The Heavy Ball
L Siva to take over from Alex Ferguson
The ICC's new player rep readies himself for another tough sporting assignment - helping United win the IPL
Cricket and football fans woke up to a rude shock last week when they heard that former India legspinner L Sivaramakrishnan has been appointed the manager of champion English football club Manchester United, replacing the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.
Siva confirmed the appointment to reporters. "Yes, I'm honoured and delighted to take on this huge responsibility. I have a pretty good track record of taking on jobs for which I'm an entirely inappropriate candidate - consider my recent appointment as the ICC players' representative, my long stint as a TV commentator, and, come to think of it, the latter part of my career as a Test match spinner. So I'm confident I'm the right person for the job, precisely because I'm the wrong person for the job.
"Hey, have you guys noticed that K Srikkanth is beginning to increasingly resemble Captain Haddock?" he added irrelevantly.
Everton boss David Moyes, who was pipped to the job by Siva, has angrily claimed that the whole thing is the result of a BCCI conspiracy. "It's clear that BCCI chief N Srinivasan is behind this ridiculous decision. I am considering taking legal action, as any victim may," he said, hoping someone would notice.
Siva has announced that one of his first tasks is for Manchester United to win the IPL next year. "This is a club that's used to trophies. I intend to continue that fine tradition. It will feel good to knock CSK off their @#$#ing perch," he said, getting into character even as volunteers handed out smelling salts and Paracetamol tablets to the press persons gathered at the meet.
When someone pointed out that Manchester United do not play cricket, Siva did not lose his cool. "So what? Neither do Pune Warriors India. I'm confident we have a better chance next year than they do."
"Manchester United playing in the IPL will help the tournament gain popularity in India," said the guy in charge of the IPL right now. (We don't remember his name. Who would have thought they'd find someone more low-profile than Chirayu Amin?) "We all know that the club has a huge loyal fan base in India. Now that Manchester United are playing in the IPL, it finally gives their Indian fans a real reason to support them."
Siva warned the Manchester United players that life would not be easy under his tutelage. "I have already purchased a hair-straightener. And I'm not afraid to use it, even if it means all my players end up looking like Saurabh Tiwary," he said, leading to puzzled looks from all present.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has retaliated against his five-year ban at the Wankhede Stadium by announcing that anyone who watches a match at the famous venue will be banned from entering theatres to watch any of his films. His announcement led to a spontaneous explosion of joy from spectators at the Wankhede, the magnitude of which has not been seen since India's World Cup victory there in 2011.
"We never expected SRK to respond with so much grace and magnanimity. On behalf of the MCA, and indeed the people of Maharashtra, we thank him for this gesture," said a Mumbai Cricket Association spokesman. "Now, if we could only find a way to make sure he keeps Yusuf Pathan in the KKR starting line-up," he winked.
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 tweets here.
All quotes and "facts" in this article are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?