When the Indian cricket team came back from their disastrous England tour, they needed to pass through the Red Channel in Indian Customs as each one of them was carrying some baggage with them. Here’s what was discovered in their luggage:
BCCI Official: the customs officers opened the travel case and gingerly lifted out a shimmering suit of exquisite fibres. The tag attached to the suit proclaimed it “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.
Dhoni: should have had more troubles with the British Customs – as he left the island shores with less than he came in with. He left behind the ICC Test No.1 Mace and the Pataudi Trophy. He had to further explain about the missing Spirit of Cricket trophy (as listed in the Indian cargo manifesto)
Sketch (c) Charles Crombie
Dravid: Found a sugar-coated letter from BCCI President begging Dravid never to retire from Test match cricket, till the next crop of batsmen are ready to take over (a terse comment from Dravid scrawled in the margins “Mr. President, please tear down this Wall”)
Raina: Since he transforms as soon as he puts on the blues of the Indian ODI team, he will henceforth be wearing his blue ODI kit sewn under his Test whites. His bag also carried a collapsible telephone booth – to allow him to change his uniform ala Clark Kent / Superman.
VVS Laxman – was carrying a special helmet (with an attached ear piece and eyeshades). This innovative contraption provides him with the illusion that his opponent is Australian – with visual changes and modification in accents. After his failures in England, he has sworn to wear the special helmet on all occasions.
Sachin: His oldest bat within his kit has notches for each of his International centuries. After the 99th notch, there was an exclamation mark (for his 91 at the Oval) followed by a big question mark.
Zaheer Khan: Interestingly, a bag containing one half eaten jellybean among a whole bag of uneaten jellybeans was hidden in the corner of his suitcase.
Praveen Kumar: There were whole clumps dug out of the pitches –to transplant into the benign pitches in Karnataka. Since he was one of the only stars of the tour – upholding the legacy of Roger Binny and Madan Lal – he was royally waved through customs.
Sreesanth: finally renouncing the world of cricket after so many setbacks, Sreesanth plans to become the break-dancing swami. Might get a break into politics. His bag was filled with the tapes of the latest dance numbers and trendiest dresses.
Sehwag – only half a bag filled as he was travelling on a half-ticket.
Gambhir – carrying back nothing but a sore elbow, a concussed head and a destroyed reputation.
However, truth be told, the Indian cricket team and BCCI didn’t have much to declare. The English team did most of the declarations.