Sounds crazy, right? But it isn’t really. In England’s County Championship right now there is a team that would challenge, if not beat, the blokes in Baggy Green.
Sam Robson: Chris Rogers’ opening partner at Middlesex, 24, is carving up with an average of 70 this year. Also, despite playing under-19s for his birth nation, he qualifies and wants to play for England from 2014. Selecting him would sabotage that.
Simon Katich: One of many victims of past Aussie awesomeness, he’s still scoring runs for fun at Lancashire, including a 200 against Northants. Bowls left-arm Chinamen.
Ricky Ponting: Didn’t think he was good enough after 168 Tests at 51.85 – he was wrong. Finished his run at Surrey on Friday and is retiring, but couldn’t leave him out.
George Bailey (C): Aussie T20 captain before he was capped, a gun for the ODI side, then captain, so might as well skipper here. Michael Clarke’s the only safe player.
Rob Quiney: Not exactly carving up at Essex, he’s here on past exploits, a habit of 1000-run seasons and how unlucky he was to have been dumped after two failed 2012 Tests.
Adam Voges: An ODI regular averaging 51.3, but scored 150 and 50 for Middlesex against Warwickshire in July. He’s one of the three decent part-time spinners in this side.
David Hussey: Michael’s brother would have played 100 Tests for any other country. A batsman for any situation, his first class averaging is 52.9. A reliably tight off-spinner.
Riki Wessels: The only keeper available is legend Kepler’s son. Plays for Notts and despite being born in Oz and growing up in South Africa, wants to play for England.
Jim Allenby: An all-rounder who was annoyed at getting 42 wickets and 733 runs for Glamorgan last year – “disappointing”, he said. Dan Christian’s also playing T20 here.
Trent Copeland: “Unfashionable” but terribly effective quick for Northants.
Steve Magoffin: Another unfancy quick, but one of the best in the Championship.
So there you go Boof and Pup, if all goes tits up, just get this lot on speed dial.
» Agree or disagree? Who would you include/axe? firstname.lastname@example.org
Fans, look to the football league
Going for Arsenal, Chelsea, Man U etc is fine if you’re minted enough to afford at least £50 for the cheap seats, but if my experiences from last year are anything to go by, go low for a cracking day out.
For little more than the price of a movie you can get tickets to Championship and League One matches. There’s a little less shine on everything compared to an EPL game, but if you’re into sport and not too bothered about who wins, the atmosphere at a place like Watford (£25) or Charlton Athletic (£20+) is well worth it.
Or if it’s just a passionate contest you’re after, why not get to some League One (Brentford or Leyton Orient in London) or Two (AFC Wimbledon in the west or Dagenham and Redbridge in the east) action, which kicks off this weekend.
Who knows, you could get so into it you buy the scarf and have a new team – and a bunch of beer change in your pocket.