Why not a team cat?

Michael Vaughan is back as England captain and that's what the majority of the public wanted.-AP

What would Geoff Boycott's cat say if it could do so? Ted Corbett puts himself in the cat's place.

January 1: As you know I sometimes hand over this column to a person in the news and this first week of 2007 I want you to meet Geoff Boycott's cat OBE.

January 2: We get used to surprises in this household but I must admit I go into hiding when Boycs comes home last night and shouts: "Hey, I've got a present for you. Come and hang this round your neck." Well, there's been a lot of talk about hanging recently so I am not quite sure how to take this but when I come out from under the settee I see he is raking through the drawer where he keeps his old England caps, man-of-the-match medals and spare �50 notes and he drags out this medal on a coloured ribbon and says: "This is yours now. I've got no more time for it after the way all those MBEs play in Australia and I'm giving it to you. It's yours." Well, I don't know what to say. Awarded a medal for scoring fewer runs than Paul Collingwood; it's a dream come true. I mean my lord and master wants nothing else but the England captaincy, a few bob in his back pocket and a nice suit of clothes and he is really chuffed when he gets the old medal and shakes hands with the Queen. So it is a big honour for me to wear it, even if it is a bit weighty for a cat. Boycs is a kind man who throws me a prawn from time to time although I reckon I may be a substitute for his mum and that if I wear a pinny to catch those prawns he will be a lot happier.

January 3: I have got to say Boycs has to take a bit of responsibility for what happens in Australia. He writes a column in the newspaper saying that it is time for a new coach and that has to get into the minds of the players who, judging from the ones who drop in here for a word of advice from time to time, are not all Brain of Britain material. They must think that perhaps old Duncan Fletcher will not be the coach much longer and lose a bit of respect for the man. Add to that the departure of their bowling coach Troy Cooley, there's a lack of confidence right at the start. Yes, I know I am only repeating what Boycs says a thousand times in his newspaper but it is true. Lack of leadership is, I reckon, at the bottom of things and the sooner that nice Mr. Vaughan — who always gives me a stroke when he comes round, and says, "Hi, cat, how are you netting?" — returns the better.

Boycs says he ought to wait for the World Cup and that the one-day games in Australia are not as important and that he ought to have a proper rest but Mr. Vaughan is nice to me and that is what matters. I think Boycs really wants him to captain Yorkshire and I will be pleased to see more of him. Not everyone is nice to cats, I'll have you know.

January 4: I hear through the lady who comes round to pour me a saucer of milk when the family are away, that there is a bit of dissent in Yorkshire which is like saying human beings need to eat and fish swim in water. They fail to keep that nice Chris Adams — he not only scratches my ears but gives me a bit of his haddock and sits me on his knee — and I am not at all surprised when he changes his mind. "What do you think about this whole business?" he asks and I say: "Rough old club, Yorkshire, pal, because no-one ever agrees with anyone else and you will have your work cut out to get a new pair of shoes never mind bring in a Pakistani fast bowler." He gives me a funny look and he says: "Are you sure? It was a bit like that at Derbyshire. I don't need all this strife." And he goes very quiet. Then I say: "But you have got Boycs on your side" and he nods and grins and says: "I owe you another bit of haddock sometime, Puss" and the next day he tells Yorkshire "thanks but no thanks" and stays at Sussex. Boycs is not pleased and tries to get all sorts of other people interested but by that time it is too late. He has to go off to Australia because, as he says, no one else can be relied on to tell people the truth about what is going on Down Under and while he is away he cannot also look for a new captain and a new coach and find a new fast bowler.

January 5: When England lose 5-0 there is an almighty row behind the scenes. England just like Yorkshire! I cannot believe it. Anyway, the ECB issue a pompous statement saying they will hold an inquiry so they win something in the next few years, including a one-day trophy — when their players are no better at one-day cricket than at catching mice — and win back the Ashes. When the Aussies lose they go home and make their own plans. Can you imagine an England team doing that? Old Corbett reminds me that when Mike Gatting's team win three different trophies in Australia 20 years ago not one of them is still playing for England within three years. So heaven alone knows what will happen to the players who lose 5-0. The trouble with the England selection panel is that they will select; in other words they always want to make changes, in case someone thinks they are not doing their job properly. Oh, and it is time for Duncan Fletcher to end his stint as coach. As far as I am concerned he is cat meat.

January 6: I watch all the Tests on the telly late at night when Mrs. Boycott, another nice cat lady or their daughter remember to leave the set switched on. I spend most of my time wondering which of the players are cat men. To be honest, as Andrew Flintoff is always saying, I think most of them love cats. Hard, even nasty on the outside, just like us cats, but big softies who want nothing more than to go home afterwards and be with their ever-loving pets. Flintoff says he likes having his wife and kids with him after a hard day; how much happier he will be if he has a cat to stroke. So I have a tip for the ECB. They should forbid wives to go on tour but permit cats. Or why not a team cat? A winter in Australia or Sri Lanka or New Zealand will be — please excuse the pun — purrfect.

January 7: Anyway, that is enough from me. My only problem now is that hunting mice with a medal round your neck is not easy.