England Lions: five for Panesar, Flintoff to appear at boundary edge

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Five wickets for Monty Panesar – there’s a sentence that’s been conspicuous by its absence of late. He only did it for England Lions though, who we’re going to start calling England Second XI, because that’s much more accurate.

If you’re going to name one of your national teams after an animal, at least name it after a native one, like the badger or the weasel or the mole.

Andrew Flintoff’s going to ‘link-up’ with the England Hedgehogs, although it will be in a non-playing capacity, which should get everyone good and excited.

The crowds will surely turn out in force. Wow at Flintoff’s relaxed demeanour. Marvel as he has ‘a bit of banter’ with his on-pitch team mates. Gasp as he reveals that his recuperation is coming along ‘quite well’.

This England Second XI squad that’s competing in the Duleep Trophy in India is one of the least interesting in years. Adil Rashid’s involved, which is good and we’ll be interested to see how Liam Plunkett gets on, but the move away from youth and towards being a second XI has taken away a lot of intrigue. These players are fairly well known.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. ‘There are no lions in eeeengland, there are no lions in eeengland, there are no lions in england, anymore’

    just be thankful they’ve not gome for the same name as the England Rugby Union 2nd XI. THAT’S a stupid name….

  2. If only it were the latter.

    Scientician: care to elaborate? You can Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V it if you want.

  3. I Ctrl-Ced “England Rugby Union 2nd XI” into google, and the first hit was “Bollywood Babes”. Which I think is a reputation name for any sporting team.

  4. [crtl-c, ctrl-v]
    England Saxons is the current name of England’s men’s second national rugby union team. The team has previously been known by a number of names, such as England B, Emerging England, and, most recently, England A.

  5. Well, I suppose it’s better than England Angles.

    Not to mention England Normans — now there’s a team to strike fear into the hearts of all those who oppose them.

  6. So, if you’re going to pick a fearsome animal for your second XI, shouldn’t your first XI have an even more fearsome animal? In which case, I would like to suggest the hippopotamus, as we’re always being told hippos kill more humans than any other animal and can run at 130mph or something.

    Really, people are always telling me that. Go Hippos!

  7. That’s true. England’s first team doesn’t boast a superior animal. They’re just England cricketers.

    Who would you back if it came to lions v cricketers?

    In a game of cricket, we’d probably have to go with the cricketers.

  8. Yes, if Miriam’s cats’ fielding ability is anything to go by.

    Indifference on the scale of eleven lions would be awesome to behold.

  9. I’ve always wondered which would win in a fight; the three somewhat emaciated lions on the England badge, or the one great big lion wi’ a sword on the Sri Lankan equivalent?

    If trained properly in the art of swordsmanship, I reckon the one lion would win out…although there may be some issue with the whole “opposable thumbs” thing.

    Obviously, a lion with a bat would fall somewhere in between the two…not sure what lions would make of ‘keeping gloves, though…mind you, that never stopped young Geraint.

    Katie — it’s a sign of how far grammatical standards have fallen that I was delighted to see the correctly-used apostrophes in your last post.

  10. Lions have miniature swords known as ‘claws’ built into their hands. Surely using the one, solitary sword would only prevent the Lankan lion from using those very weapons, which number several.

    Although the sword would give the Lankan lion extra reach.

    Does the extended reach make up for the three-on-one ratio and the shortfall in claws?

  11. I think that the extended reach may well make up for it. The England lions’ habit of standing one on top of each other suggests that they’ll queue up for the Lankan to run them through one by one (rather like England’s batsmen), instead of planning any kind of clever blitzkrieg attack.

    Also, the Lankan lion is currently primed with his sword, ready. The English lions appear to be rolling around in roses.

  12. The lack of relevant information following a google search of “England Rugby Union 2nd XI” was probably related to the little known fact that there are 15 players in a rugby union team.
    I think more sporting teams (national and club) should employ animal hybrids in their names: Leicestershire Ligers or Zimbabwe Zonkeys, for example.

  13. The next series is only New Zealand after all, so perhaps we should think about giving another young left-arm spinner a go instead of Monty – how about Sussex’s Holly Colvin?

  14. Good point, Miriam — the English lions are clearly soft, and possibly metrosexual to boot.

    I’d never heard of a wholphin before!

  15. Never heard of a wholpin? Shame on you and shame on the rest of you for not defending England’s lions (jersey-type, not the reserve team).

  16. I suspect Mr. Tebbit would, rather than lecturing me, instead aim a swift kick to my knackers.

  17. I suspect Mr. Tebbit would, rather than lecturing me on the error of my ways, instead aim a swift kick at my knackers.

  18. To Mr Tebbit I would say: (1) make England worthy of my support then, and (2) you’ve got my tax pounds, now leave me alone.

  19. We usally delete one of the two to protect our commenters’ dignity, but your last comment would cease to make sense.

    We could delete that as well, we suppose, but then again, that would necessitate deleting this comment as well and all said, it’s getting to be far too much trouble now.

  20. i think you should delete the above comment, which only serves as a window into the obsessive freakshow that is you brain.

    Right, I’m off. There’s only one word left to sing.


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