A TWEET caught my eye the other day.
It read: “Tweet your questions for England Head Coach Peter Moores using #AskMoores. He’ll answer as many as he can from 3pm.”
The message on the official account of the England and Wales Cricket Board struck me as the equivalent of buying a rifle with the intention of shooting oneself in the foot.
The capacity for embarrassment seemed greater than inviting Prince Philip to speak at an official function.
With baited breath, I waited to see what would happen.
Not long after 3pm, and with no sign of the shenanigans starting, the ECB tweeted an update.
“Peter will be with us shortly... Just talking to the England players ahead of the Royal London ODI v Scotland on Friday.”
Cue a rush of predictable replies.
“Oh, how exciting for him,” somebody tweeted.
“He’s probably telling the players that everything they did was wrong,” declared another.
“Will you be filtering out Qs about @KP24?” someone else asked, with reference to former England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who was sacked by England along with Moores after the pair fell out in 2009.
You could almost hear the rifle being loaded.
A short while later came another ECB update.
“Apologies for the delay after the England training session. Peter Moores will be here to answer questions at 4pm.”
Then… “Sorry make that 4.15!”
At which point, the suspense was killing me – not.
Eventually, Moores turned up and the tomfoolery began.
“Do you hate KP?” someone enquired in a gentle ice-breaker.
“No, it’s nothing personal. The ECB have made a decision to move on,” replied Moores.
Whereupon the questions took on a vetted air, and the bland responses became increasingly laughable.
“Do you have unfinished business?”... “Definitely.”
“What do you expect to learn about Anderson and Bell in the Scotland game?”... “It’s great to see Jimmy back playing ODI cricket.”
“Will England beat Scotland?”... “Provided we play to our potential.”
“Give us a name of someone who may be playing for England next year who no-one has thought of?”... “I can’t give a name.”
“Whoz (sic) going to be a trump card for England in WC 2015?”... “Difficult to say.”
“Any chance of a T20 comeback for the big man @flintoff11?”... “Not sure.”
“Does Alex Hales have a chance of making the ODI/test squads?”... “Great to see Alex scoring runs for @worcsccc”
And so on...
When the thrilling exchanges were over, the ECB tweeted a picture of a beaming Moores in front of a laptop with the cheerful parting shot: “Thank you everyone for all your Qs. Sorry I couldn’t answer them all. Look forward to seeing you over the summer!”
Immediately, someone tweeted back: “Well, if your coaching is like your answers, English cricket is in the **** my friend #Zzzzzzz”
Someone else replied: “I’ve read through them and I don’t think he answered any of the questions. Just like a politicians Q&A.”
If I had tweeted a question, it would have been this: “Why bother holding such a pointless exercise in the first place?”