On pain and Wayne...
Bumble explains why Anderson must play before the Ashes... and why Rooney should join Accrington.
Last Updated: 21/10/10 8:20am
I saw Jimmy Anderson last week. He never cared to mention his cracked rib.
I interviewed Jimmy, along with Stuart Broad and Eoin Morgan, at a do in Manchester and he seemed in good spirits. He was talking about bowling the first over in the first Ashes Test, so I was rather surprised to read reports the next morning that he might not play.
Now the ECB have said he'll be fit in time for the first Test, but what's more significant is whether or not he'll be able to play in the warm-up games. He definitely needs some cricket before the Ashes starts.
It's imperative he plays between now and November 29 because he won't be ready for Brisbane unless he gets some match practice under his belt. If he can't play in the warm-up games then Chris Tremlett and Tim Bresnan will be fighting for his position.
But the stories might be a red herring because he was talking to me about taking the first over in the first Test and he didn't look to be in any discomfort at all.
And I've got no problem with players boxing as a way to get themselves fit. Now and again you will sustain an injury, that's just life.
Clive Lloyd was at this function as well and he said it's absolutely imperative that you take advantage of your preparation matches. That's where you consolidate your team, acclimatise to the conditions and find some form.
Another elder statesman, Graham Gooch, also said this week that the team that wins the Ashes will be the team that prepares best.
So I was pleased to hear Stuart Broad say that their focus is on the first hour of the first Test. They're not looking too far ahead.
I have absolute confidence that the England team will prepare in the right way.
The joy of X
Speaking of preparation, everything is ready for the Start the Car tour, which kicks off in Leamington Spa next week.
If you're coming, you can look forward to a special feature on cricketers with wigs. I can think of three England captains and two current Australia players, who'll be outed.
I've also been sorting out the musical content for the show, including the record I made back in the 1970's. The whole Lancashire team recorded the club song - a wonderful piece of music - which probably sold about 10 copies.
I don't think we'd have made it onto the X Factor. As I said on Twitter this week, that seems to be music to jump off cliffs by.
Where are the rock and rollers? Where's the next Billy Fury? Where's the next Gene Vincent? Where's the next Long John Baldry?
Instead we get all these boy bands who keep holding their privates like they want to go to the loo. Go before you get on stage lads!
I like that Simon Cowell though. He's a natural for television and he knows how to wind people up; that's why he earns a bob or two.
And if you're looking for some good TV, seek out the clips of Mr Khan from Bellamy's People on YouTube. He's the Community Leader, whose duties include leading the community.
Check out his views on ball-tampering, the laws of cricket, sledging and spot fixing. He's got it sussed that bloke!
Rooney for Stanley
I know Robbie Savage has told us cricket lot we can't talk about football, but if Mr Rooney wants to leave Manchester United I know a club that will take him.
Now I'm not sure if he'd fit into Accrington Stanley's wage structure, but we'd be able to come up with a few extras to tempt him.
We could offer him a custom trip around the derelict areas of the town. The market is very good; Coleen would like that. There are also some very good pound shops in Accrington. We could let him loose in one of those for an hour - as much as he can put in a trolley!
He could also try and cross Eastgate during rush hour. That would be a very interesting training routine for him. Plus at half-time, he could tuck into a world-famous Clayton Park pie; he looks like he'd enjoy a few of those.
He can leave the hustle and bustle of Cheshire behind him and come to live in a nice, leafy area of Accrington... if we can find one.
So if any of Rooney's "people" are reading this, give us a call!