My phone rings.
“Hi mum!” I say. “How are you this mor—“
“Don’t ramble, Owais dear. Is Belly there?” she says. “Grandma wanted to check that he got the hamper we sent him. And the dog wants to say hello.”
“Oh cool, put him on,” I say. “Who’s a boy? Who’s a boy? How are you, boy?”
The dog growls. Mum comes back on the phone.
“Not to you, to Belly,” says mum. “Chop-chop.”
I go into the dressing room. The guys are all sitting round, eating the hamper.
“Owais is really pushing hard for a go on this delicious cold chicken,” says Straussy with his mouth full.
“But unfortunately we’ve eaten it all,” says Collingwood. “It looked like I weren’t going to get a piece but I’ve just snucked in at the last moment and grabbed my chance with both hands. It weren’t pretty, but it were necessary.”
“He’s very much the man in possession,” shouts Cook. “Of the chicken! Straussy! Straussy! I done a bonding!”
Cook runs off to write it down in his Big Book Of Leadership Credentials. As he passes me in the doorway, he tries to poke me in the eye again. He misjudges it.
“Is there anything left?” I say.
“Absolutely,” says Straussy. “You’re very much part of this hamper, Owais old boy. Look, there’s a pickled beetroot left and a packet of Wine Gums.”
“Sorry,” says Flintoff. “I’ve had them.”
“Oh,” says Straussy. “Well, a bit of beetroot then – can’t say fairer than that, eh? I’m afraid Belly’s had a bit of a chew on it.”
“It looked great to start with but then I just lost interest and threw it away,” says Belly.
“Thanks a lot guys,” I say. “I suppose, as official 12th man, I’d better tidy up.”
“That’s alright Owais,” says KP. “I’ll clean up all their mess. Again.”
As recorded by Alan Tyers’ wiretap