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