This, that and the other. Mostly the other
Greetings and happy birthday. I thought it would be nice to hand over the annual duties with a list containing advice, warnings and nostalgia:
Be prepared to be blamed for everything. Except when the IPL is the more convenient scapegoat. You are, after all, a 13. I lived with the burden of a doomsday prophecy and you're not going to escape it either, because of Tendulkar. The world, according to cricket fans, might just end when he retires.
But we know it won't - 2014 (snotty little thing that it is, simply because it's hosting a World Cup in Brazil) will arrive just like you have.
Also be prepared for more leaked dossiers, a Suresh Raina Twitter tantrum ("ne1 ask me bout y Vrat is bettr dan me again will answr my bat") and Flintoff's new career as a mannequin at M&S ("Go on, touch him!").
Keep an eye on young Jesse. I feel certain he's going to own you, either in cricket or boxing.
South Africa are probably going to get unbearably smug at some point. They were pretty nice during my tenure, but with all these victories, they are bound to start throwing their weight around. Remember 1997 to 2007? How all of them had to tolerate the Aussies? They talk of nothing else in the retirement home here.
As the newbie here, I'm not allowed to wallow in my nostalgia. Everyone avoids 2000 like the plague, poor chap. And 2001, 1992 and 1981 are very overbearing. But no one is as cool as 1977 - a real rebel.
Speaking of smug, you are pretty pleased about hosting the Ashes, aren't you? Lucky pig. I had to do with the rubbishest filth India could dish out. February and March could be trying months for you. India v Australia - plenty of potential brawls looming there. That Virat Kohli, I must warn you, has a mouth that could keep the fires of hell burning for eternity. Pup's a pretty nice fella once you get to know him.
Do not allow jokes about the metrosexual tendencies of modern cricketers, reintegration, the BCCI's fascist ways, Afridi's teething problems, "talk nah", Fletcher's po-face, KP on Twitter, Virender Sehwag's hair, South Africans playing for England. They are so me (ha ha, I always wanted to say that).
Afridi's been quiet for a bit. That means trouble.
Try to show Zimbabwe a good time. I totally forgot about those guys, glued as I was to the KP saga. Ireland are at a tipping point too. Throw them some sops or they'll all quit and play for England instead.
Don't get caught up in the Ashes hype, because then all you will be remembered is as an Ashes year.
Of course, there is *suppressed laughter* the Champions Trophy before that. Maybe you'll end up being remembered as the year when the idea of Champions Trophy was finally laid to rest.
Sorry, that was a rude thing to say. If it makes you feel better, you can call me the year when the most ridiculous dance step ever became cricket's signature move. No, you're right, that can't make you feel better, because a step that's a cross between riding a horse and waking up your sleeping foot is awesome! And it made me and cricket look very, very cool. Oh yeah, you'll out-cool me? Sure, you can try, but I doubt anyone will jump from the edge of space during your time here.
Wishing you all the best nonetheless,
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