Commentator Ravi Shastri’s larynx snapped and fell out of his throat after the former all- rounder was about to say “gone to the boundary like a tracer bullet” for a record 3,892,564th to describe a Sachin Tendulkar boundary. The incident occurred while Shastri was giving commentary during the post-lunch session on the second day of the ongoing Melbourne Test.
According to eye-witnesses, the larynx popped out of Shastri’s throat and hurled itself into the crowd of spectators in the Don Bradman stand, plaintively screaming, “Give me a break from this guy.” Fortunately, fellow commentator Ian Chappell had the presence of mind to complete Shastri’s sentence for the benefit of viewers even as a speechless and shocked Shastri was led away for medical treatment.
Sunil Gavaskar, Shastri’s colleague in many commentary boxes around the world, described it as a ‘healthy development for Test cricket’.
“Even I found it tough to keep myself from nodding off when dealing with Shastri’s bromides,” said Gavaskar, famed for his phenomenal powers of concentration during his playing days.
Melbourne-based world renowned ENT surgeon, Dr. Sudhakar Reddy, later diagnosed Shastri to be a victim of ‘Acute Vocal Clicheitis’, a condition induced by wear and tear of the vocal chords due to repeated use of particular phrases.
“10 years of cliché ridden commentary delivered with minimum variation of pitch and tone has taken its toll on Shastri’s larynx resulting in this tragedy,” opined Dr. Reddy.
Ravi’s wife, Ritu Shastri tearfully added, “I kept telling Ravi, ‘Darling, please keep mixing it up or you will end up a loser, but he would shut me up with ‘in the end, cricket is the winner’. F*** man, never realised cliches can be so painful.”
Shastri was recuperating from surgery and had been strictly forbidden from mouthing clichés for another six months, lest there be a recurrence of the traumatic episode. Unfortunately, Shastri couldn’t resist saying “just what the doctor ordered” a few hours after surgery, resulting in another vocal burst!
The 1984 ‘Champion of Champions’ has now retired from all forms of television-based commentary and is in talks with cricinfo.com to become a text-based commentator.
(Reproduced with permission from http://www.theunrealtimes.com/. The UnReal Times is one of the top websites for satire, spoof, parody and humour in India)