In a dramatic twist of events leading up to the Adelaide Test, former Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly has done a Shahid Afridi and has announced a sensational return to International Cricket, citing Paul Scholes of Manchester United as an inspiration to make this decision.
“Coming from the state of Bengal, football is followed with an equal intensity as cricket is. I have been playing football with a cricket ball for some time now, combining my two loves, and it has helped me sight a cricket ball now like a foot ball. When a friend of mine called me from Kolkata and said that the streets are flooded with posters calling for my return and citing Scholes as an example, I told myself that if Scholes does it, then Sourav does it too” announced Dada at a press conference outside Perth airport.
“And it wasn’t just about Scholes. It was more. I averaged 53 this domestic season and even blew out Delhi’s tail in a terrorizing spell of less-than-medium-medium-slow-reverse-swing bowling where I took 3 for 1 off 7 deliveries. Besides, I am in fine nick playing Howzat cricket online. Of course, I wanted to step up for what I represent – Pune Warriors. They haven’t got anyone playing this series. Yuvi is out injured, as is Tim Paine,” he added.
When asked whether he’d be captaining the side at Adelaide, a thoroughly pleased Saurav said “I would have thought that was obvious. Now that Dhoni is suspended, I will be filling in. Coming to think of it, why do you even think Dhoni was suspended in the first place?”
When questioned on how he feels his form is, Dada looked pleasantly surprised. “I scored 135 against Haryana – any of you read that? Haryana is Kapil Dev’s state, and I’ve literally scored 135 runs against one of the greatest all-rounders the game has seen. Do I need to justify my selection anymore?”
Tom Moody, who was present at the vicinity, was pleasantly surprised by the nature of the announcement.
“I had no idea Saurav would do something like this,” said Moody when questioned whether his co-commentator during the series had shown any signs of interest in returning to International Cricket. “All he kept mentioning was Dinda, Dinda and more Dinda – Dinda bowls faster than Umesh, Dinda bowls craftier than Zaheer, Dinda can spin the ball better than Ashwin, Dinda is taller than Ishant, heck, he is even taller than you Tom … and every now and then, he questioned why Dhoni wasn’t bringing Dinda in to the attack.”
ESPN STAR Network, on the other hand, acknowledged that they were informed about the decision made by Saurav by his agent the previous day.
“Dada’s agent called us the previous day to inform on his decision,” said an unknown representative of STAR. “He has a commentary contract to honor – and he said he’ll stand by it. He will commentate while on the field in Adelaide – while batting, bowling and misfielding. He will even stop the cricket when the replays are being shown so that he could dissect them to closure and call the umpire names should he get a decision wrong – in the capacity of an expert. It is understood that it will not be considered as dissent. He will also hold up play till all commercials in the ad breaks are complete and ensure cricket resumes only after that.”
Meanwhile, a delighted Harbhajan Singh was seen running around Jalandhar, bare-chested, twirling his shirt with more vigour and spin than his bowling has seen in a decade. He was heard screaming that his shin had healed miraculously and reckoned he was worth his place in the Indian team as a batsman alone given his overseas batting record is as good as any of the Indian top-order. Also, re reckoned that he will unleash his new mystery delivery – the reverse-spinner – on Ponting & co very soon.
Reactions from the Indian camp are awaited.