Why did the captain not court controversy, asks ICC
Dubai: Concerned over the fact that a Test match involving Pakistan had failed to trigger even a whiff of controversy, a shaken ICC has ordered a high-level probe into the just concluded Hamilton Test, in which New Zealand dramatically collapsed to lose in just three days.
Announcing the investigation, a ICC spokesperson confirmed that it was worrying that there was no scandal in a match in which Pakistan featured. ‘This is not normal. There has to be something more than what meets the eye. As the governing body of the world cricket we cannot sit simply,’ he said and added ‘so we will order a probe and then sit simply’.
The ICC sleuths will check whether there was any outside pressure on the Pakistan players to behave in a manner that was so unbecoming of them. ‘All true fans, who have grown up on a steady diet of traditional cricket that Pakistan is so uniquely capable of producing, were aghast that they were provided some wishy-washy stuff at Hamilton last week. They had all come to watch some genuine and honest controversy like the team’s captain’s using a currency note as opposed to a coin for the toss or the main batsman taking batting guard with wicket-keeping gloves or the team’s coach running away to become a transvestite dancer in Las Vegas. Alas, no such thing happened. And this has all the long-term followers of Pakistan cricket worried,’ the ICC spokesperson said. ‘What was the duress that prevented the captain Misbah-ul-Haq from, say, ordering his bowlers to attempt a no-ball and a wide all off the same delivery? This is one of the questions we would like to pose to the team players,’ the ICC executive said, giving an insight into the line of the impending inquiry.
The ICC man further said luckily for us the New Zealand batsmen collapsed most dramatically in just around an hour on the third day’s afternoon. So some of you may not have missed the typical brand of Pakistan cricket. ‘But we have to investigate whether it was the Pakistan players who turned up in New Zealand colours. If that had been the case, it will confirm that Pakistan had been true to type. Then we can close the matter and move on. But we are not prejudging anything. For the sake of Pakistan cricket let us hope there was some murky behind-the-scenes activity’.
Reacting to the developments, a harried PCB immediately called for a quick press conference to announce that they will hold another press conference shortly. ‘If we are in a scandal, it becomes a controversy. If we are not in a scandal, it becomes a bigger controversy. We don’t know what to do. That is why we have announced another press conference, by which time we should come to some kind of understanding as to which controversy we are most upset about’.
With Pakistan caught in a fresh turmoil, the South African and the English cricket boards announced that they would put on freeze all the pull-outs they had planned out of the tours to Pakistan they had not intended to take.
The Australian cricket board, for its part, said they would look into whether the Ashes defeat had anything to do with the scandal surrounding Pakistan’s no scandal. ‘We know the Ashes series was over long before the Hamilton Test match could even commence. But since we are looking for excuses to explain the shameful losses at the hands of Poms, we are not ready to let go of any opportunity,’ a communiqué from Cricket Australia said.
The Indian cricket board, the BCCI, is expected to react to the latest developments in a year or two. BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla said: ‘We have initiated the auction process to decide who will get the rights to speak on the matter. Once the bids are over, the thoroughly independent Governing Council comprising all the top members of the BCCI, will impartially decide whether the auction process was proper and fair.’
‘Once that is done, the BCCI members will decide whether to initiate legal proceedings against anybody who might have subscribed to the twitter feed of Lalit Modi. Overall, it’s a transparent process and nobody will have any room to complain. By the end of 2012, we should know who from the BCCI will explain the BCCI’s stand on the Hamilton test scandal,’ Rajiv Shukla said, before joining his BCCI colleagues in the completely autonomous Governing Council. But before leaving he clarified that there was no conflict of interest in the BCCI honchos also being part of the Governing Council and also participating in the auction. ‘We are not biased. We are impartial. We claim separate allowances for the three different roles we play’.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated development, the ICC is mulling whether to bring the announcement for lunch, tea and the end of day’s play under the highly successful UDRS.
(Disclaimer: All disclaimers are a ruse to cover up scandals)