Dom Joly: Ponting dressed up as Ned Kelly? The Aussies really are running out of ideas

'I agree that it would be good television but I think that the armour would be a little impractical and I'm not sure it's in the rules'
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The Independent Online

Oh what a joy to have been in Australia as their cricketing heritage collapsed around them. While in the jungle I tried desperately to find out what the Test score was – nobody would tell me but it soon became obvious that things weren't good, as the Aussie camera crew looked more depressed than usual. Once out of the camp and ensconced in the Versace Hotel I spent a fabulous couple of days watching the Adelaide Test and occasionally leaning out of my window and asking a passing Aussie what the score was. When they professed not to know, I told them – this, plus unlimited room service, was about as close to heaven as I have been able to reach on this mortal coil.

I was clever enough not to forget my phone-tapping machine when I packed for the experience so I was soon able to tune into all that stuff. After a while I hit pay-dirt – I got to listen in on an Aussie selectors' conference call yesterday; they are clearly considering all options.

"Thanks all for getting together for this, I know some of you are busy buying tiny shorts for Christmas but we're going to be strung up the tree ourselves if we don't get this together .... My idea is to scrap the current team completely and start again from scratch."

"Good idea..."

"Fair dinkum..."


"Right, well let's get cracking – I need some ideas, names, anything..."

"How about bringing Dennis Lillee back, mate?"

"How old is he now?"

"He's 61 but he's looking good on it. I saw him bowl an over in a Fosters charity oldies game and he looked all right for an old bloke..."

"Good idea, but I think we need more than all right at the mo..."

"Well what about Warnie?"

"Is he fit?"

"He's never been fit in his life so no difference there. His hair seems to have grown back so he actually looks a little younger and you know the crowds would love it..."

"What's his personal situation – I don't want angry Sheilas running on and spoiling things?"

"I think he's all right in that department."

"Let's consider it ... anybody else?"

"If we're going to go left-field why not bring on Ricky Ponting but dress him up as Ned Kelly with the metal armour and helmet... the crowd would go mental..."

"I agree that it would be good television but I think that the armour would be a little impractical and I'm not sure if it's in the rules?"

"He could wield Lillee's old aluminium bat."

"That is illegal so let's think somewhere else boys."

"How about, and stay with me on this one, how about we get Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, put some whites on the big roo and send him out, he might even knock out a couple of their guys and even it up a little."

"Sorry ... who are you?"

"Uuhhmm... I was trying to get through to Pete's Pie Shop and must have got a crossed line. I'd be lying If I told you I hadn't had a few today."

"Right, we all need to redial in and lose this joker ..."

"Everyone back on now?"

"Yes, mate..."

"Yes, mate..."


"Oh for Christ's sake can we sort this out – we need to make a decision here..."

"Can I make a suggestion, Brucie?"

"Sure, anything, Warren – what's on your mind?"

"Well, wouldn't it be better if we reconvened this at a bar... my throat's as dry as a rat's arse, mate..."

"Can we take this seriously please – we're about to have our arses kicked by the Poms and all you blokes can think about is an all-day-sucker."

"I've got an idea..."


"Why don't we set up some sort of elite sporting academy so that good young cricketers can be spotted early, taken away from their families and trained up to be super-warriors of the holy oval ready to rain down destruction on the Poms?

"We ... already do that mate..."

"Really ... so what happened?"

"I'm buggered if I know mate but maybe we should take them away from the family earlier – at the moment they are allowed 10 years at home – maybe we should start thinking about starting them at four?"

"None of this helps us right now though."

"Why don't we just call a sickie? We can just call the Poms and say that everyone has a bad stomach bug and can we call the whole thing a draw and do it again next time?"

"Who said that?"

"Sorry, it's the Pete's Pie Shop bloke again – I'm just messing with you guys.."

"Mum .... mum, is that you?"