Enough is enough – end Test cricket’s weather rorts
The masterminds behind Australia's upcoming Ashes campaign (AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK).
OK. I’ve had enough. I am a proud Australian and I am not going to stand idly by while my country’s reputation is besmirched by dubious tactics and unethical chicanery. This ends now.
We stayed calm and carried on after Stuart Broad pretended that the ball had deflected to slip off a passing seagull.
We let it slide when England bought up the entire northern hemisphere supply of silicone tape.
We even shrugged and smiled graciously as the umpires lustily sang God Save The Queen before each over and started to give batsmen out ‘Australian Before Wicket’.
But things have gone beyond the pale. The fact is that in this Ashes series just completed, every time Australia gained a match-winning advantage, the heavens opened.
When the Aussies struggled at Lord’s, the skies stayed blissfully clear, charming English summer days time after time.
But get to Old Trafford and see the baggy greens build a big lead, and oh look, here comes the rain.
And so the Ashes were retained, and with the confidence thus instilled, the Fourth Test was won (probably thanks to Broad rubbing Nutella on the ball or something), and Australia strove for a consolation victory at The Oval. And it was looking good, wasn’t it?
Watson a hundred, Smith a hundred, Australia on top…
Oh look, what a surprise. A whole day washed out.
Do we really think this is a coincidence anymore? Really? It’s not even new – England has been pulling this scam for years.
In 1997 Glenn McGrath skittled them at Lord’s, only to have the clouds move in and drop their sinister bundle.
The history of the Ashes is basically a saga of Australia being denied natural justice by the unethical English climate.
It stops now. We’ve got to stop tap-dancing around the big soggy elephant in the room: England is doing this on purpose.
It has to be. It can’t be a coincidence. Are we supposed to ignore the convenient arrival of precipitation whenever victory looks probable?
Are we supposed to disregard the fact that the English team always seems to have an umbrella whenever it’s needed?
Are we supposed to just pretend we didn’t see Ian Bell carrying around an enormous packet of silver iodide in Manchester?
What’s it going to take before we wake up – discovery of the lasers underneath Edgbaston?
Fact is, England is going against, if not the letter of the laws of cricket, at least the spirit, surely?
I can’t imagine that when cricket was invented all those years ago by Henry Parkes and WG Grace, that they planned a game that could so easily be disrupted by advanced weather-altering technology.
It needs to be stamped out, and fast. The ICC needs to act and put in place measures to ensure that cricket stops being the laughing stock of world sport, and the natural criminal instincts of the average English cricketer do not profit them.
Firstly, eliminate rain delays from the rules. From now on, we play through rain. They do it in rugby league, they do it in guerrilla war, I don’t see why we can’t do it in cricket. Oh, it’s dangerous?
Harden up little girls, this is a man’s game. If mud is good enough for naked women to wrestle in, it’s good enough for elite professional athletes to hit balls in.
And it shouldn’t really be a problem anyway, because the next step will be to institute harsh penalties for any country found guilty of having bad weather during a Test match.
A first offence will bring a fine, but more than one rain incident in a game will automatically incur a 50-run penalty. If there are five or more incidents, the number four batsman will be kneecapped.
Finally, every cricket ground in the world will be required to have a roof built over it. No roof, no play.
This will prevent skin cancer too. Win-win.
So there you go. That’s the new world of test cricket, and England had better get with the program if they want to avoid my proposal to play all future Ashes series in Dubai. They’ve only got themselves to blame. They poked the bear once too often.
We are Australian, and we are not going to put up with this disgusting imperial weather-tampering.
If these changes are not implemented immediately, I suggest we secede from the ICC and begin our own rebel cricketing organisation, playing against our Pacific Island neighbours and assorted local schools for the blind.
Then they’ll be sorry.
Ben Pobjie is a writer & comedian writing on The Age, New Matilda and The Roar, whose promising rugby career was tragically cut short. The most he has ever cried was the day Balmain lost the 1989 grand final. Today he enjoys the frolics of Wallabies, Swans, baggy greens, and Storms. He's currently preparing for a tilt at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival title with his show 'Trigger Warning', though there may or may not be a title involved.