In a display of the most sumptuous timing since they batted in their prime, Kevin Pietersen and AB De Villiers took to 'X' days before two of the most enthralling Test Matches of all time. Their discussion, however, was about the shortest format of the game. At least, I hope it was.
Pietersen suggested that a six should be worth 12 runs if it goes more than 100 meters. He reckons we can expect that to happen shortly.
AB countered that 12 is a little steep, and it should rather be worth… you know what, fill your boots:
AB doesn’t want the randoms in the com-box thumbsucking a 6, a 12, or a 24. He’d rather they make the tough calls inside the ropes. And it was here that two found common ground. This made me wonder why these two don’t have a dedicated platform to pontificate upon cricket’s future; a channel where they can plot the big decisions – before taking over the on-field ones.
If I’m Supersport’s show runner (call me), I’d be pitching the AB/KP show, where for an hour every week, these two legends of the game sit around the campfire just blessing us with all they’ve got.
We open on AB strumming his guitar while KP bounces from Flying Fish to Brutal Fruit, making small talk about rhinos.
AB, having heard it all before, begins to strum an unmistakeable series of chords. But instead of launching into song, he spares us. In the biggest surprise yet, KP takes the singing duties, showing off a voice of near impossible beauty:
“Yesterday…” he begins. “This was such an easy game to play… now the world wants me to hide away. Oh I believe in yesterday”.
AB, seemingly nonplussed by this angel of song, feels compelled to interject:
“Boet, to heck with yesterday. We’re creating tomorrow!”.
Scolded back into line, KP sets about fixing Test Cricket:
“I’d like to see them change the scoring slightly. So, a six becomes a birdie. A wicket is a 2 stroke penalty. Three straight dot balls and you’re banned for life. Also, batsmen can decide if they’re out or not. Golf’s good like that. It’s an honour system”.
“I’m better than you at golf. Always have been. No way you’re a 3 handicap” bites Mr. 360, going off-script.
“I play off a 2, buddy. Anyway, I play by my rules. Not golf’s rules. That’s why T20 is so popular. I changed the game. I did. Me.”
But Kevin looks surprisingly forlorn for a man who has just realized he’s responsible for an entire sport. And not just any sport. The greatest sport.
“Back in my day, I could hit a cricket ball a quarter mile. I could hit it over those mountains”.
Once they start on the brandewyn, things go downhill fast. AB says Test Cricket is doomed unless they can install a fun-o-meter at every ground. The batting team should be awarded a score that equals the strike rate mutliplied by the crowd decimal level, minus the reading on the light meter. KP demands that he be directly involved in every decision moving forward. A bit of scuffle ensues, and AB cracks his new Montblanc watch.
“Took me 4 retweets to earn that”.
KP apologizes sincerely, and offers a startling admission:
"The truth is buddy, I just miss playing and want to remain relevant. It’s all part of a difficult process of letting go. Part of accepting my flaws, understanding my ego, and admitting that I want to be loved. Don't you want to be loved?"
But in a riveting end to the episode, AB's response says it all:
“Do you know how much I've made from my new AI NFT’s?”
Perhaps in Episode 2 of It's Just Not Cricket, this retired superstar will embark on a journey of self-reflection and endear himself to the people once more. Stay tuned.