This, that and the other. Mostly the other
Not to be outdone by all the plaudits and acclaim Rahul Dravid received for his stirring Bradman Oration at the Australian War Memorial recently, Andrew Symonds, Page 2 has learnt from reliable sources, delivered a legendary speech of his own, at the first annual Harbhajan Oration held in Chandigarh.
According to reports, Symonds addressed a gala dinner crowd at the local franchise of Bhajji Da Dhaba, the restaurant chain Harbhajan Singh part-owns, and waxed eloquent on a range of topics appropriate to the event. The guests, made up mostly of past and present luminaries of the franchise-restaurant business, listened in rapt attention as Symonds spoke with charming non-self-deprecating humour and offered cavernous insights into the sport he once dominated in a match against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup and never again.
Other noted personalities at the black-tie event included adult-film star Sunny Leone and a few other contestants from Bigg Boss, the Indian version of the Big Brother TV series, in which Symonds was recently a house guest. Also present was Harbhajan, who could be seen clutching his personal belongings close to his chest at all times, and somewhere in a corner rubbing his cheek and weeping silently, Sreesanth.
Symonds, dressed elegantly in a freshly waxed chest, which intermittently peeped out of an unbuttoned silk shirt, looked more at ease behind the mic than he has ever done with a bat in hand.
The following is an excerpt from the speech:
I'm deeply honoured to be the first Australian to deliver the Harbhajan Oration, or, for that matter, the first person of any nationality to care enough to do something like this.
Distinguished guests, not many of you will be aware, but the name Harbhajan Singh has a very strong cultural resonance back in Australia. The impact he has had on the popular imagination there cannot be understated.
For example, most Australians still ask themselves if they remember where they were and what they were doing when they first saw the "Make It Large" series of commercials featuring Bhajji. So deeply scarred is our psyche.
Now, a lot of people have wondered how a bowler who could barely spin the ball can have taken 400-plus wickets. The answer, in my opinion, is simple - give the ball to any chump off the street, ask him to play as many games and bowl as many overs as Bhajji has, refuse to drop him for bad performances, and he'll get you 400 wickets. It's the classic case of the Infinite Monkey Theorem, the premise being that a monkey banging away at a typewriter for an infinite amount of time will almost surely, by chance and time alone, end up writing the entire works of Shakespeare.
Yeah, I said it. I said the M word. Ha! Take that, Bhajji! Did you know because of the incident with Harbhajan, the interest in primates in Australia has grown tenfold?
But I digress. I'd like to take the opportunity to talk about some of the problems facing our noble game, which has given me so much beer to drink over the years.
It's been said before but it can never be said enough: the biggest challenge facing the game today is that there are just way too many ODIs and T20 games being played without Andrew Symonds. These slam-bang limited-overs run-fests are making the longer version of the game meaningless, especially in light of my not being picked to play in any of them. What I'm trying to say is, more clubs need to holler at me, cos I ain't done yet.
Um, if not for my sake, then do it for Test cricket… ?
And on that slightly confusing and tentative note, Symonds ended his speech to rapturous applause. Harbhajan cordially shook hands with the distinguished speaker, whispered something in his ear and found himself punched clear across a few tables.
R Rajkumar hopes that writing about cricket helps justify his watching it as much as he does to the people in his life who wonder where the remote control's disappeared to.
All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?
Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.