The ashes

December 06, 2017

THE following humorous letter has been endorsed by my editor.

Do not attempt in your own workplace, unless of course your boss has a good sense of humour.

Dear boss,

I am writing to you today to seek your permission to engage in the great Australian tradition of listening to the cricket at my desk throughout the summer.

We live in dangerous times as cricket fans.

For all the fear, trepidation and danger that falls upon us in the world, there is no greater horror than the one we currently face.

The Poms.

Truly, mankind has never known a greater enemy than that of the English cricket team.

Since Unaarrimin, also known as Johnny Mullagh, led the Sport Australia Hall of Fame inducted Indigenous team that toured England in 1868, we as a nation have fought the English on all of the great fields of sporting war.

We have taken on the old enemy in rugby, league, soccer, darts (probably) and of course in our greatest rivalry, on the cricket field.

We caused their greatest sporting indignity with the victory in 1882 on British soil, sparking one of the greatest sporting rivalries in the world.

And we have faced the horrifying reality of being physically and mentally disintegrated at the hands of the most hated Englishman to ever step foot on Australian soil — Douglas Jardine and his Bodyline team.

But we have seen the best of our nation as well.

The demon Fred Spofforth in the early days, our finest cricketer The Don, sides of the 1960s led by the great Victorian W.M Lawry, the 1989 series where AB brought Australian cricket back from the brink and two 5-0 wins led by two all time greats — Ricky Ponting guiding his charges to the first whitewash in 70 years, followed by the one man wrecking crew Mitchell Johnson with a point to prove to the Poms.

More than just sport, our national identity is entwined with that sacred little urn.

So sacred it is to so many, you can see the replica sitting next to my desk in our office.

This year, due in part to an average middle order and a seemingly endless set of questionable selections by the panel (I wrote this before the first test, give me a break), the confidence of the Australian public is dangerously low.

This is why they need me.

We need to be energised, we need to be active in our support.

What better way to energise the Riv office than having me occasionally groaning at a play and miss?

The occasional screams of ‘‘shot’’ or a Bill Lawry ‘‘got ‘im yes!’’ every wicket that falls.

Who wouldn’t want that around?

Frankly, it is my responsibility as an Australian to keep the office morale up by engaging them in the fine art of second hand reactions to the cricket.

Television is great, getting to actually watch what is happening is fantastic.

But getting to hear someone explain that to you is just so much better.

Even better, me explaining what has just been explained.

Doesn’t really get much better than this.

Thank you in advance,


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