It's coming together
Yusuf Islam and the A-Team have played their part in England's Test build-up, says Phil Edwards.
Last Updated: 11/06/10 12:35pm
Could I just start this instalment by saying a big thank you, on behalf of the UK media in Perth, to Yusaf Islam.
The 60s folk-rock singer, formerly known as Cat Stevens, has been staying in our hotel with the rest of his band ahead of a couple of gigs at a concert hall down the road.
The hotel in question, to the dismay of thirsty reporters, has shut its bar at 9pm every night since we arrived. Every night that is except last night.
That's because Yusaf's band made it known that they would stay here only if the hotel provided refreshments for them after their performances. Some of our colleagues took full advantage of the situation and left the bar singing one of singer's biggest hits, "Morning has Broken", apparently with some justification.
The irony of course is this all came to pass thanks to a guy who, for obvious reasons, does not himself imbibe. Thank goodness for musicians!
I am sure most of you would agree that Toby Flood deserves to be starting at fly-half in the first Test on Saturday. However, this is a concept that appears to be totally baffling to the Australian public and their esteemed media.
They cannot understand why the bloke whose drop-goal deprived them of their World Cup in 2003 is not starting in the pivot role at the Subiaco Oval.
Some of them claim never to have heard of Flood, and this could go a long way towards explaining why the local paper out here has called him "Tony" Flood. To be fair, this is probably just a "typo" as the letters n and b are smack bang next to each other on the typewriter keyboard.
It reminds me of my favourite such error. I think it was in the Wrexham Leader newspaper back in the 70s. In an obituary about an elderly spinster who had been an upstanding pillar in the community, a member of the Women's Institute, and one of the cornerstones of the Salvation Army in North Wales, the paper informed us that: "Miss Evans leaves a sister in Rhyll and a brothel in Colwyn Bay".
As I write this it is the eve of the first Test and we have just been interviewing the England Captain Lewis Moody.
He has a tradition of going to see a movie with some of the boys to help him relax ahead of big internationals. For all you trivia buffs out there, the film he saw in Sydney before the World Cup win in 2003 was 'School of Rock'.
Over our coffees this morning we had speculated about what he might choose this time. Thankfully, it turns out he won't be watching 'Inglourious Basterds' or 'The Hurt Locker', opting instead for 'The A-Team'.
What was John 'Hannibal' Smith's catchphrase again? Oh yeah: "I love it when a plan comes together".