The Heavy Ball

This, that and the other. Mostly the other

Devil to stop accepting souls sold at IPL auctions

Hell no longer has a place for those who play in the world's shiniest T20 league

R Rajkumar

Comments: 10 | Text size: A | A
Reporters throng Lalit Modi at Mumbai international airport, Mumbai, April 20, 2010
Following a cease-and-desist order, Lalit Modi requests the media to stop using the phrase "give the devil his due" in reference to him © AFP
Enlarge
Related Links
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Teams: India

In breaking news straight out of Hell, the Devil has announced that he will no longer be accepting souls sold at IPL auctions. In a statement released along with a sulfurous plume of infernal fire and malodorous gases, the Prince of Darkness said that the decision hadn't been an easy one to make.

"Due to unforeseen circumstances, it has become untenable to accept these souls," the statement read. "Hell no longer has a place for them, and I have nothing to offer the owners of said souls in return. We do apologise for the inconvenience, and wish you luck in your future endeavours selling your souls elsewhere."

The news appears to have deeply shaken the cricketing fraternity, and the ramifications of the announcement are expected to be felt far and wide. Some athletes are reportedly contemplating legal options.

"It's not fair, to be honest," said Kevin Pietersen. "It's common knowledge that when you enter into a pact with the Devil, you receive something in exchange for your soul. It's been many a long year since I sold mine at my first IPL auction, and I'm yet to receive the promised kickback of bountiful talent translated into results. My lawyer tells me I have a good case. If I don't hear from Hell in a week's time, I'll have no recourse but to take this to the courts."

Speculation is rife as to what prompted the extreme ruling. A purist at heart, and for long a keen follower of the game (the Chappell underarm incident has long since been attributed to his mischief, and it has been suspected on more than one occasion that Javed Miandad was but old Beelzebub in thinly veiled disguise) the Devil has, it is rumoured, become dissatisfied with the quality of the modern cricketer's soul.

"The amount of money being thrown around these days has served to adulterate what has traditionally been a very tasty and wholesome soul," said a Page 2 scribe known to be in league with Satan. "So much so that he has increasingly come to wonder whether modern cricketers possess souls at all, and that if they do, they aren't worth their weight in the transactions he makes."

Another theory making the rounds is that the Devil is simply upset that people don't approach him directly to make their deals anymore, but through an intermediary instead, like the IPL. As is well known, the IPL likes to take a significant cut of every human soul it can lay its hands on for itself before passing on the scraps.

Yet another has it that the Devil is simply upset at having his name taken in vain by the Delhi franchise of the IPL. "But who wouldn't, to be fair," said Delhi skipper Virender Sehwag, himself at one time a beneficiary of devilishly impressive hand-eye coordination.

Perhaps one should turn to Twitter for the answer. A prolific tweeter, this is the Devil's most recent message at the time of writing:

"Better luck upstairs. #QualityControl #DLFMaximumTHAT"

Perhaps one shouldn't turn to Twitter for the answer after all.

Whatever the reasons may be, the impact has been near-catastrophic. Cricketers around the world have been seen wailing and wringing their hands in gestures of futility at having been cheated out of their nefarious deals.

At the time of writing, stories continued to pour in of players forming long lines at temples, mosques, churches, and Lord's cricket ground, seeking divine pardon for having attempted to sell their souls in the first place.

"I promise I'll never play IPL again," wailed Graeme Swann. When informed that he never had, Swann whimpered. "I know," he sniffled. "Can't I just pretend for a while that I have?"

According to a poll taken of religious leaders and members of cricket boards, most of the suddenly born-again cricketers have all pledged one thing in common: to start concentrating less on money and more on Test cricket. They also promised to do the dishes more often.

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.

Comments: 10 
Posted by DilipR on (February 8, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

Cricketers around the world have been seen wailing and wringing their hands in gestures of futility - lol hilarious !

Posted by Rahulbose on (February 7, 2012, 22:40 GMT)

Having utterly corrupted the once glorious sport, perhaps the Devil has already achieved his end goal of destroying a sport that once stood as a symbol of sportsmanship.

Posted by Unmesh_cric on (February 7, 2012, 21:28 GMT)

This is hilarious! New name for the player trading window in IPL: "Soul Trading Window" :-)

Posted by Technical-1 on (February 7, 2012, 20:43 GMT)

This is really Funny!.... I bet old sloofoot.. Had his hand on the trigger to shoot those that did not performed well in his Fire IPL Hell!

Maybe, The Men in Black with their colars turn backward will gain some money by asking franchises to buy souls out of purgatory..lol

LOL he's been doing for years by those you know who!...haha

Posted by xylo on (February 7, 2012, 18:31 GMT)

Didn't the God of cricket have an opinion on this? ;-)

Posted by mishim on (February 7, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

However, it all evens out because "god" plays in the IPL and thereby blesses it with his presence. However, it is remarkable that god, who was supposed to be omnipotent - c'mon, he created the universe and all in it, after all - is chasing an elusive hundredth 100!

Posted by DonChelladurai on (February 7, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

Lame attempt at humour as usual. You're obviously not good at this.

Posted by Adeel9 on (February 7, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

OMG Swann part cracked me up! Doing the dishes was awesome. R.Rajkumar for president anyone?

Posted by iBilal on (February 7, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

this is one hilarious piece... very well done

Posted by   on (February 7, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

Finally an article with the truth! Glad to see that the dark side is not as influential as it once was. Lets hope God steps in and helps out the Test arena with long days of hard work and low strike rates !

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email this page to a friend Email Feedback Feedback Print Print
More in The Heavy Ball
RSS FeedAll
  • 'He's got no real weaknesses'
    Modern Masters: Rahul Dravid and Sanjay Manjrekar discuss Jacques Kallis' terrific record in all conditions
  • 'You don't decline the Australian captaincy'
    Seventy-nine-year-old Ian Craig talks about the "next Bradman" tag, and how Jeff Thomson caused him to retire young
  • India's opening conundrum
    Numbers Game: In the last three-and-half-years, India's opening combinations have averaged 18 per partnership overseas, with only one 50-plus stand in 35 attempts
  • In Larwood country
    Diary: Our correspondent makes his way from Trent Bridge to Nuncargate to find out more about one of England's most fearsome fast bowlers. By Sidharth Monga
  • Pitching it up
    How a medical charity convinced the MCC and the Swedes to help spread the message of cricket among kids in Afghanistan
  • ESPN
  • ESPNF1
  • Scrum
  • Soccernet