Friday, 11 September 2015

Column 31, 2015 – The Future

Printed in The Cricket Paper, issue 134, Friday September 11, 2015.
[Full text below]

This is my last column for The Cricket Paper, at least for a while. So this seems an appropriate time to peer into the crystal ball, and have a look into the future of cricket, to see how it all turns out.

2017 South Africa hit 500 in an ODI. New Zealand chase it with four balls to spare.

2019 The World Cup in England is investigated under the Trade Descriptions Act, and ordered to re-name itself the FEENIO Cup [Former Empire Elite Nations Invitation Only]

2022 Akira Sharma becomes the first woman to play men’s international cricket. The tiny 17-year-old makes a hundred on debut against men twice her size and age.

2027 In his last game in an England shirt, Ben Stokes scores the first quadruple century on day one of a Test match.

2031 N Srinivasan and Giles Clarke demand an $80bn ransom from the ICC for something called ‘The Spirit of Cricket’. The organisation initially shrugs it off, as no one there has the faintest notion of what it could possibly be. No one that is, except the janitor, who has a vague nagging memory from his childhood. He becomes chairman, and injects joy back into the game. Clarke and Srini are banished to Napoleon’s exile island of St Helena in the south Atlantic, and forced to give the $80bn to kids’ cricket in developing nations. Everyone lives happily ever after.

2037 The full-body ‘nerve suit’ becomes commercially available, allowing the wearer to completely experience the physical sensations of others. Marketed as a sex toy, it is soon subverted by ingenious hackers and used to resurrect Michael Vaughan’s cover drive for everyone to experience as if they’d hit it themselves. A software engineer fined £1m and jailed for a month says it’s “a small price to pay”.

2044 Sir Joe Root fills fellow pundit Gary Ballance’s shoes with mayonnaise live on air for the 12th consecutive season, and is finally rewarded with a knighthood for Services to Practical Jokes.

2052 After the successful colonisation of the moon, cricket is struck off as a Star Fleet Approved pastime when Jamaican astronaut Christopher Gayle the Third breaks the glass ceiling on the life support dome and becomes the first person to literally hit a six into orbit.

2069 I play my last game for Damerham CC, aged 101, declaring: “I can’t complain, I’ve had a pretty good knock.” Needing just four runs to achieve a lifelong career average in double figures, I am run out without facing with an average of 9.94.

2077 Bicentenary Ashes Series. England beat Australia 5-0 in Australia. Again.

2091 The Cricket World Cup is held in New Argentina, contested by 247 of the world’s 292 recognised countries, a team of expats from Mars, and a delegation of visiting Nnncrulians. The time-dilation technique used in ‘Relativity Tests’ allows each nation to simultaneously compete in a five-Test series. Finland beat China by eight wickets in the final. Some things never change.

- ends 496 words -

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