Ban the bowlers, ban them all!
After depriving the world of the most glorious sight in international cricket – Saeed Ajmal in all his grace, splendour and beauty giving an interview to Nasser Hussain after a match – the ICC plans to throw the book at bowlers.
I welcome this hard-line decision taken by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the matter; if only these regulations had come a few years earlier, Kachra would never have been able to win the match for the farmers and the British could have enjoyed imposing dugna lagaan.
Had they banned Imran Khan, our politics would have been deprived of the numerous cricket analogies that have become a part of the national lexicon. On the bright side, the tehreek (movement) against dhandhlee (rigging) could have started two decades earlier and by now we would have been waving at the Indian satellite to Mars, from our Naya Pakistan colony on the red planet.
If only we had allowed the ICC to cherry pick our best bowlers and ban them based on arbitrary rules historically, there would be so much more stability in our team now. Rana Naveedul Hasan would have been leading our attack, a man who surely has vivid memories of our World Cup victory in 1992, since his age then must have only been a mere 65 years.
Mohammad Amir would have never needed to bowl a no-ball from halfway down the pitch; Mohammad Asif would not need to resort to taking dope in Dubai and Mushtaq Ahmed could have retired much earlier to focus on being a full-time Osama bin Laden doppelganger.
Ajmal’s ban has forced Pakistan to hand a test debut to Zulfiqar Babar, a childhood friend of Hasan, the only two people alive who actually saw the Jurassic Park – and no, I don’t mean the movie. Please ban him for a suspect action and put him out of his misery so he can enjoy the last few centuries of his life peacefully with his childhood friends, the mummies of Egypt.
Verdict: Ban him!
We also have Sohail Tanvir to offer to the ICC, a bowler exactly like Wasim Akram, without the talent, the ability or the charisma, but other than that even a blind monkey could not tell the two apart. Tanvir’s facial expressions in every match are one of complete astonishment – even he cannot believe he was picked to play. Legend has it that he learnt to bowl by combining the ancient art of Kathak with his best impersonation of an octopus caught in a fishing net.
Verdict: Ban Him!
God, I have never asked for much throughout my life but if there is any sense of justice in the world then the least ICC can do after banning Ajmal is to give some ray of hope for the future of cricket in Pakistan by banning Mohammad Sami too. He sounds like Maria Sharapova every time he bowls but she is probably better at cricket than he is. Mohammad Sami’s passion for bowling is such that he often bowls three overs into one; he holds the record for the longest over in cricket. At least the crowd cannot claim that they do not get their money’s worth with Sami; sadly, it is usually the opposing crowd.
There are rumours that he was actually created in a laboratory by RAW and BCCI to ensure India never loses to Pakistan. The only condition set by India for all bilateral series with Pakistan have been that Sami must be picked for the team. I would risk the severance of all cricketing ties with India just to never see Sami in a green jersey again, or without one.
Verdict: Ban him!
Once the ICC is done with this lot, they can take care of the rest as well.
Shohaib Malik seems to have banned himself from playing cricket so the ICC has nothing to worry about there. This would leave us with Mohammad Hafeez and Shahid Afridi; it is widely known that the two do not get along so they would never agree to bowl together from either end.
At this stage, you must be wondering,
“But that would mean we have no bowlers left?”
Yes, and that is the genius of the plan.
Like a true Pakistani, we would choose to bat first and once our innings is done, we would just protest against the umpiring decisions in the first innings and refuse to play the next; instead, we’ll stage a dharna at the cricket ground.
For kicks, we can even reinstate Inzamamul Haq as captain, who would be so tired after the first innings that he might just the ask the team not to go out to bowl altogether.
It is the perfect plan. Haven’t we all dreamt of a game of cricket where we get to bat and then just walk away without allowing the bowling team to have their turn? Our clever ploy can help us achieve the ultimate cricketing utopia!
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.