Like George Washington, I cannot tell a lie. It was all a hoax, from beginning to end, merely an exercise in termite-taunting. And it certainly worked a treat! The initial hoax, that CJ had been invited to captain England at the next Olympiad, drew no reaction at all, but once the termites thought that Ray Keene had been invited, there was much agitation.
Then Andrew Farthing, the outgoing CEO of the Egregious Federation, announced that it was all untrue, and should not be taken seriously. Followers of T-Shirtgate will know that Mr Farthing has been extremely reluctant to say anything publicly on the subject of Ray and CJ, and especially when it involved declaring public support for Alex and Lara, or condemning the attacks on them. But when it came to this issue, Farthing could not wait to interrupt his Sunday morning lie-in, to set the record straight. I guess it is all a question of priorities.
Finally, late last night, Ray gave the pot a further stir. He declared that he had merely indicated his availability, but had not been asked, and that now he finds he is not available on the dates in question anyway! Naturally, the termites had to interpret this in the most unfavourable way possible, suggesting that Ray had been after the job, and had decided "to dip his toe in the waters of public opinion", as one of the more ludicrous of the termitic number put it! And then our favourite termite of all, Justin "Care in the Community" Horton, put his size 9's squarely in the mess, by claiming that Ray's declaration that he was unavailable was "A vintage RDK squirm".
Sorry, old boys, you could not be more wrong. I can now reveal the full truth - it was a hoax, from the very start! On Saturday, Ray and CJ were together at the Varsity Match at the RAC Club. In the course of some animated banter, during the exclusive, invitation-only, black tie dinner that traditionally follows the match, CJ was moaning about the ECF Management Board's failure to do anything about appointing a captain for the next Olympiad. Lawrence Cooper has apparently indicated that he will not be available (I am not sure why), and CJ was wondering what he had to do to get the lump of collective inactivity, that is the Management Board, to actually do something about appointing a successor. Ray jokingly suggested that his name be put forward - that would be bound to stir them into action. Thus, the idea of the joke was born. Ray then tweeted on Saturday evening, and the rest, as they say, is history.
It was fun while it lasted. But the termites can't say I didn't warn them - just read the title of my original blog piece...