For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.
Are these words a) part of the Australian national anthem?, b) what Mark Nicholas has tattooed on the insides of his eyelids?, or c) what Shane Warne wrote in his Christmas card to Marlon Samuels adding only the festive coda, "Fuck you, mate!"?
If you answered "all three" then nice one, you've won a highlights reel DVD of Michael Slater and Ian Healy's frothy banter about surfing interspersed with Ian Chappell speaking sense but sounding more and more like Cliff Clavin from Cheers. If you didn't win you can just tune in the next time Channel Nine cover a Test match to undergo the same experience.
Everyone's tetchy in Australia at present. Matthew Wade's tetchy because he had to throw a ball around Rangana Herath to the bowler's end - admittedly not the easiest thing to do, especially when you insist on keeping your gloves on - and ended up looking like someone hurling spam against a wall instead of an international wicket keeper trying to effect a run out. Shane Warne's tetchy because Marlon Samuels is a sneaky sod who pulled David Hussey's shirt. Samuels is tetchy because Warne threw the ball at him. Warne is now tetchy again because Samuels chucked his bat at him. Ben Cutting, the Brisbane Heat quick and botoxed Alastair Cook lookalike, is so tetchy at Samuels he's prepared to retweet stuff about Marlon bowling with his elbow in the shape of Billy Bowden's finger being the cause of societal breakdown.
Aussie cricketing society is changing, though. It certainly is in the commentary box or KFC Audio Bucket as Nicholas would happily call it. Bill Lawry has gone. Tony Greig has regretfully gone. It can't be too long before Channel Nine demand Richie Benaud dress up as a Zinger Burger whilst flogging a new Vodafone tariff during the luncheon break and the great man goes too. He's increasingly sounding like Plato making a guest appearance on Top Gear, anyway, appalled by the intellectual squalor but occasionally even being dragged down into it. It's horrible, really.