And on a great island sat James. For he was the head, the chief. And this James coveted the riches of the kingdom of BCCI.
For James’s kingdom had once been rich in heroes. Jeff, with his slingshot thunderbolts, and the menacing Dennis had smote many in the field of battle. Shane the Wily had paired with Glenn the Metronome and they were led by the Steve of Ice. These modern greats had built upon the legends of older knights. Allan the Ugly, who had rebuilt the kingdom lost by Kim the Weeper with steel from his own sword. And Allan did thus restore the kingdom to the glory of the days of Keith and Ray and Richie, the greatest of them all, Donald, and a host of others. For the kingdom was once rich beyond compare.
But James was troubled. Revenues were falling. The kingdom of BCCI had imposed a new tax called IPL on all cricket heros except those from Pakistan. Only England had resisted, sending few of their heroes and summarily recalling the errant, Kevin the SwitchHit. And the IPL was condemned on all sides but it remained and prospered.
And James planned and plotted. He raised his own tax to rival the IPL. But the BCCI sneered and the BBL was expanded and still the BCCI did spurn it. And the BBL bloated and and gave forth no heroes. But James was pleased for 31% of BBL spectators were first-time visitors to an evening of entertainment. And James pronounced that Test cricket was the pinnacle.
And so it came about that a goat was placed in charge of a bunch of lambs. This goat, Mickey, a foreigner, was charged with creating a new army. And of the lambs there was one who was the head lamb and he was called Michael. And this Michael did dream of glory.
And with surgical precision did Michael remove all cancers from the army. Simon was slain even as he slept. Ricky was old and his bat would obey his body not. A pension for him and Ricky smote no more. Adam, the Keeper of the Catch, retired and Glenn’s metronome was laid to rest.
And Michael did scour the land for lambs that would answer his call and his call only. And seeing this did Mike the Cricket slip away. He called upon James and announced he would fight no more for personal reasons.
And Michael did find Warner the Swish and paired him with Cowan the Obedient. He did recall Hughes the Flasher from school and Michael did pray that Hughes had learnt his lessons.
But of all the cancers removed, one remained, and this one was at the head, the untrusty lieutenant to Michael himself, Shane the Front Foot. And Michael did plan many ways to remove the cancer but failed. And so did the army lose at home, first the Ashes then to the International Chokers. But victory at home against a toothless and aged India did much to raise happiness and paper the cracks.
And Shane the Front Foot was moved up and down and sideways and Michael did think to loosen his limpet grasp. But the cancer would not go. And Michael the head lamb did plot with Mickey the Goat to cause Homework and so bring the cancer under control. But Michael himself was smitten with Back and Shane the Front Foot led instead.
And so the lambs did get slaughtered by the many cuts of Ravi the Offie and Ravi the Lefty. And thus did the army of lambs reach upon the runway at Heathrow.
And lo, even before the battle commenced, Warner the Swish, mistaking a bar for the field and night for day did swish at Root. And missed again.
And Shane the Front Foot did tattle and so Warner was banished from the land. And the media did howl and James called Mickey the Goat and told him to escape without further ado. And Mickey did present a bill for $4 million.
And Michael was left bereft of his favorite child and yet the cancer stayed.
And Michael did shuffle the batting order, again and again, till the watchers’ head spun. Of spinning soldiers he was given thirteen and none were trusted. And his bowlers toil both at bat and ball. And so it remains to this day.
And James sits still at the head. Michael’s lambs have appeared twice in battle against the old enemy in England and have been vanquished twice, with Michael losing yet another favorite son, Cowan the Obedient. And Hughes the Flasher does survive by the merest thread.
But Michael takes heart for the mediachemotherapy together with Shane the Front Foot’s own front foot finally threatens to remove the cancer for ever.