Sun is shining in the sky, there ain’t a cloud in sight. It’s stopped raining everyb- OH I DON’T THINK SO! We’ve had our fun in the summer sun. Now get back inside and force those noses to the grindstone. It’s time for more cricket lessons learned; apt when you consider the weather is set to turn from tomorrow. A proper pathetic fallacy. Open your textbooks to page 69…

1) Military Training

AttenSHUN. Get down you ‘orrible lot and give me fifty. Oh how pathetic is that Witherbottom? Your arse is hanging in the air. Lower it down and at least attempt a press up. Keep pumping until I finish this first lesson because at least the West Indies have military discipline. Or to be more precise, left arm seamer Sheldon Cottrell would put you ragged bunch to shame. For we discovered this week that Sheldon has a rather unique wicket taking celebration.

A salute.

Standing tall and proud in the wake of helpless England batsmen, Cottrell firmly places a hand to his head and salutes those in the Jamaica Defence Force. It’s a mark of respect to those currently serving, for the Windies bowler is a soldier by profession. Imagine that, a sportsman learning the art of discipline through military action? Mind you Cottrell has been handier with a rifle than Dukes ball in recent years, having only played one test match back in 2013. Like an unexploded grenade he made zero impact and has been made to wait to explode properly on the ODI stage. And explode he did in the second ODI between the West Indies and England.

Bowling with sniper like accuracy Cottrell inspired the Windies to victory with 5-46. Despite the best efforts of Stokes and Morgan, the visitors lost their last six wickets for just 35 runs and subsided 26 short. It means the series is one apiece, with the third match completely washed out.

Although worryingly that would’ve given Sheldon Cottrell more time at the rifle range…

2) Déjà Vu

According to our friend Google, déjà vu is a ‘feeling of recollection; those who have experienced the feeling describe it as an overwhelming sense of familiarity.’ There’s generally a double take in our movements, we feel a bit light headed and try to understand exactly what about a scenario seems familiar. For instance the time our podcast won the British Podcast Awards. Oh no, hang on. That’s dreaming.

Instead a perfect example of déjà vu comes with the England cricket team and their inability to prevent a collapse occurring. And it’s not just the men I’m referring to here. Over the past week, England Ladies have twice been thrashed by India. Considering this is the current World Cup holders, it’s rather worrying that England have lost six of their last 11 ODI’s. Lying seventh in the ICC Women’s Championship it may require a monumental effort to automatically qualify for the 2021 tournament. Especially if they keep suffering from the disease.

India sealed a seven wicket win as England slumped to 44-2 and 95-7. Phwoah! Anything the blokes can do the women can do better. Only Nat Sciver’s 85 resembled any form of respectability but the hosts were never troubled in chasing down 162. It comes after a ridiculous loss of 7-25 in the first match. Hence the déjà vu joke…

Heather Knight’s side have one last shot at redemption on Thursday. Otherwise it’s highly unlikely we’ll have déjà vu of her lifting the World Cup in two years’ time.

According to our friend Google déjà vu is – oh shite it’s happening again!

3) Business Studies

It’s business, it’s business time. Today is Wednesday which means we need to get down and dirty with some serious business talk. Or should that be pillow talk. Mmm. Oh yeah baby, we know what you like, it’s round, colour of your lipstick and can be hit right in the sweet spot. Hey, don’t be crude! We’re only referencing a cricket ball. You dirty reader.

A cricket ball which those in Middlesex will need to keep an eye on. Like seagull shit at the beach, cricket balls will be raining from the skies around Lord’s during the summer. Because this week they announced the signing of AB de Villiers! Arriving in July for the T20 Blast, this is AB’s first stint in county cricket, being available for Middlesex’s initial seven games and the knockout stages. What a coup (more seagull puns) for the county, securing the services of the greatest white ball player in the history of cricket. 7,316 runs with a strike rate of 148.85 is brutal.

Mind you he’s gullible if he reckons it will be a wham bam walk in the park for Middlesex. Don’t forget the county have never won the T20 tournament, despite previously showing off Brendon McCullum. Sea the joke there?

Another bit of business this week is Yorkshire signing Duanne Olivier as a Kolpak player for three years. Excellent for the White Rose but how bonkers by Duane? He’s one of the inform bowlers in test cricket, having snatched 31 wickets in five tests since December. And now he’s chosen Yorkshire over South Africa? Olivier, you’ve been duanne there mate!

4) Technology

Who remembers the ‘Phones 4 U’ advert? No hands raised. Golly, sometimes I forget class that you’re only in your teenage years. Okay well basically it was an advert which encouraged buyers to have four phones on the go at all times. You know, for completely innocent reasons. Like one phone for relatives, another your partner, third one exclusively for mates, the fourth one… hmm here’s where I’m struggling a bit. Why on earth would you need four phones? Unless of course you’re up to no good. Now who could we call to verify this? Oh I know, Sanath Jayasuriya!

Technology really hasn’t been Sanath’s friend as this week he’s been banned from cricket for two years, after admitting to breaching the ICC anti-corruption code. The code which unlike in Pirates of the Caribbean ain’t merely a guideline. It’s the law. Which Jayasuriya broke after failing to cooperate with an investigation into corruption in Sri Lankan cricket. When asked to hand over his mobile phone, the ex-skipper gave investigators two phones. Before somehow recalling the next day that in fact he’d signed up with ‘Phones 4 U’ and thus had two other devices. Both of which, in a totally believable coincidence, fell from his pocket ‘in a grassy area somewhere in Colombo.’

Now you don’t have to be Colombo to figure out what’s occurred. His phones were nicked! Jayasuriya deliberately concealed, tampered or destroyed the evidence. Naughty boy.

No wonder ‘Phones 4 U’ is out of business.

5) Graphic Design

Our final cricket lessons learned this week comes courtesy of Durham Cricket. Who have been rebranded and are now known as… Durham Cricket! Who knew right? Apparently the northern side have merged the board and club behind the scenes, which has prompted the relaunch. With a swish new badge and return to the blue and yellow limited overs kit, Durham have also dropped the ‘Jets’ from their T20 name. So remember from now on, you must call Durham, ‘Durham Cricket’ and not ‘Durham Football’ or ‘Durham Korfball’ or ‘Durham Pizza’ Just in case you were wondering.

Here end this week’s cricket lessons learned. With the blazing sun causing a picturesque summer scene out the window, do you really think I’ll give you homework? You don’t know me well at all. Homework is to design an alternative Durham badge, create a modern phone company advert and work on your pillow talk. Innovation at its finest. I’m off to the pub garden. Class dismissed!