The row over technology in cricket rumbled on as the BCCI demanded both teams for India’s forthcoming tour of England stay in hotels fitted only with VHS players. In a strongly-worded telegram, BCCI President Shashank Manohar denied the Indian team was a bit behind the times but said the squad did have concerns as some older players found DVDs “a bit fiddly”. He added that VVS Laxman, in particular, had complained that he doesn’t really understand the whole “x2″ “x4″ thing on the fast forward.
The decision is believed to have been prompted by similar concerns from all senior players, many of whom are absent from the present tour of the West Indies as their liner bound for Southampton had already set sail. Speaking on deck as he puffed a woodbine, captain MS Dhoni reacted angrily to any suggestion his team were old fuddy duddies: “Well, of course, we’re not! The adulteration of technology with human thinking has never achieved anything bar keeping Ian Bell at the wicket,” he said whilst listening to Bananarama on his Walkman. “Plus, a lot of these VHS players now have timers, you know, so we’re not complete Luddites.”
The ECB reacted with scorn to the decision and denied England only wanted DVD players because Graeme Swann had been successful 29.71% of times he’d tried to watch the director’s commentary of The Expendables. A spokesman also offered three separate step-by-step guides to using a DVD to the Indian side, finally settling on: “It’s very simple. You balance the Digital Video Disc, or ‘DVD’, on a chair above the tray. You then line up three cricket bats next to the chair and, with no malice or intent whatsoever, throw two gloves at random up in the air. One glove will hit the bats which will hit the chair and thus knock the disc into the tray. The other will hit the Play button and there you go!”
Manohar welcomed the gesture but said the BCCI remained unmoved, despite admitting there was some truth in the rumour Rahul Dravid had “taped over the snooker” the other day.
(James Marsh is a TEFL teacher based in the Czech Republic, although his real occupation is alienating those close to him by wallowing on statsguru. He blogs on cricket at Pavilion Opinions and can be found on Twitter at @PavilionOpinion)