Ashes Poetry - cricket

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David Fine, Ashes poet in residence in Australia 2006-7

England vs Australia.
Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney 2006-2007

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Warne S K

born 13 September 1969 test match debut January 1992
Upon passing his seventh hundred test match wicket

(To the jig, The Sailor’s Hornpipe)

Warnie’s balls turn square, KP hits ’em in the air.
A six or out, there is no doubt.
You get a funny feeling one side’ll be reeling
Ev’ry time Warnie’s balls turn square.

A leggie with Clarrie Grimmett’s accuracy (plus extra hair)
The wrong ’un, hard to pick, and howzat when beaten through the air,
The flipper and the toppie, zooter and the slider
And the chatter: yells, looks, asides and pleas,
(the only time the bloke’s down on his knees,)
A Clarence Darrow George Carman at the crease
What umpire on earth however stoney could say no?
Another baffled though reluctant victim tries to dilly-dally but he has to go.

The next man in is almost out before he’s in.
The legendary magician will mesmerise him.
He knows he’ll have to face a flighty camisole tease:
A forbidden glimpse of flesh to tantalise
Reveals a hirsuite Superman medallioned Australian chest
Full of tricks the antipodean baccus of temptation doesn’t divest
Before the silly fool with bat and pads realises he’s transgressed
The blond cherubim’s spinning finger puts him to rest.

A waistline that indicates adequate social activity
Since an Ashes debut in 1993; Warne, S K.
Shoulder strapped, lucky charms, his daughter’s bracelet,
The facts are patently clear, he should really try to face it,
Whatever schemes and dreams of schemes are whirling on within,
The top of his head is not quite what it used to be,
(In fact, somewhat like this rhyme, going rather thin.)
Harum-scarums with mobiles and diuretics,
His simple way with words schtums clever dick critics,
Through thick and thin he’s always gone back
To his mark: a three-card trick-sy four-step run

That flummoxed Fat Gatt with the ball of last century,
At the lees of his career, the ikon’s tank is close enough to empty
Lo, he gambols past (A N Other) namely number Seven Hundred
And yet another one. Forget the waist, hair and old age. Heed the old adage
If you’re good enough, you’re old enough. Let him rip his ripper one last rip,
As The Grauniad's Trundler-in-Chief Selvey opines
‘No game’s over till the fat boy spins.’
I’ll buy that, gimme me one more, Skip.
Good on yer, Warnie. May The Good Lord Bless
How your balls turned square!