The dust had barely settled from England's Ashes defeat to Bradman's all-conquering Australians when the news came in the coach Andy Flower has left his position, to "spend more time running the United Nations". But the latest from the England camp is even more alarming - Captain Len Hutton announcing that Kevin Pietersen has been banished from the side, along with everyone else.
"The decision to cast KP into the abyss, along with Hobbs, Hammond, Barrington, Botham, Knott, Underwood, Larwood, Barnes and Trueman took a lot of guts. It was obviously a very big and important decision. Yes, we beat Bradman's lot in the summer and overcame Gavaskar's bunch in India the previous winter, but now it's time to move on. Moving forward so that we don't move backward. We all know how important team culture and unity are, and frankly, the bunch of chaps we have now are brilliant cricketers with huge egos who cause huge disruption in the dressing room. What we need to go forward is a quiet bunch of mediocre cricketers who'll do what I tell them and shut up"
It's well known that the dressing room has been a fractious place since last Tuesday, the day after Hutton had assured the world media that the dressing room was totally behind him. Botham, sources we can't possible reveal tell us, drinks too much and disrespected Hutton by playing "Jerusalem" on his armpit after the captain was dismissed for his 9th consequtive duck on the tour. Larwood refused to accept blame for the Ashes loss despite him being the top wicket-taker. Barnes wouldn't field a long-stop when Cook told him too, and was once seen smoking a pipe at 3rd man. Underwood's brilliant bowling can't make up for his shortcomings with the bat, and Hammond was shagging Cook's sister. And wife. And mother-in-law. Hobbs didn't talk to anyone else in the dressing room, and KP talked too much, in that annoying accent of his. He's also believed to have sent Aubery Faulkner a telegram in which he claimed Hutton couldn't pick Faulkner's googly, and described the Yorkshireman as a 'stinker'.
In an off-the-record meeting Trueman told Hutton that he couldn't stand Flower's coaching methods and David Saker's attempt to get him to bowl left-handed, and sadly, since the secret video of the entire meeting somehow got posted on Graham Gooch's YouTube account, his position is untenable. Despite Flower's resignation. And the fact that Trueman is England's greatest bowler, ever.
There's no actual dirt on Barrington or Knott, but in due course we'll make something up as to why the have been ditched.
Late news - New coach David Lloyd's 2nd best ever England side got off to a bad start when Clive Lloyd's West Indies dismissed them for 8. Broadly top-scored with 4 (chinese cut through 3rd man) but Cooky, Maddy, Trotty, Mogsy, Holly, Matty, Jimmy, Harmi and Ashley all made ducks. Malcolm Marshall took 7-0, but was then hospitalised with a fit of giggles, and Curtly Ambrose is now refusing to speak to his captain as he didn't even get a chance to bowl. New England cricket-supremo-for-life Andy Flower (no relation) blamed the defeat on 'the forces of darkness' and Jack Hobbs in particular.