Saturday, October 28, 2006

Punjabis fax journalists 'famous for' list

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

BCCI considering Mckinsey

After the Rev. (as in revered for his white skin) John Stern the Editor of Wisden Cricketer, likened the role of a cricket coach to that of a management consultant, The reverees of white skin, the Bored of Control for Cricket in India are wondering whether they should take their penchant for experimentation, bestowed on them by the MBE, Greg White Chappell, to the next level.

We, the respectful disrespectors of white skin are conducting a leisurely investigation into what this level is meant to be and the implications of the same. We may be back with a complete report on the same. Meanwhile, we urge you to do what the internet does best and allow it to distract you with something else of greater utility. We may suggest Oops, guess we just did. And now, we beg of you to please go somewhere for the time being and come back, slowly, to watch this space.

Warne claims he was misquoted

In a googly-like twist to the press-player jamboree, the great twister of his own inflammatory statements on everything from v-fronts to how coaching is little more than a front for doing not much more than driving a bus (or some such misquoted thing), Shane 'the mouth' Warne has claimed he was misquoted.

Considering his farcically responsible views were not elicited on anything of any significance in the recent past, we're mystified by the once-avoirdupois spinner of tall tales' statement. We're jogging our hazy memory on the unsaid matter and will be back with more on the same. Rest assured, there's much that hasn't been said. And will, most certainly, be.

In the meantime, if you wish to try your hand at some pointless citizen journalism aimed at increasing the number of page views of this rarely read usepaper for toilet purposes, please feel free to email your reports to us at the address you, thankfully, won't find at the end of this report. Of course, this is not the end of this report. Unfortunately.

After conducting no research whatsoever, we have arrived at the possible reasons Shane Warne might claim he has been misquoted. Apparently, a lackadaisical proof-reader in our non-existent department of printing misread what Shane Warne was saying. Actually, what the misrespected gent said was that he missed being quoted.

When we contacted the press for their views on this matter, they pressed us not to pursue the story any further. They also requested us not to quote them for the fear of being quoted. Fortunately, we are not that kind of usepaper. We're a useless usepaper with nothing to do and so we persisted, with insistence, to get to the bottom of this story.

You have reached the bottom of this story. As is normal with most bottoms, this bottom stinks almost as much as the story. No wonder the story is raising such a stink. The bottomline is this: Shane Warne's mother is the one her son identified as the one behind all these inflammatory quotes being attributed to the legendary player.

Like all good reporters, we do not take the bottom for what it seems. And it is from the bowels of the bottom of this story that we've unearthed this gem of misinformation. All the sins that have so far been attributed to Shane Warne were actually being fed to him by his mother, without his knowledge. We rest this basketcase.

Incidentally, if any you miss being quoted do spare a thought for Rahul Dravid. The respected gent's quotes are always missed because people are either too bored to make a quote of them or are too busy executing other people's plans or are simply reading between the lines for a certain Greg Chappell MBE who loves being quoted.

Readers note: If you choose to quote us in round-table, square-table or below-the-table discussions of any importance, you do so at your own peril. You can be sure we will not intervene to save ourselves or you by claiming we were misquoted. We have no mother, either. So the only person who will be blamed is you.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

PCB recalls whole Indian team

The Strategy Committee for Dummy Purposes, henceforth referred to as SCDP, has, in an Extraordinary General Nobody Meeting held for the generation of extraordinarily ordinary ideas to improve the lot of Pakistani Cricket, decided to recall the 17 of the 15 players sent for the Champions Trophy tournament in India. Hmm.

As you may have noticed, we ended the previous paragraph with a 'hmm'. Hmm. This extraordinary note in citizen journalism was inserted because we were struck by the extraordinary nature of the request from the SCDP. (Not to mention, the profusion of commas.) As investigative journalists for ordinary citizens, we are known for our eagle-eyes and hawkish stances on such matters.

The point we're taking an extraordinary long time to get to is what exactly is the SCDP of the PCB asking for? We put our heads together in a rugby scrum and tried to re-read the faxed request in the resultant darkness so that we may, together, be able to throw some light on the enigmatic request. Hmm.

Evidently, an additional note of citizen journalism had to be inserted because we were unable to unearth any hidden codes or clues with respect to the extra players the SCDP of the PCB has asked to be recalled from the on-going tamasha tournament in India. On further thought, and after further inputs from other citizen journalists with nothing better to do, we decided what the SCDP of the PCB may be asking for is some dummy players. Hmm.

His Highness Hmm would like to add that the underlying strategy of this dummy move is to lull the other teams into a sense of complacency and rekindle the old disease of winnigness that the Pakistani Cricket Team of Dummies only seems to be hit by when their most key players are struck down by some crisis or the other.

This proactive point of extraordinary activity worthy of great managerial promotion put forward by His Highness Hmm has been duly noted and squirelled away for no further thought. Instead, we decided to contact the Captain of the Pakistani Cricket Team for his views on the request from the SCDP of the PCB.

We apologise profusely for that red herring. It has been possibly learnt that the Captain of the Pakistani Cricket Team has resigned, again and again. His mouthpiece has told us that the hardly respected Captain of the Pakistani Cricket Team is not done with his resignations. In fact, the next two replacements have also resigned in advance before thay can be appointed and dismissed, immediately.

If you're a betting man, we urge you to place your bets on Pakistan as surefire winners of this tournament. As people who are intimately aware of the workings of the SCDP, the PCB, the past, the future and everything to do with Pakistani cricket, we're very sure that these hare-brained moves will only result in the Pakistanis performing out of their skin in the matches to follow.

Incidentally, the two extra players ordered back to Pakistan by the SCDP of the PCB have been identified. They were experimental players employed by the Dummy Coach Greg Chappell MBE in the Indian Team. As usual, the experiments didn't come off. All future supplies of pasta for the Indians have been cancelled until further notice.

Don't worry, we're not about to and promise never to bring you Mandu 'Doesn't' Materazzi's or Howler Dev's views on this or any other matters. On second thoughts, we're sure Howler Dev will be back for entertainment purposes. Only. Thank God. And thank you.

PS for please script: Please note, that was a dummy headline sent to us by a dummy citizen journalist meant to attract your attention to this dummy report masterminded by the SCDP of the PCB for the dummy Pakistani Team. Hmm for dummies.

Isabgol to promote Harmison

In a revolutionary twist to the whole sponsorship game that the now bismirched game of cricket is run by, a brand has taken it upon itself to promote a player. From time unmemorable, it's players that have been falling over each other to promote brands, but now there's a brand that has decided to look at the commercialisation angle differently. In an unnecessary aside, our Marketing Norrespondent, has vowed to write an anemic paper on the said matter, which we promise not to bring to you.

Due to a variety of very understandable reasons, the brand Isabgol has found it very hard to find people to sponsor it. In this day and age of celebrity everything, without a celebrity to promote this hallowed brand, the brand was in danger of disappearing. As is often the case with brands in India that are in danger of disappearing, they turn to cricket. After hunting high and low, unsuccessfully, for a spokesperson to promote them, the people from the House of Isabgol decided to take matters into their own hands and find players to promote. The first person they thought would fit their minuscule bill was Harmison Steve.

The English fast bowler, Harmison Steve has always been an enigmatic player with an interesting personality. Commercialspeak will tell you that any enigmatic player with an interesting personality is a good person to promote for public memory. In addition to his bouts of enigmata and personality disorders, Harmison also possesses a very important quality that fits into the brand image of Isabgol's target audience. Time and again, it has been noted that Harmison Steve tries too hard. And every time Harmison Steve tries too hard, he ends up with a bad day.

Pointless research will confirm the very well known fact that when individuals start their day by having to try too hard, they, almost always, end up having a bad day. For the House of Isabgol, the unique synergies of this important shattribute segued in perfectly with the desired response from the one-line brief. What this piece of crap means is utterly unclear, but the House of Isabgol urges readers not to try too hard to make sense of this. In case they feel compelled to try too hard, the House of Isabgol has the perfect solution of a tastless kind just for them.

Unveiling the plan for Harmison Steve at a press conference held in the 5-star environs of the fragrant toilet of the Taj Intercontinental, the General Manager of the House of Isabgol, E. C. Squeezie said that the key component of Isabgol's plan for Harmison Steve would be to buy up the first 5 minutes of every time Harmison Steve starts his morning spell. During this crucial period, the audience would be bombarded with targetted messages on the disastrous results of trying too hard, alongwith commodiously timed solutions for the same.

Despite our strenuous opposition to any outside interference, our Marketing Norrespondent insists on adding that the anti-tactic of promoting a player and not having a player promote a brand is sure to garner the brand exponential returns. We think he is trying too hard and urge him to, instead, try Isabgol. We do not think the House of Isabgol will try him because he isn't much of a cricket player. Had been even half a cricket player of any kind, we're sure many a brand would have tried him. Unfortunately, the gent is so bad at cricket, all he is left with is trying very hard to make his presence felt in any way possible in the world of cricket. Like in this serious report.

As any good journalistic report must do, we shall give you a quick backgrounder on the House of Isabgol. On second thoughts, and in keeping with the spirit of the report, we shall not try too hard to make our point. In this day and age of the Internet, we do not believe a newspaper needs to report everything. In fact, we're convinced a newspaper doesn't have to say anything at all. In passing through the motions of this report, we tried contacting the Harmison Steve for his views on the matter. Unfortunately, the said gent was incommunicado. Inside sources tell us he was comfortably ensconsed on the throne and not trying hard. Bless the House of Isabgol and their revolutionary ways.

In the days to come we shall bring you more on the other players the House of Isabgol are thinking of promoting. In case you have any ideas on the matter, we urge you to contact our Marketing Norrespondent. We assure you that the said gent will try very, very hard to respond to all your queries.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Kapil urges MBE to try Dhoni

After reading Dhoni's candid interview with Anand Vasu, in which he, very modestly, claims he is one of the team's best sloggers, Kapil decided to renew his call for Dhoni to be appointed as Captain of the Indian team. In a blank call to Greg Chappell MBE, Kapil had nothing more to say on the matter.

We contacted Kapil for a candid telephonic conversation and the great howler duly obliged. While taking swings at everyone from the deep bunkers he had shot himself into, Kapil pulled no punches on why he believes Dhoni is the perfect man to lead India. Following are excerpts of the nonversation. We have deleted all the questions we asked the great howler for fear of being ridiculed. For entertainment purposes, only, Kapil's responses, are all there in their unedited form. Over to the great howler.

Kapil: I've always believed in the value of hard work. The only thing that get's you far in life is hard work. Intelligence is a highly over-rated quality. When I see Dhoni, I see myself. I fail to see why Greg Chappell MBE does not see me or, for that matter, what I see. It's very unfair on the MBE's part to not try some of the experiments I am proposing. After all the pasta he has fed our boys, the least he can do is experiment with a diet of Dhoni.

Sehwag's mother was telling me the other day how Sehwag had suggested she go down the order of importance and let his wife open the innings. In my days as a cricketer, I never dared to play with my mother's position. Any suggestion that I experiment with her in different positions would have made me shed tears larger than a crocadile on television. If Dhoni is made the Captain of the Indian team, he will unify all the players under their mothers and bring back the sense of security this team has lost under MBE.

While Kapil was yammering on about Dhoni, we sneaked away, unnoticed, to ask Rahul Dravid, the current Indian Captain, for his views on the renewed call from the great howler. As is his wont, Rahul refused to take any risks on a sticky wicket. Every delivery we sent down his corridoor of uncertainty was left with a raised bat of quiet certainty. After being faced with 30 minutes of stonewalling, we decided to get back to Kapil to check on how he was doing with our dictaphone.

When we returned to the bunker we'd left Kapil with our dictaphone in, we fouund our dictaphone rolling in the aisles and Kapil nowehere to be seen. After a few momments of grappling with the hysterical dictaphone, we managed to get it to play back what had transpired. We'll leave you with what we think sums up exactly why it's high time, we think, the arrogant MBE must pay attention to Kapil.

Kapil: I urge the government of India to intervene in this serious matter. The security of the country is being sabotaged by this foreign hand. When players in the Indian cricket team feel insecure about their places, the national psyche is seriously damaged. I'm not quite sure what that means, but I read it in an analysis of the state of Indian cricket by Boring Majumdar, Rhodes scholar and research fellow at Latrobe University in Melbourne.

All I'm trying to say is this obsession with experiments can have very serious consequences if it is not reciprocated by the other side. I find this one-way relationship of such inconvenient experimentation very heart-breaking. I think it's high time I cry. Maybe then people will take what I'm saying seriously. And so saying, I am crying...
By which time, our trusty dictaphone had well and truly lost it and made its way to roll upropriously in the aisles of insanity.

When we met Boring Majumdar for his take on the great howler's take from him, Boring started to take out some very dense files from under his arm and looked like he was about to launch into a speech on the tiffcussion between Kapil and Experiment Nation. We left our dictaphone to suffer the insufferable bore and skipped off for an evening of Sheila-hunting in one of the many cafes that dot the lovely city of Melbourne.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sourav Ganguly tries Pepsi

After the continuing wave of outsourcing which refuses to see any after, another wave seems to have hit India: The Trying Wave. In keeping with the spirit of the times, this report is dedicated to a truly trying gent who has decided to try yet another thing to try and make a comeback to the team that found him too trying to have in their midst. We're, of course, trying very hard to speak of the erstwhile skipper of the Indian cricket team without mentioning him. (Although we're not quite sure what purpose that serves after having mentioned him in the headline of this trying report.)

For those of you who believe in the very con current 'out of sight out of mind principle' and are trying very, very hard to figure out who the said gent might be? We are unspeakably speaking of the man who was once the impossibly trichotomous Dada, Maharajah and Prince of Indian cricket, Sourav 'Bunguly'. Confirmed reports say, he is now known as the man who lost his shirt and is as relevant as a Dadaji in an upwardly mobile Indian nuclear family.

After trying to make a return to the Indian team that was formerly known as his, as a bowler, an all-rounder, a stubborn gounder and an opening flounder, Sourav is now trying to make a comeback into our quickly closed minds as a smarmy reminder of the days gone bye-bye in an ad for Pepsi; yes, the same Pepsi that tom-toms itself as the blue in the Indian cricket team till it makes everyone go blue in the face with disgust. And pepsicides.

In an ad that is sure to make Greg Chappell MBE try very hard not to laugh, the old Sourav tries to forget how old he is and say a host of sentimental things that he hopes will appeal to the oldest trick in the book used to appeal to Indian audiences: Sentimentality. Unfortunately, Sourav seems to have forgotten that the only ruse to get back into the Indian team - sucking up to the people in power - is no longer within his reach, no matter how hard he tries.

The smart set among us knows what the unethical 'blue' multinational is trying. After trying to make Indians forget all the crap they have been making us swallow in their drinks by throwing in an Indian CEO, they're now trying to throw an Ex-CEO into their mix of pepsicide, exploitation and sugar. All we can say in response to such tried and tested moves is what the great Poet Tryku Srinivasan liked to say when faced with anything, "Try not me. Fed up we. Of your trying."

For the sake of making this report more entertaining, only, we located Kapil Dev for his views on the above matter. Predictably enough, the great howler was more than willing to try his hand at solving yet another person's problems. As usual, not much more need be said after what Kapil says. He said, "Sourav, forget Pepsi. Forget Coke. Whatever you do, don't try pasta. Try Rasagulla. It's sure to leave a sweet taste in your mouth. Unlike Pepsi."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Materazzi urges Kapil to try pasta

In a move designed to bring the two different sports loving nations even closer together, the Mandu from Italy, Marco Materazzi has put forward some revolutionary proposals for Kapil Dev. Materazzi, who doesn't know a thing about cricket and is not interested in knowing anything more, has taken it upon himself to introduce Kapil to the joys of pasta.

The Mandu from Italy firmly believes the great bowler of yesteryears from India, and current joker in the media, is not being fair to pasta by refusing to experiment with it. When asked to elaborate further he said, "I haven't a clue who the Kapil Dev is, but I certainly the know a thing or two about the pasta. Pasta doesn't deserve the ignorance that the Kapil Dev is giving it. He could so easily have the declined to try the food from the Russia or the Poland or the Romania. Saying no to the pasta reveals a lack of the reciprocal understanding of international relations. I did not the call the Kapil, the mother of the Kapil and the sister of the Kapil any names. By refusing to try my the pasta, the Kapil is hurting me more than the Zidane could ever have." he whined. He added after we left that which we cannot bring you because we had left for the Kapil's reciprocal views on the international incident.

In case some of you are wondering what the global food fight is all about, here's the low down. Kapil, when queried for yet another howler on the state of Indian cricket said, "If someone tells me that pasta is good for me, I may not agree." After a great deal of strenuous analysis, we believe this might have been Kapil's way of taking a dig at Greg Chappell, MBE, and his experiments with the Indian cricket team, which Kapil believes are too foreign for Indians. While Greg Chappell, MBE, and every other sensible person has, predictably, ignored this donkey drop from the great howler, the emotional Mandu from Italy, obviously couldn't.

Meanwhile, the Mandu from Italy hasn't stopped talking from the time he heard of this international slight from a gent he knows nothing about. After a few months we decided to get back to Mandu and see if he had finished talking and ask for his closing arguments on the matter. He hadn't. From the time we left off, he was continuing and here's where we found him, "I have tried the butter chicken. I have tried the curry. I have tried the chappatti. I have tried the red Indian. I have tried the Su Sri. I have tried the Indian women. I have tried..." While he continued in this vein, we tried to be discreet about it and made a quick getaway. We now understand why Zizou headbutted the screeching, irritating gent.

On the discreet flight back from Milan to India, we chanced upon Rahul Dravid hidden behind his backfoot and under a book witten in Australese. We sidled up to him and asked him what he had to say about Kapil Dev's views on Indian cricket. He looked at us, dug into his bag, fished out a picture of Greg Chappell, MBE, and defensively suggested we discuss it over a beer after the day's play and with Greg Chappell, MBE, looking on watchfully. Perhaps this was Rahul's way of experimenting with being an Aussie.

While grabbing some dinner on the way back from the airport, we espied Kapil in the same resto. He was struggling with some Pasta Arabiatta. He saw us looking at him smilingly and beckoned us over to his table. Before we could ask him anything, he told us, "This pasta is difficult, but good. Any foreign food is difficult, but good. Any foreign experiment is good, but only as long as it's like Indian Chinese." We were stunned by this wise, appetising bon-mot from the great man and were so sated by it that we thought it better than to wait for the main course.

After we recover from the extreme indigestion all this travelling and international eating has caused us, we shall bring you more reactions on the same. Until then, please stick to Indian Chinese. And away from the Mandu from the Italy.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bond plays. Fleming dies of shock

People in New Zealand woke up to the shocking news that their beloved cricket Captain, Stephen Fleming had died of shock. The story goes that when Bond declared himself fit for one match and, actually, played for a major part of the match, Fleming couldn't handle it. Eye witnesses tell us that Fleming suddenly collapsed in a laughing fit so violent and so prolonged that it took its toll on his heart.

For those of you coming in late, Shane Bond is an injury prone speedster who has been flattering to decieve from the time he made his debut. Every time he was selected, he'd end up with an injury that had to be taken care of to prolong his career. His injuries were so frequent that he was being continuously rested so that he could play when fully fit and have a long career serving New Zealand cricket. Unfortunately, the only career he ended up having, so far, was a very long one on the sidelines. Until this happened.

One fine sunny day in a match against South Africa, Bond's name was sighted as being pencilled into the playing eleven. Fleming, having seen this before, was unperturbed. The same, fine sunny day, Bond was seen with the new ball in his hand and at the top of his bowling mark. Fleming, having seen this, too, before, continued to remained calm and quite unaffected by this inconsistent consistent sighting. A few overs later, Bond was still bowling. A quick Madras-cut of the camera to Fleming's handsome visage revealed a man a man with a furrowed brow and looking increasingly stressed out. A few more over later, Bond was simply refusing to breakdown. That's when Fleming couldn't take it anymore and died.

When queried as to the reasons for his untimely death from shock, this is what Fleming had to say, "My system just couldn't handle the extreme expectations of breakdown it was being put through every additional ball Bond ended up bowling. I kept expecting Bond to breakdown and collapse. When the inevitable collapse didn't come, I collapsed. When your system is used to a regular diet of expected breakdowns and unexpected replacements, a sudden infusion of the real thing can be very, very dangerous and very, very fatal. As you may have noticed, that's exactly what happened."

The same unreliable sources didn't tell us how they got this thoughtful piece of process-mapping from a man who was dead. Our own investigations into the matter reveal that the same supernatural forces which kept Shane Bond going, despite all previous evidence disproving the possibility of any such thing happening, might have something to do with receiving messages from a dead Fleming, despite all the previous evidence disproving the possibility of any such thing happening.

In other more predictable news, Shane Bond has declared himself unfit for the next match. Any comments from Fleming on the same matter will be brought to you as soon as we get them in much shorter and more intelligible sentences than those resorted to in the previous paragraph.

And now, we request all of you to observe two minutes of silence for a man who died so suddenly for little more than a false alarm. Despite all previous evidence disproving the possibility of any such thing happening, we urge you to keep your fingers crossed, not hold your breath and fervently pray for the return of the phlegmatic Fleming. And a fit Bond.

Indian team threatens to turn 21 in one day

In a strange case of the phenomenon so far not known as 'Group Birthday Blues' (GBB), the whole Indian cricket team threatened to slump into 21 year old habits in 30 agonising minutes. (Unproven medical evidence says it might have something to do with the newly-morphed MBE 21 virus.)

In a match against England in the Champions Trophy, set a paltry target of 125 to get in 50 very long overs, a seemingly mature team of seasoned warriors ended up playing infantile shot after infantile shot and struggled their way to a win in 50 very, very, very long overs.

For a while it looked like the whole Indian team was about to be hit by the infamous MBE Chappell 21 virus. Fortunately, they stopped short of regressing that far down and ended up regaining their senses and maturity somewhere closer to 23. We shall wait and watch how far the descent continues.

England, on the other hand, conclusively proved that when it comes to the one-day game, they continue to be babes in the wood susceptible to all kinds of mysterious ailments. Descending desperately into the depths of sickly non-performance, they seemed to intent on a trip to the land Down Under.

When the Indian Captain Rahul Dravid was asked for a comment, he replied, "Thank God, England were hit by the inverse of the MBE 21 today and ended up playing like 12 year olds. Every once in while the process of playing must factor in the process of turning 21." And so saying he clutched his backseat driver and went back into 1st gear.

The player formerly struck by the MBE 21 virus, Irfan Pathan, was seen celebrating his 22nd birthday and hoping his next birthday will not be his 21st. Meanwhile, Munaf Patel, 23, was stocking up on pills to counter any onset of MBE 21.

Pathan no longer 21

Pathan is back. Is he? Does this mean he has crossed the curse of 21? We'll be keeping a close eye on his growth from here on. We'll also be praying and hoping nobody else in the Indian team is about to turn 21. Will Sachin turn 21 during the Champions Trophy? How about Dravid? He does seem close to turning 21. Will Dravid turn 21 when Greg Chappell, MBE, turns 21? When will Greg Chappell, MBE, turn 21? Thanks to Greg Chappell, MBE, never turning 21, the whole Indian team seems to be taking turns turning 21. Meanwhile, we'd like to, cautiously, welcome Irfan Pathan to the ranks of the un21.