WHAT HAPPENED NEXT THE AUSTRALIAN CRICKET TEAM
Despite promising there’d be no more ball tampering, Australia are at it again, giving Theresa May a chance to expel a clutch of high-profile Aussies living in Britain. Passengers at Stansted are shocked to see Kylie Minogue carried kicking and screaming on to a Qantas jet, followed by Elle Macpherson, Barry Humphries and Margot Robbie. ‘Seeing Kylie like that, it’s just wrong,’ a witness tells ITV. ‘Couldn’t they send Dannii?’ Facing a PR crisis, May recalls the group and swaps them with Rupert Murdoch, Germaine Greer, Rolf Harris and Julian Assange. Her approval ratings hit an all-time high.
Secretly thrilled to be involved in an international news story, PM Malcolm Turnbull decides it would be in Australia’s best interests to embrace cheating across all sports, not just cricket. Accordingly, the Socceroos are disqualified from the World Cup in Russia when six rabid dingoes from their starting XI puncture the match ball and attack the opposition. In Formula 1, Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo is spotted attaching a tow rope between his car and Lewis Hamilton’s. And in the Tour de France, all eight Australian riders fail the drugs test. Nobody notices or cares about the latter.
Now undisputed leaders at tampering with fair contests, Australian cricketers are in demand from political campaigns all over the world. The team’s leadership group are revealed to have set up Wagga Wagga Analytica, a market-research company that has in fact meddled in every election for over a decade. ‘The cricket thing was fair dinkum, small fry,’ former captain Steve Smith is caught boasting to a prospective client, Jacob Rees-mogg. ‘You know the NHS promise on the side of that bus? Our boys. The stuff Robert Mueller reckons Putin did for Trump? Us again. Heck, remember when Ed Miliband carved his manifesto on a stone slab? Shane Warne told him to do that.’ — Guy Kelly