The spirit of cricket is a four letter word

Originally published in the Mirror Click here

In a brilliant display of the Butterfly effect, the events surrounding Ian Bell’s run out last Sunday and his subsequent reinstatement, cleverly masked as the spirit of cricket, has resulted in a most bizarre sequence of events.

The half-full Monty
Closest to the thick of the action, England coach Andy Flower reacted strongly to accusations of double standards. “I have always adhered to the spirit of cricket,” said Flower. “I never wanted England to get any unfair advantage over India and that’s why I asked Monty Panesar not to bowl to Sachin Tendulkar in the nets,” he added.

The doosra spirit of cricket
In a major blow to England’s chances of winning any more test matches in this series, Harbhajan Singh has pulled out of the tour with an abdominal strain. Captain Andrew Strauss is said to have tried to invoke the spirit of the game again by asking Dhoni to reinstate Harbhajan back in the team.

Harbhajan's absence is a major blow to England


“As a team, we do not believe in causing any physical harm to the opposition batsmen,” Dhoni said while responding to the request. “We felt there was a clear and present danger of the English batsmen straining their abdominal muscles while hitting Harbhajan for sixes. So, in the spirit of cricket, we decided it’s best if Harbhajan returned to India.”

One spirit of cricket, please. And make it large!
Ravi Shastri is said to be most upset with Dhoni. During the contentious tea break, he had already picked up fights with Nasser Hussain, Ian Botham, Michael Vaughan and the guy in the pink jumpsuit in the stands, only to see Ian Bell walk back in. “I had to eat humble pie,” Shastri said. “Doesn’t Dhoni know that pies don’t help in recovering from a hangover?” he asked animatedly.

Last seen, Shastri was asking the bartender to serve him an extra large peg of the spirit of cricket. “On the rocks,” he insisted.

Bach gaya Saha
In a bid to renew public faith in him and his business empire, Rupert Murdoch has also jumped on the spirit of cricket bandwagon. Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng offered to toughen up Suresh Raina and Abhinav Mukund in the kickboxing ring during the break between the second and third tests.

Taking advantage of the fact that they both look the same under a helmet, Mukund tricked Wridhiman Saha into going for the session instead by convincing him that Mrs. Murdoch wanted to have lunch with him and that he should go in full cricket attire so she could recognize him. Thinking that he wouldn’t need it at lunch, the only piece of cricket equipment Saha didn’t wear was the all-important guard. It proved to be a big oversight.

However, his friends and family will be relieved to know that Doctors have confirmed that the future of the Saha clan remains intact.

Actually, it’s got nothing to do with the spirit
Rubbishing all theories about the spirit of cricket, sources close to the Indian team have confirmed the real reason behind India’s performance in England so far. Apparently, Dhoni had told his team that it’s important to start an important relationship on a good note. During his years as England coach, the one thing that Duncan Fletcher couldn’t do was to beat India.

The Indian team wants to make their coach’s dream come true.

You can hear Anupam’s live alternative commentary of India vs England on www.pitch-invasion.in

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