By UnReal Mama
Please note this is a humour article – work of pure fiction
The Board of Cricket Control in India, in response to a request by the Afghan Cricket Board (ACB) for assistance to develop cricket in their country, has dispatched Venkatesh Prasad to train rookie Afghan fast bowlers, a move with profound geo-political consequences.
The Indian intervention has reignited Islamabad’s paranoia of strategic encirclement by its giant eastern neighbor. Military planners in Pakistan have always been highly suspicious of Indian assistance to Kabul, amounting to over $2b annually in aid for humanitarian and development activities, viewing it as a cover to undermine Pakistan’s quest for strategic depth viz. India, but the latest development has sent them over the edge.
“This is our worst nightmare come true,” fretted Pakistan Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Basit Ali, “We can live with Indian consulates aiding Baluchi insurgents, but the prospect of Venkatesh Prasad camps mushrooming on either side of the Durand line and churning out so called ‘fast bowlers’ pose a far graver threat to Pakistan.”
The Pakistani establishment contends that the culture of fast bowlers bowling five slow balls followed by an even slower ball, hitherto never popular in Pakistani cricketing circles, could eventually creep in from Afghanistan, destroying not just their indigenous fast bowling traditions but the very ethos of Pakistan.
“Soon our boys here will be aping Venkatesh Prasad rather than Imran Khan or Wasim Akram. And then we can kiss goodbye to Pakistan hoping to ever win a series against even Bangladesh. Of all the vile things India has done to undermine Pakistan, this has to be the vilest,” thundered General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. “Needless to say, we have asked our forces to be on the highest alert,” he assured the Pakistani senate.
Washington has stepped in to defuse the tense situation. “We’ve told the Indian government to continue to do humanitarian work in Afghanistan, but sending this chap Prasad to Kabul is out of the question, I’m afraid,” US Secretary of State, John Kerry, told reporters.
The Indian side’s submission that Prasad was purely on a cricketing mission divorced from the region’s geopolitics was categorically rejected by Kerry. “Look, I really don’t understand the nuances of cricket, but it seems a big deal to the Pakistanis who have threatened to stop helping us in nailing the bad guys if we allow you to send this guy to Kabul,” Kerry sternly told his Indian counterpart, Salman Khurshid.
(“Unreal Mama” is the pen name under which CS Krishna (left) and Karthik Laxman (right), the founding editors of The Unreal Times (www.theunrealtimes.com), write fictional news reports, dressing room conversations and other such articles marrying humour with satire. The Unreal Times is India’s favourite satire, spoof, parody and humour portal)