PCB hand Twitter a life ban
KARACHI - The PCB has announced drastic measures in response to Wahab Riaz's "incessant and outrageous" messaging on Twitter, initiating legal proceedings against the social networking giant.
As of April 26, Riaz, regarded by many to be Pakistan's best fast-bowling prospect since Shoaib Akhtar, had racked up a grand total of 64 "tweets", apparently contravening his contract with the PCB.
The relevant part of the players' contract reads as follows: "While on tour, players agree to refrain from all forms of contact with fans, family, and Kamran Akmal."
"Don't they even know we have contracts with the players?" said an incredulous Ijaz Butt. "Websites such as Twitter should be banned for facilitating our players to flagrantly disregard their contracts - though I have to admit, this Charlie Sheen guy is pretty zany."
In coming to his decision, Butt scrutinised @WahabViki's tweets, which included:
Gud mornin ! its cloudy here . it shud rain bcoz i love takin shower in rain"This tweet was deeply offensive, as it put the thought of a semi-clothed man in my head," Butt said.
its time for my shake ! milk , bananaa . choclate ice cream n kitkat ! yummyyyyy . let me drink my shake first :P"This tweet was viewed as a thinly veiled insult to the board, as it showed a total lack of care towards the dietary requirements for players. Besides, a Kit Kat milkshake just sounds wrong... I'm more of a papaya and lemongrass smoothie man myself."
Privately Butt was said to initially be "confused" and "infuriated" by the foreign concept of allowing fans an innocent insight into players' lives. However, according to sources, he soon had a change of heart, cottoning on to the idea and set up two dummy accounts, @ZulqyMakesStuffUp and @KamranAkmal4PakWK.
"Wahab Riaz's account was brought to our attention when we received a tearful phone call from Shoaib Malik, after he saw Wahab's messages to his wife, Sania Mirza-Malik," said team manager Intikhab Alam.
Malik was believed to have been "shaken to the core" at two nondescript messages in which Riaz dared to refer to Mrs Mirza-Malik as "bhabhi" (sister-in-law), and attempted to engage in casual small talk.
"We know he [Malik] is insecure, and we've been kinda mean to him before, so we decided to just give him this one," added Alam.
In trademark fashion, Butt ended his diatribe with: "Having reached the conclusion that Twitter is a conspiracy to defraud Pakistan cricket, I henceforth recommend a life ban for the owners of Twitter, all members of Twitter, and compensation to the order of $100 million... OBO."
In a related incident, batsman Asad Shafiq was found to have posted regularly on his Facebook profile, recently mentioning that he was "lonely" and "bored" during the tour of the West Indies.
However, Pakistan coach Waqar Younis was ambivalent towards Shafiq's offences. "We are not so interested in punishing Facebook - The Social Network was a work of pure genius. If there's anything that movie taught me, it's to never mess with Mark Zuckerberg," said an approving Waqar. "Oh, and that Justin Timberlake is an impressively versatile actor."
On the possibility of banning Facebook for players, Ijaz Butt was once again dismissive: "Well, we can't ban Facebook - after all, Zulqy [Haider] needs some rope to hang himself with."
Nishant Joshi is a medical student. When not taking patient histories, he is editor of The Alternative Cricket Almanack 2011. He blogs hereand tweets here. The quotes and "facts" in this piece are all made up, but you already knew that, didn't you?