The third Test match between India and England began at Mohali today. And for a long time during the first session of the day, the big news was that of KL Rahul being replaced by Karun Nair. But then reports began to emerge, via the usual route of social media, that Virat Kohli could possibly have been using saliva created from the chewing of a toothpick to shine the ball.
A fan watching the telecast posted a television grab of the Indian skipper chewing on a toothpick in the third over of the day. The ever vigilant ICC picked up on the social media post, held an emergency meeting at an undisclosed location in the Middle East and subsequently released a statement while making it clear that an investigation into the matter had begun.
Here are excerpts from the statement:
"The ICC has taken stock of reports emerging from the loyal guardians of the sport in the Indian sub-continent. It is quite evident from the screen-grab that the Indian captain Virat Kohli is indeed chewing on what appears to be a common toothpick during the onging third Test match between India and England at Mohali.
What is unclear however is if the saliva created from the chewing of this toothpick was used to shine the ball. The ICC is also reviewing the possibility of the toothpick being made from a medicinal plant - in which case there could be a scientific probability of the ball gaining unreal capability to swing or spin. The ICC is well aware of India's ancient ayurvedic medicinal capabilities and wants to leave no stone unturned in it’s investigation.
The ICC has therefore, requested a copy of the entire footage of the first day's play at Mohali and will be reviewing every visual involving the Indian skipper's on-field action."
Fans might recall that former Pakistani players and officials had called for member countries to unite in an appeal to the ICC requesting it to not provide preferential treatment to India.
The ICC, through its swift actions today, looks to be sending a very clear statement that the Indian cricketers and the BCCI will not be let off.
Attempts from reporters to obtain comments from Virat Kohli were futile as the Indian team left the stadium premises in a hurry after having completed their post-match engagements. The gatekeeper at Mohali said that the driver of the India team bus accelerated like a “tracer bullet.”
Meanwhile, former England skipper Mike Atherton - now on the television commentary panel- declined to comment on the topic as his only previous brush with ball tampering was with sawdust and not a toothpick.
It was also reported that the media then reached out to the Patanjali Organisation to ascertain the powers that saliva might possess when generated from the chewing of neem or any other herbal twig.
A spokesperson for the Patanjali Organisation stated that while sufficient research had gone into the production of their latest toothpaste brand, no concrete research findings were present in the area of herbs for sports application. That said, the spokesperson did not rule out the fact that chewing on neem and other herbal twigs are indeed good for oral hygiene as has been proven by several television commercials that display elderly men cracking dry fruits open after using toothpaste containing ayurvedic residue.
The next few days are bound to be interesting as the ICC is set to release more statements from its investigation.
Note: If you haven't already figured that the above news is fake, we hereby confirm that it is indeed fake. We certainly do not intend to hurt the sentiments of any player, commentator, organisation or governing body mentioned in the aforementioned post. The statements made are to be viewed in jest and not to be taken literally.
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