A leading national newspaper has found that the England cricket squad is utterly unrepresentative of the rest of the UK. In a piece of ground-breaking, never-seen-before research, investigative journalists have uncovered the shocking fact that the country's sporting heroes are overwhelmingly migrant, middle-class, educated and male. This is based on the thirty most recent players in all forms of international cricket.
It is the latest in a series of exposes into social origins and follows up the Independent's seminal analysis over the weekend - "the most extensive exercise of its kind" - into the backgrounds of the 119 members of the Government.
If Britain looked like the England cricket team, there would be approximately 12 million South African immigrants, 4 million black people (which makes it more representative than HM Government) and no women. The latter is the most astonishing as if true, it would cast extreme doubts upon the ongoing viability of the British nation.
Analysis into types of education suggested that an astounding one-third of cricketers were educated partly or entirely outside the state system, including Andrew Strauss (Radley), Alastair Cook (Bedford), Ian Bell (Princethorpe), Matthew Prior (Brighton College) and Stuart Broad (Oakham). It makes unpleasant reading when one considers that a mere 7 per cent of the real population attend independent schools.
Also, in stark contrast to the reality of life outside of Lord's, there are no female members of the team, only five Asians and no openly gay men. South African born players alone outnumber the products of secondary modern and technical schools.
In searching for a silver lining, researchers discovered that there are zero Old Etonians in the England cricket team and none have pulled on the national creams since the brief appearance of all-rounder Alex Loudon in 2006.
While there has always been a gap between the profile of the general population and professional cricketers, the unrepresentative nature of the England cricket squad may weaken its ability to stay in touch with the moods and aspirations of mainstream fans.
In particular, at a time when the UK is striving for a more businesslike foreign policy, the condescending, imperialistic manner in which our nation's cricketeres have treated former colonial subjects like Australia, Pakistan and Bangladesh is particularly galling and distasteful in the twenty-first century.