Arthur in Ecuador asylum request
While rumours continue to swirl as to whether or not the Mickey Arthur compensation claim against Cricket Australia was leaked to the press intentionally, the sacked coach has reportedly added to the confusion by approaching the Ecuadorian embassy in London for asylum.

"We do not know why he has done this," said a statement from the embassy. "In fact, we do not know who this Mickey Arthur is, and would appreciate any leads in that regard."

"I am a cricket coach who has been wrongfully sacked," said Arthur helpfully, in a statement of his own read out by his lawyer. "And I have sensitive information that puts my safety at risk. For example, I can tell you now that Watson did in fact tell on Warner vis-a-vis the Joe Root punch. Also, I would like [Ecuadorian] President Rafael Correa to know that I felt like I was the meat in the sandwich between Watson and Clarke," he added. "I reiterate: I felt like I was the meat in the sandwich," the statement concluded.

Afridi reveals story behind "star-man" wicket celebration
Shahid Afridi has said that he picked up his infamous "star-man" celebratory pose during a revitalising stint at a former Soviet-era gymnastics club on the outskirts of Moscow. The allrounder, who recently made a spectacularly successful return to the Pakistan team, credited his success to his frequent visits to such clubs, which he says help him get in touch with his "inner prepubescent gymnast-child" and keep him fit, healthy, and ever youthful looking.

Afridi further revealed that that the star-man pose is in fact inspired by a successful dismount from a running vault leap.

Ashton says we've all been Punk'd!
Check it out: Ashton Agar has revealed that his unexpected turn with the bat in the first Test against Australia was but part of an elaborate prank he orchestrated for a cricket-themed version of his popular TV show Punk'd (Stump'd! - The Cricket Edition), which he'll be hosting after the Ashes.

"For the first episode, I got everyone thinking I'm a bowler when in fact I'm not! I'm a batsman!!" said the excitable Ashton, adding that for the season finale, he plans to then reveal he was actually never really a batsman either but basically a bits-and-pieces player, and that his debut innings was a crazy fluke. "My terrible string of low scores from here on in should bear that fact out," he said, as edgy, black-and-white close-up shots of his pimpled face flashed on screen.

Gayle confounds biomechanics experts
Chris Gayle continues to baffle biomechanics experts, who are trying to find out how a man as powerful as him manages to run like my 80-year-old grandmother, Devaki-ammal.

"In fact, tests showed that your grandmother ran a half a fraction of a second faster than Gayle," said a scientist at the University of Western Australia to this correspondent.

"Why this is so isn't exactly clear at the moment," he continued. "We would hazard an educated guess to say that Chris Gayle is in essence your grandmother trapped in the body of a big West Indian batsman, but we wouldn't want to frighten the old lady. She gave us biscuits and tea."

Batsmen pay respects on last day of telegraph
Kevin Pietersen led a long line of fidgety batsmen who showed up outside Kolkata's Central Telegraph Office recently to send one last symbolic message before the iconic service closed for good.

"This is the end of an era," said an emotional Pietersen. "Most batsmen these days have taken to emailing, tweeting, texting, and in some cases even sexting, their intentions early to the bowler, but nothing will replace the classic simplicity of telegraphing them."

The rush of batsmen waiting to experience the last moments of the telegraph before it was consigned to the dust-heap of history continued well into the night, with AB de Villiers, Shikhar Dhawan and Shahid Afridi among others waiting patiently to show their hands early to the bowler of their choice.

"Saeed 47 STOP" read KP's message to Saeed Ajmal, the number 47 being the numerical telegraphic shortcut for "Here's my back leg suddenly squirting down leg before you even release the ball so as to distract you into thinking I'm going to go over cover or something, when in fact I'm going to swee - oh ****, I'm bowled."

Duckworth, Lewis come out of hiding
What with all the controversy the DRS has stoked in recent days, not many will have noticed two frazzled-looking gentlemen blinking in unaccustomed sunlight like moles out of their burrows. For the first time in almost two decades, Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, the duo behind the once-notorious Duckworth-Lewis method, have gathered up the courage to show themselves in public.

"The heat's finally off us," explained Lewis, as the two men walked outside their apartment building for the first time since the first confusing D/L calculation was applied in an international match. "And we have the DRS to thank for it."

"Indeed," said Duckworth. "After all, it wasn't long ago that the D/L method was considered just as contentious as the DRS is today, if not more so. I believe there were some who wanted to lynch us.

"I say, how is that man balancing himself?" he interrupted himself as he saw, for the first time in his life, a man glide by on a Segway. "Witchcraft!"

"Let's go back in, Frank," said a nervous Lewis. "The DRS, now this Segway thing. I'm afraid this world doesn't make much sense to us."

"And that's saying something," agreed Duckworth, as he led his friend back into the clammy, dark depths of their home.

R Rajkumar tweets here