‘Oh the weather outside is frightful. But the fire is so delightful. And since we’ve all got places to go. Stop the snow, stop the snow, stop the snow!’ Yes class despite there being a heavy layer of snow/sludge/frost on the floor, there ain’t no chance you can escape this weekly dose of cricket funny. Absolutely zero chance of anyone missing school, as luckily for you I spent the entirety of last night running around catching any snowflakes which fell in a massive bin. Boo hoo to you Perkins. With the windows covered, focus all your attention on me as we begin our 5 lessons learned…

1) Myths & Legends

Minotaur, cyclops, Brexit. What have they all got in common? It’s all bullshit! None of those make believe ideas are real; conjured up by storytellers to spook the public. Mind you Mrs May actually resembles a cyclops. She’s only got one EYE-dea! Alright, alright quieten down, cut the laughter. I mean it was almost as funny as McIntyre’s ‘Five spice’ routine but we’re here to learn, not laugh.

Just like Arthur pulling the sword from the stone, we have witnessed a mythical tale in action this week. James Anderson. 24 overs. 12 maidens. 4-33. All in 30 degree heat. Having already taken the most wickets by a fast bowler ever in cricket history, it appears Jimmy is nowhere near finished. As Merlin lives forever so too does the ‘Burnley Express.’ Indeed Lancs’ teammate Liam Livingstone posted a rather humorous tweet of Anderson still taking wickets in the year 2039. (Now why didn’t we think of that?!)

Hercules may have completed twelve labours but it was nothing to how Jimmy transformed England’s fortunes on Day One at the Kensington Oval. With Broady dropped, he had to bear the workload on his sinewy shoulders. As Curran was dispatched to all parts by Campbell, Jimmy bided his time. Like Perseus slaying Medusa he pounced after tea, ensuring the Windies collapsed from 240-4 to 264-8 by the close.

At 36 years old James Anderson is surely a myth. Forget King Midas, everything Jimmy touches truly does turn to gold.

2) Fashion

It appears Windies cricketers are born with a fashion mind set. Think the maroon cap and sparkling chain of Sir Viv. Or Curtly’s lethal rat tail. 2019 appears to be no different for the current crop as yesterday we witnessed a fashionista in action. Striding to the crease at 174-4, 22 year old Shimron Hetmyer embodied the ghosts of legends past. A golden chain in the shape of a bat glistened round his neck, so that everybody knew, ‘Golly, this is a batsman!’ No doubts as to his position in the side.

Being named as an ICC breakout star in 2018 may have gone to Shimron’s head slightly. After all he only averages 23.25 in eight tests. What right does this young upstart have to copy the godfather of Windies cricket in his chain game? Quite a legitimate right it turns out! Caressing the ball like Donald with his wig, Hetmyer finished the day on 56. The only one to stand up against Jimmy’s vicious spell. Donning a helmet against pace, Shimron appeared relatively comfortable but it was when Adil and Mo spun that he really shone.

Spectator’s blinked in disbelief as the match suddenly turned into a fashion catwalk. Throwing away the restrictive grilled headwear, our Rocha-John-Rocha hero planted a floppy sun hat firmly on his head.

How cool was that?

We were suddenly transported back to the great West Indian side of the ‘80’s. Greenidge, Haynes, Lloyd. As the beaming sun was deflected by the brim onto the raucous pool bar; as the endless blue above appeared a ceiling of tranquillity and as Shimron Hetmyer swished a clip of his legs, we were satisfied. It doesn’t get any better.

For this is heaven.

3) Evolution

Class, mark this definition down please. ‘Evolution is change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. These characteristics are the expressions of genes that are passed from parent to offspring during reproduction.’ Comprehende?

Well it basically means you’ll be similar to your parents because they have some of the same stuff inside them. However as time passes, so too do the genes and how people act, think or behave. Thus mankind progresses from swinging in the trees apes, to knife wielding cavemen, gun shooting soldiers and nuclear weapon making madmen. On second thoughts I reckon we were better in the trees…

Evolution is precisely what is happening with the Aussie cricket team. In an attempt to move on from the rancid genes of Warner, they’ve decided to wear shorts. Sorry couldn’t resist that gag! In all seriousness Justin Langer has been trying an overhaul of the aggressive, undisciplined attitude, into something softer, well rounded and easy going. An evolution takes time though and with India destroying Australia Down Under, Langer and the CA board brought in fresh faces for the tour of Sri Lanka. Debutants like Marcus Labuschagne and Kurtis Patterson. Youngsters such as Marcus Harris and Joe Burns. One of the Richardson brothers in Jhye. (Nope not a misspelling. That is his name.)

With The Ashes later on this year, Langer’s evolution must pay dividends over this tour. Having bowled out Sri Lanka for 144, there’s a promising chance for the Aussies to make a gigantic score and give confidence to this fledgling side. Let’s hope they don’t make a complete hash of it and devolve eh?

Yeah… let’s ‘hope’ that.

4) Stupidity

In all the lessons I’ve taught this is a brand new one. Stupidity. Which is odd, considering the ridiculous things which have occurred in cricket over the past ten months. However this week Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed committed a stupid act. It’s not often we preach serious lessons at school but this one is the most serious of them all. Racism.

During Pakistan’s ODI against South Africa, stump mikes appeared to pick out Sarfraz using the word ‘kaale’ allegedly towards Andile Phehlukwayo. Meaning ‘black’ in Urdu, the implications are clearly rather troubling and the ICC have opened up an investigation into the moment. Quite rightly the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) immediately stressed there have ‘zero-tolerance’ to racist comments and therefore if Sarfraz is found guilty one can only imagine a ban will be implemented. Naturally any form of racist abuse is horrific, but coming from the captain, a leader who represents the team and his nation is even more troubling.

Everything about this story is stupid. Except the use of stump microphones which is an ingenious idea. Now fourth umpires, along with viewers and listeners can hear the sort of sledging and abuse many cricketers have put up with. Mostly it’s good natured, funny barbs. Such as Rishabh Pant who delights in his banter with batsmen. But in times of stupidity thank goodness the ICC has seen fit to switch them on, for incidences like this will be caught and punished.

And now for something completely different…

5) Geography

We end the lessons learned with the simple fact of sunlight. You all know the sun rises in the east and sets in the west right? Well clearly the designers of Napier’s McLean Park missed that particular chestnut as during the first ODI between New Zealand and India, play was halted… because of the setting sun.

Chasing 158 to win, it quickly became apparent that Shikhar Dhawan was blinded by the golden rays. Mind you with all his swinging and missing isn’t he always? Play was thus stopped for half an hour whilst everybody waited for the sun to go down. India ultimately triumphed but it’s fair to say the geographical location of this stadium isn’t perfect.

On that far sunnier note, here ends this week’s lessons learned. A perfect antidote to drown yourself in, whilst wincing every time Matt Prior opens his mouth on talkSport. To avoid this why not follow our updates over on Twitter, unless of course your teacher is busy with a social life… Now that’s the best gag of the lot! Instead I’m off to the local for a pint with my good friend Solitude. Class dismissed!