Jonny Bairstow’s back

Posted by
2 minute read

As in ‘returned’. He hasn’t got ankylosing spondylitis or anything.

Jonny Bairstow was dropped from the England Test team at the end of the summer. He was told to go and improve his ‘red ball game’.

“Do that and we’ll pick you again, we promise,” said the selectors. “Try not to worry. Here’s a central contract to prove that you’ll be back. We do hope this kick up the arse doesn’t discomfit you too much.”

Bairstow has duly gone away and batted in the nets a bit, because that’s what you do when you’re a professional cricketer who doesn’t have any actual games to play.

“Impressive stuff,” said the selectors and picked him to tour South Africa. Maybe they’ll ask him to bat at three again.

Mark Wood’s back

As in ‘returned’. He hasn’t got ankylosing spondylitis or anything.

Mark Wood has been injured. (Not his back though. Or was it? We haven’t actually checked.) Apparently he’s still injured. Ed Smith says he won’t be available for selection for the early matches on the South Africa tour.

We checked the fixture list and there are no tour games once the Tests have begun. It seems unlikely they’d pick Wood for a Test with no games under his belt, so presumably he won’t play a part.

Maybe the selectors worry that omitting Wood from a squad on the basis that he won’t actually play could be wrongly interpreted as an almighty kick up the arse.

James Anderson’s back

As in ‘returned’. He hasn’t got ankylosing spondylitis or anything.

We don’t have anything passive-aggressive to say about this selection. We’re just glad Jimmy’s back.

Moeen Ali is not back, by the way – even though Joe Root clearly thought he would be and sidelined Jack Leach accordingly


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


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. I think I’ve read or heard or something that Mark Wood had surgery on his knee, which would suggest his ankles might be fine now.

  2. There are two places in this world that I am reminded of the existence of ankylosing spondylitis: King Cricket and ads on Spotify. I don’t know what this means.

      1. Some pharmaceutical to help with back pain from ankylosing spondylitis. Classic American drug ad – got back pain? Could be this disease! Ask your doctor about our drug!

Comments are closed.