Paul Collingwood gathers the troops, and sets the iPod going with a bit of a song:
PC: Hey boyos: how do you think we went today, can you read my mind?
KP: Quarter of a mill, there, chief?
PC: Don’t even think about fucking Stanford. We’re so, so not close to making it into to the top two of one-day cricket. Look, I know we had a bloody good time in the Twenty 20, and hammered the Kiwis today, but it might be a one off.
KP: I don’t think so. We fucking smacked them today – well I did, and you all know how fucking good I am
IRB: Kev – you didn’t do it on your own …. [bit tearful]
OS: No he fucking didn’t – Ian, you were fucking ace, and kept the innings going, Kev thinks he’s the man, and he is the Big Man, but he needs us. Fuck, in those last overs, he got shite while I scored off every fucking ball. Man, I won that match for England.
SB: Sorry, mate, don’t you think the bowlers had a bit to do with it? Everyone calls me the highlight blond who has to deliver. Well, I think I did a bit today. I’m the new Glenn McGrath!!!!
[KP wanders away, giggling almost insanely, I got a ton, I got a ton, I’m gonna earn a fucking million, left hand, right hand, what does it matter, I’m Ronnie O’Sullivan, ha, ha, ha]
In the back room, conversations:
Michael Vaughan: look, some of these guys are doing really well in the short form, but they’re not Test players (except Stuarty – cos we love him) but these are the guys going for the Stanford millions. We’ve got to make it fair.
Aggers: Well, is it all about the money then?
MV: We have to have an agreement in the dressing room. It’s not going to work if some guys get to earn a fucking huge ton for one match.
Blowers: There’s a helicopter overhead – wonder what that is? Oh Stanford dropping a few more millions. Well, I don’t care – rather watch for a few cranes.
Aggers: Look: this is the deal: gamble on a few hundred grand, in one match, or keep your souls intact playing a season for your country. Can’t we get them to see that?
MV: Not a fucking chance. Why do you think I’m back doing county Twenty20? They’ll say anything to the press, but money has the biggest mouth.
… the Tape fades, we’re losing contact with the dressing room and the back room. Aggers has his head in his hands, whispering – this is the death of cricket as we know it. Blowers has lost all grip on reality and is trying to count bees.
MPV gets up, straightens his shoulders, gives a despising look to the moribund BBC commentators and looks in the mirror.
“Who is the most beautiful of them all?” he says, and to his horror, the image in the mirror changes and looking back at him IS [duh, duh, duh, duh]: KEVIN PIETERSEN.