Vantage point

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Some more excerpts from the "Daily Some Achaar"

Melbourne - What was earlier dismissed as rumour has now been confirmed. The Australian team has a "Mouth Coach" who trains the players about what to say in the media and on the field. Cricket Australia (CA) officials had been dismissing the reports of such a person, but this correspondent finally uncovered the secret when he accidentally walked into a "training session" being conducted for the players at the MCG.

The coach, whose name was later discovered to be Moe Termouth, has been working for the Australian team since the last 5 years. He is only 12 years old and was appointed as the coach at the age of 7 when erstwhile captain Mark Taylor witnessed him fighting other children on a playground. The wide array of boorish insults Moe heaped upon other kids impressed Taylor and he was immediately recruited as the Mouth Coach.

The Australian team however has not confirmed his existence. However speaking off the record, one player told us about Moe's methods.

Before every tour, he sits with the players and decides on comments which are to be made to the media. These comments are decided on the basis of prior research done by Termouth. He also gives the players a list of abuses to be hurled at opposition players.

"On our 2001 tour to India McGrath could sledge Ganguly about his extra marital affair only because of Moe's suggestions." the player said.

There are also daily sledge practise sessions to make sure that all the expletives and insults are memorised.

"Moe's best suggestion so far has been to keep repeating in the media "sledging is a part of modern cricket" until everyone accepts it to be true."

However murmurs are being heard about Moe's effectiveness. His place is in danger after Australia's recent failures against India. Even though publicly, Australian players blame the batting for the Adelaide debacle, sources tell us that the failures have been attributed to the ineffective "mental disintegration".

"Some blokes are beginning to wonder if Moe is now too old for the job. We think that at 12 years, he is too mature to chalk out our mouth strategies." Already there are talks of appointing Chet Terbox, an 8 year old who has shown promise on Sydney playgrounds, to the post.

Another player, a big left hander who holds the world record for the highest test score, told us on the condition of anonymity "I think Moe is over the hill. Two months ago, he told me to say Laxman is scared of short bowling. Now after Laxman pulled so ferociously in Brisbane and Adelaide, i thought Moe would have a different strategy in mind. However what I was told to say was "Laxman is really scared of short bowling. I wonder if that is really going to work"

The pressure really seems to be getting to Termouth as the Australian team plans on new comments and abuses to hurl at the Indians in the run up to the Boxing Day test. This correspondent saw Moe list the following comments on the blackboard during the training sessions-

"Ganguly's wife is really fat"
"I don't like Sehwag's face"
"Sledging is a part of modern cricket"
"Agarkar has dandruff in his hair"
"Sledging is a part of modern cricket"
"All of Tendulkar's hundreds have been flukes"
"Our fast bowlers bowl fast and our spin bowlers bowl spin"
"Sledging is a part of modern cricket"
"Does Parthiv Patel even shave?"
"How can Indians be test champions if they produce such crappy movies?"
"Indians are too brown"
"Sledging is a part of modern cricket"
"Sledging is a part of modern cricket"

Australia's comeback in the test series now depends completely on whether Moe Termouth, the Mouth Coach can deliver. And if he doesn't, then youngChet Terbox may be running their mouths next series onwards.