Third Test – Day 4: What have the Romans ever done for us? (The English team as Life of Brian)

Scene: The English Dressing room. Change of innings, England are chasing 500 and needing to bat for 5 sessions. Cook (played here by John Cleese as Reg, the leader of the People’s Front of Judea) is holding court in front of his team on why they can still salvage the series.

brian team meeting Team Meeting

Reg: Come on boys. We’re just as good as the Aussies! They fear us! They’re crumbling under the pressure. South Africa made over 400 here, Greatbatch lasted 2 days for a draw. Look at what we’ve got. Our culture. Our history. Our innovative catering. Our unused group of extremely tall fast bowlers. That irritating bugler. I mean what have they ever done better than us?

Xerxes: Bowled with a plan, a field to back it up and made us play at balls we shouldn’t have.

Reg: What?

Xerxes: Bowled to a plan

Reg: Oh yeah, they did do that, that’s true.

Commando: Placed a high value on their wickets.

Loretta: Oh yeah, they do, remember what Haddin was like in the last series compared to now.

Reg: Yeah, all right. I’ll grant you bowling to a plan and the value they place on their wickets are two things they have done better than us.

Matthias: And not having an arrogant number 4 who keeps trying to hit over well-placed fieldsman against Peter Siddle.

Reg: Well yeah, obviously the lack of KP’s ego, I mean that goes without saying doesn’t it. But apart from bowling to a plan, valuing your wicket, KP losing the plot…

brian floggings Flower speaks to KP

Commando: A consistent line-up

Xerxes: A keeper who can make runs and hold chances

Commando 2: Holding catches

Reg: (irritated) Yeah, yeah, all right. Fair enough

Commando 1: and a decent spinner

Francis: Yeah, that’s one thing they really do have skipper

Commando: an all-rounder who has performed with bat and ball

Loretta: and their tail-enders stick around and make runs.

Francis: Yeah, they certainly don’t expect the batsmen to do everything. Let’s face it, they’re playing shots and supporting partnerships

brian batting order Revised batting order

Reg: ALL RIGHT. But apart from: bowling to a plan, setting good fields and making us play shots we don’t want to through pace and intimidation; placing a high value on their wickets; KP not losing his mind consistently: a stable line-up; a good keeper who makes runs and provides leadership and takes chances presented to him; excellent fielding; a decent spinner; an imposing all-rounder with a big mo and; tailenders who can stick around and score runs, what do the Australians have that we don’t have?!

Xerxes: The Ashes?

Reg: Oh shut up!

brian barmy army Barmy Army

Give the gift of life: The Footy Almanac 2013. Order here.



About Sean Curtain

"He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad". First line of 'Scaramouche' by Sabatini, always liked that.


  1. Very clever Sean. Can you see Cook doing a ‘Black Knight’ for the Boxing Day Test – “it’s only a flesh wound”.
    Or perhaps a ‘Dead Parrot’?

  2. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Great stuff Sean. Very funny. Watching the poms bat has been akin to the Judean People’s Front Suicide Squad. They rock up with promise and then…

  3. Ha ha. Very funny Sean.

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Fantastic Sean and in breaking news it’s has been declared that we almanac writers have had far more influence on the series than bloody collingwood did so we are all to be presented with anti , OBEs . Raj is waiting at the airport now and is pumped to break , Boonys record re the cans ! The Ashes are coming home today !

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Great stuff Sean, very funny.

  6. ouch, that’s a beauty Sean.
    Well played.

  7. Simply outstanding!!! Extremely well played, old chap!

  8. Nice one Sean – looking forward to keeping our foot on their neck next week!

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