November 13, 2010


No more fixing, says the ICC

Andrew Hughes
Harbhajan Singh celebrates his maiden Test century, India v New Zealand, 1st Test, Ahmedabad, 5th day, November 8, 2010
Customer service professionals the world over, beware, Bhajji's got a bat and we're afraid he's going to use it  © AFP


Tuesday, 9th November Historic news: the ICC have eradicated corruption! Things were looking dicey for a while there, but the chaps in Dubai have pretty much cleared the whole thing up thanks to a non-binding voluntary declaration. The breakthrough was confirmed by a smiling Haroon Lorgat as he descended the steps of his plane waving a sheet of A4. “I have in my hand a piece of paper,” he announced, promising “No fixing in our time!”

The news sparked scenes of global jubilation and long queues of match-fixers anxious to hand themselves in began to form at police stations around the world. One illegal bookie, who did not wish to be named, admitted that it would be all but impossible for him to operate in future, now that the ICC had brought out their declaration, so he was chucking it all in and starting a llama farm in the Andes.

Wednesday, 10th November Another day, another Ashes news item. Well, I say “news” but I’m using that word in its loosest possible sense. Like lumbering, exhausted boxers in the 12th round, the two sides in the pre-Ashes trash-talk title bout are punching on empty, flailing about with weary aspersions and jaded insinuations in the vague hope of hitting the target.

Today it was Ricky “The Australian Captain” Ponting who lashed out with a media upper-cut. He alleged that England will not be able to adapt to the green and bouncy Gabba wicket. Pow! His comment is even more devastating to the English psyche when you look at their squad and realise that apart from Broad, Finn and Tremlett, it is utterly devoid of tall seam bowlers who might exploit such conditions.

Thursday, 11th November Brave whilstleblower/cynical attention-seeker/wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider has suggested tapping the telephones of cricketers. I’m not so sure. The idea has already been trialled, with mixed results, as this extract from one of the transcripts reveals:

Player X: Greetings, telephone person, my name is Bhaji and I wish to – Helpline: For complaints, press 1. For technical support press 2 – Player X: Bloody automated nonsense! There, I pressed 2. Now what? Helpline: Thank you. If you have a problem with your wrist position, say “wrist”. If you are having trouble with your doosra, say “doosra”. If – Player X: Doosra! Helpline: Thank you. You said, “moose”. If this is correct, say “yes” after the tone. Player X: Moose? I haven’t got a moose! Helpline: If your moose is unwell, press 1. If your moose is depressed, press 2. If you have lost your moose, press 3. Player X: Useless piece of junk! I am going to come down there and give you all a damn good thrashing or my name isn’t – Operator: Hello, I am Ravi, how can I help you? Player X: At last. I’ve mislaid my doosra. Operator: That is bad news, sir. If you give me all the details, we will have your doosra back faster than a tracer bullet. Player X: What are you talking about, tracer bullet? And why are you shouting? Operator: I am not shouting, sir. I am projecting my voice for the sake of my customer. Don’t worry, I’m sure we can knock your problem into row Z. Player X: It’s very simple, peasant phone-operating person. I had my doosra. I lost it. Now I want to know what you are going to do about it. Operator: Have you tried being taller? Player X: What? Operator: A lot of our spin bowling clients find that being over six feet tall is a real advantage. Player X: Are you an imbecile? Operator: No, I am fully on board with your issue sir. Now let’s get ready to rock! Putting you on hold. Player X: Wait –

We hear a jazz version of “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

Player X: Right, that’s it! I am going to slap you to within an inch of your existence, you worthless piece of telecommunication equipment! Take that! And that! And that also! Ah, not so smug now, are you! Wait till I pull your socket out of the wall! Then we’ll see who -

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

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Posted by Zohaib H. Shah on (November 16, 2010, 22:43 GMT)

Very amusing article, as usual. Keep up the good work!

Posted by samuel on (November 15, 2010, 2:50 GMT)

This was just blazingly hilarious The whole Bhaji part was just too good Keep it coming

Posted by Manoj N on (November 14, 2010, 5:49 GMT)

hehehehehehhehe good one!! esp ravi and bhajji telecon..rofl

Posted by simon on (November 14, 2010, 5:11 GMT)

Great piece and very funny.

Posted by arvind on (November 14, 2010, 1:31 GMT)

On Bhaji's picture: Didnt you see thats what he did with his bat. He scored a century YO!! arvind NY

Posted by Anonymous on (November 13, 2010, 22:16 GMT)

Good One

Posted by Akshay on (November 13, 2010, 21:51 GMT)

One of the best articles from you (so far). The last part was absolutely genious.

Posted by Saurabh Arora on (November 13, 2010, 18:24 GMT)

Dude, i understand what you're trying to do there but the transcript you provided did nothing for me. It was NOT funny.

Posted by Vladimir Lem on (November 13, 2010, 10:02 GMT)

Long Live the turbanator Bhajji paaji :D

Posted by Rakesh on (November 13, 2010, 9:04 GMT)

Rofl!!! Great stuff.

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Andrew Hughes
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. His latest book is available here and here @hughandrews73

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