After weeks of flooding in Pakistan well-meaning BBC editors, concerned that public interest in the disaster is waning, have invented a cricketing scandal in a desperate attempt to focus attention on the country.
"We became aware that the flooding was just going on too long to hold the goldfish-like attention spans of the British public," said one editor on condition of anonymity. "But we didn't want Pakistan to feel abandoned just because of our absurdly flighty news cycles, so we came up with a plan to keep attention on Pakistan."
BBC editors decided that the obvious way to keep the British public interested in Pakistan was a subject dear to many hearts: cricket. "Let's face it," one commentator said, "Every story from Pakistan is either about a natural disaster, the Nato war in the borderlands, terrorism or cricket. While the cricket story they cooked up is negative, they figured it wasn't as negative as all that other stuff. I think it was the best they could come up with."
BBC creatives are alleged to have spent days inventing a highly detailed story involving betting on cricket matches within the UK. "It had to be something that hit closer to home," said one source. "It had to really sting, like the feel of a leather ball slamming into your thigh at high speed."
The BBC has categorically denied inventing the scandal. "But if we did do it," the spokesman said, "It would have been in the best interests of everyone. PAKISTAN IS STILL FLOODED YOU KNOW!"
Meanwhile it seems the BBC's well-meaning efforts may have been in vain as polls reveal that most British people are unaware that the Pakistan with the flooding is the same country that England plays at cricket. "I thought there were two Pakistans," said Geoff Wandle from Kendal. "One where only horrible things happen and one with a pretty mean cricket team. You mean they're the same? But that confuses my idea of the country. How come they play cricket when they're all so poor?"