Of all the people who deserve praise for Australia’s dominance over the auld enemy in the first three test matches, Chris Rosimus – the performance nutritionist of the English and Wales Cricket Board – deserves a special mention.
At the time of writing, England has more dishes (194) on the menu prepared by Rosimus than they have scored as runs in the first innings of a test this summer.
If Kevin Pietersen didn’t look himself in the afternoon session, perhaps it was the ‘blueberry and polenta muffins’ that didn’t agree with him. Similarly the ‘quinoa with roasted butternut squash, apricot and parsley’ that Alastair Cook pecked at in the lunch break seemed to slow him down after the interval.
Ian Chappell remarked that he was amazed Pietersen resurfaced on the balcony so soon after being dismissed in such disappointing fashion – when Mitch ‘The Mo’ Johnson leapt towards the Empyrean to take one of the catches of the summer. Well, there is a reason for Pietersen’s quick change. He didn’t want to miss out on the Day 2 Menu, as designed by that forgotten man, Sir Rosimus, and specifically those delectables arranged to be delivered to the dressing room 20 minutes prior to the end of the day’s play. What sane English cricketer would want to be facing Mitchell Johnson or Ryan Harris when they could be stuffing themselves silly on chillied pumpkin and red onion with mozzarella French bread pizza, or Cajun grilled tofu kebabs?
Sir Rosimus has been ably supported by his colleagues at the ECB, who after the first test in Brisbane hinted to Cricket Australia that England may not wish to play at the GABBA anymore, following the mauling they received. They particularly took umbrage at the repeated chants of Broad-is-a-Wanker, that were directed towards Little Lord Fauntleroy, from the ‘boorish’ crowd. This was just before Warnie reported that the ECB had sent off an SOS to a local manufacturer in Adelaide to send in some more chest pads and arm guards before they got to the WACA.
It may seem an over-simplification of England’s problems, but they are too quick to dine out on their victories, and even faster to start wallowing in self-pity over their losses. The whining about the crowds, the sledging of those barbarous colonials, and the demands made on their caterers suggest that this is an English team on the way out.
You certainly won’t see anyone with a handlebar moustache going for the peri-peri breaded tofu: Swervyn Mervyn Hughes used to say he was on three diets – because he didn’t get enough food on one.
Getting back to the bristles, the last two matches have shown why the mo is so important to Australian cricket, and Australian sporting history. It’s an archetypical crowd pleaser; the mob loves it, and they love Mitch – chanting for him in the same way they used to get behind Dennis Lillee. It gives an electric charge to the game, and creates a buzz that something is about to happen. Cricket Australia should be in consultation with Mitchell Johnson’s manager pronto, and be adding a Must-Have-Mo-Clause to his contract.
Whatever they decide to pay, it would be worth every dollar.