Shocking finding: cricket administrator 'not a crook'
The sport of cricket was left stunned today after a court ruled that a leading administrator was "not corrupt".
An Indian court found that Lakshmi Dev, a high-ranking cricket bureaucrat, had "seemingly never done anything fraudulent".
There was further shock when the court said, "He also appears to be broadly competent."
The landmark decision torpedoes the widely held belief that every single person involved in running the sport at the top level is either on the take, useless, or on the take and useless.
The presiding judge said: "In legal terms, this is a right shocker and no mistake. We had some of our most brilliant legal minds working on this case for over a year, and try as we might, we just could not find any evidence of greed, cheating, nest-feathering, back-handerisation or naked snout-in-trough insertion.
"It is such an unusual case that many of us have never seen anything like it. Mr Dev's initial story was that he was a reasonably intelligent person who liked cricket and wanted to see the sport run in an honest and sensible manner, with an eye to its future as well as the need to make money in the short term.
"When I heard that, I thought he must be taking the mickey, so I fined him for contempt of court, which I now regret. It seems that Mr Dev is that rarest of rare things: a cricket administrator who is not a total fraud slash nitwit."
In the aftermath of the sensational courtroom drama, cricket boards around the world acted swiftly to point out that this was surely an isolated incident.
Said a spokesman for Sri Lanka's governing body: "It is important to state that this is unquestionably just a case of one good apple.
"Cricket fans should rest assured that the appointment of this seemingly honest and capable person is not in any way indicative of a culture of decency throughout our sport."
A senior Indian official was more trenchant in his remarks.
"To think that somebody could totally fail to abuse his position in this manner is absolutely outrageous. I have even heard a rumour that Dev was not employing any of his family members in a cushy, well-paying non-job.
"Who the hell does he think he is?"
Some of the smaller cricketing nations also expressed their astonishment at the ruling.
"We at Zimbabwe Cricket are disgusted at the example set by this individual," read one typical statement.
"There are cricket administrators in our country who are trying to get by on just a few bribes a week, so when you hear of someone totally failing to dip his bread in the great big lake of gravy that is Indian cricket, it makes you wonder what is the point of carrying on, quite frankly."
An English official said: "We must have a zero tolerance policy on competence and the fairest thing to do, going forward, is to ensure that we create a worldwide culture of everyone pulling in the same direction and being able to trust each other to make a total pig's ear of everything. Therefore, he must be sacked now."
Al quotes and "facts" here are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?
More cricketing grotesques in WG Grace Ate My Pedalo at www.tyersandbeach.com