One wonders what Bunkers does in his spare time.
Samuel, Martin – Someone, somewhere, somehow, thought that putting this barely house-trained walrus in charge of a laptop at a cricket match was/is an idea worth pursuing. Prose more clunky than a rusty steamroller, story-telling of the capability and applicability of Father Dougal and the insight of the Star Nosed Mole (he Star-nosed Mole can detect, catch and eat food faster than the human eye can follow; under 300 milliseconds) we are “treated” to his columns every Ashes. Like you are treated to a root canal.
Sandpaper – Essential cricket equipment for Antipodean cricketers. Absence of said item can result in bowling averages skyrocketing. Curiously, when not available, Reverse Swing disappears too. It has the greatest Australian Journalists utterly flummoxed.
Sangakkara, Kumar – The greatest travesty of test history is that he is not the top run making left handed batsman of all time. Object d’amour of The Leg Glance. Fine commentator too.
Scyld Berry Player Ratings – A source of never-ending amusement. Usually features attempts to give Alastair Cook 11/10 and minus scores to Alex Hales or Adil Rashid. The author was once memorably described by Gluck BTL at the Guardian as “kpatel with a syndicated column”.
Selfey – See Selvey, Mike. A semi-humorous name, which we know he didn’t like, to reflect that the number one focus of his scribblings is his good self. Nothing wrong with that…. if you are a blogger. See also, Selfey’s Blog.
Shinny Toy – Mark. There’s one bloody n in it!
Shiny Toy – See Vaughan, Michael. So coined because every time something new, or bright, or “exciting” comes along, Michael Vaughan will sing its praises, and forget about what he liked last week. Like giving a toddler a new toy. Also, like a toddler, if you tell him off, chide him, or disagree with him, he’ll scream and block. Or try the more teenage “it’s bantz”. Once a great captain of England, he now resorts to telling TMS listeners how good a fielder one of his ISG clients is when he’s failing with the bat. I once saw him score 170+ twice in test cricket. Now he’s a traveling salesman with no thought processes other than money.
Sky Cricket Channel – If you like repeats, Masterclass, banal interviews or re-runs of the World T20 Final, this is for you. If you are paying for all the live cricket going on in the world, well, I have news for you….
Social Media – The cause of great distress to those who are not in the inner circle or are an ‘old school journalist’. Filled with Zealots and bilious inadequates who dare to question the judgement of said people. See Bloggers.
Spirit of the Game – Whatever Australians decide is ok for them to do. See Line, the
Stakeholders – Those who matter. Does not include supporters, clubs or amateur players.
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants – Every time you think Bloggers are just a waste of space, compare this piece to anything written by Henderson, Michael.
Strategic Direction – current flavour of the month at the ECB until it all goes tits up and is changed for something else. Would last longer as a boy band.
Stocks, Chris – Freelance journo who seems to have written for every UK paper at some stage and a few overseas. Describes himself on Twitter as “Cook’s ghost” and still seems to think he’s in that role in his journalism – especially when describing a laboured 19 against St Kitts and Nevis as “defiant”. Not a fan of Nick Compton or Adil Rashid. Known sometimes as “Laughing” except when people on Twitter get upset. Very helpfully reminded the hordes that Oxford University were not top notch opposition when KP made a ton against them. Don’t know what we’d have done without that piece of advice.
Stokes, Ben – How that bloke’s chin ran into my fist is a mystery that will never be solved. Virtually single handedly won the World Cup for England showing that team spirit can be compromised if you’re bloody good. See Good Environment.
Stoneman, Mark – A right royal pain in the backside. Opener for England with a patchy record, but as he wass scoring more runs than Cook, can’t really be dropped if “meritocracy” is to be upheld. But was dropped because, according to Shiny Toy, who isn’t his agent, he doesn’t practice like an international cricketer.
Strategic Pathway – Used to be known as a plan, but now something more complex that only Empty Suit, The can understand.
Stress Fracture of the Back – A rite of passage for all England bowlers.
Super Series – The 2005 Ashes, Australia vs West Indies 1960/61, India vs Australia 2000/01. Not some mathematical nonsense dreamt up by Comma to pretend a series against Sri Lanka in the north of England in May is exciting.
Surrey CCC – Nouveaux riche club that thinks buying success means they actually have a legacy. Don’t play most home games in the county of Surrey. Well-known to offer fist fulls of cash to any Kolpak or Durham player walking within 150 miles.
Swann, Graeme – See Lovejoy.
T20 – We should all be playing it, down to the lowest club level, and the kids will flock to the game. Should be accompanied, at all down to the lowest club level, with barbecues, cheerleaders, pyrotechnics, loud music, strategic timeouts, coloured kits, lights, bails that light up, DRS and widescale corruption instigated by shady betting syndicates. Actually, scratch that last bit. As loved by Gurney, Harry; Toy, Shiny and not by Empty Suit, The, who thinks its too long.
Taking the Positives – catch all to pretend England haven’t just been walloped.
Technical Issues – Possessed by opening batsmen such as Jennings, Keaton; Lyth, Adam; Robson, Sam; Ballance, Gary. When confronted by such technical issues, should be dropped, told to correct them, then be ignored in most cases. When Cook, Alastair runs into “technical difficulties” cult worship must increase ten fold to help him out. Also used when this site went down because TLG accidentally cancelled the direct debit.
Teflon – Someone who glides through life without any criticism or consequences sticking to them, no matter how much they might deserve it. Due to the lack of accountability in the ECB, this term might be used to describe Andrew Strauss, Giles Clarke, James Whitaker, Andy Flower, Alastair Cook, the senior bowlers and many others.
Tendulkar, Sachin – Man of the Match.
Test Cricket – The premier form of the game in terms of achievement, legacy, history and technical skill. Sadly, too difficult to make Money from, therefore is to be disparaged at every turn by the authorities, pundits and useful idiots currently playing the game (see Gurney, Harry). To be replaced by a non-stop diet of T20 cricket because it makes more Money, and that’s all that matters. Except in England where it will be replaced by The Hundred, of course.
Test Cricket Food – The annoying moment a journalist posts what they’re eating for lunch, whilst everyone else is stuck with a undercooked £12 burger. Keen to remind the prols where they sit in the food chain. See Kimber, Jarrod.
Test Match Special – I’m not saying it is in love with itself, but if it were a human it would be George Hamilton or Warren Beatty. One for you youngsters out there. Which is absolutely not who TMS is aimed at.
Thakur, Anurag – BJP member of Parliament, lieutenant in the Territorial Army and President of the BCCI since 2016 after unopposed election. Played one f/c cricket match making a duck which qualifies him as a national selector on the basis of having played f/c cricket. His lawyer defended his qualifications to head the BCCI on the grounds “he is a cricketer”. Likes threatening to pull India out of the Champions Trophy; dislikes the Indian Supreme Court and any suggestion that India might hand back even 1% of their 22% of ICC revenue.
- number of readers of this blog according to Harry Gurney. See also Propaganda
- number which keeps Joe Root up at night.
- number traditionally a problem for batsman born in England
Trent Bridge – 1. Bringing school cricket boundaries and the best road-construction to one-day international sport. 2. Ha Ha Conn, Malcolm. Are you over 2015 yet?
Umpiring Standards – It might not have been the best idea to employ Joel Wilson, Kumar Dharmasena and S. Ravi, who would struggle to find each other in the same room.
Vaughan, Michael – see Hussain, Nasser and Toy, Shiny.
Vince, James – The first man picked for an Ashes tour because he can do impressions of someone who played well before. And happens to be in the same management company. Does not suffer from “technical difficulties” but rather “temperamental issues”. Once found out, goes into hibernation, and when further Openers fail, is mentioned again. Such mentions absolutely not linked to his presence in the same management company as his chief cheerleader.
Viv – A religious incantation. To be said with head bowed.
Walker, Phil – When failed rockstar meets tired cricket writer. Once called Selfey “the best” when on national television. Well, paywall national television.
Walking – What bowlers think batsmen should do.
Ward, Ian – What started as a superior Nicholas, Mark act, rapidly turned into a player love-in, authority creeping, obsequious parody act of, well, Nicholas, Mark. Allowed Empty Suit, The to call him by his nickname, see Wardy, in a supposedly serious interview. Was, reportedly via Good Journalism, the only member of the media invited to an England team golf day.
Wardy – What Empty Suit, The calls Ward, Ian in a supposedly serious interview about the future of English cricket.
Warne, Shane – We were advised that he is interested in three things, and cricket now isn’t one of them. You can fill in the rest.
Warner, David – 1. The least convincing exponent of Crying. If anyone can pinpoint The Line, it would be David, but he’s sworn to secrecy or Conn, Malcolm might be upset. 2. A pariah who brought shame on the nation, and was shunned by management and players alike, with the prospect of no rehabilitation and recourse to the Australian cricket team. But after a spell of losing, brought back quicker than old recipe coca-cola….
Watson, Shane – Original purveyor of comedy DRS decisions. Handle now passed to Broad, Stuart
Whitaker, James – Former Chairman of Selectors and master of the on/off switch on a mobile phone. Ballance was his watchword. His defence mechanism. His one retort.
Wicketkeeping – An utter mystery to the vast majority of commentators, which doesn’t stop them talking bollocks about it, even after Ian Smith and Ian Healy have openly told them they’re talking bollocks about it.
Wilde, Simon – Has blocked your beloved founder, Old, Dmitri, and I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps it was because I was beastly to his good friend, Clarke, Giles (via “good journalism” we are given to believe they are good friends). Had dinner with TLG and had no memory of said blocking.
Wilson, Dean – Chief Cricket Correspondent at the Mirror – which is the equivalent of being the Chief Rubber Ring Inspector on the Lifeboats on the Woolwich Ferry. In an unrelated matter, the role of Chief Press Officer at the ECB has just become vacant. If he were interested, that would be a loss to the English Press Team, where Wilson carries more passengers than the Woolwich Ferry.
Wisden Cricketers Almanac – Annual publication, revered when we are in it, ignored when we are not.
Woakes, Chris – A cause of contention amongst fans who either think he’s bloody good or just a county trundler. Has blocked Sean on Twitter for no reason, hence why he thinks he’s the latter.
World Cup – If England does not win, will be replaced by Ashes as main target, and all mention of the four years previous being spunked up the wall will be locked into the Paul Downton Cupboard Under The Stairs.
World T20 Final (2016) – “Remember the Name” screams Ian Bishop. Fuck all chance of forgetting, because the Sky Cricket Channel has it on every day. As over-exposed as Morgan, Piers.
World Test Championship – A pipedream. Whenever someone says it is on its way, I think of this… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwk_epMblW4
YJB – Young Jonny Bairstow. He’s not that young any more.
Zafar Ansari – To do a Zafar is to be the cricketing version of the Mums and Kids. If you can’t keep an England international interested…..