Monday, January 07, 2008

Many-a-Blunder Down Under

It's chaos in Australia at the moment. Last heard, novelists were running towards the Aussie cricket board (Cric Aus) officials to gain some inspiration for their next racy, page-turners. Cric Aus officials, meanwhile, are trying to run away from anyoone who has any questions regarding the Sydney test match - inquisitive journos, irate Indian fans and even a few flared up monkeys who are objecting to the rampant abuse of their species under the pretext of racist remarks.

Two other people who are trying their best to go underground at the moment are the umpires who stood (and allegedly did nothing else right except standing) in the game - Mark Benson and Steve Bucknor. An angry Indian mob almost got their hands on Benson who was chatting away with former Aussie batsman (and namesake) - Mark Waugh. Benson slyly averted personal injury by marking an 'X' on his cheek and stating in chaste Hindi, "Mai Teja hoon, Mark idhar hai (pointing to Waugh)". The rage of the mob was evident from the treatment they meted out to poor Waugh, on whom the experience will have left an indelible mark (pun unintended). The other umpire, Steve Bucknor, was unavailable for comment as it turned out he was busy drafting a letter of retirement which he wanted to draft out before a pink slip reached him. Our sources say the only meeting Bucknor had yesterday was with his financial consultant to discuss various pension schemes. Mark Proctor, the match referee, was also questioned as to how Ponting was let off for appealing for a grassed catch, when he (Proctor) had penalised former Pakistani cricketer Rashid Latif in 2003 for a similar offence. Proctor obliged with a wonderfully compiled reply that seemed to contain only the monosyllables "umm..", "aah..", "er.." aside from a puzzling gurgling sound that seemed to have emerged from the lump in his throat. On the other hand, Ponting, when confronted with the same query in a press conference, felt affronted . He demanded that the journalist questioning his (Ponting's) integrity leave the the conference since his integrity and principles did not allow him to tarnish his reputation by answering such questions with the absolute truth. He insisted that he had not grassed the catch even as our special reporter saw him crossing his fingers behind his back as he made this statement.

Meanwhile, back in India, irate mobs expressed their rage in ways they know best. A spokesperson for the mob emphasised the efficiency of such methods of protest saying that while the subjects of their rage relaxed blissfully in the land Down Under, this was the best way to make them feel the heat. In his blind fervor, he then proceeded to burn down our reporter's notebook for no apparent reason.

In other related news, a Hollywood studio agreed to convert this story into a big-budget movie. However, the movie will receive an R rating in the light of its objectionable content - nudity (the famous Aussie cricket spirit was stripped bare), graphic violence (this writer ripped off his hair in frustration during the telecast of the match), drugs (Ponting "grass"ed a catch) and explicit sex scenes (well, Indian cricketers got screwed, didn't they?). In response, Bollywood replied that they will not plan a similar movie just yet and will instead wait till the Hollywood one releases and 'inspires' them.

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