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The IPL is over. Do you know where your off stump is?

Top players misplace vital item of cricket furniture during Twenty20 league

R Rajkumar

Comments: 25 | Text size: A | A
M Vijay loses his off stump to a RP Singh yorker, Chennai Super Kings v Kochi Tuskers Kerala, IPL 2011, Chennai, May 18, 2011
And some players even managed to lose their off stumps while they were in plain sight © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League

With the IPL finally over, batsmen settling down in earnest to preparing for a new season of Test cricket have been complaining of a strange and troubling new phenomenon: their off stumps seem to have gone AWOL.

"What am I going to do now?" said a rather contrite-looking Jacques Kallis as he pondered facing an entire day's worth of line and length. "Like most batsmen, I hadn't paid any attention to where my off stump was during the IPL. In fact, I never even gave it a second glance. But I didn't expect to lose sight of it entirely."

Other cricketers have also complained of missing sticks.

"I'd taken mine out with me on a couple of errands I had to run," said a tearful Rahul Dravid. "On the way home, I decided to stop at the mall for a slightly less colorful pair of sunglasses to wear during the upcoming tour of the West Indies. I thought the little bugger was with me the whole time, but when I turned around after trying on my 19th pair, he was gone, just gone. This is so unlike him."

When asked if he had a message to convey to the missing piece of timber, Dravid said he feared it might have fallen into the wrong kind of company. "I just hope that wherever he is, he's okay," he said, turning to the assembled cameras to make a heartfelt plea. "Just come home, son."

Elsewhere Shane Watson was found moping around his apartment, his hair wrapped in a towel as he waited for the leave-in conditioner to kick in, and listening to 80s hair band Cinderella's smash and only hit, "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)". "I always wondered what this song meant," whimpered Watson. "And now I wish I didn't know."

Virender Sehwag, on the other hand, seemed a little bemused. "What's an off stump?" he said, before excusing himself to overseeing more important matters, such as finally making that phone call to fire his hair-replacement surgeon.

"It's just a sad reflection of our times that cricketers these days are finding it difficult to keep track of their off stumps," said a private investigator hired by the ECB to look into a complaint filed by one Kevin Pietersen, a case that, after initially being dismissed as a hoax due to KP's not having played in this year's IPL, was then reopened when it was found that the player didn't know where his off stump was anyway.

Interestingly, the investigator also said that an increasing number of bowlers, as well as the entire Pakistan and West Indies teams, were similarly afflicted by the condition.

The ICC, for its part, has issued a statement, announcing the formation of a new committee to look into the matter, which is to be named as soon as a catchy acronym can be decided upon. Lalit Modi is rumored to be in the running for the position of chairman.

R Rajkumar is a writer who splits his time between London, Coimbatore and the part of his mind that is dedicated to the making up of, and the subsequent revising of, the cricket team he knows should have been picked instead of the one that just was. All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 25 
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Comments have now been closed for this article

Posted by jitendra on (June 5, 2011, 16:34 GMT)

classic stuff! Keep up the good work. loved the veru response, lol

Posted by Mohan on (June 5, 2011, 15:32 GMT)

In the slam-bang cricket no one cares about the stumps,instead they care whether the ball has reached the boundary or not for a batsman when he hits it, and the ball doesn't hit him when the batsman hits the ball hard ,for a bowler and if he bowls a dot ball inT20 he is much happier and if he takes wicket he would be happier;but if the batsman coming next is hard hitting batsman he would rue that he could have bowled more dot balls at the struggling one than the more prominent.

Posted by Rahul on (June 4, 2011, 7:23 GMT)

losing the off-stump made funny!!! i love page 2 :)

Posted by Rolf on (June 3, 2011, 9:37 GMT)

Genius! Zaltzman watch out, you have company.

Posted by Ashique on (June 3, 2011, 5:35 GMT)

If class acts like Dravid and Kallis find it hard to keep track of their off stumps after the never-ending IPL, what will become of the lesser mortals who didn't have much idea about it in the first place? With the IDRS, get ready to see a whole lot of LBWs during the 1st half of the test seasons. I'm sure the bowlers are licking their tongues.

Posted by Himanshu on (June 3, 2011, 4:53 GMT)

Are you Aniruddh Srikant? "i still dont get what is meant by offstump in this article, like how can u lose ur offstump, thats part of the wicket, can some1 plz explain!!! :( "

Posted by Dummy4 on (June 2, 2011, 23:48 GMT)

i still dont get what is meant by offstump in this article, like how can u lose ur offstump, thats part of the wicket, can some1 plz explain!!! :(

Posted by Dummy4 on (June 2, 2011, 20:25 GMT)

Where is the ref. of Christopher Gayle?

Posted by Dummy4 on (June 2, 2011, 18:10 GMT)

Awesome! Loved it! Tendulkar seems to have it on a leash though!

Posted by Dummy4 on (June 2, 2011, 18:01 GMT)

When cricket is played like it should be, the off-stump is very much like a son to Daddy Dravid who, like a dedicated father, sheds blood, A LOT of sweat and tears to protect it.

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