Sunday, September 28, 2008

Under-hand Cricket

Yesterday I dreamt of a former English fast bowler waving a bottle of glycerin at me. Clad in snow-white, he loudly appealed "Just do it."

Though initially stumped, 1 realised that Mr. Snow-white was prodding me to follow his 'shining' example and dream up a scheme to lift the

fortunes of Azharuddin et al who, of late, despite sporadic flashes (in the
pan) of genius, have been pushed on to the back foot by a volley of defeats. As he egged me on, 1 began to hatch a plot.

Snuff Bluff: To poke our business into other people's nose, dip the ball in snuff before bowling a rib-cage bouncer. The whiff of snuff can send any rival batsman with his nose in the air into a fit of sneeze and while he takes a blind swipe, the ball takes the middle stump for a hike. Our boys in the field are advised to wear surgical masks, an advice not to be Sneezed at.

Cherrycol Chutney: A bal(l)sam that turns gluey only on impact with the ball and melts in five seconds. Anointing this gloo on our fielders' palms can help the skied cherries to stick to the (butter-) fingers as they latch on to the catches that win matches.

Magnetic Fielding: involves a unipolar magnetic ball and electrically magnetized boundary ropes - both of identical polarity. Since the like poles repel, our opponent's smashes take U-turn near the ropes to return like homing pigeons. When we bat, the reversed polarity of the ropes ensures that the ball reaches the fence before you can say "Whack. Robin Singh".

Turtle Willow: is a bat that briefly lengthens by a foot when rubbed against the ground. For the chronic victims of the third u(va)mpire groping for the popping crease, such a bat provides that 'short extra cover' against run-outs.

But playing abroad where we find ourselves on sticky wickets is a whole new ballgame. So, taking a cue from Anil Kumble ("I wish I could carry this Kotla pitch everywhere"), the Shiva Sena activists can 'bail' us out of this (block hole) by digging out the Kotla pitch in one block and carrying it to England during the World Cup. On the eve of each India fixture, the Sainiks can, unnoticed by the 'night watchmen', invade the pitch in the pitch-dark and transplant the Kotla pitch - the Operation Pitch-switch.

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