THE legendary comedian Ken Dodd, besides being master of an endless stream of gags which ensures his act lasts for hours, also invents words that can be applied to almost any given situation. One such word is “discomeknockerated”.

That particular “Doddyism” popped into my sub-conscious as I watched the English cricket team mercilessly exposed as under-achievers — that’s being kind — by the Antipodean bullies at Headingley. To quote the Squire of Knotty Ash: “England were well and truly discomeknockerated.”

To be fair, it can’t be pleasant having some great, hulking brute hurl a projectile at you when all you’ve got between you and serious bodily harm is a not very substantial piece of wood, although the Aussies seem to handle similar situations with much greater aplomb.

A friend of mine, who knows far more about the subject, constantly bemoans the fact that we invented cricket and taught it to numerous other nations, or those we colonised when we meant something in the world’s pecking order.

We must have taught it too well; either that or the parts of the world that keep beating us have moved on spectacularly, while we seem rooted in a distant era when we only had to turn up to win. By that I’m talking about the early 19th century.

But then what do I know? Cricket was never my game. I preferred rounders. At least the ball couldn’t do you serious injury and the only danger was represented by an over-enthusiastic hitter, who might let the bat slip from his or her hand and watch horrified as it sped unerringly towards the head of a teammate, opponent or spectator. Happily, such occurrences were rare and quickly forgotten once the injured party was released from hospital.

However, all is not doom and gloom. Around the time that our cricketers were being savaged came confirmation that there is one area in which we still rule the roost, and will no doubt continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

After a number of incidents in Mediterranean resorts, the English have again been voted the world’s worst-behaved tourists. Doesn’t that make your chest swell with pride?

This year the principal sufferers have been the Greeks. About 90 per cent of the three million UK holidaymakers who head for the Greek isles arrive on package tours.

The locals have apparently had more than enough of the unruly, drunken behaviour and all-night orgies. The main streets of one resort, where streets had been decorated with a mini-lake of vomit from sozzled lads and ladettes, led one public official to lament: “They roll off the plane drunk, then drink from morning to night. They don’t seem to want to enjoy our culture or our hospitality. They bring their hedonism with them.”

Well, of course they do — they’re English.

Doddy might have a word for it, though even the master wordsmith would struggle to find one. He’s in the comedy business, and there’s nothing funny about the English abroad. Ask the locals.