A PR consultancy firm’s offices, Clapham. They are breakfasting and thinking about cricketainment.
A man the ECB have decided to give money to: “Right, everyone. Thanks for arriving to us. We’ve nailed the other names for The Hundred, but there’s still some doubts on The Oval franchise so we’ve got a couple of Surrey cricketistas in to test the vibe. So, guys, you don’t like London X, no?”
Alec Stewart: “No.”
Gareth Batty: “No.”
Man: “Okay, that’s so great. I’m loving your positivity on this but sensing some pushback. What’s your negative input vector?”
Man: “Why don’t you like London X?”
Stewart: “It sounds like a Babestation spin-off, pal.”
Man: “Ha, I love your verbal bistro, Alec. And you, Gareth?”
Batty: “Have you got any toast?”
Man: “Er, no, sorry, but help yourself to the blueberry and chia seed muffins. Anyway, our creative womb, if I may, Yvonna, will now push out a few other possibilities for you to baptize.”
Batty: “You what?”
Man: “She’ll go through some other names.”
Batty: “Oh right. Nice one.”
Yvonna: “Yes, so we were thinking London Fuse….”
Stewart: “Of what?”
Yvonna: “I’m sorry.”
Stewart: “Views of what?”
Yvonna: “Ha, that’s so funny. No, Alec, Fuse, not Views. Who’d call a team London Views?!”
Batty: “That’s not bad that, actually. The London Views.”
Yvonna: “Fuse. It’s London Fuse. Right next. London Union?”
Stewart: “Bit lefty. Not my thing.”
Yvonna: “London Rebels?”
Batty: “Bloody lovely!”
Yvonna: “Oh great. You like it?”
Batty: “No, I meant these chia seeds. Delicious. The name’s rubbish.”
Yvonna: “London Enzymes?”
Yvonna: “London Decimals?”
Stewart: “No,but I see what you’ve done there.”
Yvonna: “London Chieftain?”
Stewart: “No and should be plural anyway.”
Yvonna: “London Spirit?”
Stewart: “If we must.”
Man: “Right, okay. Well that’s all gone terrifically well. Multiple thanks, guys.”
Batty: “Can I take one of these with me?”
Man: “Totally, Gareth.”
As made up by James Marsh (We can’t stress that enough: this is made up.)
An awful lot of England players average 30-odd recently.
Jofra Archer getting his England Test cap was a lovely thing.
Virat Kohli scoring another hundred, obviously.
New Zealand’s lead scrapes past 100 at tea.
Both teams retain genuine hopes of victory at Lord’s.
All hail the bits and pieces cricketer, the poor unloved cousin of the all-rounder.
Justin Langer fears it’s “not humanly possible” for Pat Cummins to play all five Tests.
Back to the drawing board lads.