The perils of spring cleaning
There's a large shrub or small tree of indeterminate species outside my house, the flourishing branches of which impede the progress of postwomen, milkmen, door-to-door religious fanatics, and freelance assassins, forcing them to crouch and lean to the left in order to reach my front door.
That's not all. The pollen from the strange spores that dangle from the shrub or tree causes passers-by returning from the supermarket to scatter their groceries across the pavement as they erupt into fits of frantic sneezing, while fallen foliage covers the vicinity of my property with a decaying brown slug-inhabited carpet that sticks to your shoes when it rains.
Now I should do something about this arboreal blight, but there are two problems. The first is that I am colossally lazy. Of all the seasonal advertisements in bloom at the moment, the perky outdoorsy ones involving hedge-trimming, gazebo-erecting and lawn tarting-up are the most depressing. I haven't spent the last few years amassing an impressive collection of calories only to burn them up on a reckless gardening spree.
The second problem is that the shrub, bush, or tree is propping up my rotten wooden picket fence, to the extent that removing it would cause said fence to collapse. This would in turn expose a weed-infested border to the general horror of the neighbourhood, obliging me to weed it, dig it, buy new plants, plant the new plants, water the new plants, weed the new plants, prune the new plants and so on, in a never-ending cycle of chores.
So I can fully sympathise with organisations like the BCCI, who find themselves confronted by a massive cleaning job. Five years of not emptying the bin, ignoring the dirty dishes and sweeping bookies receipts under the fridge means that the task now ahead of them is both enormous and unsanitary. Yet sooner or later, you have to haul yourself off the sofa, dig out the high-powered cleaning fluid with the multi-directional nozzle and get stuck in.
In my experience, what then happens to the amateur, part-time cleaner, is that you can go a little crazy. Once you pull on that first pair of marigolds, and get the whiff of bleach in your nostrils, it can unleash your inner clean freak. As we speak, Mr Dalmiya and chums are tearing through the IPL, lifting rocks that haven't been lifted for several years, waking up sleeping dogs, fumigating consciences and spraying initiatives in all directions.
The problem with this frenzy of spring cleaning is that whilst it is undoubtedly cathartic, it tends to involve the easy jobs.
For example, this week we learned that cheerleaders and after-match parties are to be banned. I've never understood the point of paying people to dance in the vicinity of a sporting event. When you visit the ballet, there isn't a game of T20 going on in the wings, and cinemas don't employ stand-up comedians to distract you from the film. So I won't miss the slightly bemused dancing women. But were they really a problem?
Likewise, with the after-match parties. They may give rise to some of the most tedious photographs ever to be launched on the internet ("Hey, here's me standing fairly near Suresh Raina!") but that's no reason to ban them.
It's always easier to deal with the small stuff, but there's not much point polishing spoons and rearranging sock drawers when there's rising damp in the walls and an infestation in the bathroom. And if you use up all your energy dashing around in the grip of initiative-itis, sooner or later you're going to run out of steam and slump back onto the sofa, promising yourself that you'll definitely deal with that cockroach problem tomorrow.
Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England. He tweets here