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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,John Gray / Australia BS: The Ashes (71* d) RE: BS: The Ashes 10 Jul 01

For about 50 years now historians here in Oz have been hotly debating the main reason as to why England decided to colonise this land 212 odd years ago. One school of thought opts for the military theory, in which if the English didn't take possession their long-time foe, the French, would. ( Possession took place 12 years after Cook discovered the east coast of Oz ) The other theory is the convict problem. At the time there were prison hulks and gaols all around England that were chockablock with convicts. Local populations were becoming very chary that mass escapes might occur. So, the gov't solved the convict problem by shipping them out to Oz. Both these theories are of course totally wrong. What actually happened was this ;

It was winter in England. Parliament was in session and they were bored shitless. They were waiting for summer - the start of the cricket season. The minister for sport, Lord Adidas, in a statement of breathtaking vision, sleepily said to his collegues ; I say blokes, do you realise that in the southern hemisphere its summer now. The minister for overseas travel, Lord Branston, jumped to his feet shouting 'get me a map of the Southern Ocean. Didn't we have a navy boy discover a bit of real estate down there a few years ago? You know, lieut. Chef or something, the dickhead who got himself speared and eaten.' All the other Lords gathered around, at last they had found a place for the English cricket team to go and play during the off season. So they put together a fleet of 11 ships, filled them to the brim with convicts, put them under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip .( who was known to be able to occasionally roll his arm over and send down a respectable leg-break ) Quite symbolic that, 11 ships in the first fleet, 11 players in a cricket team. Breed Phillip were his instructions, get these buggers down to that bit of southern real estate, put up the flag, mark out a cricket pitch, and start breeding. You have to build up an audience so that there is a decent crowd to watch the MCC First Eleven when we send it down there in winter.

So there you have it, nothing to do with the Frogs, nothing to do with excess convicts. Australia was developed for the love of cricket !

JG / F.M.E.

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