Six of the worst: Ashes media fodder

Australia

Form Shaun Tait's proposal and James Pattinson's night on the town to Nathan Bracken's political career and Monty Panesar's post-urination fallout, the media's quest for two-bit content has been pushed into overdrive during the Ashes recently.

Form Shaun Tait's proposal and James Pattinson's night on the town to Nathan Bracken's political career and Monty Panesar's post-urination fallout, the media's quest for two-bit content has been pushed into overdrive during the Ashes recently…

<b>Shaun Tait</b> – he of two Ashes Tests, circa 2005 – is set to marry swimsuit model-turned-wine entrepeneur Mashoom Singha. They met during the fast bowler's stint with the Rajasthan Royals in the 2010 Indian Premier League – and are expected to marry at the conclusion of Tait's Friends Life t20 contract with Essex. "Staying with the 29-year-old in Mumbai's high-class Bandra area made him appreciate the simple things life had to offer. He became a more relaxed soul and proposed to Singha in Paris last month," professed <i>NDTV</i>. Not quite Sania Mirza- and Shoaib Malik-esque, but likely to satisfy the tabloids regardless.

<i>Sportal</i> were quick to clutch at proverbial straws this week, sourcing a picture – from Facebook – of Aussie seamer <b>James Pattinson</b> out on the town in Melbourne mere weeks since his Ashes exit due to injury. Conjecture, indeed, was rife: "Pattinson does not have a drink in his hand in either photo and there is no suggestion he was drinking, or no indication of what time the picture was taken. Pattinson's public appearance so soon after his injury is unlikely to be seen in a positive light." Pattinson, ostensibly, has Joe Root's nemesis (aka:David Warner) to thank for the perception.

<b>Nathan Bracken</b> will do well not to take example from Imran Khan and Sanath Jayasuriya when he stands in next month's election. While Australia isn't as politically charged as Pakistan or Sri Lanka, Bracken doesn't want to inherit his potential predecessor's enemies. He will run as an independent in the New South Wales seat of Dobell, north of Sydney, which is currently held by Craig Thomson – a disgraced former labour party member accused of misusing trade union credit cards to pay for prostitutes.

Forget match-fixing and forgo spot-fixing, new to the game is bracket-fixing, according to <b>Steve Waugh</b>. "A much bigger threat to cricket lurks around what is commonly known as 'bracket-fixing', which can be controlled by crooked players and remain undetected or be easily explained away," the former Australian captain wrote in his new book, <i>The Meaning Of Luck</i>. Some of the weak opening throes coughed up by the tourists during the opening throes of the ongoing Ashes series and bats allegedly laced with silicone excluded – of course.

Jaguar have incurred the wrath of <b>Alex Hales</b>, who – via Twitter – complained about the late arrival of a sponsored car. Like a doting daddy would answer for his petulant child, the England and Wales Cricket Board later apologised to the company on the Twenty20 International batsman's behalf. Almost as topical (read comical) as time Bob Willis was forced to say sorry to Alastair Cook amid accusations of ball-tampering during the Champions Trophy.

From Ashes to slashes, <b>Monty Panesar's</b> downward spiral remains unzipped. The collective distaste of a bunch of women and their complementary bouncers was not the worst of it, with the spinner on the brink of losing his county contract after <i>that</i> urine-riddled incident. Sussex are not likely to let the saga wash over, and are in the process of separating the wee from the pee amid numerous, contrasting accounts of the night.

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