January 20, 2014

Rohit Sharma to re-enter planet Earth

And other news you'll wish you had missed from around the cricket world

"That's Mr Associate Vice President of Mental Disintegration (Facial Hair Division) to you" © Getty Images

Crowds gather to witness Rohit Sharma crash back to Earth
The Indian Space Research Organisation has confirmed that after Rohit Sharma's latest overseas batting failure, the batsman will be re-entering the planet's atmosphere somewhere over New Zealand in the next few hours as he finally crashes back to Earth.

"Cricket fans and ufologists might recall that the batsman had been flying unaccustomedly high in recent months thanks to a freak string of consistent scoring prior to the tour of South Africa," said a spokesman for the space agency. "Well, it's time for him to come home now. Clearly, his mission is over."

Friends, family members and onlookers have been gathering at a clearing on the outskirts of Napier to welcome the misfiring batsman as he falls back to Earth. Sharma's capsule is expected to parachute down safely into a farmyard of cows, sheep, and Indian selectors, whereupon tradition holds that he will be given a routine health check-up and then immediately prepped to be sent up again on yet another ill-fated mission.

Johnson credits Hughes
Mitchell Johnson has credited none other than Merv Hughes with being the man responsible for reversing his fortunes when it appeared that Johnson was destined to be remembered for a career that featured more downs than ups.

"He fine-tuned my technique," confirmed Johnson. "It may have been a few simple observations, but they were effective. I owe all my recent success to him."

Hughes himself was modest about his mentorship role. "Oh, I didn't do anything all that special," he said. "But I did notice that while everything seemed to be in place during his run-up, there was a slight loss of shape at the point of delivery. So I just told him to use some Brylcreem to keep it all in place, and to curl the tips up just a tad as it passed the lower lip area. Thankfully, it seems to have given him the confidence he needed. God knows it works for me."

So successful has Johnson been in turning his moustache around that the BCCI is reportedly interested in hiring Hughes to work as a consultant to sort out the messes on the faces of Shikhar Dhawan and Ravindra Jadeja.

George Bailey's smile actually a medical condition, say doctors
Doctors have confirmed that the smile always seen on George Bailey's face is not a sign of mirth but in fact a medical condition that will require months, if not years, of treatment to overcome.

Specialists suspect the cause of the fixed smile to be the result of a terrible stroke that Bailey suffered early in his career, an admittedly rather ridiculous-looking shot that rendered him the laughing stock of his team-mates. Bailey chose to follow his grandmother's sage advice by laughing along with them, lest he cry alone, when the wind changed and the smile was frozen in place.

"Wow, this kind of explains why he was grinning through his Aunt Agatha's funeral recently," said his wife.

"Wow, this kind of explains why he was grinning through his root canal procedure recently," mused his dentist.

"Wow, this kind of explains why he was grinning right through my innings whenever I came out to bat recently," said Kevin Pietersen. "Right? Guys? Anyone? Hello?"

Common home town mistakenly attributed to better understanding between batting partners
Commentators have attributed the fact of a shared home town between a pair of opening batsmen to their continued success, especially their "good understanding between the wickets", when in fact the two players are sworn enemies.

"I'm sick to death of people making such assumptions without regard for the facts," said one of the openers. "I wonder if they'd still say we have such a great understanding due to home-town roots if they only knew what goes on in our home town, specifically that that bastard of an opening partner of mine has been sneaking around my back and having an affair with my wife," he sputtered.

"Yeah, we just come together to do a job. Off the pitch it's pretty much war between us," said the other batsman. "He may be my opening partner and all, but our relationship is non-existent. If anything, I have a better relationship with the No. 3 batsman in our team, who also happens to be from my home town. In fact, we're neighbours; his wife's a real good friend of mine."

Multiple people signal four at once in crowd
A number of people stood up in the stands to signal four in unison after a boundary was struck at a match recently, according to reports.

"Guys, it's time to stand up and do the wavy hand thing again, It's another four!" screamed one of five friends who had come to the match to do this very thing. "Wheee!" said another as the friends perfectly synchronised their movements to mimic the umpire's signal.

"This is, like, the most fun I've had in years," said a third friend who not only signalled the boundary but, in case there was any doubt as to his intention, also had a placard of the number four held in his other hand.

At press time, the boys could be seen dressing up in identical outfits resembling an elderly TV personality. "This is it," said one of them with real emotion. "This is the ultimate apex of our existence. Everything else that happens in our lives is just downhill from here."

R Rajkumar tweets here.
All quotes and "facts" in this piece are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jason on January 25, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    Any player in the place of Rohit with so much chance would have become better player as ever he will play well in IPL and subcontinent and keep his place for rest of his place. Give chance to Manoj Tiwary, who was actually selected before rhoit during initial start of rohits career. If selectors want o play rohit make him play in Indian condition leave him when india tours out. Give a chance to somebody who deserves it and not to somebody who performs only in indian condition just for a single series or IPL. If anyone ask me about rohit, i will surely say he is the worst player outside indian condition

  • Siddharth on January 23, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    Haaahaaaa Laugher riot..... Very well written

  • RAJARAMAN on January 23, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    Just start tweaking with bowling and batting when losing ... this is a good opportunity for that ... Is there anything more to lose than already done?

  • ESPN on January 22, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    Rohit sharma so called talent from mumbai after sachin tendulkar sounds like a joke with poor performences overseas and he cannot be compared with the great sachin tendulkar now with tours to england and down under rohit sharma should look to improve his technique to face johnson and other bowlers. Performing in the subcontinent doesnt mean he is a good cricketer he has to perform even in austrailia and england.

  • Daison on January 21, 2014, 5:28 GMT

    Rohit's "flash-in-the-pan" freakish one month of being among the runs is now officially over. According to his standards he scored too much for being retained in the team. Normally Rohit scores a fifty (after let's say 15 low scores) and certain people jump on the bandwagon of "what a talent that Rohit Sharma is". That earns him the right to score 15 more low scores and remain in the team. This time he scored way too much than a fifty that the same "certain people" went to the extent of saying "Hitman has taken the baton from Sachin". Haaa.. Well, you knew for all the talent he is said to be having he is hell bent of discovering new methods to get out - mostly soft dismissals. Had the "certain people" left him alone to find his space (like in the case of Kohli), he would have made better utilization of that talent that he is said to possess. The case now is, he is not pushed to the limit as he knows the "certain people" will cover his base even if he doesn't perform.

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2014, 4:40 GMT

    Lord Rohit Sharma. His Highness the 3rd man to get to 200 in ODI on the planet. Guys Give him time, he is still new with only 100 odd matches under his belt. The captain, MI and the coach need this raw talent to be conserved. He will make sure he will get India the 2015 WC. Rohit is back to form! if you see his last 9 innings have 101 amazing runs. The captain made a donkey run with the horses on flat tracks , now the donkey is showing its colors. lets see how many more years this raw talent will exist. By the way Sanju Samson looks more dedicated and confident.

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2014, 2:12 GMT

    Comeon. He has failed in 3 ODIs and a couple of tests. Considering what he did last year he can have a few more games. This is why i rate Dhoni as a captain. He doesnt take knee jerk reactions on the basis of a couple of games and drop players like Rohit. He finds the most talented people and backs them to the hilt. We saw what Rohit did last year and the year before that Raina was in supreme form. Lets understand that only greats like Sachin, Ponting and now Dhoni and Kohli can score consistently. Other good players will have bad phases now and then but can still single handedly win games. I would be more worried about the bowling, then whether Rohit has come down to earth or is still up somewhere

  • Android on January 21, 2014, 1:26 GMT

    Spare a thought for Manoj Tiwary. He was dropped into wilderness to back Sharma and Sharma owes it at least to Manoj Tiwary to perform consistently well.

  • Dummy4 on January 20, 2014, 16:55 GMT

    Atlease rotate the strikes 03 runs out of 20 balls coming on opening slot will only put pressure on urself. Spend time at crease doesn't mean allowing maiden overs to go.

  • Dummy4 on January 20, 2014, 15:44 GMT

    This super talented young lad, to-be-next Sachin has scored a whooping 101 runs in his last 9 outings. I am a great admirer of him - he looks so eloquently lazy at the crease (did expert say he's elegant, eh?), a brilliant flat track bully. Let's conserve him for the country's highest pride, the IPL.

    Reckon his red giant phase is over, he's fast entering to the black hole.

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