From smack-bang in the middle of the bell curve

the Klu-Klux Klan and real-estate agents

In blah, sports, world cup on September 25, 2007 at 1:30 pm

Event 1a: Jan 22, 1973. The court rules in favour of Ms Roe (real name Norma McCorvey) in Wade v/s Roe

Event 1b: Twenty years later the crime rates in all of the United States plummeted to all time lows.

Steven Levitt (author of Freakonomics) said not only are the two events not unrelated, but that the first caused the second. The reason, the first event legalized abortion in the US.

Event 2a: Year 2007 – India wins the 20-20 world cup

Event 2b: Year 2020 (yes, the year). The venue: Helsinki, Finland. The ICC has progressed in its efforts to globalize the game. (Not much of a risk considering the expat asian population that fills the stadium). The crowd is a sea of the India tricolour and the green and white of Pakistan (The flags are now thin flexible LCDs that can be programmed to display varying flags and insignia. So, the uprooted asian can still be a part of the community and support the local team when their ‘birth country’ team isn’t involved).

The captains face up for the toss (sponsored by Pepsi). The spectators (on the ground and in their homes), watch expectantly as the coin drops with a faint thunk (toss-mike sponsored by Intex) on the grass. The Indian captain wins the toss and elects to bat. The giant screen shows “Uttam Singh – Mirpur”, picked by an instant draw who texted in ‘India – Bat’ using the code on the bottom of his Pepsi can. The prize, Hero Honda’s newest 1700 cc bike, ‘Manhood’. A commercial plays (on the giant screen and tvs worldwide), the Indian captain zooms up from the depths of a steep ravine, rescuing a ridiculously hot chick, brakes in front of the camera and says “Girls love riding on my manhood”.

The teams go back to their dugouts to await the results of the HDFC ek kadam aage process. Fans text in their preferred batting order and the exact match with the order submitted by the captain are deemed winners (who receive bright yellow caps with HDFC on the front). Instant draw picks a mega-winner and hooks him up via webcam showing a picture-in-picture of him explaining his rationale for the batting order.

The batsmen come out onto the ground to the roar of the crowd. The dynamic logos on their shirts and bats swirl and radiate as they approach the wickets. The batsman takes guard and gives the thumbs up to the umpire (on a distant building rooftop in the background, a huge glowing Thums Up ad glows brilliantly for a few seconds). Windscreens slide into place to block the light breeze running across the ground to prevent undue deviation of the ball. During change of overs, they show recorded footage depending on which side is doing worse.

The umpire signals for play to begin. Bowlers no longer exist. The fielding captain presses a button on a device, called the Bowlflex (no sponsors) and the metallic arm delivers short of length, 6″ outside off stump, at precisely 84 mph. The device allows captains to impart a degree of swing and vary speeds between 70 mph and 88 mph (for seam up bowling) and (55 – 75 mph for spin bowling) – The speeds were calibrated after analysis over a 3 year period showed that speeds out of this range were not conducive to stroke-making.

As the batsmen launch into their shots, a panel of experts consisting of past Indian captains and one surviving retired fast bowler discuss the Bowlflex settings chosen by the captain. (40% bowlers underwent intensive rehab to retrain as batsmen, the remaining committed suicide). Viewers call in to discuss their strategies with the experts. (only callers subscribing to the new Reliance ‘cricket ki lo’ plan can avail of this feature)

Shivraj Singh launches another one into the Sahara stand. The crowd roars…

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