Relationships between the Australian and UK teams further deteriorated last night when a furious ‘crossing’ row erupted when one of the UK team – who cannot be named for legal reasons – admitted submitting a paper in a previous tournament with a proof he knew to be incorrect, and then accepting marks erroneously given.
‘It’s why we have jurors. It’s their job to make decisions. You take the rough with the smooth. So what I know it’s wrong; they have to prove it. They have all the technology they need. We never cross.’ (A mathematics term for crossing out a proof you know is wrong.)
Peter Taylor, the guru behind Team Australia blasted ‘It’s just not Mathematics. You make a mistake, you put your hand up. You move on. It’s the Australian way. If you know it’s wrong, you cross.’
Taylor’s blast was met with cynicism from the young Brits. ‘Look, we’ve all had marks knocked off on some mindless technicality. It’s not as if the jurors never make mistakes themselves. Jury management is a part of modern Mathematics. If your proof is wrong you just don’t cross; let them find the error if they are so clever.’
Taylor found an unlikely ally in his arch rival Geoff Smith, the murky figure behind the UK selection panel. Smith, better known for his obsession with windmills since an infamous and bizarre childhood accident, said ‘In my day, you crossed. Crossing is a part of mathematics. Euclid crossed. Riemann crossed. Even Euler crossed. Kids today…I tell you, they’re like windmills…’
With the Ashes due to start later today, the UK team was emerging as heavy favourities with the bookmakers, despite the unorthodox training methods of the team leader, Dominic Yeo, who has been force-feeding the team tuna, peach and olive sandwiches as ‘brain food’. He himself is now engaged in a law suit with the Colombian authorities after blaming the inevitable consequences of his dietary regime on the alleged deficiencies of Colombian plumbing.