The police investigation of Pakistan cricketers following allegations of spot-fixing – the practice of rigging certain incidents within a match – took another twist today after Shahid Afridi, captain of the Pakistan one-day team, incongruously made reference to every track from Bananarama’s 1988 Greatest Hits album during a post-match interview.
‘It’s been a Cruel Summer, and that’s Really Saying Something,’ Afridi told reporters after his team’s latest loss to England. ‘But I think the media has given us Rough Justice. I Heard a Rumour that we were deliberately trying to lose today’s game after I accidentally ran out our top six batsmen, but let me say for the record that I Can’t Help It. They were all genuine mix-ups, though I’m sure some of the guys would have run a bit faster if they’d known how much was riding on it.’
Suspicions were also aroused about Pakistan’s performance after they picked the previously unknown Nathan Jones to open the batting. ‘Nathan is in the team on merit and thanks to his Pakistani step-uncle,’ said Afridi. ‘He brings something different to the squad, and I don’t just mean sun cream – I mean Love, Truth and Honesty. Yes, I can see how his unorthodox style of running away from the bowlers might have raised a few eyebrows, but T’aint What You Do (It’s The Way That You Do It).’
When asked if Nathan Jones would be picked for the next game, Afridi said he was ‘less likely to say to him I Want You Back, and more likely to Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.’ The press conference ended shortly afterwards when the Pakistan captain told surprised journalists that he had to cut things short because Robert De Niro’s Waiting.
As if things could not get worse for the game of cricket, later the same day the entire Radio 4 Test Match Special commentary team was arrested on suspicion of spot-fixing. Police say they recorded 38 mentions of cake during the morning session alone, and in what they can only assume to be a complex code to underground bookmakers, noted Henry Blofeld making extraneous references to a No.27 bus going down the Marylebone Road in the third, eighth and tenth overs of each innings.