The England and Wales Cricket Board this week stepped up their marketing game.
Their first act was to spend two weeks teasing us about new uniforms that the international teams would be wearing.
Unfortunately for them, the big reveal simply showed Joe Root standing in whites.
The least anticipated event of the year delivered the most underwhelming result of the year. Who knew that a Test uniform would be that colour?
A great start by the ECB and true to form.
Not content with this mediocrity, the ECB have now released a letter that is intended to be for the next capped Test player. His number will be 677, which coincidently is the annual salary of the ECB’s marketing intern who is clearly overpaid given what we’ve seen from him lately.
I thought it would be a good thing to explore this letter to Mr 677 and attempt to understand the message that the ECB were trying to portray.
The message here is that Andrew Strauss and his boys have no idea who the next Test player is. If they did, they would have used his name, rather than print the cryptic “677”. Unless of course they do in fact know who the next player is, and this person just so happens to have a name made up of numbers?
It is possible.
Whoever you might be.
Nup. They have no idea who he is.
The home of cricket
Typical English largesse and hyperbole. They probably penned this letter from Lord’s. But Lord’s isn’t the home of cricket. Cricket lives in Sachin’s house. How do they not know this?
Forget what you have done before. None of it matters.
We’ll, this is just plain fucking stupid. Some kid who has trained all his life for this moment is being told by the selectors to leave all knowledge of how to bat, bowl and catch at the door. Apparently, when the ECB select you at number 677, they will use that hand held memory erasasor from the Men in Black movies on you because whatever is in your head in regards to cricket is useless.
This is what happens when you let a marketing company loose with your letterhead.
We’ve scored runs. Taken wickets. Held catches.
That’s a bloody relief. You are a cricket team. Isn’t that your job? Or maybe with this sentence, you are trolling Ian Bell’s last Test season, Jade Dernbach’s career and Jonny Bairstow’s efforts behind the stumps?
You’re on the first step on a never ending flight of stairs to success. So start climbing.
The arsehattery has gone to a new level here. Firstly, if I was number 677, I don’t want to be on any damn staircase. I want to be on a cricket ground. You can shove your climb up your backside. I’ve been climbing for years just to get this opportunity.
Your message of “So start climbing” in condescending bullshit and makes a mockery of all my blood, sweat and tears to get to this point.
How about congratulating me on the imaginary English staircase I’ve just conquered or recognise my feats to date?
Do that and you’ll be one of us
What does this even mean? That I need to climb make believe staircases at training to be allowed into the team? Is this some kind of bizarre ECB ritual? Why can’t you just accept me straight away given I’ve been selected to play? Are you guys racist? Is this code for “you need to wait for Alistair Cook’s permission” before I’m allowed to feel safe and included?
What if I choose not to partake in climbing these stairs that are obviously made from unicorn tears? Am I out? Is that why KP got booted? Is this some kind of weird cult? Do you guys train in Waco Texas?
We’ll teach you. Protect you. Guide and welcome you.
Given you’ve just told me to forget everything I knew beforehand, you better bloody well teach me something. When you say that you will welcome me, is this before or after I make my decision on whether to climb that staircase?
But what we can’t do is carry you
Unless of course your name is Alastair Cook and this is 2015/2016. What we’d rather you do when you are struggling is just quit mid tour like Graeme Swann.
So hear this. Out run us. Out bowl us. Out work us.
Great. Now we are discriminating against deaf players. And isn’t this a cricket team? If I was picked to out run you, perhaps I’m better off in a 4 x 100m squad or something.
Take our place in the team
Now I’m confused. Is the person who penned this letter a bloke that just got dropped? Did Gareth Batty write this? How are you going to welcome, protect and guide me if you’re not even in the team.
This letter is confusing the hell out of me.
Because if you do that, we’ll win it all
So if I understand this correctly, if you don’t get dropped so I can take my place in the team, then we won’t be good enough to win much? Is that what this means? And by “win it all”, are you including lotto? Because that would make complying with these bizarre entry conditions totally worth it.
One Day Internationals. Twenty Twenty. Tests.
First of all, and this is a small thing because I’m a stickler for convention, but it isn’t written “Twenty Twenty”. It’s “Twenty20” or “T20”.
Secondly, isn’t this letter being written for Test cap 677? Shouldn’t there be separate letters with different kinds of ladders for the white ball formats? Or are you saying that if I get picked as Test cap 677 that I’m also picked to play ODI’s and T20Is? Because, if that’s the case, then I’ll definitely climb that stupid imaginary ladder that you have.
Being the best in the country’s one thing. Being the best in the world is another
Obvious statement is obvious. But who doesn’t love a well worn cliche in a letter?
Because one things for sure….
Umm, me again with the grammar. You are missing an apostrophe in the word “things”. Perhaps drop the abbreviations in future letters are just write “thing is”?
…greatness isn’t given.
Yes! Another cliche.
Can someone point me to where that ladder is? I want to check it out.