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Alan Tyers goes behind the scenes
Chris Gayle slumped over his laptop.
"Brian," he said. "Lara, man. Help me. Do you know how to recall an email?"
The Prince of Port-of-Spain jumped up. He felt a twinge in his back. He hobbled over, grimacing.
"I've still got it. There's still cricket in me," said Lara. Gingerly he lowered himself into the chair next to Gayle.
"You know that email I sent to the West Indies Cricket Board a while back?" said Gayle.
"Those chumps," muttered Lara. "Yeah, I remember."
Gayle clicked on the "sent" email.
"U can stick your captaincy and your contract - I'm gonna be rich, bitch!!!! IPL here I come!!!!! See ya later, losers."
Lara read it, nodding with approval.
"Good, modern effort that," he said. "Those guys were living in the past."
"Yeah," said Gayle. "Only, now I'm thinking, what with not getting bought in the auction, maybe I shouldn't have been so hasty."
Herschelle Gibbs came over.
"Ya, I know how you feel, bru," said Gibbs. "I would have been a brilliant ambassador for any IPL franchise. Can't believe my mixture of hard-hitting, hard-drinking and hardcore pornographic stories involving my former team-mates didn't tempt the bidders."
"The world's gone mad," agreed Lara. "Who wouldn't want the mental image of the South African late-nineties side on the job while they're reading the morning paper?"
"I tell you what's mad," said Luke Wright. "I'm a World Cup Twenty20 winner, and I can't get a gig?"
Lara, Gayle and Gibbs stared blankly.
"Erm, I'll have the steak medium rare and two bottles of Bacardi, please," said Gibbs to Wright.
"I think he's in the English team," hissed Lara.
Matt Prior joined in to support his colleague.
"And we've just won the bloody Ashes," said Prior. "The Ashes."
"Who was sponsoring that again?" asked Gayle. "Any money in it?"
Sourav Ganguly sauntered up. He regarded Prior benevolently.
"I hear the golfing facilities are quite acceptable here," said the God of the Off Side.
Prior looked excited. A chance to play golf with the legendary former Indian skipper! Probably in a golf cart!
"If you just go and fetch my clubs from the car, there might be an afternoon's work caddying, if you play your cards right."
Prior looked distraught.
"Oh well," he sighed. "A job's a job."
"Now, gentlemen," said Ganguly. "Brian, Christopher, Herschelle. It is a disgrace that we have not been purchased in the IPL. The world has clearly gone mad. I propose a solution: a breakaway league, funded by sponsorship or donations from cricketing fans and starring myself. I mean ourselves."
"Will there be girls?" asked Herschelle. "I love girls."
"Most certainly," said Ganguly.
"Will there be opportunities for going on strike?" asked Gayle.
"And adequate physiotherapy facilities?" asked Lara.
Ganguly confirmed that there would.
"Gentlemen," he said. "The world of cricket is our oyster. Join me, and we will all be rich. I give you the Sourav Premier League. The auction starts in five minutes."
Cricket moneygrubbing and skullduggery, 1896 style, in WG Grace Ate My Pedalo, a Victorian cricket annual by Alan Tyers and illustrated by Beach. Order here and here. All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up (but you knew that already, didn't you?)
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