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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Daily SomeAchaar - ICC Announces Seminar on Sledging Etiquettes

December 28, Dubai - The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced a seminar on the etiquettes of sledging, to be held on the eve of the 2011 World Cup. The keynote speaker at this seminar will be retired Australian pacer Glenn McGrath. South African captain Graeme Smith and current (at least at the time of going to press) Australian captain Ricky Ponting will also be among the speakers.

"Cricket fans have become vocally confused about what kind of sledging is appropriate, and what crosses the line." Haroon Lorgat, CEO of the ICC said when making the announcements. "Today's episode at Durban where Graeme Smith got upset at Sreesanth for sledging and Paul Harris later speculated that the bowler crossed the line, is fresh in everyone's minds. There has also been some outrage over Ricky Ponting in Melbourne copping only a meager fine for arguing with both umpires and the batsman for over five minutes. We at ICC believe that Graeme Smith and Ricky Ponting, as shining examples of perfect gentlemen on the field, could not have been in the wrong at all. Clearly, the fault lay with Sreesanth in Durban and umpire Aleem Dar in Melbourne. This seminar will teach cricketers and umpires once and for all, when boorish behavior on the field is 'part of the game' and when it is just not cricket."

Lorgat further explained that the choice of Glenn McGrath as keynote speaker was a no-brainer. He reminded reporters of the episode when McGrath politely made an inquiry of Ramnaresh Sarwan about the flavors of Brian Lara's penis, only to be rather outrageously told by Sarwan to ask his (McGrath's) own wife. McGrath rightly felt that Sarwan had crossed some line and almost physically attacked him and threatened to decapitate him.

"Glenn is the ultimate authority on the subject, as his exemplary behavior throughout his career demonstrates. Whatever he said was polite, tasteful, competitive, and within the spirit of the game. Anything said to him that he found inappropriate was surely inappropriate. Similarly, Smith and Ponting's sledging or mild dissent with umpires is kosher without question. Thus, the ICC believes that the team of McGrath, Smith, and Ponting is ideal for teaching clueless players and umpires the rights and wrongs."

When this reporter contacted Glenn McGrath over the phone for a comment, the lanky great responded,

"Let me start by saying, Australia will still win the Ashes 5-0." he then went on to speak about the seminar, "I am glad the ICC has finally taken note of my real talent and asked me to headline this seminar. I am also happy to learn that Ricky and Graeme will be assisting me. In the past decade, there has been a disturbing trend of opponents of Australia and South Africa not meekly taking the sledging dished out, and rather brazenly, responding in kind. This trend threatens the very foundations of the game of cricket."

So when will McGrath meet Smith and Ponting to work on the materials for this seminar? Will there be slides or hand-outs?

"Oh, I just finished a conference call with Ricky and Graeme. The slides and hand-outs are finalized. They'll just contain a simple algorithm of self-help rules that will tell players what sort of on-field behavior crosses the line. Yes sure, I can email you a copy."

The algorithm, reproduced with permission from McGrath, the ICC, Ten Sports, ESPN, BCCI, and lalit Modi are -

1. Are you a Caucasian? (Y/N)
2. Is your opponent Caucasian? (Y/N)

a. IF 1 = N AND 2 = Y, then anything you say to the opponent crosses the line because it is personal OR racist OR obscene OR disrespectful OR all of the above.
ELSE, anything you say to the opponent is part of the game OR is par for the course for intense competition OR is something grown-ups say and do OR totally fine OR all of the above.

b. IF 1 = Y, then you can argue with the umpires' decisions, abuse them, literally point fingers at them, spit at them, and whip them with python skin canes, without any fear of being suspended.
ELSE, even the slightest non-verbal displeasure expressed at umpires' decisions is outrageously inappropriate, and must be punished with bans for anything from 5 tests to life.

"As you can see, these are simple rules that anyone can internalize." McGrath concluded, and before disconnecting the call said, "Mark my words, 5-0 whitewash is imminent."

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