July 4, 2015

ICC offers Greece €50bn bailout

Cricket body comes to rescue of European nation in dire straits

"Greece and cricket have had historic ties. For instance, the rain rule is Greek to most cricket fans" © International Cricket Council

This article is a work of fiction

With Greece teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, the ICC has announced it will be stumping up the estimated 50 billion euros required to bail out the impoverished nation over the next three years. In a move that has shocked financial analysts and delighted the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, the ICC said the decision was based on its policy of making "sound investments to grow the global game" as well as Chairman N Srinivasan's "deep love of stuffed vine leaves".

"Here at the ICC we believe in the notion of democracy," said a spokesman from Dubai. "So what better way to show our commitment to this ideal than by supporting the nation that came up with the concept? Also, despite popular misconceptions, back in fifth-century Athens not everyone was actually allowed to vote, giving the facade of equality while power was in reality kept firmly in the hands of the elite. This is very much what we've modelled the present ICC set-up on, to be honest, so as an expression of thanks to those ancient Greeks, we're more than happy to help out their descendants in this time of need."

Some economists have questioned whether the ICC has actually got enough capital to go through with the deal, but chief executive David Richardson put these qualms to rest. "We've got plenty of cash because we follow a rigid programme of austerity here," he said after returning from his organisation's annual conference in Barbados. "We've got money coming out of our ears, but given the sheer scale of the deal, we've also decided to put in place a few new additional revenue streams. People often claim we don't want to include Associates in anything, but in order to make up any shortfall of the debt Greece owes Germany, we've decided to sell all those nations' players to Angela Merkel. She's free to do as she likes with them, whether that be employing Ryan ten Doeschate as a personal schnitzel taster or installing Hameed Hassan as a second striker for Borussia Mönchengladbach. Let's not have these Associates whingeing we never think about them."

It is unclear yet what Greece has offered in return for the money, but insiders close to the deal suggested a number of ways in which the country will have to earn the loan, including:

- ICC stalwart Giles Clarke to be awarded a lucrative contract making him the face of a new advertising campaign to boost sales of olives. "Oily, cheap and made for cocktail parties" to be the slogan.

- Greece to ditch the euro and introduce a mixed currency system whereby only British pounds, Australian dollars and Indian rupees are considered legal tender.

- The nation's culture ministry to give Greek mythology more of a cricketing flavour. As such Hermes, God of Boundaries, will at the request of the BCCI's marketing department be renamed Kohli, God of Boundaries and Slightly Grumpy Eyebrows.

The Greek people will now have to decide whether or not to accept the ICC's offer in a referendum to be held on Sunday, but prime minister Alexis Tsipras struck an optimistic figure ahead of the vote: "This is a eureka moment for my country and I'm thrilled to be sharing a bath with Mr Srinivasan. Er, metaphorically speaking, that is. Of course, some of my people may still have some reservations about the ICC insisting a huge mural of Ravi Shastri be painted on the side of the Parthenon as part of the deal, but as everyone knows, I personally very much like taking things down to the wire."

All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?
James Marsh writes Pavilion Opinions. He is also a Tefl teacher whose students learn superlatives by being shown Graham Thorpe videos

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 12, 2015, 20:33 GMT

    Classic ! :-))))) You got me until the last few lines:-) Thanks James:-))

  • Arif on July 12, 2015, 15:50 GMT

    Funny stuff this. Well done mate. Hope, you write more articles like this.

  • Dummy4 on July 12, 2015, 2:44 GMT

    I played cricket in Corfu once and got the worst lbw decision of my life.

    My response was to try to knock the heads off all the opposing batsmen with short-pitched stuff on a concrete wicket.

    We had the locals 9 down and well short of the target, and ran their last man out by half the length of the pitch, but for some reason the umpire ignored this while the telegraph board kept ticking over until it passed our total.

    No cash for that lot!

  • hussyy on July 6, 2015, 21:16 GMT

    Is this for real?? And is ICC really seriously that rich?? Woooww. If this true why not help out greece

  • Saifuddin on July 5, 2015, 6:49 GMT

    Light-hearted intelligent article. I liked it. Thanks, James Marsh!

  • Dummy4 on July 4, 2015, 23:54 GMT

    @Chakravarty Devulapalli Did you know newspapers have comic sections? Even Readers Digest has several humor sections. If one comments without reading the FIRST LINE of the article, then who's at fault?

  • Chatty on July 4, 2015, 23:47 GMT

    What's the problem with everybody, ha? It was not the greatest of humor. But it was quite all right. I enjoyed it. Sure Greece is having problems. But they are their own making. Besides, there are places in this world that are far worse off. So, get a grip, everyone! The only thing I did not like was telling the reader that this was fiction. Seriously, are the readers so stupid as not to understand that? Perhaps some are!

  • Dummy4 on July 4, 2015, 22:38 GMT

    HAHA hilarious. I like the way the author has mentioned current ICC politics in greek debt

  • surajit on July 4, 2015, 21:20 GMT

    I think this article has nothing to do with Greece, this article is satirical on cricket n ICC itself.

  • Dummy4 on July 4, 2015, 20:02 GMT

    Really... I think you three need to lighten up a bit. Cheap tactics? It's just a piece of satire. Good on ya James,

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