Ahead of Australia’s Third Test against South Africa, a day-night affair beginning in Adelaide this afternoon, Cricket Australia’s CEO James Sutherland, and Rugby Unionist-turned-cricket administrator Pat Howard, held a press conference to announce the replacement for the interim selection panel.
This new panel swaps the uncertainty of composition post-Rod Marsh for the uncertainty of tenure post-Adelaide, insofar as they’ll inevitably be sacked and replaced when Australia loses another Test series.
Howard and Sutherland, wearing matching designer suits featuring an innovative, new, invisible-pink Teflon coating, claimed they were “excited by the New Era of unrequited failure that this new panel will bring in, resulting in their inevitable sacking for a bunch of unqualified ex-players in three months time.”
In keeping with Cricket Australia’s commitment to diversity, applications from all species were accepted, and sentience was removed from the list of necessary qualifications.
The staff writers at Mind the Windows: After Dark have compiled profiles on each of the carefully curated, hand-selected selectors, who will do the bulk of Australia’s selecting (excluding circumstances in which head office decides the wicketkeeper isn’t marketable enough).
The new panel is as follows:
Paul the Octopus (Chairman)
Paul, an octopus, is the chief beneficiary of Cricket Australia’s diversity guidelines, for the first time allowing non-humans to be considered on an equal footing with human applicants. Much like Rugby Unionist-turned-cricket administrator Pat Howard, Paul the Octopus comes from a footballing background, but his skills of divination and being an oracle stand him in good stead to pick cricket teams.
Cricket Australia’s media department has been sent country-wide to compile photos of all potential Test players, to be placed in boxes within Paul’s tank. Ashton McAgarface, a leg spinner and wicketkeeper for the Leichhardt Tigers unbeaten U/10Fs side, said he “wanted to bat like David Warner,” while his father, Robbo, said he “always f***ing knew the kid had the talent to play for Australia. F***ing Rod Marsh delaying his career.” When MTW:AD reached out to Callum Ferguson, he was confounded: “I haven’t seen a photographer. Are you sure? Maybe they have enough of mine on file already.”
A Box of Weet Bix
In having signed a lucrative new sponsorship deal with Sanitarium, requiring all Test players appear on a Weet Bix box or in a television ad for the product, Cricket Australia is proud to announce that a box of Weet Bix will assist in the selection process. Accompanied to all selection meetings by an overpaid Jolimont marketing executive, and fast bowler-turned-Bollywood star-turned-Sanitarium board member, Brett ‘Binga’ Lee, the box will regularly attend domestic games to undertake talent identification, reporting information back to Paul the Octopus and the broader CA marketing team.
Tasmanian club cricketer Pim Taine was quoted as saying “well I’m screwed, I’ve got a face for radio and my fingers are too broken to hold up a Weet Bix box in a photo. But my sister’s a right sort.”
Befallen by spiralling results, regular batting collapses and an inability of batsmen to hit things properly, Rolling Stones member Keith Richards has been contracted week-to-week on the basis that nobody quite knows how he hasn’t shuffled off his mortal coil yet. Richards, whom had a rider inserted into his contract requesting copious amounts of LSD be provided at every domestic game he has to attend, will bring a new perspective to the selection panel. Namely by thinking that he’s actually Keith Moon.
When asked about push back over his credentials, let alone his sanity, Richards stated “look, I’m a creative man, and this team is so shit that they need creative selections. F*** Moneyball, I’m a Pinball f***ing Wizard. And since when can five headed dragons get journalist clearance?”
Richards then collapsed, convulsing, muttering under his breath about how he saw fast bowling potential in Usman Khawaja and that you don’t really need a wicketkeeper anyway.
The Re-Animated Ghost of Bill O’Reilly
After being knocked back by Allan Border, concluding that Neil Harvey was too ‘Monty Python Yorkshire sketch’, derailing the interview with a recount that “back in my day we batted in fifteen foot snow drifts during 65 degree heat on Nottinghamshire decks that had actual landmines in them,” and being perturbed by Dean Jones’ demand that all trial matches be played in Madras, the re-animated ghost of former Australian spinner Bill O’Reilly was chosen to provide some grit and substance to the selection panel.
O’Reilly will advocate for obscure spinners who end up fading into nothingness, and speak exclusively in cliches about ‘wanting it more,’ ‘fighting hard for your mates,’ and ‘embodying the ANZAC spirit’. He released a statement calling for Daniel Doran to be drafted into the Test squad “now there’s a leggie who wants it, more than that softcock Bradman, erm, I mean Nathan Lyon. He fights hard for his mates and embodies the ANZAC spirit, and he’ll shout you a beer, unlike The Don, the presbyterian bastard.”
Recognising that Australia needed to preserve its cricketing culture and appoint a selector that will never deteriorate due to age (while also safeguarding that sweet, sweet sponsorship money), a McNugget has been asked to take a seat on the selection panel.
It has proven a controversial choice, as the particular McNugget in question was cooked in Hamilton’s Nawton franchise and abandoned on an outside table following a stabbing, leading many commentators to argue that it’s Mickey Arthur all over again, and that Australian McNuggets are inherently better at everything than overseas McNuggets. It created a political firestorm; Pauline Hanson argued in parliament that “the only good chicken McNugget is one made from pork. Because, you know, Muslims.” Peter Dutton blankly stared off into the distance, ritually chanting “potato, potato, potato” as a tiny Pacific island began flooding, and Julie Bishop suggested that “perhaps we should punish the nugget by making it play for the team, rather than just picking it.”
It is uncertain whether the McNugget will ever take its appointed place at the table, as its loyal handler, injured Northern Districts cricketer Anton Devcich, has been refused an Australian visa due to his beard. But hey, the memes write themselves.
Because someone has to take the blame when it all goes wrong, he’s enough of a cricket tragic to accept the poisoned chalice, and giving someone named ‘Howard’ responsibility for cricket administration has served Australia perfectly over the past five years.
There are concerns that he will confiscate the team’s guns, however, thus requiring that Mitchell Starc go into hiding at all times he’s not on the field.