… almost the width of Gatting
Dear Mr Ponting,
Thank you for your letter dated December 23rd, 2011. Having looked through my paperwork, I can see that you appear quite heavily on the naughty list this year and very little on the nice list. Also, you are not actually a child so you are taking the piss a little bit. I have consulted with my legal people and they have agreed that, as long as I give you something on the grounds that you are the height of a child, I am not at risk of legal action from you.
I have decided that I will not be giving you the pink teddy bear, the polkadot pyjamas or the son who can play cricket as well as Steve Waugh’s (we are not worthy) son. I will also not be giving you the century on Boxing day, because we have to make these things look realistic.
As a trade off, however, I have decided that you can have a half century on Boxing day but with the following conditions: you will get hit by the ball at least once, you will clearly still not be able to deal with swing as well as you used to and you will have to share the limelight with a new and untried test batsman, who will be as good if not better than you.
I apologise if you are not content with my response to this year’s list, but I don’t really care. Frankly, you get worse every year and I’ve about had enough of it. If I get another batting-related christmas request next year, I’m going to send some of my elves to beat the Cricket Australia selectors senseless for allowing you to still be on the side.
Father Christmas (aka Santa Claus, St Nick, Sinterklaas, guy at the MCG wearing a black mask and placing a curse on you)