I recently had the opportunity to sit down with the Head of the International Cricket Council, Sir Edward Crowley, to speak about why the ICC had chosen Governor Mitt Romney as its new official mascot.
BDF: Thank you for meeting with me today, Sir Edward.
SEC: My pleasure, Bobby. Pleasure to be here.
BDF: So let’s get right to it. Why has the ICC chosen an American presidential candidate as its new mascot?
SEC: Are you a fan of cricket, Bobby?
BDF: I’m afraid that I haven’t really been keeping up with…
SEC: Do you know the rules of cricket, Bobby?
BDF: I um…I can’t say that I…
SEC: Of course you don’t. Would you like to know why?
BDF: I, uh…ok?
SEC: Because we make them up as we go along.
BDF: I’m sorry, you what?
SEC: Make them up. Right on the spot. Whenever we feel like it.
BDF: Uh, Sir, I don’t know if I can believe…
SEC: Of course you can believe me!
BDF: Why is that?
SEC: Because I’m English, of course!
BDF: I fail to see what that has to do…
SEC: Oh, I’m quite positive there’s a study out there proving some inborn predilection among you Yanks for giving anything more weight if it’s heard in a British accent.
BDF: That sounds plausible…
SEC: Case in point.
BDF: But I still find it very hard to believe that you just make up the sport as you go. I mean, there are millions of diehard cricket fans all across the world.
SEC: Of course there are! That’s because there are millions of people across the world that love nothing better than to sit back and laugh at the Americans.
BDF: What do you mean?
SEC: Well, everyone’s in on it! Except for your country, of course. It would be no fun any other way.
BDF: Please explain.
SEC: We make up these rules on the fly, nod knowingly, pretend it’s all part of the game, and get a good laugh when the Americans scratch their heads and try to figure it out.
BDF: I don’t know, Sir. That sounds pretty unlikely…
SEC: Listen, son, have you ever heard a cricket broadcast?
BDF: I have not.
SEC: Well, it usually goes something like this.
Sir Edward Crowley held up his hands and formed them into the rough shapes of two talking heads.
Right Hand: It’s an absolutely beautiful day here at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Left Hand: Indeed it is, Steven. Indeed it is.
Right Hand: Welcome folks to the series opener between the Australian and Indian National Cricket Teams.
BDF: Sir I don’t see why you have to…
Right Hand: Shush you! You’re interrupting the broadcast!
BDF: Sir, please…
Right Hand: I said shush!
Left Hand: Right then, it looks like it’s going to be a great match. Very excited about this, Steven.
Right Hand: Very excited indeed, Gregory.
Left Hand: And the Indian bowler has just signaled that he is ready. The Australian batsman is also ready. Here comes the bowl. Oh and it’s hit right into the outfield! The two batsmen are now running across the pitch, making sure to ground their bats behind the other’s crease.
Right Hand: That’s two points so far.
Left Hand: Right. Oh what’s this? The batsmen have now stopped in the middle of the pitch. What’s that they’re doing?
Right Hand: It appears they are kissing, Gregory.
Left Hand: Indeed they are. That’s four and a half more points for the Australian Team.
Right Hand: Brilliant play. Absolutely brilliant.
Left Hand: Spot on. Oh, and an Indian outfielder has dropped his trousers. Can you see what’s going on, Steven?
Right Hand: He seems to be defecating directly onto the grass, Gregory.
Left Hand: Ah, yes he is. And it’s turning out to be quite a whopper. How big would you say that one is?
Right Hand: At least one kilo would be my guess.
Left Hand: Gutsy defensive play by the Indians, that’s for sure. That’ll be 13.7 points for India.
Sir Edward Cowley put his hands down and continued the conversation.
SEC: Completely made up.
BDF: Well, I really fail to see what this has to do the Governor Romney…
SEC: Are you daft? Getting him to give you a hard and straight answer is like trying to grab a fistful of water.
BDF: So you’re telling me…
SEC: I’m telling you that he makes up his rules as he goes, changes his mind when he pleases, and confuses the hell out of all the Americans who’ve heard him speak more than once. You couldn’t find a better living, breathing analogue for cricket if you tried. He’s our perfect man!
BDF: And that’s the ICC’s official reasoning?
SEC: As official as it gets.
BDF: I see. Thank you for your time, Sir Crowley.
SEC: Delighted. Thank you, Bobby.
Governor Romney thanked the ICC in his morning press brief, and said he would be honored to serve as its mascot. He later emphatically disavowed any ties to the organization during the afternoon brief.