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Cricket plays spoilsport, emerges winner

And other news you'll wish you had missed from around the cricket world

R Rajkumar
Shivnarine Chanderpaul kisses the turf after hitting a Test ton, New Zealand v West Indies, 3rd Test, Hamilton, 2nd day, December 20, 2013

"Yum. No pitch tasted so bland"  •  SNPA

Cricket plays spoilsport, emerges winner
Much to a lot of people's chagrin, cricket emerged the winner at the Wanderers. The Test match swung from one extreme to the other, with both India and South Africa finding themselves in seemingly clear-cut winning positions, only for both teams to be cruelly denied as the game snatched all the glory in the end.
"To be honest, the game really didn't deserve to win this match, not after everything we put into it," said an exhausted Faf du Plessis in his post-match comments. "South Africa should have won; it's just not fair."
Duncan Fletcher, meanwhile, was fuming. "The game of cricket can go **** itself," said the normally placid coach. "Hasn't it won enough matches as it is without having to claim this one as well?"
Chanderpaul thanks team-mates after reaching milestone
After scoring a record 17th unbeaten Test ton, a feat that propelled him past Sachin Tendulkar, a selfless Shiv Chanderpaul has gone out of his way to thank his team-mates. In a touching tribute, an emotional Chanderpaul singled out his fellow West Indies batsmen over the years for special praise. "It might sound obvious to say, but I wouldn't have been able to reach this milestone without your consistency and application," said Chanderpaul. "There's no way I would have remained not out on so many occasions without your regularly inept performances at the other end."
CA gets tough on poor behaviour
Cricket Australia has announced that it will continue to penalise players for on-field behavioural issues in domestic matches. In a statement, the board reiterated its commitment to a zero-tolerance approach in dealing with confrontations on the pitch, and that any infringement thereof will result in fines, bans, or "a broken ****ing arm".
Spinners to lower collars halfway in mark of respect to Swann
In a mark of respect for Graeme Swann's sudden departure from the game, cocky spinners the world over will let their collars down halfway for a mourning period of seven days.
Swann, who made the shock announcement part-way through the ongoing Ashes series, said he would allow fans and media one last glimpse of him with his collar up before it was folded back down to where it belongs, in an emotional ceremony, while surrounded by immediate family and team-mates close to him.
Said Swann, "It's been a privilege and an honour to wear the three lions shirt with the collar up, but now it's someone else's turn to look like an idiot while bowling spin." When asked if he was ready to step into the void left by Swann, Monty Panesar said he had a long way to go yet, but that he would take things "one fold at a time".
How to resuscitate the World Test Championship
Sponsors and broadcasters may have expressed their doubts on the efficacy of the World Test Championship, but there are ways of getting around their reservations to ensure the tournament will be a resounding success. To cite just a few:
* Just don't tell anyone it's a Test match. That's right, what the sponsors, broadcasters and fans don't know won't hurt them. We'll tell them it's one long, glorified T20 match, if it's even possible to glorify a T20 match. Imagine the advertising possibilities!
* Cheerleaders. There are few things more iconic and representative of the modern game than the sight of cheerleaders and the men in the crowd who gather around them with their mobile phones. So let's have at it, already. Emergency supplies of IV fluids and defibrillators to be on standby for the dancers as they do their thing all day, every day, for five days.
* "Dugouts" instead of pavilions. Players to be seated inside fibreglass hutments at the side of the ground as opposed to being hidden away up in the dark of the dressing room. IV fluids and defibrillators to be on standby for the players as they roast in the oven-like temperatures of their glass cages.
* Drawn matches to be decided by a "Super Match", which will consist of each team batting for 20 overs each.
* During the first 60 overs, a maximum of two fielders to be allowed outside the 30-yard circle; after the first 60 overs, a maximum of five fielders.
* Can somebody say "Free hit"?
* Get Kieron Pollard into the West Indies team.
Indian team gets new sponsor
The Indian team acquired a new sponsor recently. The sponsorship rights include the privilege of being called the official team sponsor, as well as the right to display a commercial logo that isn't just bigger and more prominently seen on the team's kits than the name of the country itself, but is also, along with the Great Wall of China, the only man-made thing visible with the naked eye from the moon.

R Rajkumar tweets here.
All quotes and "facts" in this piece are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?