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The Heavy Ball

The ICC's cunning plan

Multi-million-dollar research ensures the mistakes of the 2007 World Cup won't be repeated. And more over-the-hill popstars will grace the IPL's closing ceremony

Haroon Lorgat addresses the media in the aftermath of the Delhi fiasco, New Delhi, December 28, 2009

Haroon Lorgat reveals day-night games at future ICC events will only be played on moonless nights, to maximise the impact of potential floodlight failures  •  ICC

As the IPL nears its closing stages, and the focus shifts to the upcoming World Twenty20 to be played in the West Indies, ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat has made the stunning announcement that they have made the strategically brilliant decision to avoid repeating the mistakes they made during the previous World Cup played there.
Announcing this cunning plan, Mr Lorgat told reporters that the ICC's detailed research has revealed the unexpected finding that people won't buy tickets if they're too expensive.
"We have spent millions of dollars in a thorough and painstaking research project that has shown us exactly how to conduct an international tournament in the West Indies. Thanks to this initiative, we have unearthed many nuanced, multi-layered strategies that will help the tournament be successful - such as keeping ticket prices down, making good wickets to ensure fair contests, and keeping Steve Bucknor and Jeff Crowe as far away from the general proceedings as possible. Who would have thought it, eh?" he revealed.
Mr Lorgat also said the research findings have led to the ICC's conclusion that repeating past mistakes was probably a bad idea.
"We have always believed in repeating our mistakes as a matter of principle, but the ICC is a forward-thinking organisation, and perhaps it's time to move on from the old traditions. We must embrace new ideas and thoughts. Just like how we have found a balance between traditional and emerging formats of the game itself, I am sure we can somehow strike the right balance between repeating old mistakes and making entirely fresh, new ones," he said in a confident tone that did not bode well for the upcoming tournament.
When a reporter asked him why they couldn't have conducted this research before the 2007 World Cup, Lorgat responded with an annoyed "What are you talking about, boy? The 2007 World Cup was the research project." However, he refused to confirm or deny whether Test cricket was actually a 132-year-long market study conducted just to confirm whether the general public prefers the Twenty20 format.
Meanwhile, planning is on in full swing for one of the most anticipated events of the IPL (even more so for those who absolutely hate the tournament), the closing ceremony.
"We want the closing ceremony for IPL 3 to exceed the expectations set by last year's ceremony, as well as this year's opening extravaganza," said IPL commissioner Lalit Modi. To meet this lofty goal, Modi plans a series of power outages, audio failures and at least one instance of Akon's auto-tune malfunctioning in the middle of his performance. The line-up of over-the-hill singers performing at the ceremony has also been strengthened - with acts such as Air Supply, Vanilla Ice, Samantha Fox and Rick Astley set to enthral the crowd. While last year's closing ceremony featured, in Mr Modi's impromptu jig, what was probably the first instance of a sports administrator shaking his booty on stage before a packed stadium, fans of such things are likely to be disappointed this time - as BCCI president Mr Shashank Manohar has apparently declined the offer to do the same.
The event is sure to delight audiences, particularly those who will give it a miss.

Anand Ramachandran is a writer and humourist based in Mumbai. He blogs at bosey.co.in. All the quotes in this piece are made-up (but you knew that, didn't you?)