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Test Match Special

The blog from the boundary

Boxing spices up my cricket training

  • Liam Plunkett - Durham & England fast bowler
  • 16 Oct 06, 03:30 PM

liam_plunkett_55x55.gif
The Ashes seem to be looming up quickly now and I’ve been having some sessions with Durham fitness coach Colin Sanctuary and a few of my county team-mates.

It was part weights and part aerobic exercise, using rowing machines and bikes, and I always love that kind of stuff because you always feel energised once you have done it.

I’ve also been doing a bit of boxing to spice my training up a bit....

Myself and Durham team-mate Mark Davies have been sparring with our gloves on and I’ve been enjoying it.

I'm not trying to increase my aggression ahead of the Ashes, it is simply a great way to keep fit and I used to do a bit of kick-boxing when I was younger.

I’ve had to get all my gear sorted out and I went to see Slazenger to pick up a few bats for the trip – thankfully because it’s all sponsored I didn’t have to pay for it!

I normally take about three bats with me although those above me in the order tend to take a couple more.

You use different bats for different things, like net sessions and bowling machines and then one for the match, obviously.

I’m also conscious about what goes into my body now I’m an international cricketer and I like eating healthily.

Since last winter the England and Wales Cricket Board has employed a nutritionist and a lot of lads have taken on board the advice and feel a lot better about it.

I like cooking and I’m quite handy in the kitchen, knocking up Mexican and pasta dishes.

It’s much better to eat something that has been home-cooked then go out and fill your face with food that probably isn’t that good for you.

When I move into my new house it looks as though I’ll be doing most of the cooking as I have to admit my girlfriend Lisa isn’t the best in the kitchen!

My cousin Caroline got married abroad recently but had a reception in Middlesbrough at the weekend so I went to that.

I do get recognised quite a bit now and have to sign autographs and pose for pictures – which my family thinks is hilarious!

On Sunday, I watched some of the England match. They have got off to a bad start in the Champions Trophy in India but hopefully they can put it together in the next couple of games.

I wished I was there taking a few wickets and getting runs down the order but I’m not and if I’m truthful I prefer not to watch them on television because I get frustrated.

I’ve had a few blog requests asking how I got into cricket and I have to say I used to watch my dad Alan playing for Marske CC in the north-east when I was really young. He was a good bowler and a useful club cricketer.

That gave me a taste for cricket and I’ve been playing since I was a junior.

My mum and dad are huge cricket fans and are coming out for the Melbourne and Sydney Ashes Tests, over Christmas and New Year.

They are so proud that I play for England and it has fulfilled a dream for them.

The ultimate is for them to see me in Australia in the Ashes and we all can’t wait for that.

But one person who won’t be there though is my sister Natalie – as she is pregnant with twins.

They are due in a couple of weeks so it will be touch and go if I see them before I head off to Australia at the beginning of November.

I have loved reading your comments so far and will be replying to some more of them on Thursday so keep them coming!

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  1. At 04:21 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Sian Blackmore wrote:

    Hi there, just letting you know that its great to get an insight into the mid of a cricketer! Cheers for that. Any opinion on the Pakistan doping incident?
    Sian

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  2. At 04:27 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Aky Hanif wrote:

    Hey Liam.

    With you not being involved in cricket at the moment, has this allowed you to do other things, e.g. watch football. Im assuming you're a Boro boy and what do you make of their season so far, you happy with Gareth Southgate as manager?

    Thanks

    Look forward to your new blog.

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  3. At 04:37 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Oli Collett wrote:

    Good to hear you are into your food, but who is your favourite chef? Ramsey? Jamie? Perhaps Delia?

    If you like eating out you should try and book a table at Tetsuya's in Sydney.. I'm going to be heading there in January hopefully celebrating victory!

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  4. At 04:41 PM on 16 Oct 2006, John Reed wrote:

    Marske CC ey, I am from Redcar I presume you know it, what school did you go to Liam?

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  5. At 05:06 PM on 16 Oct 2006, mike wrote:

    hi liam really enjoying the blog and findingout about the life of a pro
    really looking forwardto the ashses
    also wondering your opinion on the pakistan drugs incident


    mike

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  6. At 05:06 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Rachel wrote:

    Hi Liam-where do you think it went so wrong for England yesterday and do you truly believe they can pull it together against the Aussies and WIndies?
    Wish your sister all the best, and look forward to seeing you in Oz.

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  7. At 05:15 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Farah wrote:

    hiya liam,
    when age did u study till or did u dedicate ur time to cricket? did u do A levels or not? strange question, i know.
    what age did u come into international cricket?
    who do u get on well with in the england team
    thank you
    farah

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  8. At 05:19 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Finn wrote:

    Hi i was wondering if you had any thoughts on the Pakistan pair failing their drugs test?
    The blog is great, good luck with the ashes.
    Finn

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  9. At 05:26 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Oli Hargreave wrote:

    Don't you think that liam will be one englands best bowlers in about 3 years if he continues to progres He will be Huge

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  10. At 05:36 PM on 16 Oct 2006, sonia javaid wrote:

    hi, its good to know what a cricketer gets up to! what do you think england's chances are of winning champions trophy? good luck with you new home, training, ashes, oh and all the best to your sister too! do you like kids? or do you think they are annoying?

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  11. At 05:36 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Andrian Harsono wrote:

    Hi Liam, I hope you are doing fine...

    With all this fuss about drugs in cricket, I was wondering about something: how careful are you with making sure that vitamins and supplements which you take (if at all) do not contain these illegal drugs? I feel sorry for Shoaib Akhtar because chances are he took them by mistake when he took his vitamins and whatever. What is England's general view on supplements?

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  12. At 05:38 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Tim Bisely wrote:

    Again, great insight into the life of an international cricketer.

    I'm sure you'll have an opinion of the Pakistan doping story, but I'd like to know whether you take any supplements, vitamin tablets etc, and whether you keep track of what you use? And do any medicines you take have to pre-approved by someone in the either England or Durham camp?

    And, other than England, any tips for for the Champions trophy?

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  13. At 05:42 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Andrew Findlater wrote:

    "I’m also conscious about what goes into my body now"

    I first thought that would be referring to bouncers and the like.

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  14. At 07:17 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Jack Chambers wrote:

    Hi Liam,

    Love the blog. I think it's great to have an insight into a pro cricketers life. I was just wondering why people call you pudsy, and who gave you the name?

    Jack

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  15. At 07:42 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Alex Bailey wrote:

    Hey... its great to know that youre all ready for the ashes tour and ready to go. Just to say that you are a brilliant bowler and efinately should be playing instead of Sajid Mahmood or another bowler

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  16. At 08:01 PM on 16 Oct 2006, john wrote:

    With the recent failed drug test of the two pakistan players will you check everything you use?

    As we would not like to lose you especailly in this way.

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  17. At 08:07 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Jonny Green wrote:

    Great Blog,

    What sorts of food does your nutritionist make you eat?

    Good Luck down under retaining the ashes

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  18. At 08:34 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Phil Durrant wrote:

    Hi Liam...as a fellow boro lad great to see you at the top of the tree...I used to play cricket with your dad and grandad on ormesby road field before the hotel / conference centre was built...good luck in aus!!

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  19. At 08:51 PM on 16 Oct 2006, ed wrote:

    who is the best batsman you have ever bowled against?

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  20. At 09:05 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Evans wrote:

    PLUNKETT!!!!!!!!!

    I WANT MY DVDs BACK!

    HIGH 5!

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  21. At 09:24 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Payoj wrote:

    Hmmm... More scandal from Pakistan, and more ODI shame for England. It seems to pretty much summarise cricket nowadays.
    Regarding yesterday's match though, you would have done much better than some of the guys lower down the order, but maybe the team isn't settled into the 'new' old team. Freddie didn't do himself any justice, and we all know he's capable of much more. Jimmy Anderson has definitely improved, and it will be great to see the whole England team reunited soon, so we can finally win something.
    You're obviously quite busy; phew! What a schedule you have lined up!
    Good luck. Can't wait for Thursday's entry!

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  22. At 09:31 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Tom Briscall wrote:

    Hope you get to play in the ashes, england will need you in the tests and one-dayers to get wickets and hopefully get sum runs.
    P.S do you think Darren Gough should be in the one-day team or not??

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  23. At 10:59 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Ryan Denyer wrote:

    Liam you are definatly the boy!! I have really enjoyed reading your blog and wish you best of luck in oz!

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  24. At 11:36 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Sommers wrote:

    In oz there's only one advice to give to a bowler. Do not freak out a the crowd and do not bowl short pitched deliveries at all costs. If you keep both those two in mind you will be a success in australia, you are well suited for these kinds of pitches, espically Melbourne and Perth.

    Best of luck , mate.

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  25. At 11:57 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Johnny wrote:

    Do you follow boxing much?

    If so who are/were your favourites as a kid?

    Were you any good as a kickboxer?

    Johnny

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  26. At 11:59 PM on 16 Oct 2006, Johnny wrote:

    Do you follow boxing much?

    If so who are/were your favourites as a kid?

    Were you any good as a kickboxer?

    Johnny

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  27. At 12:25 AM on 17 Oct 2006, Mick wrote:

    Hey Liam.. As an aussie eagerly awaiting the ashes I must say I hope you guys put up a decent fight. It would be great to see a summer packed full of memorable moments like last years ashes. I do believe it may be a struggle for you guys if the aussies play well, though you never know what might happen. Glad to hear you are keeping fit because you will need every ounce of energy for what promises to be a hot summer in oz. Good luck, though I hope you guys lose (I mean this in the nicest possible way!!) in a close series. See you in Melbourne.

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  28. At 12:57 AM on 17 Oct 2006, Saffi wrote:

    Hey Liam, hope you are keeping well and preparing hard for the ashes. I got couple of questions. I am good fan of Vaughn captaincy but I dont really think flintoff as a captain and as a batsman is all that good. Excellent bawler but why is he famous for his batting? Just cause he is a big hitter? He doesnt hit to many to be that famous? Is it because of his looks?

    Second question I have for you is, I always wonder when a team goes on a tour, do they off the feild meet the other teams or hang around with them? Or is it just cricket on tours?

    Lastly, on big occasions or matches, before the matc how does a coach or the team it selfs motivates them self? Do you guys put any music just before the match to inspire your selfes cause I think that might be a good idea.

    Wishing you the best of luck for the ashes but more then that for the world cup.

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  29. At 02:35 AM on 17 Oct 2006, I Ahmed wrote:

    hiya plunkett, i live in oklahoma, usa. it's a very flat land. great for cricket ground. but sad no cricket grounds. i love to watch u play in the upcoming ashes tour. i bought the dvds for the last year's ashes and hopefully i will buy this year too! i love cricket and played all my childhood. i played some in local leagues in london also. wish u a great luck in the ashes test. can u tell me how boxing helps in cricket?? i'm very curious.
    thanks imt

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  30. At 03:00 AM on 17 Oct 2006, adam wrote:

    hey liam
    i am from pakistan and over time i have been one of the few first fans who started following ur game since u started playing in pakistan...i have always seen you as a young player with great potential to be a super star...i would of loved it if u were a pakistani playing for us, but never the less i enjoy your bowling alot. i think the england team will miss you a lot cuz u have played some cricket in the subcontinent and looked quite impressive. hope you are fully fit for the Ashes where i will be supporting england because i am more fanatic abt england players and personalities..ie freddie...btw i am sure you have heard abt the whole illegal drug usage scandle in pakistan team...how do u feel abt the issue? why whould a player take it? thank, hope to hear from you...
    adam

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  31. At 03:41 AM on 17 Oct 2006, ramon wrote:

    Liam, great for you on your ashes preparation but how do you think england will fare against W.I. in the Champion's Trophy, remember 2004 !

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  32. At 04:55 AM on 17 Oct 2006, Imran Bhutta wrote:

    Hey Liam,

    I very much admire the way you have made leaps in international cricket in such a short period of time? i Just had a small question.. wathcing u bowl, it seems as if you concentrate on line and length more often than speed....are there any plans to increase it...especially considering some places in the world are not conducive to medium pace bowling at all...and secondly, to u believe speed is necessary for becoming a top notch fast bowler?
    I thank u for ur time

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  33. At 08:12 AM on 17 Oct 2006, Anonymous wrote:

    hello

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  34. At 08:18 AM on 17 Oct 2006, Hywel John wrote:

    Hi Liam,

    Great blog, its interesting to hear what you get up to! How much is/has your bowling action been altered, and what affects has that made to speed and the ability to swing the ball?

    Thanks!

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  35. At 08:26 AM on 17 Oct 2006, alan parry wrote:

    Hi Liam

    A small poser for you. Would you rather play in every single Ashes match and lose the series or be the 12th man waterboy and England win the Ashes?

    All the best for the winter series

    Alan

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  36. At 09:13 AM on 17 Oct 2006, Sarah wrote:

    Hi Liam, thank you for taking the time to write a cricket blog for all us cricket fans out there. It's fascinating.

    Just wondering who your closest friends are in the England squad? On Cricket AM, Ian Bell said you were his best mate - is the feeling mutual?!

    I hope you get to see your new nieces and/or nephews before you jet off to Oz.

    Oh, and give the Aussies hell for us!

    From
    Sarah

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  37. At 09:33 AM on 17 Oct 2006, Steve Houghton wrote:

    Hi Liam, its really interesting to here from the cricketers point of view direct instead of through the media. Thanks for writing this as it gives a unique insight to the behind-the-scenes action going on in the England team. I'd like to ask how Simon Jones is? We here so little in the papers about his recovery and it would be good to hear how he's doing? Good luck to yourself and the other lads off the Oz, i know you'll make us proud!

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  38. At 11:41 AM on 17 Oct 2006, Newbottle Mackem-Durham&SAFC fan wrote:

    Liam,
    Thanks for the insight into a cricketers life & all the best down under for the Ashes in the winter - I'm sure you'll get a bit of stick from the Aussies but if so it probably means we're winning!

    My question is - is there a bit of tension between Colly and harmison? I get the impression they don't get on that well - is that due to the SAFC and the Mags rivalry?

    All the best,

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  39. At 12:26 PM on 17 Oct 2006, Spoff wrote:

    Any chance of you making the move from Durham to Yorkshire, you're almost a Yorkshire man anyway.

    Other than cricket have you any interest in football? A Middlebrough fan I presume?

    Will you be at the Newcastle game at the weekend? I think we'll beat the Geordies 4-0. How about you?

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  40. At 02:25 PM on 17 Oct 2006, vinod wrote:

    Hi Plunkett,

    I have two questions for you,as an england cricketer do you think that england's thoughts on defending ashes is causing them a lot of losses in their ODIs.Because of the ashes in their mind,english team is playing more of a defensive cricket in odis and messed up even with their batting order.

    My second question is, do you have any memorable moments of your last trip to india, and are you really missing another chance of visiting the country which is so crazy on cricket.

    hope you could answer some of mine,during your next post in your blog.

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  41. At 03:42 PM on 17 Oct 2006, rob wrote:

    did u start playing your cricket in yorkshire because i go to the yorkshire pathways to excellence scheme and i understand u did too if so what was the most important thing they taught u there on the bowling side of the game?

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  42. At 03:53 PM on 17 Oct 2006, love wrote:

    hi LIAM i only want to say that ............ALLAH [god ] for every thing u do
    i love to see u playing against os so cant wait for it and u know what i feel to bad when english team was losing and i know they loss becoz they can win only with you i miss u and best of luck for ashes and takecare of ur self god bless ur sister and family i have many things to ask but i know u will tell in ur blogs without asking love you bye
    happy holly month RAmdhan
    and best of luck dear pudsy

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  43. At 04:52 PM on 17 Oct 2006, Lewis Lynch wrote:

    Just wondering how fast you bowled when you were 16 and whats the quickest you have ever been clocked at good luck in the Ashes, any tips on how to bowl faster hope you personally do well in the ashes we need every one on song

    Good luck

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  44. At 06:53 PM on 17 Oct 2006, t wrote:

    Hi.. i'm a cricket fan from india. i caught ur debut against pakistan on tour and really enjoyed ur one day performances. truth be told ur performances have dropped off a bit but best of luck for the ashes and hope u do well.

    i studied in england for a couple of years before going back to dubai so i've a soft spot for english cricket and football national teams. cricket has improved tremendously but football is still in the doldrums.

    last year's ashes was just awesome and i would lik nothing better than for england to retain it. .. will be tough buT a drawn series is enough anyway.

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  45. At 11:21 PM on 17 Oct 2006, Alex Shand wrote:

    Hi Liam,
    I've got a good feeling about this Ashes series coming up, with you performing really well. I was just wondering what you lads eat at lunch during a test? is it like the sandwiches cakes crisps and buscuits us club cricketers get, or something alot more healthy and better than tesco value.
    cheers and good luck with bringing home the ashes
    Alex

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  46. At 09:42 AM on 18 Oct 2006, Andy Peirson wrote:

    Liam
    I was hoping you could clear up an argument my wife and I are having.
    She (for some reason) thinks your favourite subject at school would have been art!! I think it could possibly have been Maths. Which one was it?
    Good luck in Australia.
    Andy Peirson and Sarah Rose

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  47. At 12:37 PM on 18 Oct 2006, Srinivas wrote:

    Hi Liam,
    I started following you since you started playing for England. I think you have all the talent/qualities to become a very good allrounder. I think you should get a chance to bat up the order in onday cricket. I always wanted to see u as an ALLROUNDER

    Regards
    Srinivas
    Bolton

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  48. At 01:14 PM on 18 Oct 2006, Andy G wrote:

    Whats it like touring the Sub-Continent and how do you adjust to the different cricketing conditions there ?

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  49. At 01:55 PM on 18 Oct 2006, Herbert Jenkins wrote:

    Hi Liam,

    I really like the blog.

    Do you get to socialise much when you're on tour or is it quite strict these days?

    Do you let your hair down after a test win!?

    Thanks,

    Herbert

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  50. At 02:15 PM on 18 Oct 2006, dave hunter wrote:

    hope when we retain the ashes your party piece is better than the one with muchall after durhams double promotion !! we still have the photos liam - dont suppose you want to tell the world about it ! on a serious note all the best from all durham supporters

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  51. At 03:32 PM on 18 Oct 2006, Anonymous wrote:

    hey plunkett i do cricket aswell and to keep healthy i do boxing aswell lol


    strange isn't it

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  52. At 05:04 PM on 18 Oct 2006, LBJ wrote:

    Liam,

    Great blog! Some questions for you, why do modern crickets show the back of the bat when they have scored a 50 or a 100? I remember it always being the face of the bat! Also, what is the difference between a dukes cricket ball and a kookabura cricket ball, and which is better?

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  53. At 11:21 PM on 18 Oct 2006, Albie wrote:

    Australia vs England is going to be acracker in the champions Trpophy. With Windies winning against Australia, The coming one day becomes extraordinarily important. You want any psychological advantage and you have mental hand on the urn.

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  54. At 06:39 AM on 19 Oct 2006, M. R. Somasunderam wrote:

    Dear Sir,
    I enjoyed the article very much.
    I think the Australian cricket team is the most fittest team in international cricket, but they are the most un - sportive team in international cricket. This is to do with their values and heritage as a people, not their competitive nature, as they make everyone believe.
    I realise that it seems unfair or hash to make the above observation, but it is true, as I have lived, studied, and worked in Australia for twenty one years.
    Yours Sincerely,
    M. R. Somasunderam.

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  55. At 11:27 AM on 19 Oct 2006, Lee wrote:

    Hi Liam, Its great to hear you are ready for the ashes and i hope that hopefully we can defend them in Australia! That would be great!

    I read that you did a spot of boxing, Did you win?

    I bet your team mates are glad you are going to Australia as you say you are good at cooking!

    Do you think we can retain the ashes?

    Good Luck,

    Lee

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  56. At 04:20 PM on 20 Oct 2006, Lucy Grattan wrote:

    Hi Liam

    Just discovered your blog today and it's really interesting!

    Great to hear you're getting back to full fitness fast and was really pleased as a Gooner to hear you're one too! So what I want to know is, how do you think we'll do this year? The squad's very young but getting better all the time. I'm lucky enough to go to most games which is great - you'll have to blag some tickets to the Emirates when you're back from Oz!

    All the very best for the tour and give those Aussies some stick!

    Best wishes

    Lucy

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