Friday, November 7, 2014

Cricket and flamethrowers - a perfect match

Following an incident involving captain Aaron Finch at a Twenty20 game, Cricket Australia has decided to remove flamethrowers from the boundary.

Flamethrowers: natural enemy of the boundary fielder

“It’s a safety issue,” said Mike McKenna, Cricket Australia’s general manager and weaponsmith. “We want to give the fans the most exciting experience possible, but we also want to manage the risk of the players vanishing in a napalm inferno. It’s a judgement call in this case; Aaron Finch was at least a metre away from the flamethrower when it was triggered, so he was perfectly safe. Fairly safe. Well, we have his dental records, so it’s not like we wouldn’t have known it was him.”

Asked about the wisdom of placing military-grade ordnance in a space frequented by humans, mister McKenna was dismissive. “Look, the odds of players actually being reduced to smoking pyjama-wearing corpses is minimal. We want to give the fans the most exciting experience possible. And war is super exciting! Seriously, did you see ‘Saving Private Ryan?’ We want to bring something of the excitement of 1944 to the cricket-watching public.”

"The  visiting team's captain has won the toss and elected to field."

Mister McKenna did however concede that the a review of such features was warranted. “We’ll be looking closely all of our match-enhancing devices as a result of this incident. At this stage we’ll definitely be keeping the square leg minefields; they’re a real crowd-pleaser. Will he catch it? Will he drop it? Will he set off a bouncing betty that’ll take out half the slip cordon? Mortar fire during slow overs is staying too; we want to give bowlers every reason to keep up the pace, and hey, what better incentive than red-hot shrapnel from above, right!? The match committee is split fifty-fifty on some of the minor enhancers; we’ll have to wait until the next meeting to learn the fate of the spiked ball and laser bat. I'm confident though; we want to give the fans the most exciting experience possible.”

When asked if any features were definitely being removed, mister McKenna conceded they were. “We’re definitely getting rid of the pre-match cluster bombing runs on the outfield. Numbers through the turnstiles were a bit off after those two solid hits on the members’ stand last Sunday, so we’re listening to our customers and making the change. The timing wasn't great anyway; with a fair chunk of the air force off livening up local sporting events in Syria it was a bit tricky getting the planes. They navy offered to step in and provide long-range gunfire from the Harbour, but there are safety issues around that. Night matches would mean sailors working longer shifts, and the last thing we want is a fatigue-related manual handling incident.”

"Danger tape that missing barrier, able seaman Smith! Do you want to hurt someone?"

Faced with questions over why cricket was the only sport that needed such gimmicks to draw crowds, Mister McKenna attempted to terminate the interview, but launched into an exasperated rant when pressed. “We want to give fans the most exciting experience possible,” he said. “Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter; cricket’s had to go from week-long test matches in the ‘70s to these two-hour circus acts with all the dignity and style of a monster truck rally. It’s tough trying to get people to pay to see a world-class sporting event in between tweeting a picture of their brunch and posting a dozen #YOLO selfies from the night club toilets. We've already got people leaving well before security starts popping beach balls and capsicum-spraying the Mexican wavers! Getting punters through the gate meant either cutting the game to two overs each and an all-in cage fight, or…yeah, flamethrowers. I think we made the right call; sure, there might be a death or two, but that’s what the twelfth man is for.”

Mister McKenna emphatically denied rumours that wild animals would play a part in the upcoming One Day Internationals, adding that ‘some of the leopards were quite tame.’

I have no idea what this is. I got it when I Googled "Leopard cricket." The Internet's a weird place