My mom has never been a cricket enthusiast. In whatever little cricket that she used to watch on TV, when I was a kid, one thing used to concern her particularly - Cricketers putting their fingers on their tongues to get the saliva and shine the ball. She felt that it was "totally unhygienic" and used to warn me of never trying that when I used to go and play.
I am kind of hoping that she doesn't see this picture in the newspapers or TV.
The latest Shahid Afridi antic is an absolute beauty. My favourite headline is this one from The Age: Afridi bites ball in bizarre twist as Pakistan bites the dust.
Here are some of the terms going around to describe the situation:
1) Shahid Afridi was "having a ball".
2) Shahid Afridi "made a meal" of the entire situation."
3) Shahid Afridi was "biting the cherry".
4) Shahid Afridi has now "bit more than he can chew".
5) Shahid Afridi "has the balls" to say that all teams indulge in ball tampering.
The justifications coming around from Afridi and his board have been impressive to say the least. He is saying all this together:
1) He shouldn't have done this but was just trying to help the bowlers.
2) He was frustrated.
3) All teams tamper with the ball.
4) He will never do it again.
Check out this link which substantiates Points 1 - 4.
5) He has also said that he was just "trying to smell the leather".
Can we reasonably draw the conclusion from this that in the future while all teams will continue to tamper, the Pakistanis in general and Afridi in particular will never tamper with the ball.
So how would the thing actually taste: Geoff Lawson has said it best here in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald: "It would taste shithouse, it's un-hygienic and you just wouldn't do it. If I was trying to get a ball to move I wouldn't do that."
So, while Shoaib Akhtar might have been a hit with the dance reality shows, I fully expect to see Afridi in some cookery shows on TV soon. How about starting off with the Aman Ki Asha people's channel's show - The Foodie, chatting with Kunal Vijayakar and tasting balls of various types.