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Saturday, August 21st The conclusion of the third Test at The Oval was an exciting affair, but not without controversy. As England pressed desperately for wickets, Matt Prior’s imaginative appeals were recorded at 9.7 on the Moin Scale* and resulted in umpire Tony Hill being taken to hospital with a strained incredulity gland. As a result, the shiny-headed Sussex glove-warmer was fined 50% of his throat-sweet allocation and warned that future infractions could result in the fitting of an ICC gag.
Meanwhile, the ECB’s Chief of Spreadsheets, Giles Clarke, professed himself baffled at the poor attendances for some matches this summer. “I really don’t know what else we can do. We’ve set ticket prices at £80 to keep out the riff-raff, and we’ve even laid on floodlights to illuminate the pitch and give the crowd something to look at when the players are off for bad light. Frankly, if the general public don’t up their game, we’ll be left with no choice but to start using smaller grounds, which will inevitably mean a modest 50% increase in ticket prices.”
Sunday, August 22nd There was a further escalation today in the long-running but never interesting wrangle between the WIPA and the WICB. In a surprise move, a spokesman for the WIPA announced that as the WICB had completely failed in its duty to adequately represent West Indian cricket, the WIPA had little option but to assume this function and was therefore renaming itself the WICB with immediate effect. However, within minutes the WICB retaliated by alleging that the WIPA was not properly representing the interests of players in the region and so the WICB had no choice but to take over this role and change its name to the WIPA. Whereupon the WICB, formerly the WIPA, instituted legal action against the WIPA, formerly the WICB, who immediately lodged a counter suit against the renamed WICB (ex-WIPA) for breach of image rights, and in retaliation… (to be continued)
Monday, August 23rd In an effort to boost morale, the Australian cricket board have drafted one third of legendary comedy act The Chuckle Brothers onto their selection panel. Greg Chuckle, often regarded as the straight man of the trio, has been working on his own material and this morning had a packed press conference in stitches with hilarious one-liners about how he was excited by the challenge of telling Michael Hussey to retire and how he thought Ricky Ponting was doing a great job.
The Chuckle Brothers were cult heroes during their heyday in the 1970s, when they toured the world entertaining packed stadiums with their funny moustaches and foul-mouthed on-field antics. Since the group disbanded, founder member Ian Chuckle has largely eschewed the world of entertainment, preferring instead to concentrate on his commentary career, but was quick to comment today on his former sidekick’s new venture. “It’ll be a bloody disaster,” he joked.
* The Moin being the internationally recognised unit of measurement for wicketkeeper-generated annoyance.
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Andrew Hughes is a writer and avid cricket watcher who has always retained a healthy suspicion of professional sportsmen, and like any right-thinking person rates Neville Cardus more highly than Don Bradman. Providing his ransom demands continue to be met, he has promised never to write a whimsical book about village cricket. @hughandrews73