Blackcaps star opener Martin Guptill has announced his immediate retirement from all forms of cricket, citing that it was better to get out now before he crumbled under the immense weight of expectation in Tuesday’s semi-final show down against South Africa.
“Well you saw what all that pressure did to Brendon McCullum didn’t you? He was on fire leading into the World Cup and now, after that blinder against England, he’s playing like shit and people are calling on him to be dropped,” said Guptill. “Why on earth would I want to sink back to that low?”
Guptill’s retirement leaves a big hole in the Blackcaps batting line up, with his recent efforts having papered over the fact that no other batsman in the squad is currently in form.
“Look, it’s an issue and we’re aware of it,” said Blackcaps’ coach Mike Hesson, “but the reality is that despite the hype, there’s little chance of us beating South Africa tomorrow, so as a team we’re pretty relaxed about it and are looking forward to crashing back to earth.”
“As a nation, we need to be honest about this, we’ve always known when the big knockout games came about we’d be in for a hiding, so we’re better to just accept that fate now rather than keeping on fooling ourselves.”
While many expected Guptill’s sudden departure would see the return of exiled opener Jessie Ryder, Hesson confirmed that wouldn’t be the case, and that taking the field with only 10 players would shorten the amount of time that South Africa would be able to humiliate the Blackcaps for.
Shortly after setting the internet alight with a spectacular one-handed, sliding catch at the recent Otago Volts vs Wellington Firebirds Georgie Pie Super Smash match, spectator Andrew McCulloch has been handed a Blackcaps contract and called into the squad for the second test in the United Arab Emirates against Pakistan as the team tries to address their general inability to play cricket.
“The move just makes sense,” said Blackcaps’ coach Mike Hesson from Dubai this morning. “The kid clearly has more talent and a better skill set than the entire New Zealand cricket team put together, so we basically had to sign him before Ireland did.”
Blackcaps’ skipper Brendon McCullum was equally as enthusiastic about the signing, “Yeah, we try and motivate our guys to play decently by paying them $5000 a day and look what we get? That this kid, who wasn’t being paid at all, could achieve what our team – with all its coaches, practice sessions and supposed talent – couldn’t manage, must mean he’s pretty special.
For his part, McCulloch hasn’t been overwhelmed by his meteoric rise to stardom. “All I was trying to do was impress my girlfriend,” he said in an exclusive interview, “so I just reacted and made the catch. I guess it’s just the basic kind of skills you’d think most cricketers would possess, but Hesson assured me that it wasn’t, so I took up the offer.
“Admittedly, given the way the rest of the Blackcaps are playing, I’m just hoping that I don’t get dragged down to their poor standards, as the girlfriend won’t be quite as impressed then,” added McCulloch.
Following scoring his record breaking batting exploits over the past few days, Blackcap’s skipper Brendon McCullum has revealed that scoring his triple-century also had the added benefit of removing the bloodstains left on his clothes following his backstabbing of former captain Ross Taylor.
“I’d tried everything,” McCullum told reporters in the Blackcap’s changing room after the match, “Napisan, Friend Oxy-Action, baking soda – even spitting on the stains – but none of them worked. I still had several large splatters of blood over my uniform from where Ross Taylor’s blood sprayed on me as I twisted, then removed the knife from his back.
“However as soon as I came back into the changing rooms after being dismissed for 302, all the stains were gone – as if by magic,” McCullum said. “It’s really quite remarkable. At first I didn’t believe it, but as I rummaged through my kit bag and checked my clothes, all the blood stains were gone. I’m pretty sure not even CSI Miami could find traces of my treachery now.”
Blackcap’s coach Mike Hesson expressed his relief for his captain.
“You can’t imagine my relief when Brendon told me that the final piece of evidence relating to the crime was gone. We all know that blood is even harder than red wine to remove from fabrics so we always knew it’d take something special to dissolve the sheer quantities of Taylor’s blood involved,” Hesson said.
“I’m obviously extremely happy that Brendon can now join me in enjoying a guilt free existence after the events of that night. After all, there’s absolutely no evidence linking me to rumours that I was the guy who hid behind Ross Taylor’s hotel curtains with the chloroform.”
Blackcap’s captain Brendon McCullum has apologised to the New Zealand public for falsely raising their expectations about how well the Blackcaps could actually play, following the side’s humiliating defeat in Hamilton at the hands of a West Indian team missing at least six of its top 11 players.
“I feel the team owes the people of New Zealand a heartfelt apology,” McCullum said in a Radio Sport interview. “After winning the test series and Corey Anderson’s record breaking century in Queenstown, we realise now that we were really giving our fans a false perception of how good of a team we are. We’re not that good, as a collective unit we’re one of the worst teams in world cricket right now. Clearly, given how comprehensively the down and out West Indians beat us in Hamilton the other day, we’re still a pretty shit collection of players.
“Aside from me that is,” McCullum added quickly.
McCullum went on to suggest that the team would be looking hard at the individual performance of players leading into the Twenty 20 series against the tourists.
“We’ll be doing some fairly in-depth analysis on the team to figure out who’s letting us down,” McCullum said of the review. “Obviously we’ll be looking at how we can place as much blame as possible on Ross Taylor and avoiding any discussion of my own batting performances. We’ll also ask why Jessie Ryder and Corey Anderson couldn’t save us again and probably dump Luke Ronchi without giving him much of a chance to establish himself.”
When pushed on why the review won’t target him personally, McCullum was quick to defend himself.
“Look, I’ve already scored a test century this summer, what more do you want from me? We all know that’ll guarantee my place in the squad for at least the next two seasons regardless of whether I fail to do anything else of note.”
Brendon McCullum, who fled home early from the team’s disastrous tour of Bangladesh citing a convenient back injury, has announced he’s made a miraculous recovery from the ailment and will return for the Blackcaps, so long as they “demonstrate they’re actually able to keep beating the West Indies,” otherwise “I’ll be gone faster than you can say ‘wants to protect his reputation as an international cricket superstar’.”
Speaking ahead of the first test in Dunedin this morning, Brendon McCullum said he hadn’t really been surprised at the speed of his recovery given that “the West Indies are struggling to find 11 players to field, so we should absolutely smash them,” and that this series would be “too good of an opportunity to improve my batting averages and strike rate to where they rightfully belong.”
“They’re a pretty weak side,” McCullum said of the West Indies, “and without Chris Gayle there’s not really going to be anyone else who can show me up in the batting department, so it’ll be good to have the focus back on how talented I am and how privileged you all are to be watching me once more.”
McCullum’s return came with a warning though, “If the lads start losing games against these easy-beat West Indies, this old back of mine could just play up at any minute and I’ll be gone faster than you can say ‘wants to protect his reputation as an international cricket superstar’.”
Blackcap’s coach Mike Hesson appeared equally excited by his sidekick’s return, “It’ll be great to have McCullum back in the side,” Hesson said during the team’s warm up, “For one, it’ll stop Ross Taylor’s incessant whining about wanting to be captain again while Brendon was away, while Kyle Mills can go back to focusing on scoffing on pies, given he wasn’t focusing much on being a decent captain.”
For their part, the West Indies were more focused on finding 11 fit players to take the field this morning, with coach Ottis Gibson putting the call out for people with passports from any of the West Indies member states currently residing in New Zealand to make themselves known to team management.
Less than a week after being reappointed to the New Zealand Cricket Board, former test cricket Martin Snedden has already started to deliver on his promise to repair the organisation’s battered image.
In his first press conference since rejoining the Board, Snedden said he had been quick to act on the top priority areas that he’d identified for turning around things at the sport’s governing body. “In our first Board meeting I made several significant executive decision,” Snedden said. “First of all, when they served us up Oreo cookies with our morning tea I ordered the caterers to take it all away and only return when they had gone out and bought us some good, Kiwi dunking biscuits, like Anzacs, Afghans or Tiny Teddies.
“Then, at lunch, they served up those hideous asparagus rolls that nobody eats at funerals,” Snedden continued. “I made them leave a few for Sir Richard (Hadlee) as they seemed to be the only thing his fragile teeth could chew, but then I forced them to replace the rest with some New Wave sausage rolls from the local Countdown.”
Defending his focus on the standard of New Zealand Cricket’s catering, Snedden pointed out that “us Board members are like athletes. If you put rubbish fuel in, you’ll get rubbish results out.”
Snedden went on to elaborate on several other important culture changes he’d already managed to implement at the Board including, “Making sure no one refers to Stephen Fleming as ‘Fujitsu Guy’ and stopping Martin Crowe from trying to get current players to appear in ad campaigns for hair replacement treatments.”
However the high power Board member conceded that there was still plenty of work to be done at the organisation, “Next on my list is getting Sir Richard to stop trying to sell us BNZ bank accounts as he doesn’t seem to have noticed that we’ve changed sponsoring banks twice since then” and that “at some point we might think about trying to address the poor performance of coach Mike Hesson once he stops sending us mean texts.”
When asked whether Snedden had any plans for trying to improve the number of children playing cricket, he replied no, but that “we can always pick up the rejects Australia doesn’t want if no one here wants to play.”
New Zealand Cricket is today celebrating 58 days of the Blackcaps being unbeaten. In an upbeat email to NZ Cricket staff today, Chairman Chris Moller saluted the extraordinary effort put in by the players, coaches and NZ Cricket’s own staff in achieving the milestone.
“Going 58 days unbeaten in cricket is something virtually unheard of,” Moller said in the email. “It’s the type of achievement that all New Zealanders can take an enormous amount of pride in. Our Blackcaps are among the world’s top sportspeople and going unbeaten for so long is something we all need to celebrate.”
Moller added, “It’s also important to note that over this period their international batting and bowling averages haven’t changed, again being representative of the consistency and high standards our organisation holds itself too.”
The Chairman was also full of praise for the national coach, Mike Hesson, of who he said, “Mike Hesson, in particular, has been instrumental in ensuring that the Blackcaps have remained undefeated for those 58 days.”
When the email, which was leaked to Radio Sport, was replied to by journalists who noted that the Blackcaps haven’t played any international cricket since losing to England on 25 June, Chris Moller was quick to fire back saying, “Fuck you. No one likes a smart ass.” A few minutes later another email was received from NZ Cricket’s Chairman reading, “Sorry about that previous email, Hesson was watching me type. Send help quickly.”