The Springboks have decided to cut their loses and have quit the World Cup after realising that having lost to Japan, there was no point in the side continuing to play any more games.
“Even if we win now, it’s very pointless for us to remain, as this will always be the World Cup where we lost to Japan,” said Springbok’s coach Heyneke Meyer.
“We could go on and win the entire World Cup, but everyone knows Japan will be the true champions having beaten us in the first game,” he continued.
“So to save ourselves further embarrassment, the team has collectively decided that we shall be leaving England immediately to return to the Republic, where we will embark on a national apology tour and beg the nation for forgiveness.”
Asked for their reaction to South Africa’s decision to depart the World Cup, a Japanese spokesperson could not be woken from their hangover to provide comment.
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.
Thousands of New Zealanders reported awaking in a state of utter confusion this morning as they realised that the cricket and rugby seasons are poised to overlap with the Blackcap’s season opener in Mt Maunganui occurring before the domestic rugby season has concluded.
Chief among the victims of this mass epidemic of confusion was Sky Sports rugby and cricket commentator Ian Smith.
“I have no idea which cliches to use in my commentary,” Smith told Radio Sport’s Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast. “I’m meant to be calling today’s Blackcaps match, but all I’m thinking about is how my beloved Hawkes Bay Magpies are going to do in the ITM Cup Championship.”
Other sports fans also phoned into the show reporting symptoms such as being unable to decide whether to wear a Blackcaps or an All Blacks top while mowing the lawns this weekend, or if it’s okay to start talking about cricket with work colleagues who might also be dealing with the season overlap.
“It’s a well established scientific fact that sports fans can only handle one sporting obsession at a time,” Sports Scientist Mike Doherty said. “So having such a significant overlap in the seasons of sporting codes creates an existential crisis for many sports fans out there. Do they stay supporting their rugby team and risk missing out on the early action of the cricket season, or do they start following the Blackcaps and risk being ostracised by their friends when they didn’t watch the weekend’s rugby matches?
“There’s no easy answer. Suffice to say, if you find a sports fan laying prone on the floor and unable to function, simply cover them with a blanket, make sure they’re comfortable, and wait until December when the rugby season finally finishes.”
In a tacit acknowledgement of his ability to terrify batsmen into early international retirement with his aggressive bowling, the ICC has announced that those facing the prospect of being on the receiving end of a Mitchell Johnson delivery will now be given the option by the umpire to end their international career on the spot before Johnson bowls at them.
The decision comes on the back of South African Captain Graeme Smith announcing his international retirement after facing a barrage of body shattering deliveries from the West Australian paceman where he acknowledged that he’d prefer to not play cricket again “rather than face that lethal bastard again.”
The International Cricket Council made the decision in light of the psychological impact Mitchell Johnson was having on opponents over this summer, including breaking the body of former CNN broadcaster and inventor of phone hacking Piers Morgan.
“We took a look at what was happening and we simply didn’t think it was fair that Mitchell Johnson be allowed to continually ruin the reputations of otherwise quality players,” David Richardson, CEO of the ICC said. “As a result, any player who is about to face a delivery from Mitchell Johnson can now indicate to the on-field umpires that he would like to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect by placing his bat on the ground across the crease. The player can then leave the field of play without any further alteration or penalty to their batting statistics on CricInfo.”
The new instant retirement law will come into play at the conclusion of the current test series between South Africa and Australia.
The ICC also clarified that the new Mitchell Law, as it’s already becoming known, won’t apply to India, who instead have had the ICC rule that Mitchell Johnson is banned from playing in any match against India or a team featuring Indian players.
“It is clearly against the reverent like manner in which we expect all teams to conduct themselves towards India to allow a player as talented and driven as Johnson to expose the inability of our Indian heroes to play against outright pace,” said N Srinivasan, President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
French rugby referee Romain Poite red carded all of the All Blacks and Springbok’s players in the highly anticipated test at Eden Park over the weekend and declared himself the winner of the Rugby Championship test, announcing that it was in revenge for the French losing 8 – 7 in the 2011 World Cup final.
Poite, who incorrectly issued a yellow card against Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis during the first half of the match for a legitimate tackle that will see All Black’s play-maker Dan Carter out for six weeks, went on in the second half to progressively send off every player from each side at the match for increasingly irrelevant reasons. Stand-in All Black’s skipper Kieran Read was sent off in the 61st minute for “inappropriate facial hair,” while hooker Dane Coles was red carded as he was subbed off the field in the 52nd minute for “not wearing socks that come up to the knees”.
The Springboks weren’t spared from the ref’s card issuing either. Following du Plessis’ departure, Morne Steyn was red carded for “playing club rugby for the wrong French club side,” while Springbok captain Jean de Villiers was dispatched from the field for a “dangerous tackle back in 2012.”
Following the conclusion of the match, which finished early due to their no longer being any players on the field by the 77th minute, Poite refused to make any post-match interviews, instead trying to red card the film crew and Jeff Wilson off Eden Park. When that failed, Poite produced a note-pad and took down their names, vowing that IRB CEO Brett Gosper would deal to them later.
For his part, Brett Gosper has defended the actions of Poite, pointing out that, “anything that means my beloved Wallabies might salvage something resembling a result out of this Rugby Championship has to be a good thing.”