From The Desk (Unofficial) Of Vice Captain (Unofficial) Alastair Cook FEC
I’m writing to you from my unofficial office at the back of the changing room, which someone has helpfully written ‘FEC’ all over, as well as some messages in Afrikaans which I am sure are very supportive.
It’s flattering, but at the moment my job is just to help Straussy in any way I can. He says it’s important that I get a 50-odd and then get back in the dressing room sharpish “to try and keep the fellows from tearing each other limb from limb” and that’s what I aim to do.
There’s certainly a lot to take in as the new unofficial vice captain. I’ve been co-opted onto the prestigious ‘Excuses For Owais Shah’ committee, whose job is to think of reasons for leaving Owais out. I’m also on the ‘Sporting Chance Jolly Boys For The Future’ committee, because one of the great things about this team is that there are lads in it who look like they could be quality players for years to come. In the bowling department we’ve got the likes of Broady, and let’s not forget the batting, with players such as Broady.
A key element of our recent success has been continuity of selection, so I’ll sometimes be given a little task to ensure that we can continue with our tried-and-tested top six, such as poking Owais in the eye with a stick or telling Rob Key that doughnuts aren’t available abroad.
I just want to clear up one little matter that has raised its head in the dreaded media: there was no significance at all in my not being in the front row of the team photograph. Once I had got out of the cupboard Freddie had accidentally locked me in, after accidentally picking me up and stuffing me in, I was just in time for the photo and it didn’t seem worth turfing one of the older lads out of a seat, especially when they told me I’d be singing treble for the rest of my life if I tried it! Great banter!
For leadership (unofficial) tips, I’ve been reading one of my favourite books: ‘Graham Gooch’s The Art Of Captaincy’ (Keith Fletcher Press, price negotiable) which is full of useful hints about getting the lads into line. I’m slightly worried that I may have injured Ryan Sidebottom by making him run round the outfield 400 times before breakfast but, as Goochie always says, if you can’t run a marathon in lead diving boots while punching yourself in the face, you shouldn’t be playing cricket.
Alan Tyers is not holding the microphone