This, that and the other. Mostly the other
Michael Holding inconsolable after unwittingly commentating on T20 match
Michael Holding found himself in the grips of an existential crisis yesterday upon realising that he had in effect commentated on a T20 match, the rain-shortened Champions Trophy final. Notorious for dismissing the shortest format of the game as "rubbish" and for claiming not to have watched a single match during the 2010 T20 World Cup held in the Caribbean, the legendary fast bowler, widely admired for his integrity, was distraught.
"You don't understand what this means," he sobbed. "How can I live with myself?"
When told it was an understandable and, given the circumstances, unavoidable situation, Holding sniffled and shook his head sadly. "That's no excuse!" he said. "I made my reputation by being a man of my word. To think that I said Kieron Pollard was not a real cricketer just because he was a T20 specialist. What will he think of me now?"
But surely, given that this was still technically a 50 over match, only reduced -
"Don't you understand?" he interrupted. "It was a T20 match, and I liked it! In fact it's safe to say that I loved it. Yes, I have eaten of the forbidden fruit and now I can't get rid of its wondrous taste from my mouth. Oh my god I... I feel dirty," he wailed, collapsing to the ground and adopting the foetal position.
Traumatised Bresnan unfit to play after witnessing birth of his child
Reports have surfaced that Tim Bresnan's indifferent performance in the Champions Trophy final was largely due to his insistence on witnessing the birth of his first child. Apparently so shaken was the allrounder by what he had seen that the team management had initially deemed him mentally unfit to take the field before the start of play.
"We did try to warn him, but he was pretty adamant that he wanted to be there at the hospital to see it happen," said Jonathan Trott. "And see it he did.
"You have to understand that while a lot of fathers are just fine with this sort of thing, not everyone reacts the same way. When Tim rejoined the team after his break, he looked glassy-eyed and withdrawn. It took an extra-special effort from our mental-conditioning team to get the big guy up and going again after that.
"Honestly the ECB should have some rule in place that keeps this kind of thing from happening," continued Trott. "I made the same mistake once, and well, let me tell you, it's no picnic. How do you think I lost all my hair?"
New Zealand to blame for lack of reserve day
The reason why there was no reserve day scheduled for the Champions Trophy final was because doing so would have meant compromising the first T20 match against New Zealand. And as anyone who has hosted rabid Kiwi cricket fans can attest, upsetting them is an option best avoided.
"The Home Office estimates that around 500,000 New Zealand cricket fans, or almost 15% of that nation's total population, have already arrived in England to watch the first T20," said a spokesman for the ECB. "Another 250,000 are expected over the next couple of days. All the hotels in the city have been booked."
Meanwhile, Scotland Yard held a press conference to address what some people have been calling the upcoming "invasion".
"Folks, Kiwi cricket fans are not your run-of-the-mill harmless, everyday sports enthusiasts," warned the chief commissioner of police. "These people are borderline psychotics. Rescheduling their match or fielding a weakened England team against them is a recipe for disaster."
"We have a name in the department for people who follow the Black Caps," he added, darkly. "We call them Mad Caps."
England to continue letting someone else's hair down
The Warner-Root saga notwithstanding, the England team management has decided to continue to allow its players to let someone else's hair down after matches.
"Boys will be boys," said coach Ashley Giles. "Which is why we provide ours with the choicest and highest-quality wigs to let down after a long hard day's play. They're made from real human hair, you know."
When asked why they couldn't just let down their own hair, an aggressive Giles countered with: "Do you know, that's exactly the kind of question that got Dave Warner in trouble?"
Ravindra Jadeja to return OBE
Sir Ravindra Jadeja has decided to return his OBE, or Order of the British Empire, according to the player's publicist. He will henceforth no longer be addressed by the honorific "Sir."
"Following in the tradition of a small but proud number of conscientious people who have declined the Order on moral grounds, people such as David Bowie and Danny Boyle, I have similarly decided to politely reject the recognition," said Jadeja in a statement read out by the publicist.
Explaining how he came about the decision, the statement continued: "I have conflicted feelings about the award's connections with the idea of empire, and the fact that it was never actually awarded to me in the first place. What's up with that?"
Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
"English summer" set to enter cricketing lexicon
The phrase "English summer" is set to be included for the first time in the revised edition of the Wisden Dictionary of Cricketing Terms. According to the definition, an English summer is one that is characterised by a period of unseasonably turning pitches that by all rights should be assisting seam bowling instead, and the shoddy planning of a major cricketing tournament in the face of predictably unpredictable weather.
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