Cricket news from ESPN Cricinfo.com

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

ECB vows to 'unleash hell' on fans drinking non-Buxton water

As part of another raft of measures designed to protect the ECB's commercial partners, Giles Clarke today vowed to 'unleash hell' against all spectators who fail to drink 'at least a litre' of Buxton water while watching England. In his latest attempt to 'defend our hugely vulnerable corporate family to the death', Clarke also announced that fans must drive to England games only in Jaguars and that any supporter found to be using a weight lifting supplement other than Maximuscle to shrink their genitals would be immediately barred from English county grounds for life.

After recently calling pirated internet streams 'the biggest danger' to what he tenderly described as the ECB's 'commercial benefit' - a term used by men in cheap-looking, crumpled suits to mean 'cricket' - Mr Clarke has now broadened the target of his anger away from the mere 5.9999bn people on the planet without access to a Sky Sports internet subscription towards anyone who 'watches or listens to cricket in a way that I don't like.' When it was suggested that the ECB's methods were increasingly anachronistic and out of step with a cricket and media world that demands innovation and flexibility rather than blinkered corporate authoritarianism, Mr Clarke remained bullish about his plans: "I don't just come across these schemes down the back of a sofa, you know. Actually, don't say I said sofa. Put couch. Oh lummy!"

Controversial: The ECB denies its new Jag-only transport policy is pricing out fans

One distraught fan, who has had his tickets for this summer's South Africa ODI at Trent Bridge withdrawn after failing to do his shopping at Asda, agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity. "I know Mr Clarke has a proven record when it comes to choosing commercial partners, but I just needed some milk and a few bits and I've got a Tesco's round the corner. My nearest Asda's twenty minutes away for God's sake, but anyway, the next morning I got an email telling me my tickets would be cancelled because I had breached the terms of sale. I'm gutted to say the least. I've never seen Johan Botha play in the flesh."

Although enforcement of the bottled water plan raises a number of logistical problems, an ECB spokesman stressed that all stewards would be told to be vigilant and, if necessary, trained in the forced attachment of Buxton-filled medical drips to any fan who insists on sticking with Evian or, in the worse case scenario, brings their own tap water. Further flashpoints are also likely to remain, however, with the decree that supporters found to be using a cashpoint other than Lloyds on their way to the ground will have this money confiscated at the gate and their foreheads tattooed with a black horse as a warning to others. Lalit Modi and IMG were both unavailable for comment.

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