Humour: ECB seek help from India in 'excuse management'

England captain Andrew Strauss (L) and coach Andy Flower © Getty Images

By Golandaaz


England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is more worried about England cricketers’ open admission of defeat and humiliation in The Oval Test against South Africa than the defeat itself.


Sources reveal that the ECB has reached out to India’s seniors and are seeking a comprehensive “Excuse Management Framework”. ECB have long held India’s seniors in very high regard in their ability to deflect criticism and carry on as if a victory is just ‘around the corner’.


When approached, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) rejected any such request from the ECB. Although they did add that if the ECB wants the services of its senior players, it needs to make a written request. And subject to finding sponsors, the BCCI would be happy to oblige as long as no review of the framework is mandated.


However, we have in our possession a scribbled piece of paper titled ‘India’s Excuse Strategy – By Seniors’, presumably because BCCI rules prohibit any cricketer from owning any electronic device, email account or internet access because all of those can be error prone and ‘even the manufacturer’s cannot guarantee a 100% up time’. But players can own ‘Twitter’ accounts and tweet as long as every tweet is submitted to BCCI in writing for approval.


The scribbled piece of paper, which appears to bear distinct handwriting of four to five Indian seniors and a couple of which seem to be written left-handed according to hand writing experts, has a disclaimer that “The framework is proven to work for India and India’s cultural sensibilities. To anglicize it, the ECB must seek advice of cross-cultural experts.”


The paper goes on to list the following ‘better practices’ in ‘excuses for prolonged failures’


The basic principle of successful excuse generation is to deflect criticism, get into denial mode and work hard to do nothing different:


# Blame it on the bowlers – Bowlers have a specific task to win matches. Take 20 wickets. Any defeat can be easily sold to the public as a bowling failure because it is very easy for them to visualize the shortcoming.


# Create an illusion of infighting – Nothing distracts an Indian from defeats than their favorite cricketers squabbling over non-existent issues.


# Send junior players to face the media. That way, statements can be denied and the juniors become the face of the defeat.


# Bank on history – Every defeat is an opportunity to remind your countrymen of past glory. A loss is not the time to make forward looking promises like the English did after Oval; rather it’s a time to look back and connect the public with past wins.


# Confuse the media – Make long-winded statements to the media, never answer any question directly. Add “as far as we are concerned…”, “Its’ not about xxx…it’s about yyy”. [Fill in the blanks as appropriate]


# Highlight one irrelevant thing as the difference between you and the superior side – e.g. the Jacques KallisHashim Amla partnership was the only difference between the two sides at The Oval. Notice how subtly the blame goes to the bowlers.


# Media blitz – On one hand keep blaming the local media, but make sure key individuals are the cover story of international magazines. Praise from foreign publications eases the pain of humiliation like nothing else.


# Luck and fate are valid reasons – ‘It’s just not our time’ works like a charm. Our time usually comes in home series’. Have someone lovable make this excuse. We had Virender Sehwag explain the role of ‘bad times’ and look we were not held accountable for our humiliating performances as a batting team in England and Australia. What’s more, there is anticipation that we will win our next three home series’…


# State the obvious in a profound manner – e.g. It is a game someone will win and someone will lose. People are generally polite and don’t ask the follow up question as to why it’s only our team that loses all the time.


 NB: The above article is pure fiction.


(Golandaaz is a blogger @Opinions on Cricket and likes to see the humorous side of the game. He often sketches cricketers in black and white. You can follow Golandaaz his blog on Twitter @oponcrFacebook/Opinions on Cricket)