John, the Indian who sent me a note early in the tour, delivered a note under my door yesterday. I was out with The Prof tasting curries in Chippendale so the fluffy dog Thea bought picked it up, slobbered all over it and then sat on it. I dried it out in the pool on my return.
The note contained the Indian team awards. Don’t ask me how John got hold of them, but apparently they let any person who passed for a journalist or Indian into the awards ceremony. Mark Nicholas tried to get in but the entrance was barred by a pack of bull terriers and black-faced Scotsman shedding a longing tear and tartan edge for Anushka and the other Indian WAGS. Virat’s men like a big crowd.
The note said George Clooney was the MC. He told a few jokes about North Korea and China that no one understood, then produced a baseball bat and a bucket of autographed new balls and proceeded to smack them into the crowd. He said he finds it quaint that people can get excited about an exclusive 5 day game for gentlemen played mostly in former colonies of Great Britain.
This got everyone’s attention. A few splashes of red curry hit the stage backlighting George and the shapely row of Air India girls behind him. He said he had never been to Khartoum but it and Little India were on his bucket list. More spooned curry hit the stage. It was about to rain, so he revealed his new scent stained t-shirt ‘Je suis George’ with all the panache of a Spanish bullfighter and tossed fistfuls into the crowd. A lot of crystal hit the floor. The Air India girls swallowed George whole when Virat drew his finger across his throat in silent execution.
Ravi Shastri took over to introduce Sunil Gavaskar, an Indian legend, to announce the awards.
The Batting Awards
The Times of India Prime Minister’s Award for Sledging: to Virat Kohli for getting up the nose of the Australian team very quickly in Adelaide and staying there like a boogie with an ice pick.
The Moonstone Word and Delhi Grandmothers Large Print Book Club Award for the best send-off: Varun Aarun, for bravely sending-off Dave Warner after spreading his sticks on a no ball. Great ball. Bloody unlucky. [Ed. I’m not sure Sunny got this one right, but hey who cares]
The Mumbai Curry-Makers Award for long unrewarded stays at the crease: Murali Vijay for that 99 that opened the floodgates to collapse and defeat in Adelaide and for the most 6’s in the series
The Mahaviracharya Algebra Award for the Best No3 of the Test Series: Cheteshwa Pujara with a series average of 33 narrowly displacing Hollywood Watson who averaged 29. George Clooney was very enthusiastic, even more so than the bull terriers pulling at his anklets. Pujara himself was enthusiastic. He hates bull terriers as much as he is bemused by the Hollywood A-list
The 1849 Indian Mutiny Award: Ajinkja Rahane for doing his bit to hold out a pack of Australian cattle dogs for one of two draws in Sydney in the last 20 years and for generally making a nuisance of himself while batting
The Nirasha Daughter Award: Sikhar Dharwan and Rohit Sharma for playing to expectations and disappointing 1.8Bn Indians and everyone else who wanted India to win the series. Cries of unfair, unfair rattled the conference room. The canny Scotsmen said it was unfair to include unborn puppies from New Zealand in the count.
The Quotable Quotes and Hyderabad Speech Therapists Award: Ravi Ashwin for his quote “A bowler will always be a mirage and a batsman will always be water” paying homage to the batting princes of this series
The Bowlers Awards
The Mahatma Ghandi Award for persistence: The Indian bowling attack who managed to take 10 Australian wickets twice in four tests, encourage 5 declarations and collapse 4 times and still draw two games and unluckily lose the first test in Adelaide
The Gallipoli ANZAC Award: The young firebrand Varun Aaron for continuing to charge in and bowl under fire. Varun received a garland from Sunil and a red rose from Mahi, who know how hard it is to place a field to a fast bowler who sprays more than an old man in a trough.
The Rheem Hot Water Award: Ishant Shower for looking like he wanted to take more wickets than he did. The chant began again I shan’t shower, I shan’t shower. IS has his supporters
The Bishan Bedi Idolatry Award: Ravi Ashwin for being the only true spinner in either side, good enough to out Puff Warner in the first over of Australia’s second innings on day 4 in Sydney when the pitch was still playing like a road.
The Anil Kumble Seamers Award: “We have gone into this theory of three seamers and one spinner the moment we sit on an aircraft which travels more than seven hours” I take pity on Umesh Yadav who took as many wickets as the Australian quicks but went for another 200 runs.
The Fielders Awards
The Hyderabad Sewer Cleaners Award: to the slips cordon who dropped more than they caught and know how to celebrate when one sticks in their mits.
The room was getting restless. The night was still young and the Bollywood music was humming away in the background. Everyone wanted to party. Sunny took the microphone again for the last award
The Indira Ghandi Captain’s Captain Award: to MS Dhoni, for an outstanding career placing fields least calculated to put pressure on batsmen or on bowlers to slam them down the ‘corridor of uncertainty’ or the ‘leviathan of lethargy’ or the ‘avenue of arachnophobia. He said it was a problem. He didn’t know how to remove the batting tail cosmetically. MSD took the stage for a standing ovation and the Indian national anthem.
Sunny and MSD invited Virat onto the stage to receive a special award. The Bollywood music let loose and sparklers whirled through the air. Anushka kissed him from behind. Then the spotlight focused on Sunny as he produced half of the Border-Gavaskar trophy. “It was the best I could do” Sunny said, producing the chain saw he used to cut it with
“We won” Virat yelled. “We won.”