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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 July, 2003, 10:02 GMT 11:02 UK
TMS Edgbaston diary: Day three
England v South Africa, First Test, Saturday 26 July 2003
Edgbaston, Birmingham

Beefy and Freddie. The Gaffer and Dazzler. English Test cricketers recognisable simply by their nickname.

Graeme Smith piles on more agony for Ashley Giles and his England colleagues
The Wheelie Bin (right) struggled on day one at Edgbaston
A new moniker can be added to that list - The Wheelie Bin.

However, there is a problem. Ashley Giles is kicking up a stink, worthy of the sobriquet, over his newly acquired name.

"I thought it was Aggers who came up with the name for poor old Giles, but David Hopps of The Guardian told me he was the original wheelie binner," Henry Blofeld explained.

"It's not meant to be unkind at all. It's just that the lovely rolling gait he has is a little bit like a wheelie bin."

Try telling our Ashley, who often bears the brunt of criticism for his overly defensive bowling, that it is intended affectionately.

"They have a bee in their bonnet about my bowling over the wicket and once I start to struggle they pile in," Giles explained.

"I haven't got a huge problem with what the TV commentators say, most have played at the highest level.

"The only one who really hacked me off was Blofeld who has been quite personal about me on the radio.

"He said I should never be in the England side and he called me a wheelie bin. I take great offence to that coming from him."

There is hope for Giles, with Blowers adopting a new nickname for England's King of Spin... or is that Spain.

"Warwickshire had 1,000 mugs of Giles made, but the inscription came back with Spain instead of Spin - a rather expensive mistake," Blowers explained.

"However, he'll probably be rather happier to be called His Majesty the King of Spain."

The joke was on Blowers when he forgot one of his golden rules and read an e-mail on air without checking it beforehand.

"I've been hook, line and sinkered," he reflected after regaining his composure.

Allan Donald's verdict was that his co-commentator had been "stuffed out of sight".

The offending article - the spelling and grammar was very offensive - was addressed from Isabelle de Caires, aka Jonathan Agnew.

It was a plea for the return of club scorer Ted Cornthwaite, who had gone AWOL at Edgbaston but would be listening with a TMS radio hat.

All well and good thought Blowers, as he ploughed through the missive with muted mirth at the back of the box.

But the penny dropped when he came to the signing off from "hon club sec, Arthur Mowe".

"This is Aggers setting me up," he said with resignation as the box burst into laughter at his expense.

"It's only public spirited to give your friends something to laugh at," he explained.

The TMS inbox is inundated with all manner of e-mails, but be they critical or congratulatory, rarely can one have been so cruel.

Or at least that was Jonathan Agnew's verdict when the tables were turned and he was on the receiving end.

Having made mention of a group of baldies on a stag weekend in honour of the follically challenged groom to be, Aggers found himself joining the group courtesy of the technological wizardry of an anonymous e-mailer.

"Who has doctored that," he spluttered when the picture was revealed.

"It's incredibly cruel. I look like Kojak."

His pride was hurt further by Graeme Fowler's crueller comment that it was hard to spot the difference between the laptop version and the real life one.

The first round of the TMS Tea Ladies competition was a closely-contested affair in the Edgbaston pavilion.

Mike Gatting was invited in as judge in chief, and was last seen sneaking out of the room with an overly-laden plate.

By e-mail:
By post:
TMS Tea Ladies, Sports Impact, 31 Homefield Road, London SW19 4QF
"I've a penchant for cheese and pickle sandwiches and I'm very much a savoury man," Gatt explained as he moved around the room of three different teas.

"Everything here looks absolutely wonderful.

"The variety is wonderful, good fillings, and it has been a pleasure to come in. I might have to go to the gym for an extra half hour but it has been worth it."

South Africa's media liason officer Gerald de Koch was also highly impressed by the spread.

"You don't get anything as elaborate as these in South Africa," de Koch explained as he eyed some sponge cake.

"More often it's a packet of crisps and a cold drink, maybe a plate of sandwiches. We don't have as much of a tradition for teas."

Christina Munsey and Sue Wilson came out on top in the first heat of the summer and were understandably delighted with their victory.

"It's absolutely fantastic," said Christina, just one member of a team of 12 at Syresham CC Northamptonshire.

"We'll be thinking of something special for the final but we might stick to a traditional tea," Sue added.

There was a first at Edgbaston, with a wedding proposal put up on the big screen during the tea interval.

England's Darren Gough
Despite her best efforts Claire failed to catch Darren Gough's eye
Reports suggested that the decision may have gone to the third umpire, before the happy couple came into the TMS box to confirm that the bride-to-be had said "yes".

"I had no idea," Claire said, sporting an emerald and diamond engagement ring, as well as a Darren Gough England top.

"I think I'm second best to Goughie but I'm not too bad," Steve said, before explaining how he managed to get the proposal on the screen.

"We're members at Warwickshire and have a lot of friends down here, one inparticular who harassed and haranged people."

Although it is not clear whether it was the first proposal on a big screen at a cricketing venue, Henry Blofeld confirmed that it was not the first proposal at a Test.

"A woman came up to me once and asked to marry me," Blowers explained.

"I told her I wasn't absolutely certain about it, but she put a bit of a dampener on it when she said the man she was actually after was Geoffrey Boycott."

Links to more Test Match Special stories


What will happen at the Edgbaston Test match?
England win
South Africa win
11316 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

England suffer record blow
26 Jul 03  |  Cricket
Odd places to play cricket
26 Jul 03  |  Test Match Special
TMS Edgbaston diary: Day two
25 Jul 03  |  Test Match Special


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