It’s an incredible achievement to be selected as a member of the Australian Test Cricket Team. It’s easier to win lotto (thousands of living winners), get elected to Federal Parliament (226 spots up for grabs every three years), and even to have sex with Lara Bingle (hundreds I reckon in that club, yours truly included!). Only 439 blokes in history have had the privilege to don the coveted Baggy Green, and most of those only got to wear it on the field less than a handful of times. Consequently it is very important that this honour not get sullied by selecting and persisting with talentless hacks. To do so would be to insult the legends who made the silly looking and impractical piece of head gear so feared by our rivals. This humble hard hitting sports journo thinks that such an act of sacrilege has been perpetrated, in the form of selecting and keeping Steve Smith in the Test side for so long.
To follow is a list of seven reasons why Steve Smith is an embarrassment to Australian Cricket and should be axed from our premier cricket team as soon as possible:
1. He is a Shane Warne Try Hard Wannabe
With died blonde hair and a reputation for being able to spin the ball from leg to off, he was fast tracked into the Test side in the hope he would become the heir apparent to the great SK Warne. As it turned out Smith couldn’t spin the ball at all, he was just able to prance up to the wicket and bowl slow cowpats which did nothing off the deck. He’s so bad, he is considered only the third best BLONDE spin bowler on the team. Michael Clarke and David Warner both can turn it better than Smith can. Once the selectors realised he couldn’t bowl, they looked for their next spin saviour, picking players such as Lyon, Agar, Beer, O’Keefe, Doherty, and Maxwell with varied success. Yet in a bizarre turn of events, the selectors seemingly forgot to drop Smith from the team despite the fact he could not perform the function he was originally selected for. Some have suggested he was retained for his batting, which leads to point number two.
2. He can’t bat
Smith has been largely used at no. 6, the easiest spot to bat, after the hard work of the top and middle order to build the innings and take the shine off the ball has been done. If Smith makes twenty runs that is considered an unexpected bonus. His debut was back in 2010 but it wasn’t until the final Ashes test of 2013, when England, having an unassailable lead in the series, and were just bowling so as not to get injured, did Smith finally make a hundred. We’d gone through three Prime ministers in that time, making that a decidedly mediocre start to a career.
3. He not only sucks, but most likely swallows too.
So despite batting and bowling more poorly than Scott Muller, Steve’s Smith place in the side remained sacrosanct. Perhaps this is because unlike Scott Muller, Steve Smith is adept at tossing. The Australian selectors have developed a reputation for brutally axing players from the team if they don’t immediately perform. For example the supremely talented Damien Martyn had to wait years to fight back in to the Test team after being originally dropped for just one bad dismissal. Yet Smith endures despite flop after flop after flop. As reluctant as I am to delve into smutty territory, the possibility Smith has been giving the selectors better gobbies than a high class hooker all this time seems one of the few remaining rational explanations for this.
4. He has an unaustralian penchant for hair products
With the notable exception of advanced hair “yeah yeah” replacement therapy it is an unwritten law of cricket that you don’t stuff around with hair products to make yourself look nice. You can go out of your way to make yourself look uglier of course, Dizzy Gillespie’s ripper mullet springs to mind, because it makes the posh toffs at the Marylebone Cricket Club uncomfortable. Steve Smith’s decision to add blonde frosted tips to already blonde hair is a calamitous crime of cricketing fashion.
5. He’s too young
This might seem a weak argument given Smith is currently 25 but if you think so then you are forgetting the grand tradition in Australian cricket of waiting until a player is at least in his late twenties before giving him his test debut. The most extreme case of this was DD Blackie, who was 46 and 253 days when he debuted to play the Poms in 1928. More recently, Mike Hussey, Brad Hogg, Bryce McGain and Colin “Funky” Miller were all in their thirties before they got their turn. All of these guys were more talented than Smith, yet a baggy green was sitting above his baby face at the tender age of twenty one. If you were not convinced that God is not just after reading the Old Testament then this closes the case for sure and certain.
6. There is no place for alliteration in the team
Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Reed Richards, Sue Storm, J. Jonah Jamison Jr. These names have two things in common; the names start with the same letters, and they are all cartoon characters. There’s a reason they seem perfectly normal in the world of cartoons – they are a joke! Mr and Mrs Smith must have had a few too many chateau cardboards to ever think naming their son “Steve” was a good idea. Steve Smith looks and sounds funny and I imagine opposition locker rooms would have been filled with snickering sounds every time they read the Australian XI. So before a ball is even bowled, psychologically we are behind the eight ball. This is of course unacceptable.
7. His mother’s country is the mother country
Yes, that’s right, Steve Smith’s mother is British. Could there be any greater insult for Australian cricket than to have the spawn of the old enemy infiltrating our ranks? In all seriousness, the prospect of sabotage during Ashes tests is all too real to bear risking. In fact, perhaps Steve Smith is a Bradmanesque cricketing prodigy and his career of ineptitude is explained by his cunning plan to help England win from the other side. The regularity with which he hangs out the washing to pommy rubbish outside off gives credence to this theory.
In short, Steve Smith’s demotion is years overdue and this hard hitting sports journalist beseeches the selectors to come to their senses and do the right thing for Australian cricket.
Thanks for reading and remember, life’s pretty dull without an occasional “Flash”.