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Satire: Cricket Australia to insist on IELTS scores for team selection

CRICKET-AUS-SRI

After Shane Watson’s axing, future cricketers will be judged on grammatical skills as well.

Carrying on with the disciplinary action that the Australian team management has taken against 4 key squad members for not handing in their essays in time, Cricket Australia has gone a step further in ensuring that such a situation does not arise in the future.

Speaking to the press, Wally Edwards, Chairman of Cricket Australia said, “It has indeed been a grave few days for Australian cricket. It has shed light not only on the Australian cricketers’ below par cricketing skills but also their less than ideal language skills. We, at Cricket Australia, take tremendous pride in our professionalism and hence the players in question were dropped.

“We firmly believe in being proactive rather than just reactive. Hence, we decided to have a spot test – and by that we do not mean a measles check up – for domestic cricketers. I am in a unique position of sharing the results with you. However much I do not want to, professional etiquette demands that I do.

“Out of the 350 players who were administered the test, 70% ended up in the bracket of scores which can be compared with the batting average of Xavier Doherty, 25% in the bracket of scores which resemble the batting average of Courtney Walsh. Only 4% hovered around a reputable score similar to the strike rate of Geoffrey Boycott, and the remaining 1% scores could safely be compared to his mum’s batting prowess.

“So as you see, the situation is most grave and is in urgent need of correction. Hence, we have decided to make sure that the problem is corrected at the grassroots level. We have decided to make it mandatory for players coming into domestic cricket to submit their International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores to their respective state cricket associations. If, and only if, these are found to be satisfactory, will the players be allowed to be eligible for selection. We will, of course, be paying particular interest to the writing section of the test. We might be open to considering TOEFL scores but that’s the extent of our leniency.

When contacted, a member of the committee – on the condition of anonymity – told us that the decision by Cricket Australia was fuelled by some of the responses received on the test. He said, “I mean, it was quite unreal! There was, for instance, a question on tenses – what is the past tense of Test? To which an answer was ‘Ha! Test is the past. T20 #FTW!’. Another response to the same question was ‘Watson. He is now history! #lulz”

He continued, “This was not an isolated question. We had a small writing section where the respondents were asked to write 5 sentences beginning with ‘I.’ We received responses such as ‘I’m loving it’ and ‘ICC.’ ICC? Really? And, ‘I’m loving it?’ For heaven’s sake, at least make a mention of KFC. They do support the Big Bash, after all. We were extremely appalled and hence the drastic decision.

Naturally, this decision has not gone down well with the players. Said Callum Ferguson, who has been on the fringes of the national team for a while now, “This is just going beyond being ridiculous. First, they want us to learn how to play spin and now this? I mean, it’s tough enough being technically perfect but being grammatically so as well? I wouldn’t say that there is a mutiny growing and that I may or may not be a part of it. I can only say that since Watson is returning, there is perhaps a slot free and I am doing by best to get through the test. I dare say that one of my answers would’ve left no room for doubt as to who ought to replace Watson.

When quizzed on what that particular answer was, Ferguson coyly said, “All I can say is that the question involved making a presentation and my reply had the words ‘post-match’ and Ravi Shastri…’ I think I’ve said too much already.”

Disclaimer: This article is a satire and the quotes are fictional.

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