This is a work of fiction. Although it may appear closer to reality than fiction for some.
After meeting the Indian team in the dressing room, following the final match of the ICC World Cup in Ahmedabad, the prime minister also summoned several members, one by one. From the video, it seems that Shri Amit Shah, the most benevolent patron of Indian cricket, was asked to act as the gatekeeper but not allowed to speak.
Here are random excerpts of individual audiences:
Rahul Dravid was first on the list.
PM: Rahul bhai. Is there any explanation? I am told you were distracted doing all those ads for some engine oil. That is not your job. Leave such marketing matters to Amitabh bhai.
Dravid: Sir, I am disappointed, too. I must share that in private I had argued very strongly that for the final match you should have been named the coach. Your understanding of tactics and reading the hawa is superb. But I was overruled by the BCCI bosses, citing some ICC rules against involvement of governmental functionaries.
Virat Kohli is next.
PM: Virat. How is Anushka taking the loss? Why did you go so slow? I was expecting a century from you. Had we won, I would have named Ashram Road after you. We have had enough of Gandhi.
Virat: Sir, you have always been a source of inspiration not just for the Indian cricket team but for the entire nation. We had all urged Rahul sir to rope you in as the coach for the final. But I suspect some conspiracy against you. The BCCI bosses were bent on denying us the benefit of your guidance. We all remember the brilliant way you guided the Indian Air Force pilots on how to attack terror infrastructure in POK. By the way, sir, I hope you are being consulted by the Israeli Air Force planners in their campaign against Hamas.
Rohit Sharma, the captain, was next on the list.
PM: Rohit. Before you say what happened, I want to know why you did not invite me to your wedding, just as Virat did.
Rohit: Sir, I am not a celebrity or exhibitionist like Virat. I was not marrying a celebrity. My marriage was my affair, a private one. But, as Rahul sir must have told you, I was very keen to have your guidance in the dressing room. Nobody can read the pitch as you do, whatever the arena. Nobody can out-strategise the rivals as you do. Honestly, sir, I felt the absence of your guidance when Head was refusing to vacate the crease.
Ravindra Jadeja is ushered in:
PM: (In Gujarati) Your wife is our MLA. You are one of us. Please tell me why we lost.
Jadeja: Saheb, it is simple. I think you have enemies hovering around you. The entire team was pleading for your ball-to-ball guidance. But the BCCI brass has its own calculations. I am not sure, but I feel in my bones that somehow the bookies ensured that we did not have your guidance. The nexus between the bookies and the BCCI needs to be investigated.
Mohammed Siraj was ushered in next.
PM: We have given so much space to you people. But I am told that you were less than your best. Why?
Siraj: Sir, what an honour to meet you in person. I am going back to my native place and will tell everyone that I have had a face-to-face meeting with you. Sir, I think the pitch was tinkered with. The BCCI bosses, I believe, were betting on the Australians. [This was] simply to deny you the glory of a World Cup during your leadership. Who knows who is in the chair at the next Cup?
Mohammed Shami comes next.
PM: We put out that shot of me hugging you. Your people should know I am not all that prejudiced. What happened to you? Why only one wicket? Why could you not reproduce the magic of the New Zealand match?
Shammi: Hazoor. I come from a very humble background, like you. I have struggled all my life, like you. But, sir, you had the benefit of being groomed by mentors in a great organisation. Still, I have not lost sight of the goal. I have not been deterred by nasty comments from some quarters. When we play for India, we think only of the nation’s prestige. Before the final, I had told both Rahul sir and Rohit sir that I only wanted two hours of coaching from you, and both of them liked the thought as they believed that only you could guide us to see through Cummins’ game. But both told me that the BCCI bosses vetoed the idea.
Last man to be ushered in was BCCI chief Jay Shah.
PM: (in an angry tone) What am I to do with you – father and son? Against all advice, I allowed you to become the BCCI chief, even though I know you do not know a, b, c of cricket. And, what is this I am hearing – that the bookies dictated the final outcome! I am very tempted to unleash the ED guys to find out. Go away, and have an honest talk with your father. I will have to decide, sooner or later, what to do with you and him. I am just waiting for the assembly election results.
The video fades out….
Atmanirbhar irregularly contributes a column, From the Vishwavguru Archives, and believes that ridicule and humour are central to freedom of speech and expression.