March 21, 2011

Chawla to dress in dog costume

Andy Zaltzman
Yuvraj Singh celebrates his second wicket, India v West Indies, Group B, World Cup 2011, March 20, 2011
Yuvraj Singh channels his inner, er, walrus  © Associated Press


[For immediate international release]

By Our Special Correspondent, Chennai

India’s World Cup campaign received a timely pre-quarter final boost yesterday with the news that the team is prepared to make legspinner Piyush Chawla dress up in a dog costume to assist their chances in the quarter-final with Australia.

Dhoni’s men noticeably perked up in the field at the Chepauk in their successful defence of 268 against West Indies when a small dog sprinted onto the outfield like a quadruped Jonty Rhodes, and, roared on by a crowd excited at the rare sight of something moving with speed and urgency across the outfield, ran rings around assorted groundstaff, policemen and Suresh Raina for several minutes. A somnolent atmosphere was enlivened as the Chennai audience enthusiastically saluted the heroic pooch’s Ned Kelly-style efforts to escape both justice and Munaf Patel.

The West Indies, having been accumulating comfortably at 154 for 2, but whose pre-match psychological preparation unluckily involved visualising that they were cats chasing a mouse, promptly collapsed in a cavalcade of batting ineptitude to 188 all out, as India found some penetration with the ball and zest in the field.

In the post-match press conference, Man-of-the-Match Yuvraj Singh, was asked by Andy Zaltzman, one of the international journalism world’s most fearless investigative reporters, whether India would consider hiring a dog for the Ahmedabad quarter-final, or making out-of-favour leggie Chawla don a doggie outfit and run around the outfield. Yuvraj, without a moment’s thought, replied: “Yes, if it works for us. Definitely.”

As the shockwaves reverberated around the cricketing world, other leading teams, unwilling as ever to be left behind in the race to perfect the latest of the technological innovations to shape the modern game, were rumoured to be considering making their fringe players dress up as animals. England were seen taking receipt of a pantomime-horse costume clearly sized to fit a Collingwood-Yardy front-back combination.

Sources close to the England team suggested that the Collingwood-Yardy nag will be used in the Colombo quarter-final for Ian Bell, the Sledgehammer Of Eternal Justice himself, to ride in to bat like Alexander The Great, intimidating Sri Lankan players and spectators alike.

Chawla himself refused to comment on the breaking news, but was later seen under the floodlights at the Chepauk practising barking and chasing some sticks.


Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

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Posted by MJR on (March 25, 2011, 9:58 GMT)


Posted by Ravi on (March 24, 2011, 14:39 GMT)

Rather poor by Zaltzman's very high standards.

Posted by JJames on (March 23, 2011, 9:21 GMT)

Good one Andy! I bet you are having a good laugh reading some of the comments (eg. Gaurav). I frankly, had a good laugh reading the comments - a good peak into the intelligence/ common sense among some of us...

Posted by Biggus on (March 23, 2011, 8:28 GMT)

If it was about an Australian you Indians would have found it hilarious. No-one does righteous indignation like you guys.

Posted by Biggus on (March 23, 2011, 8:17 GMT)

What's with the anti-dog lobby. Man's best friend. Fine animals!

Posted by Suri on (March 23, 2011, 6:13 GMT)

Are you out of your ****ing mind????? get a life #$$#^$##

Posted by Maddy on (March 23, 2011, 5:16 GMT)

Won't it be insult to the 'stray' dogs...??? Dogs might go on strike and protest by wearing Chawla's face mask and roam around streets. First off all... it was a blunder by picking Chawla in WC scod by selection committee (Srik & co... any political influence from Chawla's side...?) and later it was a captain cool's (Dhoni) mistake by picking him in playing 11 even after his worst performance.

Dhoni... u r loosing ur cham of captiancy... Awake... and perform/lead...

Posted by Maddy on (March 23, 2011, 5:04 GMT)

ha ha ha...Won't it be insult to the dog..? ;) Dogs will take revenge by masking Chawla's face and rome around streets.

Chawla was the most 'wrong' pick by selection committe. Above that picking him after successful failures in playing 11 by Dhoni was a blunder.

Posted by Indifferent Me on (March 22, 2011, 17:10 GMT)

This is some real funny stuff...Chawla in a dog costume...:D...and for all those Indians crying about respect and him being a player; how many of you hav had him in ur starting xi for the indian team???

Posted by Jim in Retford, Notts on (March 22, 2011, 16:52 GMT)

To J and Praveen Chadda. Gentlemen, I imagine it must be terribly awkward and dull trying to get through life without a sense of humour. What's it like?

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Andy Zaltzman
Andy Zaltzman was born in obscurity in 1974. He has been a sporadically-acclaimed stand-up comedian since 1999, and has appeared regularly on BBC Radio 4. He is currently one half of TimesOnline's hit satirical podcast The Bugle, alongside John Oliver. Zaltzman's love of cricket outshone his aptitude for the game by a humiliating margin. He once scored 6 in 75 minutes in an Under-15 match, and failed to hit a six between the ages of 9 and 23. He would have been ideally suited to Tests, had not a congenital defect left him unable to play the game to anything above genuine village standard. He writes the Confectionery Stall blog on Cricinfo.

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