Ladies and gentlemen, we are just a few days away from what Mr. Tracer Bullet calls “The business end of the tournament.” We are not writing the review of the week that has passed by because we couldn’t have written anything different – England adjusting to the levels of their opponents, majors crushing minors, local cricket associations protecting TV sets from Australian captain and West Indies players trying to impress IPL bosses. Hence, we went around and interviewed some of the world cup captains. Here is what they had to say.
MS Dhoni – Off course we haven’t done too badly. Obviously I am happy with our performance. But one should look at the larger picture. People have been vying for my blood because I haven’t played a particular spinner till now. Off course he will play but what I think is that this world cup is just a medium for something I want people of this country to achieve. They should aimfor Ramrajya. In Tretayuga, entire country waited anxiously for Ramchandra. He finished a war, came back and Ramrajya started. We celebrate Diwali on that day. Now I have made entire country to wait for another Ramchandra (Ashwin). He will finish this war of what you call world cup, come back, and we will see the start of Ramrajya next month. You may call it IPL but for us, that is Ramrajya because it brings prosperity never seen before. In case you do not agree, ask my Caribbean friends. Razzmatazz in IPL is no less than Diwali. We celebrate it every year.
Andrew Strauss - Look, you Indians do not have a right to question me. It’s because of you; last world cup was one of the most boring world cups ever. How can you lose to Bangladesh? On reminding that England also lost to Bangladesh this time – See we showed how to lose to Bangladesh. British Empire might have ruled this country for more than 200 years, but now we no longer believe in colonialism. We believe in equality. First we tied our match against you to show that we are as good as you. Then we lost our match against Bangladesh to show that we are as bad as you. More than that, you were the guilty of making last world cup a really boring affair. We have made it one of the most entertaining world cups ever. Now if you could excuse me, I got to meet Kallis and find out from which bank to take loan for my hair transplant. These close matches have turned me bald yet you guys don’t let me play IPL. You will never see such altruism, never.
Shahid Afridi – First of all, let me thank almighty. Without his grace this would not have been possible. Shohaib bhai is retiring. Inshallah we may never see him again. I mean playing for Pakistan. Or you never know. He has been a comeback man. You never know, he may comeback from this retirement also. And please stop making fun of Kamran. He is such a talented keeper. His entire family is in the business of keeping. Hence we decided, for anyone to play for Pakistan as wicketkeeper, he must come from Akmal family. Our government has made a pact with the government of UK that any exception to this rule will be given a shelter in UK. On being asked that where is the Boom Boom Afridi has gone who used to come half way down the pitch even to fast bowlers and hit them for towering sixes – Oh yeah? You are challenging Afridi the batsman? Just drop Dhoni for once and let Kamran keep wickets for you. Then I will show you those towering sixes.
Graeme Smith – Eat your words. Munch them. You called us chokers. Did you guys see how your team choked against us? I tell you, we will do it, this time for Africa. Just to make sure we do it this time, we have taken so many do’s in our team– Do mini (Du Miny), Do please (du Plessis). Do you see a single don’t? We have done so well in spite of the big players not firing. Kallis will soon get some of his IPL money hence he will pay off his loan taken for hair transplant. He will be able to concentrate of cricket. Other teams are trying to get me out by getting their left arm pacers look like Zaheer. But they cannot fool me. I recognize Zaheer from his tummy. Only David Boon had such a big tummy and he is retired. AB is losing hair which is making him a bit tense. I have asked him to look at Petersen – Robin not Kevin. AB will soon realize that this is a tournament for bald heads. Van Wyk has colored his hair in blonde to look like David Gower and Ian Healy. On reminding that he looks to be keeping wickets like David Gower and bat like Healy ¬ So what? Both were greats. Greatness in any form is welcome. Look at your Ashish Nehra – he is as tall as Wasim Akram and bowls as slow as Bishan Singh Bedi. Both were greats. Try to embrace Nehra’s greatness by both hands.
Kumar Sangakkara – What man, why we are playing our last match in India? Why not at SSC? You know, SSC wicket is so flat that we could have played entire world cup on it. You know, we have to send Mahela again and again to SSC to make sure he can put his bat to ball in nets. For Mahela, playing is SSC is more important than breathing. We are playing in Mumbai, damn. I hope any of your hair dressers or fashion designers don’t catch up with Mallinga. He is already over fashioned. Poor guy had gone to a zoo just before the world cup. Officials there forcibly put him in a cage. Only when they saw Pepsi’s slinga ad, they realized their mistake and allowed him to come out. On the other hand, his hair has become so long that they block the entire site screen for a batsman. To make it worse, white ball becomes similar to his hair color after 5 overs. There is no way a batsman can spot the ball when he is bowling. Now ICC is asking him to either get his hair colored black or get them cut. He is not going to do either. And ICC won’t allow him to bowl once the ball is 5 overs old. What the hell? Can we play our last 3 matches in SSC?
Ricky Ponting – Now what you want? Why am I not batting well? You guys forced me to change my groin guard just because a TV was damaged. I am always scared thinking if this new groin guard made of plastic can save my balls or not? Please try and understand. My balls have been crushed many a times by you Indians, by England in ashes and to make it worse, cricket Australia is holding me by my balls. I need better protection. As far as our performance is concerned, we are still undefeated. Only time we might have lost, God made sure it rained. See, God is on our side and not yours. Hussey has come back to replace Bollinger. I am sure Hussey will bowl as fast as Bollinger could. I hope he can bat as well as Bollinger could. We have many positives to take from this tournament so far – nobody has talked about Haddin’s keeping because Kamran Akmal has bettered him, Tait has yet not declared his retirement, and Smith has started doing what Warne did so well i.e. coming in my way. Smith is blonde like Warne, bulky like Warne and I am dead sure one day he will bowl like Warne.
Daniel Vettori – Everyone wants to meet us in QF. See, what a chaos we have created in group B because of this. It is as if playing against us in QF has become more important than winning the world cup. Team which gets a chance to play us in QF will become complacent. They would think they have achieved a bigger objective than winning the trophy. Complacency is first step towards failure. Other teams will be heartbroken because of the failure. A low morale is also the first step towards failure. How do I know so many first steps towards failure? You need to fail as often as we have. Then only you will learn. There is no shortcut to experience. . We have already taken care of 50% of our opponents and we are still a week away from knock out round. Not for nothing I have been considered to be the best captain available in New Zealand.
Darren Sammy – What? You know I am captaining this side? Thanks a lot. I am so glad. Because more than 99% of people I have met, they think its Gayle who is leading the side. What can I do if we are losing? Our board had sent a good all-rounder with us. He has gone back due to injury. He will come back to play next month for Indians on western part – Mumbai Indians. I wish he was fit to play for West Indians. Last night against England, I asked Sarwan “It’s your turn. Pick up your bat and go.” He picked up his bat and went to washroom instead. Don’t ask me which bat he picked up. I asked Benn to go field at long leg. He happily agreed because he could slip in the dressing room from there and sleep. To keep him on the ground, I have to place him in slips. Now if you have Benn fielding at slips, how can you win? Not my fault at all.