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Ajmal's bowling exceeds tolerance limit

Of England's abilities and patience. And subcontinental pitches become Cullen-esque

R Rajkumar

Comments: 21 | Text size: A | A
Eoin Morgan collides with Saeed Ajmal, Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Dubai, 4th day, February 6, 2012
Ecstatic after being released from the obligation of facing Saeef Ajmal, Eoin Morgan wants to finish the menace once and for all © AFP
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Players/Officials: Andy Flower | Saeed Ajmal
Teams: England | Pakistan

After a series of exhaustive studies by a panel of experts, it has been decreed that Saeed Ajmal's bowling arm did, in fact, exceed the tolerance limit of England's abilities.

Ajmal's action had come under a cloud of suspicion following the Test matches, with some England players and Ajmal himself hinting that his bowling arm exceeded the legally allowed limit to challenge England in Tests.

"There can be no doubts about it now," said David Lloyd, who was pulled out of commentating to head the hastily convened panel, which featured other former-players-turned-commentators and current-commentators-turned-further-bores.

"We spent hours studying the footage. Once we slowed the action down with the super slow-motion camera, we could clearly make out what the naked eye can see just as plainly: the worry creases on the foreheads of England's top batsmen deepened just that extra bit as they tried not to internally combust when trying to decide whether to come forward or stay back, to play for turn this way, that way, or - what they opted for in the end - no way.

"We found it's quite clear Ajmal's bowling exceeds the ECB's stipulated tolerance limit of facing high-quality spin bowling by more than 150 degrees. We've done our work," concluded Lloyd. "The rest is up to the ICC."

England's players reacted with relief to news of the findings. Kevin Pietersen said that he was finally able to come to a degree of peace with himself, now that a reasonable explanation had been found for his poor performance in the series. "I thought it was something to do with my technique," said a visibly relieved KP.

The ECB, on the other hand, is rumoured to be incensed at having its team exposed to a situation beyond its means, and so soon after attaining the cherished world No. 1 tag at that. "The ICC has a lot to answer for," said a spokesman for the ECB. "It needs to ask itself if this is the kind of advertisement for Test cricket it's after - when your No. 1 side gets whitewashed in unfair circumstances."

The ICC, for its part, said all the England batsmen would have to be called in for corrective action, and until such time that the team will have increased its tolerance for playing spin, will have to take notions of being a true world No. 1 with a Gibraltar-sized grain of rock salt.

Latest reports indicate England's players will appeal the ICC's decision three times in quick succession to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, each time unsuccessfully, before suddenly realising they have used up their quota of appeals and will have to mosey on along with their marching orders.

In other just as sensational news, Andy Flower has admitted that some dead pitches in the subcontinent might actually be alive.

"We can't be sure yet, but there is this sneaking suspicion that what we've for decades been calling dead pitches in the subcontinent and similar are not dead at all, but in fact only pretending to be dead," said an angry Flower. "Well, I can tell you not only are they alive, but they can be so full of joie de vivre as to be downright vicious. In horror-film parlance, these pitches might be classified as undead pitches, as zombie pitches.

"I'd like the ICC to send a coroner immediately to check the health of some of these pitches, and that if there is indeed a pulse found, as I suspect will be the case, to proclaim them unsuitable for playing on."

Flower explained that teams like England and Australia should traditionally only play on bouncy or batsman-friendly pitches in the subcontinent, and not pitches so alive as to take unnecessary amounts of spin.

"Pretty soon they'll be using the words "lively" or "good" - words normally reserved for nice, juicy pitches back home - to describe spinning tracks as well," Flower mumbled nervously. "What will happen to us then?"

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: 21 
Posted by   on (February 21, 2012, 2:13 GMT)

Pretty decent I must admit - this author is starting to get on my favorite list. Not an easy task mind you..

Posted by gagagaga on (February 20, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

funny article mate, but he's still s shot putter. Send him to the Olympics or baseball where he belongs. cricket is about bowling

Posted by cyniket on (February 20, 2012, 5:14 GMT)

this is an 'amusing article' which has essentially one joke. There was a grain of something that might have been clever, but I suspect you've wasted more time writing it than I have reading it.

Posted by Dashgar on (February 20, 2012, 3:58 GMT)

Don't drag Australia into this Rajkumar, we at least beat Sri Lanka on square turners and only lost to India due to some Very Very Special resistance. England meanwhile have been belted every time they step foot in the desert no matter what the opposition.

Posted by MinusZero on (February 20, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

I dont see what it matters for spinners. Pacemen may get a benefit from throwing. Just let them play without scrutiny.

Posted by wc1992 on (February 20, 2012, 2:32 GMT)

hahah this is great and hot the mark in funny way .... i wonder what would Bob Willias will say now

Posted by SRT_GENIUS on (February 20, 2012, 1:24 GMT)

@ncurd : did you actually read the article ?

Posted by Unmesh_cric on (February 19, 2012, 20:39 GMT)

I think the whole world is happy (apart from England, of course) that England got whitewashed by Pakistan. Andy Flower was such a good player of spin bowling. I am amazed that England batsmen haven't learned a thing from him.

Posted by DilipR on (February 19, 2012, 19:38 GMT)

Hilarious, superb piece..

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

Well written Mr Raj. Nice to see you are supporting Pak on this unfair and absurd criticism of Ajmal

Posted by Zamana on (February 19, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

Brilliant! Thoroughly enjoyed it! Happens to be quite true, too!

Posted by Engle on (February 19, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

This picture would be an ideal candidate for the Cricinfo Caption Contest Eoin : See this is what a straight arm should look like Ajmal : No, No, look closely, this is within the ICC guidelines

Posted by cric_fanatics on (February 19, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

haha..nice one dude...@ Ahmad Chattha..The argument goes both ways...test success on manufactured pitches holds little value in the one day game.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

@ Ahmad Chattha - Good job England are ranked number one then isn't it?

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 11:31 GMT)

Very funny article. hahha. Anyway in all seriousness Saeed Ajmal has had a big effect on the minds of a few of Englands Batsmen. It will take time for them to overcome it. One day international success holds little value in the test arena.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 11:11 GMT)

hilarious. both sections, the caption, everything.

Posted by ncurd on (February 19, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

This may have been funny a few weeks ago but now it's past it's sell-by date.

Posted by wc1992 on (February 19, 2012, 9:03 GMT)

hahahaha funny i wonder how your article will do will exceed the english tolarence

Posted by smalishah84 on (February 19, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

lol.........a pretty funny article I must say

Posted by KarachiKid on (February 19, 2012, 8:11 GMT)

Extremely hillarious. Good one.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2012, 6:44 GMT)

there's a typo in Ajmal's name under the picture, it read Saeef instead of Saeed

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