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?