Ashley poses with his heroes
An Australian cricket fan is offering a free Ashes ticket to any English girl who will act as a 'beer wench' for him and his friends.
Ashley Wakefield put an advert on a London-based Aussie website seeking a 'good-looking female under 35' who would fetch lager and hot dogs during day three of the fourth Test in Melbourne.
In return they will get a prime spot in the MCG for a Test match that sold out weeks ago.
The full posting on Gumtree reads: "Free Ashes ticket. Great Southern Stand, level 2, row B - best seat in the MCG (Just above the old Bay 13 area - where the Barmy Army will be).
Catch: Looking for beer/drinks hostess. Have to be female under 35. Have to be willing to get the rest of the group - seven people (girls & guys) - drinks/food for the day.
(We pay for our drinks/food, you pay for yours).
Have to be a fun person, love Cricket, love beer.
Please send photo and a brief story about yourself."
Ashley, 33, a building manager from Melbourne (his great-grandfather was from Oxford) said: "The advert has attracted plenty of interest. The whole idea was to have a bit of fun and talk up the cricket. I have a lot of good friends from England, so I know most of them have a sense of humour (when they are winning)."
We caught up with him to find out more about the dream offer.
WHAT IS THE SELECTION PROCESS?
We had a number of different rules and qualifications the successful applicant had to meet. One was the ability to carry seven beers, four pies, two hot dogs and a bucket of chips in one trip.
If they were looking to retrieve a serving of scones or strawberries and a cup of tea for themselves, all well and good, but it must not interrupt service to the 'Magnificent 7'.
Naturally a fellow beer-lover would fit the bill even better. That would make it easier for her to handle the friendly banter from the surrounding natives. It might also be a lot easier to absorb the humiliation of being flogged by the opposition inside three days.
It really does need to be a girl - we don't feel a bloke would have the very special characteristics needed to fill the role. But then again, we are talking about recruiting from the same gene pool that produced Phil Tufnell....
HOW MANY APPLICANTS?
We have had about a dozen applicants, but a good number of those weren't mentally sound. Then again, what do you expect? How many sane people are going to travel halfway around the world to watch their team cop their worst defeat in history?
Several sound promising, and are being currently considered.
One young lass that applied was actually an Aussie. She said she would happily do the gig in a G-string bikini and was even prepared to pretend to be a Kiwi, but she refused point-blank to pass herself off as a Pom. The hunt continues.
HOW DID IT COME ABOUT?
We were having a lively debate while discussing the merits of watching the game live at the 'G' or at Spider's new beach house.
The Pommie beer wench was an extraordinary selling point. It single-handedly defeated the new plasma screen, air-conditioning, built in BBQ, and beach cricket between innings. So when we got the tickets we purposefully purchased an extra one.
WHAT WILL THE SCORE BE?
After that whipping in Brisbane, I think the Australians will win the second Test inside three days and from there a steady procession of Englishmen will follow Trescothick home, to the point where there won't be enough of them to field a side in the fifth.
England have about as much chance of winning as Matthew Hoggard has of being voted the sexiest man alive.
By the way, I hope I'll make it to the MCG after all this - my second child is due on 28 December. Should be fun. Let's hope she's late, otherwise... actually I don't even want to think about that.