Half England’s Test squad have been repeatedly consumed by an urgent necessity

Posted by
2 minute read

You can take your own chef with you (Omar Meziane, if you’re wondering), but if you’re in a part of the world you don’t visit too often, there’s a decent chance you’ll come into contact with viruses that your immune system doesn’t know all that well. What we’re saying here is that the wild shits has no respect for those who name their first choice XI a couple of days before the start of a Test match. We’re looking at you, Ben Stokes.

Actually, we’re not going to go so far as to proclaim this the wild shits. We are in fact going to go the opposite way and confidently state that it isn’t.

Cricinfo’s Vithushan Ehantharajah reports that 13 to 14 members of England’s touring party, including half the 16-man playing squad, have been struck down, so it seems safe to assume they all have the same thing. If that’s the case, Joe Root’s return to training after “symptoms” on Tuesday rules the wild shits out as a possibility. No-one’s bouncing back from the more severe form of the illness that quickly. That is, by definition, impossible. Brevity negates wildness.

Even so, most match previews now seem hopelessly detached from reality. Tactics, strategy and idealistic team selection seem mere trivialities when half your men are busy frothing on the khazi.

They’re talking about pushing the start of the match back a day, which hugely regrettably diminishes the prospect of Marcus Trescothick and Rob Key opening the batting.

Root was joking when he suggested that, but the only good thing about an unavoidable wave of the shits sweeping through a touring squad is that such a move isn’t actually beyond the realms of possibility. By the great flowing beard of Moeen, we’d be setting our alarm for 4.45am if a Tres-Key partnership were on the cards. (Bit dubious about Root’s suggestion that Brendon McCullum could bat at three though. We can see a small eligibility flaw in that plan.)

The most likely outcome here is that whether the game is postponed or not, England just try and muddle through with the 11 players who are achieving the longest intervals between toilet trips.

As a final note on this subject, this seems a good time to revisit the story where Matt Renshaw had to retire hurt with the wild shits and Steve Smith revealed himself to be a World Class Prick.

In 2019, Australia were playing India and Renshaw became aware that he was suddenly and unexpectedly careering towards a case of the wild shits while he was batting in the middle. This is quite literally a nightmare scenario. Yet when he tried to run off to preserve his whites, Smith made him come back and speak to the umpires. That will have felt a very, very, very long conversation for Renshaw.

We’re not entirely sure what the opposite of elite mateship is (in large part because we have no clue what elite mateship is) but we’re pretty sure this is it.

We started a Mastodon account because of the whole Twitter… [gestures vaguely in the direction of Twitter]. We’re pretty sure this is the link to it if you fancy climbing aboard that particular bandwagon.


  1. Not @thekingstoots? I am disappoint.

    But not as disappointed as I am by having the idea of a recall of Trescothick floated and then cruelly taken away.

  2. Baz has been quoted as saying “we’re going to push for results”. Are we sure we want our boys pushing for anything just at the moment?

    In my head I hear Ravi Shastri bellowing, with new meaning, “runs are coming at a furious rate” and “he’s let rip with a tracer bullet”.

    1. Maybe a “dribble down leg” or “he’s skied it” (I’ll let your imagination wander on that latter one).

      …and of course I refer everyone to the Bonnacon comments made several blog posts ago.

  3. I’m pleased that KC has the principles and moral compunction to stick two fingers, and perhaps a lot more, up at Twitter, and (presumably) Musk. Too many have found it inconvenient to do the same.

  4. Crap! Third post on the same subject. Not very professional of me.

    Reading about Renshaw has sparked a vague memory. Didn’t Tendulkar carry some bog roll with him during his innings in an ODI World Cup match against, I think, Sri Lanka many years ago? A cork may hae been involved as well. If so, doesn’t this make the likes of Renshaw and most of the England team a bit, well, unadventurous.

  5. If you are going to be given a five star or a seven star or whatever restaurant to stay in and pretty much the best comfort the country can provide, it is more than a little arrogant to tag along your own chef. I don’t know why teams do that.

    As an aside, I watched the Bollywood movie ’83’ the other day (do check it out in case you haven’t heard of it – quite well made) that is about India team’s 1983 world cup victory – many of the squad members packed their own pappads and pickles because they wouldn’t get any vegetarian food in England while Ravi Shastri is seen gorging on junk food.

  6. The wild shits? More like…the wild hits! Kami-khazi batting! England’s top order have got the runs!

    Etc and so on.

    1. The experience of waking up and checking the score, not even being sure that the game would have started, and seeing that, was what I am calling Sehsa Yawa (ie the reverse of an Away Ashes experience).

    2. Atherton made a comment along those lines st one point during the session.

      The England team have made a solid start today…which is more than can be said for their reported “performance”yesterday.

  7. Brendan McCullum, just before play started today:

    “Those are the rules, lads. No century, no use of the toilets.”

Comments are closed.