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This, that and the other. Mostly the other
Players laud life-saving security arrangements in Pakistan
Cricketers have praised the security arrangements for the two T20 matches held in Pakistan recently - the first time in three years that an international tournament had been held in the country.
"Security was well organised, efficient, and generous," said Sanath Jayasuriya, as Shahid Afridi nodded in agreement. "As a result of the good efforts of the government of Sindh and the conspicuous presence of the brave soldiers and policemen who risked their lives in safeguarding us, most of us felt reasonably well protected from Andre Nel."
Elephant in the room squeezes out England players
England players continue to struggle to ignore the elephant in the room. The pachyderm, which was discovered the same day that Kevin Pietersen's selection for the India tour was announced, has been making life difficult for the players by taking up three-fourths of the dressing room and dirtying the floor with its waste.
"How it got in is anyone's guess," said Graeme Swann. "Yeah, it's awkward, all right," added Alastair Cook. "I mean, there's hardly any room to move around with that thing in there, and don't even get me started about the smell." Cook acknowledged that sooner or later the England players were going to have to face up to the existence of the large mammal in their lives, and that only then will they be able to move on as a team.
"Slower ball" deemed politically incorrect
Rights activists and proponents of the art have come out in protest against the offensive term "slower ball", voicing their preference for "velocity-challenged" instead. "To think that people continue to call certain balls 'slow' just because they are lacking in a bit of pace is, in this day and age, nothing short of embarrassing," fumed L Balaji, who, despite being a spinner, has selflessly taken up the cause on behalf of slow-bowling fast bowlers everywhere.
"And so what if a ball is a little slower than the others?" he argued. "Does it necessarily mean that that ball is any less deserving of our respect and love? Instead of being denigrated, all velocity-challenged little balls should be reminded just how special they are, each with their own unique characteristics," he asserted, getting emotional, "not unlike a snowflake."
Aspiring fast bowler's career all set after tattoo
IPL teams and their talent scouts are abuzz with the news that an aspiring young cricketer in Mumbai has all but guaranteed his success at the very top level of the sport by finally taking the plunge and getting that tattoo he'd been thinking of. "Everyone knows that tattoos are a prerequisite if you want to be taken seriously as a fast bowler," said the youngster. "And it's no secret that T20 talent scouts and coaches look at your arms first to see whether or not you've spelled out your life story in a montage of hideous images that make it look like you have some kind of skin disease." Experts agree that with the difficult part of getting the tattoo out of the way, the youngster can look forward to kicking back and watching the rest of his career as a fast bowler play out successfully in front of his eyes.
Malinga neglects to kiss ball
The sight of Lasith Malinga kissing the ball before every delivery has, arguably, become a part of cricketing folklore. So it came as a surprise when he was recently observed neglecting to kiss the white ball during the course of an uncharacteristically expensive spell against the Chennai Super Kings. When asked about the aberration, Malinga shrugged. "The ball wasn't behaving as I was expecting it to, and so I had to deal out some tough love," he explained. "When you exercise the power to withhold something that someone - or something - really wants, then it's amazing how easily you can manipulate the situation to your favour. I should know," he added. "My wife, who incidentally is also a skilled hairdresser, uses this trick against me all the time."
"Klingon" remark threatens to haunt England tour of India
England wicketkeeper Matt Prior appeared to allow himself recently to become the latest person to fall back on the tired cliché of referring to India and/or the subcontinent as the "final frontier" for his team to conquer. Steve Waugh was the first to use the phrase, popularised by Star Trek, that conjures up images of an untamed hinterland passively lying in wait to be conquered anew. Waugh got away with it then, and Prior would have escaped as well, had he not then gone on to land himself in deeper water by saying he expected "those evil Klingons to give us a good fight".
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