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The story of Cricky the Goose

The travails of this bird sound a little familiar to a game that was once played only over five days. Therein lies a fable

Krish Ashok

Comments: 30 | Text size: A | A
A Canadian goose takes a one-legged nap at the edge of Lake Maligne, Canada, July 5, 2009
An egg every five days keeps the riff-raff away © Getty Images

"Tell me a story, grandma," said the six-year-old, pulling her Gordon Freeman-themed bedsheet close to her neck and looking eagerly at a healthy-looking 213-year-old (who did not look a day over 170, really)

"Hmm, what kind of story," she asked her great-great-great-granddaughter.

"A sad story with a happy ending."

"Many years ago, there lived a goose named Cricky," grandma began.

She was a regular, nice sort of goose. She laid tasty eggs once in five days. People enjoyed the omelettes that were made from her eggs. Then, after many years of this routine, a cousin named Packet had a bright idea. He wanted to bring some excitement into Cricky's boring life. He painted her feathers in bright, vibrant colours and convinced her to lay eggs every seven hours or so. "You will become famous," he predicted.

He was right, because once the new Cricky started laying eggs every seven hours - including under bright halogen lamps at night - other birds got excited. Suddenly TV dodos (large flightless 21st-century birds that entertained briefly while mostly babbling commercial messages) were interested. They convinced Cricky to lay eggs with brand names embossed on them. She enjoyed the attention she was getting.

But as the money poured in, Cricky's local farm association's chief bully, BiCCi the Cuckoo, wanted in on the action. He declared Cricky to be his adopted child and announced to the world that all business deals had to go through him. His very first move was to make Cricky wear sunglasses with advertising stickers all over them (why does an egg-laying goose need to see, eh?). Then he convinced Cricky to genetically modify herself so she could lay eggs all through the year. The male goose (known as the baller) was neutered so the egg-laying could proceed without interruptions by pesky little goslings.

BiCCi soon grew old, fat, rich and lazy, thanks to Cricky's popularity, and built himself a luxury nest from bird's-nest-soup ingredients. He had a sassy nephew named Moody, a Lisp hacker by profession. Moody watched his elderly uncle grow slothful and complacent and thought about how Cricky could get to the next level. He was not content with just branded eggs and sunglasses with ad stickers on them. He wanted golden eggs.

But golden eggs do not come easily. Not only did Cricky undergo painful plastic surgery and more genetic mutation, every action of hers now had to be monetised. Her honk had to be modulated to include brand names. Her beak was altered to resemble a popular brand of mobile phone. She now had to lay golden eggs every three hours. Actresses from Duckwood were roped in for endorsements.

The golden eggs kept coming and Moody the Cuckoo became a big star. He was unstoppable. He now wanted to control all access to Cricky. Other birds who wanted to meet her had to wear t-shirts with brand logos. News-reporting pigeons could only carry 140 characters or less in the messages about her that were tied to their feet. Some TV dodos could stare at Cricky for no more than 30 seconds. Even those fancy internet-controlling penguins were prevented from uploading footage of Cricky laying golden eggs.

Soon Cricky had to take acting classes and enact ads while laying eggs. Every other bird laying eggs in the farm was put to sleep. Merchandise made from eggshells was sold at astronomically high prices. Cricky also starred in a reality show where she picked her consort from a thousand honking applicants.

Eventually, however, Cricky lost interest in laying eggs and the other birds, tired of all the ads, went away. Folks eating omelettes made from brand-embossed eggs started to fall sick. Cricky soon found herself all alone. She introspected and searched for meaning in her life. She even read Grains for the Celebrity Goose Soul. Eventually, a voice in her head said, "The tastiest eggs take five days to make."

Krish Ashok is an IT consultant, columnist and humourist who blogs at

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Posted by Dummy4 on (March 23, 2010, 10:03 GMT)

y is every1 simply criticizing modi, ipl and bcci? even if there was no ipl, there would have been an EPL or APL. so would you go on and criticize that as well? Krish, the ipl is doing its best to increase the fan base of cricket through Twenty20. since i am living in uae, the inclusion of kochi as an IPL franchise is already exciting the Keralites here(though i'm from Punjab). soon this game will expand in gulf even among the locals. and tomorrow usa, brazil, italy and many more non-cricket nations will be keen to learn more about his game. so you don't have to be so imaginative about the death of test cricket. modi and ipl aren't murdering it, they are saving it. if ppl 4m other countries start loving t20, they will also show interest for test cricket and its significiance. so please think about the bright side of ipl, don't try to polish the imaginative dull side of it.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 22, 2010, 18:52 GMT)

Alternate ending, Cricky will eventually die and Moody and Bicci will go home with cash

Posted by Mohan on (March 22, 2010, 10:29 GMT)

oh, one more thing. The biggest beneficiary of the seven-hour egg wasn't bicci, but iccy the central bully. He was worse than bicci, because he had absolutely zero role in developing the Indian team or the Indian market, yet reaped money by scheduling the world cups, the champions trophies and what not to sell those eggs.

Posted by Mohan on (March 22, 2010, 9:41 GMT)

krish: yeah right. You write some cliched morality tale about killing the golden goose, the sub-ed titles it as "a tale for our troubled game" and we are expected to take it in a lighter vein? Get real. As for injuries, if they weren't playing IPL, they would have been playing some stupid series for some board or ICC and could have sustained the injury there.

Posted by Pavan on (March 22, 2010, 8:49 GMT)

@pranesh well said.The probability of a cricketer to get injured due to uneven bounce like MS Dhoni is more in test cricket rather than one day or t20 . I think you have seen legend Dravid decieved by a bouncer and out for two months and these hamstrings never make you sit for two months .

Posted by pranesh on (March 22, 2010, 5:14 GMT)

@krish : just on a side note, most of the injuries this year, in fact all except gambhir's were due to accidents on the field. They could happen if you play just 12 test matches a year and nothing else.

Posted by Ashok on (March 22, 2010, 3:05 GMT)

Guys, this is page 2 alright. It's supposed to be taken in the lighter vein. Nobody's a test cricket guardian here. Rest assured, Lalit K Modi is not reading this and feeling all hurt that someone poked fun at his spectacularly successful franchise :)

So chill out. IPL has enough people cheerleading it. Practically every Bollywood star is gushing like the Niagara to praise it to the skies. The occasional satire and sarcasm against it is not bad really. Leaving aside Cricky the goose and his fictitious tale, who's speaking about genuine issues like player burnout? Have you guys seen the number of injuries this year? That's what the serious side of Cricinfo discusses. Please to head over there and continue your passionate debate.

Page 2 is strictly tongue in cheek

Posted by Sameer on (March 22, 2010, 2:22 GMT)

Very creative story!! there are always two sides!! one who like it one who dont!! Its very easy to criticise and pull someone down!! but to do it in such imaginative way is really great!!

Im sure the author(Krish Ashok) of this story will watch test matches in stadium only and sponsor atleat 5 -10 ppl (or as many he can afford from writing this peice)

Cmon krish im sure you can contribute in your own way to save our cricky!!

Posted by Pavan on (March 21, 2010, 19:54 GMT)

I don't think why cricinfo hates IPL which is giving life to many unknown cricketers even Suresh Raina gave his comeback to Team India through IPL ,Amit Mishra,Badrinath,Vijay many others are on the way to fill the slots of oldies like Manish Pandey,Kohli which the world has seen throught the IPL eyes. Cricinfo should stop writing such stories against IPL which cheap websites do. Com on Cricinfo be on the Innovative side

Posted by Amit on (March 21, 2010, 17:34 GMT)

I dont Understand why everyone is getting so circumspect over success of T20 and specially IPL, lets accept modi has turned around the financials of the game, any i feel IPL is more or less helping many unknown Indian players to play in the conditions which they might never have got to play in thier lives, so i really dont understand why everyone gets behind modi, why cant we appreciate the work he has done and enjoy the game.

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