The Ashes 2015 – Second Test Preview: There are spies everywhere


Thought I would go to the captain’s conferences today seeing I am living in Abbey Road which is very close to the ground.

What did I expect?   Nothing

What did I get?      Very little

It puzzles me why so much time, energy and costs are associated with an event that is as exciting as the America’s Cup. There would have been a media throng of some 60 people all gathered in expectation of nothing. Some even had the answers worked out before the questions were asked.

A question put to Michael Clarke re the composition of the team received the comment “I’m not a selector”. But the rest of his answer did evoke some merriment from the doting throng.

“There are spies everywhere, even in the bedroom,” he said (chortle, chortle from the audience). No doubt there will be a story somewhere tomorrow indicating that Clarkey either (a) has a camera strategically placed in the boudoir or there is someone in the cupboard.

With both captains there was about 22 minutes of nothing new only their minders getting anxious to finish what they would consider a mindless task.

All of the above reminds of the mindless questions that are asked at each match each week in the AFL.

Not only are the questions mindless but the answers could have been taped five years ago and the player or coach just has to hit a button to churn out the required answer.

At least Peter Siddle did answer in laid-back Vic country style in regard to Jimmy Anderson inviting the Australians in to their dressing room after the First Test in Cardiff. Quote: ‘You know what Jimmy is like”. Straight down the line, we know what Jimmy is like. Full of bullshit.

Of course both captains were asked the inevitable question about the composition of their teams.

We should have asked the team physios about Moeen Ali and Mitchell Starc. At least we would have got a professional answer.

In regards to the teams if I had have been asked I would have said.

England – “No change. Our 12th man will be picked from the best young fielder in the country no matter what level he is playing at.”

Australia – “Well unfortunately we have to make some changes but except for Starcie (Mitchell Starc) and Hadds (Brad Haddin) both unavailable we had to drop Watto (Shane Watson). His form has been shocking over the past three years and you press guys, you know something, you have been right but the pig-headed selectors don’t want to be beholden to a bunch of has-beens and never-beens.”

As Eliza Doolittle once said: “Wouldn’t that be luverly. Luverly.”

I rest my case. No correspondence please. Aussie changes – Mitch Marsh, Nevill, Siddle for the three going out.


Three things have come to my eyes in the last two days;-

  1. Funeral Director in Cardiff –   Stone & Ham
  2. Funeral Director in St.John’s Wood – J.H.Crook
  3. Watto (JTH will be pleased) only faced the net bowlers today. Say no more Rodney Marsh


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Betting on the Second Test (and 70+ other markets)

About Bob Utber

At 84 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he has always done since growing up on a small farm at Lang Lang. Talking, watching and writing sport and in recent years writing books. He lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny) and a groodle named 'Chloe on Flinders' and can be found at Deakin 27 every day.


  1. Peter Flynn says


    Who is carrying the oranges?

    If I was Cook, I’d have made reference to Gary Pratt.

    Lord’s is overrated.

    The Hollies Stand at Edgbaston. Now that has an atmosphere.

  2. Bob Utber says

    Not sure PJF
    Have been told it could be five of six but my bet is Charlie Callander from the Ricmond FC!

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