In a rather kooky (some would say bonkers or even batshit) development in the immediate aftermath of India's thrilling win against Australia in Mohali, an Indian cricket fan named Sankalesh Jimmy has sued the ICC for not giving him the Man-of-the-Match award.
In his legal notice, Mr Jimmy has claimed that by the simple act of not watching even a single ball of the match, he decisively turned the tide in India's favour, and hence deserved to be Man of the Match.
"Whenever I watch the game on TV, India loses. So I decided to sacrifice my own personal interest for that of the team - and denied myself the pleasure of watching the match so that India could win," explained Jimmy, neatly sidestepping the logical conclusion that he would only take pleasure in watching if India won, an event that, by his own reasoning, was impossible, thus rendering his "sacrifice" redundant.
"While I agree that Zaheer Khan, VVS Laxman and Ishant Sharma played vital roles in the win, the fact remains that if I had watched, India would definitely have lost the game. For this vital and selfless contribution, it is only fair that I be given the award," said Jimmy.
The ICC has responded with a mix of bewilderment and advanced bewilderment. Reading from an official statement, an ICC spokesperson said "Eh? That's ridiculous. While the ICC is quite prepared to review the decision to award the Man of the Match to Zaheer Khan and consider the claims of other individuals who may have had a greater impact on the result - such as VVS Laxman or Billy Bowden - we draw the line at giving the award to random fans." The spokesman also pointed out that this was the first-ever official press release to contain the word "eh", another example of the ICC's constant efforts to innovate and be cutting-edge.
Surprisingly, many fans in India seem to agree with the basic idea behind Mr Jimmy's claim - with the one small but crucial difference that each of them strongly believes that they themselves were responsible for India's come-from-behind victory. Apparently, other than Zaheer's wickets, Ishant's all-round contribution, and Laxman's superb innings in the final chase, many Indians are also in agreement that there were other crucial factors that contributed to the result - such as Mr JS Sharma's keen idea of reverse-jinxing the match by steadfastly (and obnoxiously) claiming to everyone that Australia would win, Mr LR Anthonisamy's superhuman and iron-willed bladder control during long stretches in the fourth innings, and Mr Pravin Srinivasan's astoundingly cunning technique of wearing his lucky t-shirt on all five days of the test. However, none of them could provide a convincing reason why, if their techniques actually worked, India didn't win every single match they played. "Um, ah, it's all the selectors' fault! No, wait, it's all because of Twenty20," seemed to be the general consensus.
ICC President Sharad Pawar has also weighed in on the issue, saying that giving awards to fans would set a bad precedent. "It will start with Man-of-the-Match awards, and what next? Some fan will start asking for a special lifetime achievement award for managing to read the complete works of Raju Bharatan. Or a "fan of the year'' award for liking Virat Kohli. Or a fair play award for not publicly mocking New Zealand. We can't let it come to that.
"Soon, fans will be demanding that we start picking them in the playing eleven. What then? Although I must admit that the average Australian fan would probably be a better pick than Marcus North," he quipped.