A spokesperson for the English cricket body said, “The team is of the opinion that they have already won more than what they expected… They feel tired and all the players need some rest, and they think the Indian players have helped them in many ways to achieve this milestone and they also deserve a sympathy win. It can be sent to India as a gift on completing 65 years of our return from India.”
Some English team members, it is learnt, have expressed their wish to arrange a special Test match for Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar where they’ll allow underarm bowling and no more than 3 fielders will be there on the field at a time. A senior English cricketer said anonymously, “We really want Sachin to complete his 100th century… I heard someone has been talking to the ICC to just grant him the 100th one in honour of his 99, something like ‘buy one, get one free’, but since that isn’t happening then we’ll let him do it in this Test match for sure.”
Apart from the Independence Day significance of the gift, there’s some other reason behind this gift, skipper Andrew Strauss told the media. “There were some signs of depression evident among the Indian players and we do not want them to just run away out of fear after the Oval Test, without playing the ODIs. We still want to win the ODI series.”
We chatted with some other players in a light mood. According to in-form bowler Stuart Broad, Indians really need some soothing and relaxing yoga sessions to realise their inner strengths. He sent across a message to his Indian opponents, “I never had imagined that a person like Sehwag will refuse to face my balls, and Raina would complain of chest pain as soon as he sees me coming towards him.” Opener Alastair Cook quipped in, “I have always admired the way Indians have respected good batting. When I started playing well, they did not want to get me out. Gifting them the fourth Test would be a nice way to show our gratitude. I’d personally volunteer to get out at the score 200 if the rest of the batters promise they will go out for ducks. We shouldn’t be too ruthless, particularly when one of our mates saw M S Dhoni crying in the bathroom while he was passing by.”
The Indian camp is clueless even after such a proposition. They seem down and out, and couldn’t understand the situation. Harbhajan Singh quietly ranted, “I respect the decision of English board… personally I would say that they should gift us one of the ODI matches too since Dhoni and I are not on very good terms and there are many chances that we’ll lose that anyway.”
Known for the way he faces the short ball, Suresh Raina refused to answer any of the questions on the matter, whereas Virender Sehwag said he could not hear us properly and even fainted once.
BCCI, meanwhile, has reportedly agreed to the offer and has also decided to let them arrange a charity match with all Indian players and Stuart Broad against them. The match scheduled between the Tests and the ODIs has already gained a following in England with the tagline “How long can they stay?”
Now that only formalities are left, this is probably the only good thing that might come out of this tour.