The Professionals win

Cricket isn’t a funny game, it’s a sadistic torture that we enjoy because each and every one of us is sick and wrong.

I’ve been out here for weeks, and the feeling I have is more like being a prison bitch than a sport fan.

Kept away from my wife, sharing a room with various men, hardly drinking or sleeping, watching my back so I don’t get shivved, and knowing that even when I get out, I’m always going to be affected.

I can imagine my grand-kids being apprehensive in years to come, “should we ask, I mean, he still has nightmares about Alastair Cook”.

It’s not the losing I mind, it’s how long it all takes.  That’s what makes cricket such a great game, in other sports, the band aid gets ripped off.  In cricket, they keep you alive for as long as they can, they cut your toes off, slice your calf off, put your genitals in a blender, get flesh eating ants inside your thigh, show you your intestines, put your arms in a wood chopper, cut your tongue and and sick it up your ass then back to your mouth, draw and quarter you, dip random bits of your body in acid, make you listen to Christmas Carols and keep your conscious during all of it.  Cricket never cuts your eyes out, though. It keeps them in, you have to watch all of this, for weeks on end, your body just being abused and damaged for the pleasure of others, it is why we love it. It’s why I’m still in the ground, seeing England run around for the fans. Seeing Cook one last damn time.   So much Cook.  Every day.

This series, Cook was the blender.

Perhaps with better pitches and cricketers, it wouldn’t feel this long, but from Xavier Doherty on in, I knew this was going to be a long hard road.

England aren’t a brilliant team yet, they’re just really good at what they do.  This means you don’t see the most amazing entertaining cricket of your life, you just see a team that executes it skillsets, a lot. What makes them good is not necessarily what gets you excited about cricket.  If they’re your team, you don’t care how they win, but for the rest of us, Australians and everyone else, this was a long series, filled with well drilled quick singles and bowling units combining.

Australia were the entertaining part of this series as their comedy ineptitude on and off the field has kept us all wanting more.  They showed just enough talent on the field at certain times that set up the laughs for later.   They don’t trust technology or each other.  They just kept building brick walls and running into them.

England won. Quite fucken rightly.

They deserve all the plaudits and credit that others will write.

Sometimes you do the Ashes, sometimes the Ashes do you.


32 thoughts on “The Professionals win

  1. knowledge_eater says:

    If it wasn’t for Swanny no-one would have noticed Poms, you get that right JRod.

    I mean look at on Aus. side entertainment way –> Watson – yes, Katich – no, Punter–> Yeh, Uz – Yeh, Clarke –> Sure, Hussey –> yeh, Haddin –> nope, X – yes, Smith – yes, Beer – yes, Mitch –> yeah, Dougy – sure, Hiffy – nope, Siddle – mm well hatric thing, So, in short subconsciously people were more interested in what Oz’s were going to do or how they are gonna fuck it up even more than what England were doing it what they were suppose to be doing it. Thanks to WACA Dr. help. Otherwise it was clean sweep. It would have been even longer series mentally.

    England’ Swann gimmicks out side of field have been only entertaining part and KP’s ego in Adelaide that’s about it. Sorry, It might have sounded like hypocritical from JRod’s wrod or his defense mechanism working behind Aus’ fuck up and claiming them more entertaining side but Aus. were the entertaining side, that’s the truth.

    NOW next big question is: Would Australia pick the right players? or Stay entertaining wrong way and let them fuck up even more?

    P.S. I was supporting Aus. so I might have been sounding hypocritical as well. But, I was neutral fan for both sides anyway.

  2. hi says:

    take some rest did a good job covering the ashes. too bad your team lost but at least colly retired and spared us the low backlift.

  3. Wes ~PFCNFS~ says:

    “Kept away from my wife”

    saved your marriage perhaps!

  4. golandaaz says:

    I hope England get drunk with this success and make Darren Gough their coach. As much as I liked Australia losing I can’t stand England go delusional with success for long

    Your blog provided more excitement than the Ashes after the Perth test.

    3 losses by an innings, is this an Ashes record?

  5. Rachel says:

    Yep spot-on as usual jrod. My English friends were right puzzled this morning when I asked, isn’t the comedy cricket over yet?? Thought I should be hurting deeply not laughing. Then I hurt their feelings on the day of glory by suggesting the one thing as yet missing from the Andy Flower World Domination Playstation System is entertainment. Apparently Matt Prior’s hundred yesterday was Gilly-esque but we got a bit stuck after that.

    So jrod we must ask you for a verdict here. Which great entertainer of the past Australian empire did IR Bell remind you of in this series..

  6. spark says:

    Does Christmas Carlos bowl SLA (for NSW)???

  7. Nick says:



  8. Max says:

    “Sometimes you do the Ashes, sometimes the Ashes do you.”

    Classic line, and classic piece, jrod!

  9. namya says:

    JRod how can the unsung commentary teams of both channel 9 and sky be forgotten in all this entertainment jamboree? The highlight of the series was the supposed bust up between Chappelli and Botham.. Cant think of any other event which comes a close second even..

  10. Pete says:

    Rest assured fellow Australians, CA are doing a review. Phew!

  11. anonymous says:

    You should have covered the far more exciting series in South Africa

  12. just hope that this is not the beginning of one sided ashes series for the next few years….

  13. Rusty says:

    Spot on mate, well put!

    Thanks for a sensational coverage of the Ashes – sorry it took so much out of you. I certainly can relate to that feeling – but with sleep deprevation.

    Also, the “2 pricks” thing with Sam was absolutely brilliant, hope there is something like that going on with you two during the English summer.

  14. Chris Weston says:

    The Australian selection panel has been the golden comedy thread running through this and the 2009 series. They’ve haven’t known how to permutate their several bowlers to get one useful attack since Cardiff. Depending on the alignment of the planets, Mitch is either the best bowler in world cricket or the worst, and if he’s the latter, how can two seamers and one of the various untrusted spinners carry the attack while he sorts himself out?

    The tangle that Hilditch and his merry men have got themselves into over the need to fit 12 men into an 11 man side has been fantastically amusing and has hobbled the side, which is not untalented, but it is unfit for purpose right now.

  15. Max says:

    You can be funny, jrod…but you’ve got nothing on Hilditch!

    “I take responsibility for doing the best job I can possible for Australian cricket,” …”I think we’ve done a very good job as a selection panel.”

  16. Toby G says:

    To say that this is the worst Australian team does not do the 3-1 win justice. Remember in 2009 (if I’ve got this right) we beat them in a tight 5 match series with Katich, Watson, Clarke, Hughes, Ponting, Hussey, North, Haddin, Johnson, Hilfenhaus and Siddle ….. only Hauritz is the missing player from that series …. most of that side have played some, if not all of this series

    and you won in SA.

    So really, this is a case of the English side becoming better, much better, beating a good Aussie side who are playing poorly throughout the series.. at home.

    Chris W is right, not untalented, but unfit for purpose against a very good England side

  17. wolf says:

    The elephant in the room that no journo has the balls to question is the contract system employed by Cricket Australia.
    Take a look at this page:
    With the exception of Greg Chappell’s random hook-ups at a bus stop if the player isn’t on that page he won’t be playing for the country until the next round of contracts are issued.
    This is an insane way to manage your team, especially for a home series. You have batsmen like Chris Lynn and Mark Cosgrove and bowlers like Chris Swann and Trent Copeland who have been ripping up the Australian domestic scene but they don’t get a look in.
    There is also the problem that once players are on the ‘way out’ of the contract system (such as Hauritz or S.Marsh) the selectors wont wont to put them in the team.
    I understand that sport is a business but this also needs to apply to player performance. I’d love to see the selection committee sit down with Ricky and discuss his KPI’s (batting average). I would start the conversation with “We expect you to be here and instead you are sitting here below Peter Siddle. Do you have anything to say for yourself?”.
    I have no idea what the solution would be – maybe put all domestic cricketers outside the ‘core’ team on a $1 retainer with per match fees plus a bonus if they play for the national team during a 12 month period? Selecting your squad 12 months in advance clearly isn’t working.

  18. warlock says:

    Despite their current travails, Australian cricket can feel proud of their multicultural achievements, boasting a Pakistan-born batsman and an Iraqi Information Minister.

    Currently, their test team has OK cricketers, but no intimidators. Shane Watson huffs and puffs, but, you know the rest. The sad old homunculus still answering to the name “Ricky Ponting” is a spent wick. Clarke, if not spent, is sputtering. North only intimidates those who bet on him to score above 10. There’s no clear leader amongst the bowling attack – it should be Mitchell Johnson, but his mugshot sits alongside “mercurial” in the dictionary.

    England don’t really have intimidators either, but they’re far more used to this situation.

  19. Emskie says:

    Thankfully the pain is over for another 8 months. As we won’t be playing any test cricket till August. If Hilditich is still around doing a ‘very good job’ selecting, we can look forward to another series of gut wrenching disappointments, …at least the next lot will only be 3 matches long.
    Dean Jones thinks we haven’t hit rock bottom yet. God help us!
    Maybe its because we’re currently an average side that was beaten by a very good team. So I guess when we’re shit we can expect to lose to New Zealand more often. I guess that really would be rock bottom!!

  20. Piss says:

    Agree jarod it fucking hurts a lot.If it was tea making sri lankans or match fixing pakis or chocking saffas or curry consuming indians or even sheep chasing kiwis i can bare…But losing to soap dodging poms…Jeez that hurt

  21. Adrian says:

    Jesus fucken Christ. Hilditch is an absolute arseclown: ‘we did a very good job’???? What distended bowel was that man born from? The treatment of Hauritz, the picking of Hughes when he was out of form in state cricket, the ridiculous selections of Dougherty and Beer, the treatment of Bollinger before the start of the series, the list goes on and on. How is that even halfway competent? We need a clearout: coaches, selectors, players. Just shit. No more denial, no more crap about being ‘in transition’ etc. This team has been pretty stable since the start of 2007, and they’ve gone backwards in every department. Congrats to England, very well played, and from the start of the tour. But really, was this the best we could do? Fuck fuck fuck.

  22. Adrian says:

    I forgot to say, jrod, you and Sam were brilliant. Wonderful coverage, and about the only thing to look forward to. More please.

  23. Sunny says:

    pup and punter were having a vigorous discussion at the start of the day. any idea what that was all about?

    btw absolutely top draw work on two pricks. get bumble next time!

  24. Howe Zat says:

    No coincidence that I immediately thought of this post

    Flower for MOTS.

  25. Rachel says:

    Sunny – Pup and Punter’s discussion on the balcony was about what Pup needed to say at the presentation and press conference. “I’m still the vice captain” and “There’s a lot of talent in our change room”. Punter also had the same chat with Hilditch and Teflon Tim and told them what to say. They followed the boss to the letter, just like they do on selections and training. Ricky runs that team and he’s burned out doing it. Yet he wants more. Definition of insanity. Unless he has an incredibly good World Cup which is highly unlikely, it’s over.

    The other one who needs to call time or have it called on him is MG Johnson. He’s so poor most of the time it demoralises the rest of them and being a matchwinner one Test in ten doesnt compensate. I saw Stuart Clark write that “Johnson is good for the team”. You’re smoking what Sarf???

  26. elflojo84 says:

    Hey Jrod, one of the many joys of this Ashes series have been Two Pricks at the Ashes, through which I was pleased to discover this blog. Been reading since the start of the series without commenting, thanks for the gigles and well done on staying gracious in ignominious defeat. I only wish I could say I’ve been so gracious in crushing, humiliating victory, but I haven’t. But ocassionally the odd Aussie has managed to be so pleasant about it that I at least feel a little bit bad after I’ve laughed in his face, done a sprinkler and chanted “you’re shit, and you know you are” at him for ten minutes. I’m glad to say you are one of those Aussies.

    You have the right idea about taking positives in the form of hilarious comedy ineptitude. We the English know better than anyone, that when things are going badly you have to find something to laugh about, otherwise you cry. That’s why God in his infinite wisdom and mercy gave us Phil Tuffnel; in your case, it looks like he decided to give you Mitchell’s Johnson – and who wouldn’t want Mitchell’s Johnson? Treasure it well, and never forget to laugh at him.

    Chin up


  27. Christopher says:

    Agree with Elflojo84 totally. This whole ‘winning and being quite good’ thing is totally new on me and whilst I didn’t enjoy losing the 3rd test it did give me a more familiar feeling which I took a perverse pleasure in. Australia will be good again some day so enjoy being shit and not taking yourselves seriously whilst it lasts.

    Great coverage of the series as always & loved the two pricks videos, hopefully you and Sam will work together again, you’re may favourite couple who may or may not be sleeping together.

  28. yenjvoy says:

    There is an unwritten compact in Cricket – kick Pommy ass as much as possible. Having a weak ide against them should never be an excuse. For example, the Paki side makes their stay miserable by denying them beer or liquor of any sort, and the Bongs try to do their bit by attacking them with killer traffic and dysentery. The Indians have risen above delhi-belly attacks but made it a point to keep their part of the bargain by beating the Poms consistently through the cunning use of Yuvraj Singh and denial of IPL cash. Sehwag kept Collingwood riding the bench for an entire IPL season to give us a precursor of Collingwood’s inevitable retirement, while Kumble proved KP’s utter unsuitability for captaincy of any sort in the most emphatic way possible during IPL II. The Sri Lankans have used spin on dustbowls to keep the Poms in line. Zimbabwe tried Cholera for a while before the Poms refused to play. Afghans have used bullets, IEDs and rockets effectively. Even West Indies did their bit by using a fat Texan to attack the Poms’ secret weapon – the WAGs. The Saffers and the Australians have been utterly disappointing in this regard. They are the Lando Kalrissian in the fight against the Empire. The Poms will be insufferable now, until the Indians let Yuvi lose among them again later in the year. How could you, Australia?

  29. steve says:

    Poms as no. 1? Insufferable, mind-numbing boredom of endless Cook and Bell centuries. It’ll be the death of cricket.

    Everyone used to say that the Australian team was killing Test cricket by world domination. At least it was total wipeout. England will just suffocate the opposition to death.

    And if that fails, they’ll take incessant toilet breaks, one by one, til the umpires, in despair of ever getting theirs, will declare a draw.

  30. Steve, surely when it comes to boredom, that Saffers that you are thinking off?

    Although I’ll give you the toilet break one!

    And do you really think Cook will keep on scoring centuries? He’s just had 10 years worth in 7 weeks, that’s it!

  31. steve says:


    I know everyone bags the Saffers for tedium, but Steyn is more exciting, Kallis is more monumental and the team more subject to sudden implosion than anything England can offer. Not even a beard like Amla’s. They’re a bunch of almost nonentites. A “nation of grocers”. The only x factor in the English side is KP – a Saffer (born).

    As for Cook, let’s hope not. It’s like watching a cow chewing it’s cud.

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