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To present or not to present


Presentation Ceremony

The match is over, the action, the drama, the excitement... is over. All your friends tell you to turn off the TV and kick the post match party off. All the sensible parts of your brain agree. But there is one masochistic section, top right of your brain, that keeps your hands off the remote. You hate this part, you just love to hate it. It’s boring, it’s pretentious, it’s a complete waste of time. “...but I have to know who wins Man of the Match. Just because Sachin scored 200 runs and took 2 hat-tricks, 3 catches and 1 run out doesn't mean it's obvious. It might be someone else. Just 2 minutes."

But it doesn't take 2 minutes. It takes 30. And when it's done, and Sachin was indeed the MoM, you feel disgusted and violated and promise your friends it will never happen again. Until the next match.

We know why the presentation ceremony does that to you. It's because it's long, boring and full of lies. But then again, we want to know who gets the Man of the Match too. If only presentation ceremonies were more interesting. If only...

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to yet another presentation ceremony. I hate this job but there were no corporate sponsorships in my day so I, a cricket hero, have to do this every other day even though I'm 50. Life sucks, but hey, at least I can speak English unlike some other people. Back to the presentation, however.

Well, today we have on the stage a very distinguished group. On the extreme left we have Jagmohan Dalmiya/Lalit Modi. I cant believe he hasn't exploded from all the blood he has sucked out of this country yet. A most remarkable man indeed. To his right, chairman of Sugar and Spice restaurant, where we had dinner last night. He is the most corporate looking man we could find at short notice so deal with it. To his right, I believe, is an old guy who looks like a child molester. Who let him on the stage? The rest of the people are actually the ones who set the stage up, they just like to be on camera.

Winning Captain:
Ya, I think it was a great performance by our team. We always love playing in India, ask any team, you can always break all your previous records and do your best against India. In this series, we were aiming to break the record for highest ODI total from our country and we did. Indian cricket's contribution to the records tally is something that will live on forever. Thank you India, it’s always a great feeling to disappoint and piss off a billion people in a few hours work, thank you all for giving us this opportunity. It makes our hearts glow to see how you cheer for your team at the start and start defacing their homes even before the match ends. Indian fans are the greatest fans in the world for sure. Thank you.

Indian Captain:
Ya, I know it is disappointing. If we had won the toss, we would have won the match. Even though we would still have chosen to field first. I think all our boys really played up to their potential, except Sachin. Sachin disappointed us again by getting out at 192, had he completed his 200 we would have lost by 6 runs. But it's fine, I think he's a good player, he plays well occasionally, if he takes some time off, I'm sure he can come back and still be a decent player for India. He's still not at the Ravindra Jadeja level, where he can come out and consistently meet our expectations by getting a single run, often exceeding them by a run or two.

I don't think our fielding is that bad actually, it's a system we have agreed upon as a team. If a bowler bowls a bad ball, he deserves to be hit for a four. We have decided not to field bad balls, since this will automatically instill a sense of responsibility for their balls in bowlers. So it’s not that we can't but that we choose not to... field well. Also we have a trick. 10 men of the team field pathetically. Seeing our pathetic fielding the batsmen become lax and then, Sachin strikes with some great catch or a run out. It’s a brilliant strategy and has worked for centuries and if Sachin had kept his end of the plan we would have won the match.

Man of the Match - Sachin:
Yes it is a tough loss. I tried, scored 192 runs, took 2 hat-tricks, 3 catches and a run out, but I guess I should have taken those wickets sooner or scored more runs. It was very selfish of me to try to get to 200 cautiously. I should not try to get records but rather play for the team. I am ashamed of myself. But it has happened before, I was in the moment and under pressure and started thinking of crazy ideas like getting slowly to 200 and letting the 10 guys score the other 37 runs needed to win. Very selfish indeed. I was only thinking about my tiredness, after my bowling and fielding efforts, never stopping to think about how rigorously the team had stuck to our fielding strategy and how tired they must be tired too. And our captain is totally right, I should take some time off, meditate and return when I am more enlightened and less self centered. Maybe I can also squeeze in some treatment for my broken elbow, sprained ankle and fractured clavicle, but I will try to remember that the first priority should be the team, not my injuries, my family or my sicknesses. There is no me in team.

And there you have it. Now, the old child molester guy will present the huge check of 20 million dollars to every player. Even the people who set up the stage get a check for 2 million dollars each. In fact everyone in this stadium except the spectators are millionaires now... you guys still have to pay to get in. And who makes these huge size checks anyway... and what bank accepts them? And who is child molester guy? Just what is the Duckworth Lewis rule? Many questions, but no answers. Well that's cricket for you, the sold-out gentleman's game.

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