There's something about Punter. There's no denying it. There just is something about Punter, Captain. Although a fine batsman and fielder there is just a little something about Captain Punter that lends itself to giggles and jest.
Not all cricket captains are like that. Graeme Smith has his weight issues, of course, but there is just so much earnestness about Smith it's kind of hard to make jokes. He might break down and cry or something and that would make one feel terrible for having gone there, done that, worn that T-shirt. XXXXL, right?! Andrew Strauss? Now captaining people who run around wearing bracelets to bring them into cosmic balance or whatever — hard to make him the butt of the joke. MS Dhoni is too glamorous to make fun of. Sri Lanka simply changes theirs too often for any proper joke to form — who is the Sri Lankan captain this week anyway? Or Pakistan: before one has written a joke and clicked on the 'Published' button that person has probably been bribed, suspended and fined anyway. The situation in the Windies is not a laughing matter and I shall pass it over in silence. Ditto New Zealand. Oh, how the Captain Fantastic has fallen. What? I am totally so not laughing. Baaaaa.
But Punter, our gnomish Captain, lasts. And there is something about him that sort of invites a joke. Or five ... hundred. He's not endearing exactly, but not not endearing either; halflings are so cute. It's like you can't quite help yourself. Be it his hairy underarms or his inability to declare at opportune moments or speaking in anything but the most worn-out and trite clichés or the way he Humpty Dumpty-like wrestles the English language to the ground and bends words to his will ('The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all') or inserts 'boys' into absolutely every second sentence (I use the word loosely) he utters (and that one's contagious too; just listen to Michael Clarke or Phillip Hughes) — well, be it any of those things, it's impossible not to giggle and make fun a little. Because when you really think about it: there's is something about Punter — there just is. I almost feel it is worth having him as our Captain for that reason. Well, almost ...
Other people having fun with Punter:
- Cricket for Dummies: A Captain's Diary: Punter Version: (worth a look for the Punter photograph alone. Have a look without giggling. I dare you.) 'Come on, get some wickets losers. Especially you Nate, take advantage of the brilliant field I've provided you with.'
- cricket with balls: Ricky Ponting claims 5 nil Ashes win in the bag: 'Ricky Ponting claims that in a previous life he was Jesus’ butler.'
- Thoughts from the dustbin: Ponting makes that face you all love again!: 'There's the real Ricky we all know and love! Give us that face again, Rick!'
- paddlesweep: Aussie Cricketers: Hot Or Not: 'Ricky Ponting: Not. If you’re into circus midgets you might dig his vibe otherwise, avoid at all costs.'
- King Cricket: Ricky Ponting with a Bat in His Mouth: From the comments: 'Ricky Ponting after being told to let his bat do the talking.'
- Bored Cricket Crazed Indians: The Ponting - Zaheer Saga Part 1: 'Suddenly, Ponting takes off his earphones mumbling something to the tune of "who put Radiohead in my iPod?"'
- cricket action art: A Frightening Prospect: 'The haircut also seems to be channeling Alfalfa from the Little Rascals, a movie so old even I struggle to remember it.'
- Swanning About: Hairy Little Goblin