ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
The Australian Cricket Family has traveled to Headingley this week with added security, following the stumping of English wicketkeeper Johnny Bairstow, which has upset a lot of English people.
Security professionals feel that the sporting dismissal has upset enough people to warrant full-time security for players, support staff, and their families. This includes former Test captain and cricketing great Mark Taylor, who is in Leeds this week to commentate on the Third Test, which is set to get underway in a matter of hours.
Mr. Taylor briefly spoke to The Advocate this afternoon from his hotel room about his new bodyguard named “Paddy from Sligo,” who seems to be taking his job very seriously.
“We arrived in Leeds with not much worry, and this morning, I’m steaming my shirt while having a shower when there’s this God-awful rap on the door,” he said.
“So, I’m standing there in a towel when I open the door, and there’s this kid with a machine gun and a big gym bag of stuff. I nearly shit myself there and then. He introduces himself as ‘Paddy from Sligo,’ lets himself in, throws his bag on the floor, and heads straight for the minibar. I was frozen stiff; I thought he was coming to shoot me. We all thought this extra security was a bit much, but I was frozen with fear. I thought I was going to die.”
Mr. Taylor then started to chuckle.
“He turns to me and says, ‘You better get dressed; we have a lot to get through. I’m having this Amstel, yeah?’ So, I put my suit on and come back, and he’s got a bulletproof vest on the bed and some sort of handgun waiting for me. He goes, ‘I trust you know how to use one of these things. You’re from Griffith, aren’t you?’ I just had to laugh and say no, I’m from Leeton, but close enough. So anyway, he tells me to stop laughing because those puce-faced Protestants from the MCC are out to get me and that he’s there to make sure nothing bad happens to me,” said Taylor.
“So he just underarms me the pistol and says if I need to use it, aim for the chest because there are hollow points in it,”
“It’s all a bit of an overreaction, really. It’s just a game of cricket.”
More to come.