Tuesday, 12 June 2012

IS BRIAN BADONDE PICKING THE ENGLAND TEAM?

bananas: not French for 'pineapple'

Cricket scribes had once used to quip that ‘Team England’ was a closed shop, that it was harder to get out than get in. Whether or not it was true in the past, it appears that this is now indeed the case (provided you’ve got the right name) after sensational news emerged from the ECB that self-styled “world-famous art critic and social bommentator” Brian Badonde has been added, on an informal basis, to the England selection panel.

For those who don’t know a great deal about Badonde, he has risen dramatically to the top of his profession – a profession that many consider spurious – despite suffering from an acute case of Bourette’s Syndrome (a close relative of the neuropsychiatric disorder Tourette’s Syndrome), in which, rather than vocal and physical tics expressed in the emission of involuntary grunts and profanities, the speaker cannot prevent him- or herself from replacing the initial letter of most words with the letter ‘b’ – whence bommentator.

I first met Brian on the not-so-mean streets of Fulham in late 2006. He was wandering around in nothing but a poncho, distractedly shouting “Bolivia! Bolivia!” over and over again. Naturally, I thought this was some sort of recondite Situationist
 ‘happening’ – possibly coca-fuelled (appropriately enough) – with him protesting, obliquely, about the crippling poverty that US foreign policy had visited upon the Andean nation, the country in which the great champion of South American economic emancipation, Che Guevara, had met his grisly end. But, in fact, I had misunderstood. Brian was not doing art, nor making a political gesture; he was simply looking for his beloved pet Pekingese, which he’d named after the female lead of Grease.

brick-it, lover

Little more than a year later, Brian had seared himself into the national consciousness with a series of brilliant investigations of the cultural output of this endlessly imaginative nation. Despite appearances (not to mention persistent rumours of his off-camera snobbery), Badonde-the-broadcaster makes no elitist distinction between ‘high’ and ‘mass’ culture; like the good postmodernist that he is  that he must be  television, comic strips, rock music and graffiti are every bit as valid and valued as cultural forms as sculpture, opera, theatre and ballet. 

The classic example of this populist bent is his BAFTA-winning delve into of the world of East London MC Battles (famously depicted by Eminem in 8 Mile). Here are the highlights.


Part 1:



Part 2:




Anyway, the English cricket press first got wind of Badonde’s surprise involvement in moulding England’s post-KP limited-overs strategy when the Twenty20 squad was announced: Broad, Bairstow, Bopara, Bresnan, Briggs, Buttler…

A few hours later, a source handed reversesweeper a paper bearing the title ‘Brian’s BentyBenty Burld Bomination’, which had the following fourteen names written on it, as though by a fifteenth century Venetian calligrapher (or an effete fop):

BELL (vc)
BELL-DRUMMOND
BALLANCE
BOPARA
BAIRSTOW (wk)
BUTTLER
BRESNAN
BROAD (c)
BORTHWICK
BROOKS
BRIGGS

BROWN, BEN
BLACKWELL
BARKER
BUCK

Thankfully, there was enough resistance on the panel for this squad not to have materialised, but it appears strange all the same that Bandy Blower, Buart Broad, Boo Borris and Beff Biller have all denied Badonde’s involvement – both with the selection process and with them, sexually (he must be blackmailing them, right?).

Bookies in parts of the country have stopped taking bets on the next England ODI captain being Kent’s England U19 skipper Adam Ball. 





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