The Daily Telegraph - The Telegraph Magazine

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT THE AUSTRALIAN CRICKET TEAM

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April 2018

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.

June 2018

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.

February 2020

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

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