What the Giant Rat of Sumatra has in common with the Cricket Scam of Sri Lanka

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Shivaji Dasgupta
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Kolkata: Sherlock Holmes in 'The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire' insisted that the world was not ready to learn about the Giant Rat of Sumatra. For the same reasons possibly why the Cricket Scam of Sri Lanka must be withheld from civilisation at large.

By now, you must have realised that the latter is do with persistent cricketing scheduling during the amply predictable monsoons. Which leads to phenomenal losses for small businesses, losing millions due to the washout. This includes restaurants, cloud kitchens and allied entities. Not to mention the agony for the common fans, denied an evening of endearing escapism comparable only to Shah Rukh's Jawan. Setting up such experiences for failure is truthfully a sadistic act.

Perhaps it is about building awareness for global wetting, the perfect vaccine for the fiery act of global warming. Sporting tussles being terminated by incessant rainfall surely act as a poignant reminder, of a compelling global necessity. An act of camouflaged valour, which will one day earn the Asian Cricket Council a peace prize or two, noble or otherwise. 

Or possibly, it is a conspiracy by some sinister powers, Ian Fleming's Ernst Stavro Blofeld making a telling comeback. Wherein an entire ecosystem is held hostage for a reason that the world must never know. Which may well be damaging the intensity of the power performers, so that the contests recede in intensity and the spectators are put off. Transferring their attention to addictive crafts like online gaming, resulting in unimaginable profits for many if not all. 

Another logical candidate is a mammoth peace initiative, concocted by friendly powers. Who wishes, above all else, the cessation of Indo-Pak hostilities, the surrogate avenue of Cricket being the first field of play? If the teams simply do not play they will engage in samosas, hoppers and bonhomie in the dressing room and the evidence as such is abundant. That is why the games must be rained out.

Rahul Gandhi and the opposition concerto cannot be ruled out in the villainy stakes. Every time the Indian Cricket team wins, it can easily be witnessed as vindication of Amrit Kaal, debilitating to the larger 2024 cause. Therefore agents of subterfuge are placed carefully in the Cricket Boards of the region, such that the occasion is not allowed to arise. If India does not win then I.N.D.I.A. wins, or some such complicated logic.

One must also consider the candidature of the brands and advertising agencies for the scheduling fiasco. Perhaps they have creative execution teams on standby, at the Ministry of Crab in the Dutch Hospital Complex, waiting eagerly to capture the stars for a supplementary brand shoot. The client teams also hang out sincerely, hoping to complete the campaign schedules, that too on genuinely foreign shores.

The cash-flush Gulf powers must be eliminated as a concerted provocation. Saudi Arabia is gearing sincerely to match their soccer prowess in Cricket, by building a league and infrastructure that will surpass the finest, quite like NEOM. So every time the weather in these poorer climes plays truant, the case for a Middle Eastern theatre becomes deeply sealed, with heat preferable to rain. At least from the larger viewing perspective, which anyway drives the agenda.

Maybe, the villainy is not so complicated after all, it comes pretty much from within. The staff and crew of the physical rehab centres in Bangalore and elsewhere are in cahoots with the players themselves. Hosting matches in Sri Lanka during the abundant monsoons can possibly be a voluminous win-win. Everybody makes money while nobody has to play and thus limited chances of injury. This can well be termed as the Bumrah Hypothesis in posterity, inspired equally by Sir Humphrey Appleby of Yes Minister and Noel Coward. 'They also play who sit and wait', the calibrated anthem for rain-marred matches. 

In sum though, the Sri Lanka cricketing escapades during the indulgent monsoons are nothing short of a well crafted scam. It is rather incredible how a well-orchestrated business entity, in the coating of a sporting body, fails on such basic kindergarten pointers. Blaming it on helplessness or misfortune must be naive, as the truth sincerely resides elsewhere. Relative old-timers will recall a Champions Trophy tourney rendered winner-less due to such climactic disturbances. 

If Sherlock Holmes had been assigned this case, the reference to the incredible rodent would have been rather spontaneous. Though in this case, the perpetrators must be identified and expelled to Cherapunji, without raincoats or umbrellas. The rain in Sri Lanka falls mainly in September and in spite of knowing we desist from acting.

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