Within hours of England’s emphatic series win over cricket world champions India, several major betting firms have called in the administrators after Indian players collected their winnings.
While pundits and the press have been lauding England’s spectacular rise from whipping boys to the world’s number one test cricket side, India’s players have been announcing their retirement from the game.
‘While Pakistan may have been involved in spot fixing, we have been curing acne on an industrial scale,” said India’s star player Sachin Tendulkar today. “Before this series, Strauss couldn’t catch a cold and Alastair Cook’s batting form was so bad he was known as Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook. I’ve made more from my betting on this series than I’ve ever made from my batting.”
Tendulkar explained how his team had stage-managed the outcome of the series, playing England’s players into top form one by one with what appeared to be poor bowling and fielding and, most of all, a propensity for suicidal batting.
‘But what really made it easy was our refusal to allow Hawk Eye to be used to review decisions,’ he said. ‘Without that, Stuart Broad’s hat trick in the second Test at Trent Bridge would not have been possible, as the second of the three wickets was clearly not out. As it was, umpire Marais Erasmus was able to give the required decision and was heading for the best payday of his life. I bought three hotels in New Delhi on the strength of that hat trick alone.’
India’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he would probably step down from the game and concentrate on coaching. ‘I thought about rugby, with the World Cup coming up, but I’m currently looking at a contract with either Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal, or perhaps both. With the odds against Andy Murray ever winning Wimbledon where they are, they’ll find it irresistible.’