LARDS, Motley Cricket Club, Tuesday (NTN) — The cricket world has been rocked by suggestions that Pakistan may have deliberately thrown games and England might not actually be the geniuses of sport they consider themselves.
England captain Stuart Broad stoutly maintained that England’s victories had been every bit as much of a sporting achievement as the team claimed they had, even if the bit where the Pakistan team hadn’t bothered showing up for the match might have caused the churlish, suspicious and stunted of mind to suspect they were throwing the game.
“Believe me, the, er, throwing against us at Lord’s was of a very high standard. I don’t care if they were drop-kicking the … red … thing along the … patch between the … wooden things, and walking on their hands to get the catches. Our three-run victory is ours,” he sobbed, “and you won’t take it away, you rotter. I always believed I had a Test century in me, and now I are one.”
“The suggestion that cricket players could engage in corruption has horrified everyone,” said Professional Cricketers Association boss Angus Porter. “But people are most susceptible to bribes when they are in need. So we need to make sure the players on the field are adequately compensated.”
“Corruption must be dealt with promptly and effectively by those officiating,” said Nick Cousins of the Association of Cricket Officials. “Of course, you can’t put underpaid officials in charge of millionaire athletes and not expect problems. The umpires will, obviously, need to be adequately compensated.”
“A root and branch investigation of professional cricket is required,” said International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat, “which will of course be costly in terms of making sure the right people are on hand to steer the process. But the best way to obtain the very highest quality of managerial effort is to ensure the executives in question are adequately compensated.”
Talk of corruption in international sport has even reached football, with Fabio Capello declining to comment on rumours that a shadowy group of businessmen called the “Football Association” had offered him substantial sums of money to cause England to break all expectations and win an international game.