This, that and the other. Mostly the other
With the Indian Test team in crisis, an emergency meeting was convened among some of the country's most respected cricketing figures.
"Thank you all for coming," said Ravi Shastri. "Welcome to this lovely conference suite that has been laid on by the wonderful senior management at BCCI. What a sensational job they have done on organising this meeting, with the little bottles of water and breath mints and so on.
"As I brilliantly joked to Alastair Cook, the cook may have become a Masterchef, but our glorious masters at the board have cooked up such a feast of outstanding leadership and organisation that they are like a hotel with full board and a Michelin star."
An embarrassed silence fell upon the room as Shastri's latest witticism sank in. Eventually it was broken as players' representative Virender Sehwag woke with a start.
"What? Eh?" shouted a disorientated Sehwag. "More rotis. And some Snickers bars. With a pizza."
He dozed back off.
"We face some tough choices," said chief selector Sandeep Patil. "For instance, do we keep Fletcher in place to absorb some of the blame, or do we blame everything on him and sack him on the spot?"
"Now look here," said Duncan Fletcher. "I've done everything I can. We've a lad in at eight who can't spin it much but is getting some useful runs down the order.
"I tried to get some of the batsmen working on the forward press but they said they found it tiring and needed to spend more time with their accountants. I am confident that we can find a battery of pace bowlers who can reverse at 78mph for minutes at a time before needing surgery. What more can I do?"
N Srinivasan stood up.
"You can recognise the crisis facing Indian cricket in one of the most significant weeks of our history," he said. "There is a chance that Chennai Super Kings might be doing a really big sponsorship deal with Kentucky Fried Chicken, and we all need to focus on what is really important."
A flunky passed him a note.
"Sorry, I am mistaken," said Srinivasan. "The big issue is, of course, whether Sachin can get his 256th catch in international cricket in the next Test. Everyone in Indian cricket must work together to help achieve this key goal and magnificent milestone."
"Hooray for the wise leadership of Srinivasan," said Shastri. "Can I have my money now, please?"
Everyone patted each other on the back and went back to the important business of arranging IPL deals and smashing up video-recording equipment. Sachin was sure to take that vital catch. The future was in good hands.
All quotes and "facts" in this piece are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?
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