Why has no-one asked Jonathan Trott’s mum how we can stamp out match-fixing?

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Photo by Sarah Ansell
Photo by Sarah Ansell

We don’t normally report on excerpts from cricket autobiographies because, you know, read the book.

We have to make an exception for this majestic exchange from Jonathan Trott’s Unguarded though. (We haven’t read it, but he wrote it with George Dobell, so we’re pretty confident it’s excellent.)

After Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt uttered his immortal line about “some English players” and “loud and clear talk in the bookies’ circle” back in 2010, the players in question got the hump.

At nets the following morning, Trott asked Wahab Riaz: “You going to accuse us of match-fixing again?”

Quite why Trott confused Wahab with Ijaz Butt is unclear. Maybe Wahab had said something too, or maybe Trott believed Pakistan to be operating with some sort of Borg-like group consciousness. It doesn’t matter either way. What matters is Wahab’s response.

Wahab went with: “Your mum knows all about match-fixing.”

Quite apart from the fact that this was crying out for a “no, you are” riposte, this was nevertheless an excellent meaningless schoolboy insult and we heartily approve.

Trott didn’t agree and so hit Wahab round the head with his pads before attempting to throttle him.

In this weeks’ edition of The Spin, Andy Bull starts with this incident before exploring the merits of sledging with particular reference to Australia.

We’ve already said all we need to say on that matter: It’s a myth that Australia play better when they’re aggressive. What actually happens is that they become gobbier when they’re winning.


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. I’ve just finished the book and it is indeed excellent.

    Trott comes across as a thoroughly lovely chap with a poorly head.

    It’s interspersed with comments from other players – the Pietersen bits really jar against the overall tone of humility and decency.

      1. Cheers Sam. Think it’s the kind of book many of our readers would be interested in, so much appreciated.

  2. I read the Andy Bull article (I don’t subsribe to the e-mail), and spent longer than I’d care to admit wondering if there was indeed some story about Trott’s mum making comments around match-fixing, before I realised that it was simply a “so’s your face”/”that’s your mum, that is” comment.

    I was slightly disappointed that James Ormond’s riposte to Mark Waugh didn’t get a mention as one of what Bull refers to as the “occasional instances of genuine wit”.

  3. It is a well-known fact in anti-corruption unit circles (though little-known beyond them) that several international players’ mothers have been involved in betting syndicates and possibly match fixing for many decades.

    Geoffrey Boycott’s mother, for example, is believed to have developed cricket-specific tic-tac signals for bookies, using a well-known species of stalky vegetable for signalling purposes.

    Geoffrey has always claimed that his mother (and grandmother before her) only used said stalks as legitimate cricket playing equipment, but then he would say that, wouldn’t he?

    It is sad to think that Jonathan Trott’s mother might have got mixed up in such unpleasantness.

  4. Why does the advert at the bottom of this site still insist that I need a transfer from Tenerife South airport? If the meter is still running I take it that you will foot the bill to one of your faithful subjects, KC.

  5. Who thought that Bangladesh would be an easy gig? Still, I remain confident that England will find a way through. Strength in depth.

    Ian Ronald Bell is making an excellent contribution to this so-called test series (just two matches) from the comfort of a Sky Studio in Osterley.

  6. Hurrah! Batty coming in to ‘replace’ Anderson means England are still to field a test side where every player is younger than me! Shove that up your arses!

    1. It’s only a matter of time, Mike. Probably not a long time in your case, by the sound of it.

      I stay young by using an unfeasibly youthful photo as my avatar, while the old git in my attic keeps bashing away on the keyboard while getting increasingly wizened.

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