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The Heavy Ball

Vettori to replace Vettori

And a new frontier in cricket broadcasting

Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina celebrate Morne van Wyk's dismissal, South Africa v India, 5th ODI, Centurion, January 23, 2011

"Your metabolism has fallen 20% below your calorie intake for the first time in five months. That spells allrounder to me!"  •  Associated Press

In some much-needed good news for the beleaguered New Zealand cricket team, Daniel Vettori has agreed to come out of retirement from captaincy to replace himself as skipper of the national side.
Vettori, who recently gave up the captaincy after a string of poor results, to concentrate on his cricket, agreed to make a comeback as captain immediately after the World Cup, when his current captaincy stint comes to an end.
According to reports, New Zealand prime minister John Key personally requested Vettori to come out of retirement and help guide the team out of a difficult period.
"While Daniel Vettori has been a great servant of New Zealand cricket, his captaincy hasn't delivered the right results for us in the recent past," said Mr Key. "So the time has come for us to move on and look into building for the future - and there's no better person to lead the team into that future than Daniel Vettori, as he has done so often in the past."
He also brushed aside suggestions that this was a regressive step. "We need the best man for the job. Who else is there? Brendon McCullum? He couldn't even lead KKR. Sourav Ganguly? He isn't even from New Zealand. Sir Edmund Hillary is no more. Peter Jackson doesn't play cricket. Sir Richard Hadlee is retired. So we're left with little choice. Only Daniel Vettori can fill the gap left by his resignation as captain," he explained.
Meanwhile Vettori has insisted that he will have no problems carrying on as a player under whoever replaces him as captain. "No, I don't expect any ego clashes with myself. I'll always be available to help with whatever advice and suggestions I may need from a senior player. No worries on that count," he concluded with a smile.
As the ICC desperately looks for ways to make the ODI format more exciting for fans, broadcasters may have managed to make the games more fun to watch. People who tuned in to the recent England-Australia ODI games on TV will have noticed the players' heart rates being displayed on screen - a dazzling innovation that will no doubt bring viewers rushing back in droves.
"Nothing like some good old-fashioned medical information to spice up all those staggeringly dull, meaningless bilateral ODIs. We're tapping into the basic human fascination for medical reports to breathe life into what has become, quite frankly, a boring and tedious format," said a spokesman for a major broadcaster.
"The experiment has been a stupendous success. Soon we will be constantly updating viewers with thrilling real-time, on-screen feeds of the players' sugar levels, lipid profiles, RBC and WBC count, eosinophil count, internal tapeworm activity and bladder pressure. We have no doubt that the average TV viewer will find this more engaging, suspenseful and action-packed than the cricket itself when, say, Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy are casually trotting along, needing 63 to win off 143 balls."
"We are confident that the addition of medical information will provide much-needed drama, or in the case of Yuvraj Singh, comedy, to cricket broadcasts," he signed off.
ICC president Sharad Pawar has expressed great surprise on seeing Canada listed among the countries that will play the upcoming World Cup. "Canada? They play cricket?" asked a bemused Pawar. "Isn't Canada that place with all those Sikh people? Which is somewhere near Pakistan? Their flag is cool," he said, before adding, "At least it's a real country. Unlike 'West Indies.'"

Anand Ramachandran is a writer, comics creator and videogame designer who works when he isn't playing some game with an "of" in its name. He blogs here and tweets here. All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up (but you knew that already, didn't you?)