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Quelle horreur

What do you get when you cross SAW with the glorious game?

Jarrod Kimber

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Virender Sehwag at the nets, Dhaka, January 12, 2010
Sehwag: the axe effect © Associated Press
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When Virender Sehwag and four other cricketers who aren't Virender Sehwag wake up in an old, creepy mansion, they have to face the toughest test of their lives. Virender, Sulieman, Brad, Daniel and Shahid all find themselves victims of cruel cricket-related horror madness. Are they willing to change the way they play the game, to survive? This is the horror film that puts the balls in the right area.

Sulieman wakes up at the end of a hallway. It is pitch black but when he moves, a TV screen appears on the roof above him. A blood-covered skull moves its jawbone and says:

"Hello, Sulieman. You are a humble, sane and talented international finger spinner. Yet you constantly bump into the opposition, trip players up or get in physical entanglements; in Australia you did all three. Did you do it for your team or did you just want some attention? Tonight you'll show me. The irony is that if you want to die, you just have to behave as normal, but if you want to live, you'll have to walk down this hallway and not bump into any of my friends, who are all set up to explode at the smallest of touches. You might survive one bump but not two. The door is open at the other end of the hallway; it will be for the next two minutes - the time that your over is supposed to be bowled in, if you are playing sensibly."

A solitary light is turned on and it swings from side to side, illuminating the hallway of mechanical creatures that is in store, and the open door at the end.

Daniel wakes up with his arms and head in a dry plastic tube and the rest of his body in a tank of water. He struggles a bit, which triggers a voice recording:

"Hello, Daniel. If you are tough enough to get hit in the face and then still want to bat in a Test match, why don't you just prove it? Let's put your so-called 'toughness' to the test. In a few seconds a ball machine will start firing balls into your face. Every one you dodge or deflect will release a fresh-water crocodile into the water. If you are tough, you will take all the balls on the face and make it to the other end of the tank safely and press the water-release button. If not, the crocodiles will eat you alive. Each ball will come at 90mph - Jimmy Anderson pace."

Brad awakes in a room filled with old machinery. He has a letter around his neck.

"Welcome, Brad. You've got fast hands, don't you? Now we are going to test them for once and all. In each of these machines is a key - you will need all six keys to open the door, but the machines will crush the key if you are too late. If you miss one key, the door will never open and you will be stuck here to think about your past digressions until you the air runs out. If you get your hands stuck in the machine, you will be sucked in and crushed. You've gotten away with manoeuvres like this before. Think you can again, Brad?"

 
 
"Hello, Shahid. You don't know me, but I know you. I know you like to use your mouth, but could you use it to save your life?
 

Shahid wakes up tied up in a body-length straightjacket with a weird metal contraption on his head. Written in chalk next to him is:

"Hello, Shahid. You don't know me, but I know you. I know you like to use your mouth, but could you use it to save your life? On the table in front of you is a ball of razor wire. Inside the ball is a remote control that will release your shackles and open the door. Since you are such an expert I am sure you won't cut yourself too much or accidentally slit your throat. You have 11 minutes - the average amount of time you spend batting. After that the machine on your head will bite your head in half."

Virender wakes up chained to a vat of yellow liquid with a tape recorder in his pocket:

"Virender, this is your wake-up call. Every day you embarrass other cricketers by playing shot after shot. Now you will have to change your game. Your aim in this game is to dead-bat the balls, so that the sulphuric-acid vat positioned behind you does not break and pour onto you. If you miss a ball, you will die. If you hit the ball too hard, you will die. If you rush forwards you will die. For once you will have to play the anchor role. When you have gotten to the red button at the end of the room the ball machine will stop and your restraints will be released, but to get out of the room you will have to take a blunt axe to the body of an unconscious bowler who is chained in front of your small exit door. From the time you press the red button you have two minutes to dismantle the bowler. If you don't, the vat will time-out and release its contents in the room. You have destroyed many a bowler with your bat; can you do it with an axe?"

The first ball fires short and wide of Virender.

RSS FeedJarrod Kimber, the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com, is an Australian writer based in London. His new book is now on sale

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