In a moment of rare innovation, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has proposed a radical new format of the game that they claim will boost cricket's popularity to unprecedented levels.
Under the rules of the new format, christened 'Twenty-Fifty', or T50 cricket, The Indian team would get to bat fifty overs, and the opposition will get to bat 20 overs. Field restrictions would also follow the same method, with 15 overs of power play when the Indians bat, and six overs when the opposition bats.
Predictably, the rest of the cricketing world was sharply divided over support to the new format.
“It's completely unfair and biased towards the Indian team, mate. How do you expect the opposition to win if Ajit Agarkar can bowl only four overs per match? ”, said Australian captain Ricky Ponting, cutting right to the crux as always.
|Indian cricketer Ajit Agarkar exults, on learning that Twenty-Fifty cricket gives him far fewer opportunities to give away runs.|
“Twenty-Fifty cleverly combines the charm of the fifty over game with the thrills of Twenty-Twenty! Everyone is going to love it!” chirruped a delighted Lalit Modi. “And everybody knows that cricket only makes money when India wins! It's perfect!”, he gurgled, inadvertently giving away the true motive behind the BCCI's promotion of T50.
The BCCI has denied allegations that the new format was designed to favour the Indian team. “On the contrary, it is a known fact that Indians actually prefer batting for twenty overs than for fifty. Look how often they have crossed 200 in T20, but struggle to cross 150 in ODIs. Being the world champions in T20, and a bunch of losers in the fifty over format, they will actually be at a disadvantage in Twenty-Fifty.” argued Board Secretary Niranjan Shah, sounding dangerously reasonable.
“Yeah, I agree with Niranjan on that one”, said Ravi Shastri, suddenly grabbing the mike from a nonplussed Mr.Shah. “ The Indian team needs to improve their consistency in playing 50 over innings, and what better way than to force them to play in a format that forces every team to play the form of the game that they are weaker in. Anil Kumble is a tall man.”, he said, surreptitiously slipping in a cliché when no-one was looking.
“Take a scenario when a team like Australia bat first and score 180 in twenty overs – we would then have to bat for a far more strenuous 50 overs to get the score. What's more, having batted only for twenty overs, their fielders will be far fresher and able to stop runs more efficiently! It's unfair!” complained a flustered Yuvraj Singh. “Some teams have all the luck – the format is loaded and unbalanced!”, he grumbled, unintentionally saying the right things.
“. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “, said umpire Steve Bucknor, brandishing his annoying 'enigmatic' smile.
“After years of domination by the so-called western cricketing countries, it's time someone stuck it to them! Take that, Aussies!”, barked an excited Sunil Gavaskar, thumbing his nose in the general direction of Australia.
“The ICL will provide unmatched opportunities to youngsters! We fully expect to conduct a successful tournament. The BCCI sucks!”, said Kapil Dev, getting at least one of his three statements right.
World renowned widlife photographer S.U.Saravanakumar was unusually effusive in his praise. “Who cares? Bring it on! Everything is just peachy now that Kimi has taken the championship”, he grinned, revealing his well-documented love of Formula 1 once again.
As of date, nobody has approached Arun Lal for comments.