So Hampshire have been docked 2 points for next year's 20/20 competition after preparing a pitch for the Somerset game that nearly killed two of our batsmen. Thankfully, we were not condemned to a tirade of abuse that accompaines every mash-up of the Wembley surface - Athers said it wasn't fit for county cricket, a couple of other people said it was a terrible wicket, the umpires submitted their report and the ECB handed out a punishment that was accepted by Hampshire Cricket. This sequence of events, however, would have played out slightly differently if the E in ECB was changed to a P:
- The umpires would have called an early end to the match, with the players and officials being lead off the pitch by security whilst being bombarded with objects from the crowd.
- Discontent would spill onto the streets of Southampton, as many thousands of angry people would display their anger by trying to set fire to clumps of soil.
- A High Court investigation would follow, with the umpires flown to a different part of the country, then flown back again just so that the media could say that the umpires were flown in to give evidence. A late-night break-in of the groundsman's house would be carried out by MI5, seizing 'evidence' such as 4 copies of 'Gardeners' World' magazine, a lawnmower from his shed and a few potted plants.
- The heavy roller at the Rose Bowl would deny all knowledge of the wicket in question, however a shaky video would then be released as an 'exclusive' to the news channels showing a late night, unofficial meeting between the pitch, the heavy roller and the groundsman. The heavy roller would then hold an emotional press conference admitting to its involvement in the scandal, saying that it felt used by the groundsman, and that it was threatened with being replaced by a shiny new one if it did not comply in the pitch preparation. Accusations of taking money would be flatly denied.
- The court case would rumble on for about 4 months, as various groundsmen from around the country, officials at Hampshire, players, unpires, tv crews and the Somerset 12th man would give evidence in relation to the pitch.
- Hampshire captain Dominic Cork would suddenly retire from all levels of the game and move to the south of Spain straight after. After the 4 months, the High Court would rule in favour of the umpires, deeming the Rose Bowl wicket to be unsafe for all levels of cricket, claiming it to be a danger to the game in general. Neil McKenzie would be handed a 16 month ban for getting an 8 ball duck, whilst Hampshire Cricket would be deducted 20 points for each of the following 10 seasons for their involvement. The Hampshire Groundsman would be handed a life sentence, but would go into hiding ala Imran Khan at the first site of government officials. The heavy roller involved in the debacle would be sentenced to the scrap heap, whilst Nic Pothas, Sean Ervine, Michael Lumb and Abdul Razzaq would each receive twelve month bans. Marcus Trescothick would receive an 8 month ban. Jimmy Adams, the only batsman to play with ease on the pitch, would receive a six month ban. Each player would be fined £20,000 for their involvement too.
- 3 months after the ruling, the head groundsman would come out of hiding and be installed as head groundsman at The Oval, Cork would come out of retirement, return from Spain and take up the captaincy again. The heavy roller would be put back together again, whilst the bans on all of the players except Neil McKenzie would be lifted. All fines would be reduced to £5 each for administration fees, whilst the umpires would be elevated to the ICC Elite Panel. The punishment handed out to Hampshire cricket would be reduced from 20 points for the next 10 seasons to a 2 point deduction for next season only.
If this was Pakistan, and the PCB oversaw the this incident, we'd get the same eventual punishment. It would take 7 months, but we'd get it.
It will be okay
3 months ago