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Ashes humour at it's Punchy Best.
on 13 June 2013
The opening line of the introduction to this short, very amusing book is 'If it wasn't for sport, what would we actually do with our lives?' I quoted this on a gathering of my three suffering mature daughters and my wife. Their reply would put Allan Border and Rodney Marshs' sledging into the second division. This book is about the rivalry between the personalities who fight for the 'Ashes' on and off the pitch. Compiler Gershon Portnoi has drawn from sources that reflect both the animosity and often humorous confrontations between Australia and England.
Some may be familiar but still raise a smile. I was particularly taken by Warwickshire leg-spinner Eric Hollies taunted by 'Don't they bury their dead in Birmingham?'. No, he replied, "We stuff them and mark them "Export Only". Umpire Dickie Bird being berated by an irate drunken spectator taking players off the pitch because of the weather. Bird looked at the man before replying, " No, Sir. It's lunchtime."
This is a collection of tales that take the reader through the story of the ashes from behind the scenes. A wonderful collation of rivalry with words from the greats, Botham, Ponting, Border, Trueman, Gower, Merv Hughes, Tufnell and more. Enough fuel for debate. It's not all about taches , it's about a wonderful game full of incident. The ripostes to verbal abuse are wonderful. 2001, the Oval, Mark Waugh asked tailender Jimmy Ormond, "...You're not good enough to play for England? "Maybe not", replied Ormond, "But at least I'm the best player in my family". This split the Australians into fits of laughter. Warne couldn't bowl, Gilchrist had to excuse himself, even Mark Waugh was laughing. English decorum. Long may it, and the rivalry continue. A superb book that lends itself to repeat reading. A veritable gem. Can't wait for the series.