US customs busts Simmons' 'drug bat'
Lendl Simmons*, the West Indies batsman, has been left looking for a new bat after a brush with overzealous customs officials in the USA.
Simmons was travelling through the country between games for Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League when his bat attracted the interest of customs officials. In a sure sign that cricket remains a mysterious and largely unknown sport in the USA, the officials feared that the bat could be used to transport illegal drugs so drilled several holes into it to enable closer inspection.
Initially it was thought that it was New Zealand and Amazon Warriors allrounder Jimmy Neesham's bat that was under scrutiny after he tweeted a picture of the ruined bat, saying: "Imagine if your cricket gear went through America and they drilled holes in your bat to look for drugs..."
Neesham later clarified that it was Simmons' bat. "Just to clarify again, the bat belongs to Lendl Simmons. Pretty happy I managed to dodge that bullet!"
The first tweet spawned an amusing raft of puns on Twitter using the hashtag #drugbat. Among the more imaginative suggestions were Richard Hadl-E, Co-Kane Williamson, Whispering Meth and Arul Supplier. Malcolm Speed was not asked to comment.
Imagine if your cricket gear went through America and they drilled holes in your bat to look for drugs... pic.twitter.com/oaxAFJAvSK— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh) August 8, 2014
* August 9, 4.00am GMT: This story was updated to reflect that it was Simmons' bat that was inspected, and not Neesham's.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo