February 8, 2011

A victory for silliness

And a farewell to the Prince of Kolkata
30

Friday, 4th February Our humble sport is more than just a game; it is a lifelong education. Through cricket we can discover so much about the world around us. For example, thanks to the alleged misdemeanours of cricket folk around the world, we have been able to sample the rich variety of legal systems that our planet sustains. From the Lalit Modi saga alone I have learned lots of sexy new legal phrases such as “show-cause notice” and “recuse” and “massive financial irregularities”.

Well, today I was introduced to a dusty nook of English law with which I had hitherto been entirely unfamiliar. Apparently, right here in Blighty, you can be sent to prison for cheating! Who knew? I’ve lived here all my life and I had no idea that the c-word could land you in front of a judge. If only I’d known I was risking a criminal record all those years ago when I scribbled formulas on my arm before my maths GCSE, I never would have done it! So let this be a lesson to you kids, the law is on to you and cheating doesn’t pay. Unless you get away with it, obviously.

Saturday, 5th February This is a sad day for cricket. The wait is over, our fears have been realised and now we know the truth. We all need to take time to reflect on what this means for our sport. No doubt in time we will get over it, but for the moment the loss is palpable. We must face facts, everyone: Sourav Ganguly will not be playing in the IPL.

Why is this? How could it be allowed to happen? In an act of pure cricket vandalism, the IPL has ruled that no franchise can sign him, which means, barring an unlikely appearance in the Birmingham and District Premier League (where I fear the absence of gold taps in many of the pavilion washrooms could be a deal-breaker) I will never again see Sourav on a cricket field with a bat in his hand and a glint in his eye.

Never again will we witness that snort of derision from haughtily curled nostrils as he lets the ball go by; that lordly patrician glare of disapproval as the bowler whizzes one rather too close to the Ganguly cranium; that natural god-given ability to irritate Australians without really trying. And, lest we forget, the most entertaining press conferences in India that don’t involve Virender Sehwag. Farewell, Sourav.

Sunday 6th February More disappointing news. It appears that Shaun Tait will not be used at the World Cup after all. The experimental cricket ball-propelling device had become a popular addition to the sport this winter but Australian authorities have refused to grant it an export licence. Apparently the special extra-strength sticky tape used to hold the Tait together is a crucial component in the Australian air force and so cannot be taken out of the country. The Johnson will not be used either as there are some concerns that its malfunctioning target-location system may render it a threat to local birdlife.

Monday, 7th February After a closely fought campaign between the Silly Party, led by “Crazy” Shahid Afridi and the Dull Party, fronted by “Sensible” Misbah ul-Haq, the result of the first Pakistani Captaincy Election 2011 was declared at the weekend and it was victory for Afridi with a 100% swing to Silliness as the electorate, a Mr Ijaz Butt, cast his vote by carrier pigeon for the man with the nicest hair.

Afridi celebrated his victory with a 57-run defeat in Auckland and after the match promised to bring back the World Cup and to do something silly along the way. Conceding defeat on behalf of the Dull Party, Misbah declared that whilst the result was disappointing, he and his friends would rally behind the new captain and offer him their fullest support until just after they lose their first game.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • hari on February 12, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    The funniest piece ever on cricinfo, Andy .... waiting for your next dose of humour

  • P.Satish on February 11, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    Very very funny article.

    You forgot the English as being another whom Ganguly could expertly wind up. Especially over-weight, under-talented Lancastrian "all-rounders".

  • Akhilesh on February 11, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    that natural god-given ability to irritate Australians without really trying. Wow... LOL

  • Osama on February 9, 2011, 7:48 GMT

    hahaha... hilarious

  • Anonymous on February 9, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    ".. malfunctioning target-location system may render it a threat to local birdlife. " - watch it Andrew. A johnson missile might seek you when u r unsuspectingly reporting a match in Oz !

  • Rizwan on February 9, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    Interesting reading! The writer with his great sense of humour and prolificness, knits cricket with satire in a way even Monty Python would envy.

  • Tim on February 9, 2011, 0:24 GMT

    I'm pretty sure Tait and Johnson are both in the world cup squad unless that joke is seriously over my head. Also it's summer here, not winter.

  • Omer T on February 9, 2011, 0:07 GMT

    hahaha

    This is some serious humor Mr. Hughes. No wonder it went straight past people's head. Super stuff!

  • nailed-it on February 8, 2011, 22:06 GMT

    "THE JOHNSON"....masterpiece......great piece of humor....lordly...

  • Taseer on February 8, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    In addition to you cheating on your GCSEs, what about alllllllllllllllllllll those footballers who have taken dives in the box to get a penalty out of the referee. SURELY that should be considered cheating. They should all be charged by the police as well!

  • hari on February 12, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    The funniest piece ever on cricinfo, Andy .... waiting for your next dose of humour

  • P.Satish on February 11, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    Very very funny article.

    You forgot the English as being another whom Ganguly could expertly wind up. Especially over-weight, under-talented Lancastrian "all-rounders".

  • Akhilesh on February 11, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    that natural god-given ability to irritate Australians without really trying. Wow... LOL

  • Osama on February 9, 2011, 7:48 GMT

    hahaha... hilarious

  • Anonymous on February 9, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    ".. malfunctioning target-location system may render it a threat to local birdlife. " - watch it Andrew. A johnson missile might seek you when u r unsuspectingly reporting a match in Oz !

  • Rizwan on February 9, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    Interesting reading! The writer with his great sense of humour and prolificness, knits cricket with satire in a way even Monty Python would envy.

  • Tim on February 9, 2011, 0:24 GMT

    I'm pretty sure Tait and Johnson are both in the world cup squad unless that joke is seriously over my head. Also it's summer here, not winter.

  • Omer T on February 9, 2011, 0:07 GMT

    hahaha

    This is some serious humor Mr. Hughes. No wonder it went straight past people's head. Super stuff!

  • nailed-it on February 8, 2011, 22:06 GMT

    "THE JOHNSON"....masterpiece......great piece of humor....lordly...

  • Taseer on February 8, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    In addition to you cheating on your GCSEs, what about alllllllllllllllllllll those footballers who have taken dives in the box to get a penalty out of the referee. SURELY that should be considered cheating. They should all be charged by the police as well!

  • Sridhar on February 8, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    May be had Sourav had retained his price tag, someone might have picked him up.

  • Abhishek on February 8, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    Hi Andrew! Awesome article. Loved the bit about Ganguly and the brittle Shaun Tait. Although I think you held back, on Ganguly. I was hoping you'd really let him have it, but rabid Indian fans who abuse and mouth for no reason can sometimes do that to a writer who doesn't have the patience or time for that sort of silly feedback. I would love it if you can feature some articles on the bullish nature of the BCCI as well. They deserve to be knocked off their haughty perch. Thanks once again, for a good laugh!

  • Biggus on February 8, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    Andrew, although he posesses the finest bouffant (or is it a pre-emptive comb-over?) this side of Kim Jong Il and Slobodan Milosevic, to dismiss Shahid Afridi as merely a walking advertisment for 'Light and Lovely' shampoo is a grave injustice. The man is an innovator:-a multi-skiller with more uses than one of those slicing and dicing units they flog on late night/early morning television. Whilst most players limit themselves to such mundane things as batting, bowling and fielding Afridi is a fine dancer, specialising in the 'Twist', and is plainly miles ahead of the rest of us mere mortals in an evolutionary sense, having developed sensory organs for smelling in his teeth. All in all, he is the complete all-rounder. Show some respect.

  • Jim on February 8, 2011, 16:00 GMT

    Andrew, I always love your way of thinking, Keep them coming. Lot of people try to rate the articles and the authors in this site. Rather, we have to appreciate the different views and perspectives of looking at anything in Cricket.

  • Vineet on February 8, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    "where I fear the absence of gold taps in many of the pavilion washrooms could be a deal-breaker"....CLASSIC.... I am an Indian but I am glad that he retired from the game of Cricket... always too scared to face quality pace bowling... but always the first person to score centuries against the minnows

  • Anonymous on February 8, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    Great Great Great article . enjoyed thoroughly

  • Asif Hussain Shah on February 8, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    Pakistan, India, Australia & Sri Lanka have good position in World Cup 2011. South Africa little bit feel pressure in pressure game like Finals. England is very good team but Pakistan, India & Sri Lanka have advantage of asian wickets and triple teams have very good spin bowlers. In Sri Lanka Spinners do every thing for match winning.

  • Syed Asif Hussain Shah on February 8, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    Mr. Shahid Afridi is a good captain, younas khan is over confident man and Misba ul Haq have low confidence (not agressive). so afridi is best choice for the same position.

  • Oliver Jones on February 8, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    Andrew, you are a brilliant writer. Not only does this do the important thing of conveying cricketing news, which is always good for a journalist, but you also do it in a way that makes it humorous. Please continue doing this until the end of time. You are one of the very few decent journalists out there - don't let any corporation stop you!

  • Akkers on February 8, 2011, 11:11 GMT

    I suppose Ganguly can now concentrate more on his TV show. If ratings are anything to go by, Lord Snooty may not be doing a 2nd season.

  • Bengal FAN on February 8, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    We could not do anything for Ganguly. Just sad about that. If we boycott IPL then it will be major loss of our bengal cricket.

  • arnab on February 8, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    "he and his friends would rally behind the new captain and offer him their fullest support until just after they lose their first game" ABSOLUTE GOLD- sums up the shambolic/fickle nature of pakistan cricket perfectly

  • yasir on February 8, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    omg that was really funny :|

  • Anirban on February 8, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    Can somebody tell me who Andrew Hughes is? Pardon me for asking this question if he has played 300 ODIs and scored 11500 runs. I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t know how to hold a bat properly. Even I accept that Ganguly’s days are over and harbor no ill feelings towards any franchisee for not selecting him, but to question his ability and talent is making a fool out of yourself. But any way, this is India where ant thing remotely related to cricket sells like hot cakes, even if it is utter crap. India will thus continue to be the happy hunting grounds for people like Hughes. But I understand that everybody has a right to earn their breads hence Andrew Hughes and his species would continue to thrive in India!!!!

  • Anonymous on February 8, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    YIA

  • Circe on February 8, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    "If only I’d known I was risking a criminal record all those years ago when I scribbled formulas on my arm before my maths GCSE,....."

    You really did that? Well, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, and nobody expects the Crown Prosecution Service either. Until they arrive, that is. Farewell, Mr Hughes, and have a good time defending your public confession at the next assizes.

    (My knowledge of English Law comes mostly from Holmes stories so I might have gone a bit over the top here, but I guess you get the point).

  • blue-eyed on February 8, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    Hilarious stuff Andy....Loved the gold taps and the 'tape to hold together Tait' parts.....and the last sentence is the best of em all....

  • moses on February 8, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    its very unfair what they did to Ganguly,the Ipl will never be the same again.it sounds funny and painful all at the sametime but Dada was masterclass batsman and captain,Kolkata has lost out,now cricket is becoming politics too

  • moses on February 8, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    its very unfair what they did to Ganguly,the Ipl will never be the same again.it sounds funny and painful all at the sametime but Dada was masterclass batsman and captain,Kolkata has lost out,now cricket is becoming politics too

  • Anonymous on February 8, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    Awesome Andrew......especially the last 2 ones.

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  • Anonymous on February 8, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    Awesome Andrew......especially the last 2 ones.

  • moses on February 8, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    its very unfair what they did to Ganguly,the Ipl will never be the same again.it sounds funny and painful all at the sametime but Dada was masterclass batsman and captain,Kolkata has lost out,now cricket is becoming politics too

  • moses on February 8, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    its very unfair what they did to Ganguly,the Ipl will never be the same again.it sounds funny and painful all at the sametime but Dada was masterclass batsman and captain,Kolkata has lost out,now cricket is becoming politics too

  • blue-eyed on February 8, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    Hilarious stuff Andy....Loved the gold taps and the 'tape to hold together Tait' parts.....and the last sentence is the best of em all....

  • Circe on February 8, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    "If only I’d known I was risking a criminal record all those years ago when I scribbled formulas on my arm before my maths GCSE,....."

    You really did that? Well, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, and nobody expects the Crown Prosecution Service either. Until they arrive, that is. Farewell, Mr Hughes, and have a good time defending your public confession at the next assizes.

    (My knowledge of English Law comes mostly from Holmes stories so I might have gone a bit over the top here, but I guess you get the point).

  • Anonymous on February 8, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    YIA

  • Anirban on February 8, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    Can somebody tell me who Andrew Hughes is? Pardon me for asking this question if he has played 300 ODIs and scored 11500 runs. I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t know how to hold a bat properly. Even I accept that Ganguly’s days are over and harbor no ill feelings towards any franchisee for not selecting him, but to question his ability and talent is making a fool out of yourself. But any way, this is India where ant thing remotely related to cricket sells like hot cakes, even if it is utter crap. India will thus continue to be the happy hunting grounds for people like Hughes. But I understand that everybody has a right to earn their breads hence Andrew Hughes and his species would continue to thrive in India!!!!

  • yasir on February 8, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    omg that was really funny :|

  • arnab on February 8, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    "he and his friends would rally behind the new captain and offer him their fullest support until just after they lose their first game" ABSOLUTE GOLD- sums up the shambolic/fickle nature of pakistan cricket perfectly

  • Bengal FAN on February 8, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    We could not do anything for Ganguly. Just sad about that. If we boycott IPL then it will be major loss of our bengal cricket.