Cameron Bancroft’s very long open letter, Festivus wishes and entirely unnecessary notification of upcoming fixtures

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Excuse making (all images via Sky Sports video)

Today is a very important day. Today is the day that Cameron Bancroft revealed that he almost gave up cricket to teach yoga but then didn’t.

It’s also the day of the Festivus King Cricket post where we all come together for the airing of grievances and we mention that we’ll be downing tools for a few days before telling you about the Boxing Day Test matches that you already knew about.

But first, the Bancroft thing.

In a not-at-all weird development, the banned opener’s written an open letter to himself.

To give you some sense of the tone, this is what he tells himself about sandpapering a cricket ball.

“You will wonder why you did it, question every part of who you are as a person, grieve, grow, act and become someone again. I promise.

“Somebody who you can stare back at in the mirror and feel love for, be content with, be proud of and grateful for.”

Say what you like about Australians, they really can make a hell of a song and dance out of the ineffective alteration of the surface of a cricket ball.

At one point Bancroft makes a reference to “the journey of forgiveness of the self”. A little later, he quotes Saint Francis of Assisi.

About three-quarters of the way through (the letter was written onboard flight QF772 to Melbourne and we can only presume it was an extremely long flight) he says: “Maybe cricket isn’t for you, you’ll ask yourself. Will you return? Yoga will be such a fulfilling experience.”

Obviously this is the exciting bit. What’s his reasoning for (probably) coming back to cricket?

“It is simply just fun.”

Fair play – that’s a decent answer.

This year’s Boxing Day Tests are:

  • Australia v India at the MCG
  • South Africa v Pakistan at Centurion
  • New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Christchurch

Happy Festivus. We’ll be back in a few days with a great big review of Australia’s comedy year. Don’t expect much Boxing Day Test coverage because we almost certainly can’t be arsed.


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  1. I have a grievance with Thesmudge for his gratuitous mention of The Ketchup Song earlier this week. I’ve had three consecutive nights and counting of that particular earworm. It’s a bit like gratuitously mentioning Iain Duncan Smith without a trigger warning. What sort of idiot would do that to friends? I still haven’t forgiven Awesome Simo for the IDS incident nearly two years ago:

    I have a grievance with King Cricket about the sudden disappearance of the ability to retain our posting details by way of cookies on this site. Admittedly that ability has now re-appeared by way of a mystery little button below said details, but still the irritation from having needed, several times, to re-enter those details, remains. And please don’t start casting around to blame someone other than yourself for the debacle with “whose idea was it to upgrade to the latest version of WordPress?” type comments – la la la nobody can hear you, KC.

    I also have a grievance with Bert, who tends to be funnier than me when he decides to go off on one. Nobody and I mean nobody should be capable of being funnier than me in such circumstances, Bert. Rein yourself in.

    In short, I am disappointed.

    Happy Festivus.

    1. I dread to think what happens in your house when someone squeezes from the wrong end of the toothpaste tube. Have a good one, Ged, and see you next season.

    2. I hang my head with shame, Ged. It is especially cruel since the pleasures of that performance were all visual.

      If it is any consolation you are NEARLY as funny as Bert.

      Happy festivus to King and Court.

    1. We all accept that you can’t be arsed to cover the matches, KC, but surely you could at least list all three matches that you can’t be arsed to cover.

      That wonderful opportunity to actually follow some cricket at the fag end of December 25th – it’s the thing that keeps some of us going throughout that day. And you forgot to tell us about it. Plus two of our favourite cricketing nations dissed.

      Now THERE’S grounds for a big Festivus grievance – even a broyges.

    2. A grave oversight. We found one of the Boxing Day matches that were listed for Christmas Day but couldn’t believe there would be a second.

      Post updated. Real bumper Boxing Day this year.

  2. The flight from Perth to Melbourne takes approximately three hours. The letter Cameron Bancroft wrote to himself is approximately 1800 words long. This correlates to a writing speed of ten words per minute, which is quite low. (This does not account for thinking time, as it assumes that Bancroft did the thinking before stepping on to the plane. It also does not take any editing he did en route into account.)

  3. Open letters are an irritating conceit at best (I’m looking at you, Alison Pearson) but this is off the scale. I think it’s the way he’s sort of taking responsibility for his actions while distancing himself from them at the same time. Enough!

    1. There’s definitely a sense that the guy who did the sandpapering is a completely different person and that poor Cameron Bancroft of the present is a victim of that fiend. Same goes for Smith in all his pronouncements.

      1. Indeed and not only that; the current Cameron Bancroft is an “amazing” person, which he tells us in the third person. Self-serving pyschobabble the whole thing

      2. It will make the ball swing more, my precious. Get the nasty safferses playing down the wrong line, my precious.

        No, no nice safferses. That would be crossing the line.

  4. Festivus wishes to the Kingdom from the Sam household.

    What delights await in this year’s stocking?

    One thing’s for sure, I’ve bought Moeen Ali’s book for my dad.

    1. My understanding is that Rohit Sharma has returned – he doesn’t have ankylosing spondylitis or anything of that sort.

      In other news: Ravindra Jadeja’s back!

      1. My understanding is that Ravindra Jadeja has returned – he doesn’t have ankylosing spondylitis or anything of that sort.

        In other news: Mohammad Amir’s back!

      2. My understanding is that Mohammad Amir has returned – he doesn’t have ankylosing spondylitis or anything of that sort.

        In other news, Duanne Olivier’s back…

        …as in, returned – he doesn’t have ankylosing spondylitis or anything of that sort.

        Olivier replaced Vernon Philander who is injured but not through back knack, apparently…digit knack instead.

    1. Oh dear – perhaps Hoopy had an especially indulgent 25th of December.

      Losing track of the days is par for the course at this time of year, but losing track of the month is exceptional.

      Respect. You must have worn several for the team and no doubt that’s going to hurt in the morning…or whenever you next wake up.

      1. Interesting thought, Balladeer.

        If that is the case, I think the least that Hoopy should do is tell us what he is on and where we might get some.

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