With the Cricket World Cup finally starting on the 19th of February, ICC lawyers are exhaling a sigh of relief. To get all cricket boards to take part in the World Cup 2011, the lawyers had to burn the midnight oil negotiating with each cricket board, and had to include the following clauses and conditions in their respective agreements:
- PCB has the authority to change the team captain after 35 overs (along with the ball), as the captain becomes familiar with the team and harder to blame. A separate captain will also be announced for the Batting and Bowling Power Plays.
- To counter corruption and totally sweep away spot-fixing, PCB wants no-balls banned. In Pakistan’s matches, umpires would not be allowed to call no-balls.
Australia: Given the near-invincible status of Australian team in last 3 World Cups, Cricket Australia will get to institute two new modes of dismissals:
- Dismissal by sledging: Continuity, Consistency and Creativity of sledging will be judged by the umpires after appeal by the fielding team. The third umpire will be called to decide using the UDRS (Umpire’s Decision on Rudeness & Sledging)
- Dismissal by Gentleman’s Word: if and when Ponting states that the batsman is out, the batsman will be declared out. No questions, no appeals – after all Ponting is a gentleman and we should not doubt HIS word.
- Having invented the game and teaching everyone to play, the ECB have the authority to include player from its former colonies (not just South Africa) in their team – without seeking the player’s or his board’s consent.
- It is the other team’s responsibility to invent an excuse for England when England again becomes the bridesmaid.
- BCCI and the whole Indian population will deem any match against Pakistan as the World Cup Final. Any match subsequent to that match will be inconsequential and considered null and void.
- Sourav Ganguli will be designated the non-playing captain just for his inspirational leadership. With an average of 9.83 in WC ’83, Sunil Gavaskar was definitely “non-playing” (though not the captain).
- New Zealand Cricket will be allowed to field a team of Daniel Vettori and 10 sheep, with Dan doing most of the batting and bowling (wait, how is that new?)
- No other team will ever, ever compete for the “Spirit of Cricket” Award. Dare anyone even think about it – Ryder or McCullum will break your leg!
- As a special case to UCBSA, an extra player will be allowed for South Africa on the field at all times, only to wrestle with the Duckworth-Lewis calculations
- UCBSA has demanded that each umpire and match referee undergo a Breathalyzer test before every match
- All records after 1983 (or better, after 1979) will be expunged from ICC’s and Wisden’s records. The world of cricket stopped then as per WICB
- The second demand is still being negotiated between the board, the players and the sponsors. Gayle, Bravo and Pollard will present a separate demand as freelance players.
- Since Bangladesh is still in its infancy (after ONLY 10 years of test cricket status), they will be allowed to bat twice in their 50 overs – maybe thrice or four times if they can squeeze it in.
- To justify BCCB’s expenses of co-hosting the event, Bangladesh will be given a bye till the semi-finals (only England in ‘99 and WI in ’07 as hosts have missed out on reaching the semis).
- The 50 overs restriction is removed. The team that bats the longest (or reaches 700 runs) most consistently will be given the World Cup.
- ICC must contrive to ensure that the Smiling Assassin gets a wicket with his last ODI ball of his career, else all his retired colleagues will ‘unretire’ and play for another 10 years to show ‘solidarity’ to their old teammate.
Now, which special clause or condition would tilt the scales in a team’s favour and lead to its victory?