Year 2022! A lot has changed in Indian cricket and for its cricketers

File picture of Arjun Tendulkar ten years before his historic international debut © Getty Images

Please note: This is a humorous piece – pure fiction.

A decade is a long, long time – especially in the world cricket, where a new format emerges and threatens the existence of a version that is over a century old. Vincent Sunder looks into his crystal ball and tells us what he sees 10 years down the line – in 2022!


After being immaculate dressed in the whites in his playing days, Rahul Dravid is now a familiar figure on the cover of business magazines, dressed smartly in designer suits. Dravid is now an iconic and trusted name in the construction business who, as expected, promises and delivers durable buildings. Dravid’s only cricketing connection now, like most other construction companies in Bangalore, is to own a team in the Karnataka Premier League.

 

VVS Laxman, after being in three consecutive Ranji Trophy-title winning sides, has taken sanyas from cricket and founded a spiritual school called “The Inner Voice”.
Gautam Gambhir has given up cricket and taken up playing poker – and emerging as an undisputed champion!
Sourav Ganguly’s stint as India coach came to an end when some of the young guns in the side constantly asked him to demonstrate how to play the short, fast delivery fired at the rib cage.  It is widely believed that all these players were in constant touch with one Greg Chappell – a cricketer who played for Australia in the ’80s. However, the never-say-never Ganguly got into cricket administration and emerged as President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Cricket historian Arunabha Sengupta’s most recent article on cricket rifts featured Virat Kohli and Unmukt Chand. Giving in to popular demands, BCCI made Indian team selections a live telecast event.
Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar are given multi-crore contracts by BCCI to provide running TV commentary for selection committee meetings that are now shown live. Media reports says, that their job is to defend the selection of the selectors who are there to carry out the instructions of the BCCI heavyweights.

Some gems from Ravi Shastri’s commentary…

 

1. We are bringing live action from the selection committee room and the BCCI must be applauded for this wonderful initiative – referring to his contract for commentary!

 

2. There is a huge buzz and the atmosphere is electrifying – when the cell phones of the selectors were ringing away incessantly.

 

3. The next session is going to be crucial – when the selectors adjourned for lunch.

 

Sourav Ganguly is the new chairman of the national selection committee – as per the amended rules, the BCCI president automatically becomes the chairman of the selection committee. Other members of the national selection committee are Sachin Tendulkar, Piyush Chawla, Aniruddha Srikanth and Noel David. Not just the entire cricketing community in India but even Sachin Tendulkar asked “Noel who?!!!” Incredibly, Tendulkar had asked the same question when the selectors had sent flown David to the West Indies in 1997 as a replacement for the injured Javagal Srinath.

 

As the meeting of the new selection committee began to pick the Indian side against Afghanistan – Test cricket’s New No 1, Ravi Shastri’s voice boomed into the mike. “This is MASSIVE! This is HUGE! This is just what the doctor ordered! This perhaps is the greatest moment for Indian cricket!”

 

Unfortunately, a massive power cut across the country deprived many from watching the live proceedings of this historic selection meeting. When power was restored a few hours, viewers saw a beaming MS Dhoni, cricket’s longest-serving captain, getting ready to address the media.

 

As the questions came cascading at Dhoni, flanked by selection committee members, Aniruddha Srikanth was seen shouting at one media person: “You shut up maan! Mere ko maalum thu mujhe ungli kar raha hai.”  It a moment when history was repeating itself!A calm and collected Dhoni finally addressed the press gathering: “As you all know, the process is important… We had it in place, you know, and everything fell into place. I’m happy to announce that we have inducted promising talent into the Indian team for this upcoming Test series.”

A huge buzz went around the gathering.

Dhoni continued. “I am happy to announce that Arjun Tendulkar has been selected. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Arjun will be in the playing eleven, alongside his great father. It will be the first time in the history of Test cricket that a father and son will be playing together!
Not much after the announcement, a distraught Ajinkya Rahane announced his immediate retirement from all forms of cricket, having never got to play a single Test match in his career!

 

(Vincent Sunder aspired to play Test cricket, but had to struggle to play ‘gully’ cricket! He managed a league side to title triumph in the KSCA tournaments. He was debarred from umpiring in the gully games after he once appealed vociferously for a caught-behind decision when officiating as an umpire! After two decades in the corporate sector, he became an entrepreneur with the objective of being able to see cricket matches on working days as well. Vincent gets his ‘high’ from cricket books and cricket videos and discussing cricket)