Ashes Writers: Your Almanac Needs You

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Invers Writes: Name your Ashes Line-up

I have long admired the sporting acumen of Almanackers, so I make a special call in this hour of Australian cricket’s greatest need.  My fellow selectors (Jack Ryder, Andrew Hilditch and I) need your daily advice on what our team is doing right and wrong.

ashes poms winners

Don’t let this happen again!

Frankly we have no idea, as I notice you have all been generously pointing out consistently over the last decade.  So Jack, Andy and I have put together our suggestions for the Almanac team to advise us over the Gabba Test:

Day 1 – Thursday 21/11

John Harms – The Almanac skipper is not taking a back seat down the order, like that spineless pretty boy that we are stuck with.  Harms has already volunteered to take writing duties from the first ball on Day One.

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Harms reports from the Gabba press box.

Smokie Dawson – As selectors we were impressed with Smokie’s performance in the Old Dart during the winter.  He was the only bloke we know who outscored Dave Warner in the damp conditions of English pubs.

Day 2 – Friday 22/11

Sean Curtain – Every team needs someone who looks good standing still, but consistently fails to deliver on the big stage.  Perhaps Sean can suggest what we do with Watto?

Luke Reynolds – None of us can stand “Pup”, but he is our most consistent cricketing performer.  We would be a shambles without “Pup”, much like Almanac Cricket without Luke.

Day 3 – Saturday 23/11

Tony Roberts – Tony’s leggies remind us of Steve Smith, but they are both strong performers in the middle order.

E.Regnans – Is this bloke named after a gum tree or the Queen Mother?  No matter, he has been the most promising debutant for the Almanac in recent times.  Perhaps he could give us some advice on George Bailey, who also debuts at 31.

Day 4 – Sunday 24/11

PJ Flynn – You need a wise old head behind the stumps.  And lining up first thing on a Sunday morning after the boys have had a big Saturday night trying to forget the first 3 days, needs a steady hand and a clear head.  Hadds and Flynny have both had as many farewell tours as Johnny Farnham, so I know we can rely on them.

Peter B – We are thinking of someone wildly unreliable and inaccurate to come in at 8.  Preferably he has lived in every State, but now calls Perth home.  Can the Avenging Eagle spare Peter B for the day?

almanac correspondents

Shandy the Wonder Dog assists PB with Almanac editing.

Day 5 – Monday 25/11 – Don’t worry that it’s a work day.  Put your hand up anyway.  We think that it’s 100/1 that we’ll need anyone by then.  Just in case it rains early on in the Test.

Andrew Starkie – Straight up and down.  Never wavers.  Why does that remind me of Sidds?

Mickey Randall – We need someone as strong as an ox, who can mix it up a bit, and drink lots of XXXX to open the bowling.  Is Rhino Randall up for it?

Rulebook Ashwood – A tireless, flighty off-spinner from Adelaide to finish off the line-up perhaps.  Hope he brings the lyric sheet for ‘Under the Southern Cross’ with him as we have all forgotten the words.

ashes aussie losers

The guilty party.  I am sure you can help us do better this series.

Look, these are only just suggestions.  We are so desperate at Cricket Australia that we would take advice from Litza or T-Bone when they are released.  Cookie has been on the long term injury list with Patto, but we hope to see both of them back sometime in the series.  The Irish cricket team just got knocked off by PNG, so it would be humiliating to ask Dips for advice.  We do need fresh blood so perhaps Iron Mike could be persuaded to take the pickaxe out of St Kilda’s head and stick it into the Poms for a change.

We’ll try anything, so all Almanackers (new and old) are welcome to put pen to paper and publish their views on the upcoming Ashes Tests.

No matter if the line-ups suggested above doesn’t suit you, nominate your own availability.  As you all commented during the English summer, we just put all the names in a hat, and bat in the order they come out.

Jack, Handy Andy and I need fresh ideas so we are relying on the Almanac for this series.  At least you blokes are entertaining and will keep us awake while Cook and Trott bat.  And we don’t have to check the Concise Oxford every second line, like when we try to understand Gideon’s guff.

Your country needs you, and so do we.


Invers (on behalf of the Cricket Australia selectors)



  1. Luke Reynolds says

    Happy with day 2 Invers, looking forward to batting with Sean.

    Shandy’s doing a great job.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    It’s my duty to volunteer my services for my country I am also available to bowl when
    Watto breaks down or , Mitch gets upset by his mother in law and bowls his left arm serve yourself smorgasbord

  3. I’m sitting out this test on account of punching Joe Root in the ovaries during a Saturday night out at Cloudland in Fortitude Valley

  4. Invers, with the annual Severe Weather Season commencing last week in Queensland, I’ll also be on the lookout for hailstones the size of billiard balls and Dorothy & Toto -style storms.
    Not the conditions for staid conservancy.
    Day 3 fits the bill.
    e.regnans, right arm over, right hand bat

  5. I will need to dig out my pads and gloves.
    Can someone lend me a bat?

  6. Luke and I, match made in heaven.

    I’ll nurdle a leg bye off the first ball of each over, leaving the short stuff to him.

  7. I’ll do my best Invers. On day 2 I’m going to a mate’s place with about 12 other blokes to “watch the cricket” and have a BBQ. Will be huge. Not sure what I will recollect.

  8. I’m flying to Perth on Nov 24 and will not see much.

    I’m a Watto for this Test.

    Put me down for Day 5 in Adelaide. I’ll be there.


  9. Perth??? Should I prepare a bed, and tell Shandy to put his earplugs in?
    Regards to Wing Commander Chappy.

  10. mickey randall says

    Unlikely to escape Changi (airport/prison) until the third Test, when I’m back on home dirt. Just like Watto, I’m sure that others can do some thinking and cricketing for me.

  11. Who’d want to be a selector?
    Litza has done a Warner and is in the slammer.
    Rhino Randall is injury prone as always and up to his neck in XXXX and Tiger Beer.
    Flynn has left us without a keeper, and our normal backup Matthew Wade has joined Litza up the river for using a hoe on a Shield pitch. Bloody Victorians.
    The top order looks OK:
    Day 1 – Harms and Smokie
    Day 2 – Luke and Sean
    Day 3 – E.Regnans
    I’m thinking of shuffling the batting order for the last 2 days.
    Rulebook can you keep? We’ll give you Day 4 if that works with your schedule.
    I’ll keep my best Slasher McKay and Lindsay Kline for a Day 5 rearguard action, and hold up the rear for the Knackery.
    Thanks for your support.

  12. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Invers I have done a Watto and having knee surgery , Thursday come to think of it
    Watto is due for some of that ! So Invers I will be in , RICE on day , 4 and prepared to report for the , Knackery

  13. Andrew Else says

    Can do day 4

  14. Malcolm Ashwood says

    RICE as in rest ice compression elevation Invers available at your beck and call
    Let me no which day you require , Mr Chairman of selectors

  15. Welcome aboard AE. Day 4 it is. Many thanks.
    I am not sure if my omitting you from my first call was a fear of the many unkind things I have written about your footy team in the last year; or whether I sub consciously fear the Avenging Eagle when I list your initials.
    Rulebook – Day 4 it is for you also. Hope the pain you feel Sunday comes from your knee and not the score at the Test.
    If anyone else feels inspired by events at the Gabba over the weekend, feel free to write. We will publish anything non-libellous.

  16. Andrew Else says

    I’d be a mute PB, I’d be a mute

  17. Ahh, sorry skipper, I’m a late withdrawal.
    My regular job has an emergency response aspect to it, and unfortunately, I’ve been called in to work in Hobart for the duration of Day 3 (and Day 2 and Day 4).
    Can anyone else cover Day 3 for the Knackers..? Looking forward to reading about it.

  18. E II R,
    M Clarke and the top order read your post and collapsed in sympathy. Day 3 no longer required.
    We will allocate by session for the next Test so everyone gets a go.
    “Australia – a nation with more good cricket writers than cricketers”.

  19. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Day 3 The pomms bat to a big lead and aust bat in the last session being , 3 down at stumps sliding towards a inevitable defeat , Done ok , Invers ?

  20. You can do Saturday Rulebook. Write it tomorrow, your scenario sounds right. I’ll put it up Saturday arvo before I go to golf.
    Saves time.

  21. Emergency call from Invers,
    Like E Regnans the Australian top order were called away early this morning, and they will not be back for the weekend.
    Sean – forget the write up tomorrow. I remember your articles about availability for call up at the top of the order. Pack the creams and get yourself to Tullamarine. We need you at #3, so as long as you arrive by tea time on Day 3 is fine. Poms could bat until Wednesday, but I’m guessing they’ll declare around then,
    Any other volunteers? Don’t be shy, you’ll have a more attractive career highlights tape than G Bailey.

  22. PB

    Bag packed, Cab is on its way, wearing my brown undies too.

    Now, I’ll just need to shoot a few KFC and Rexona ads on the way and I’ll fit straight in


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