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Bangladesh Cricket Tour Turns into Airport Nightmare

WASHINGTON DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, 7:33 pm. Nine hours after landing in the United States, the Bangladesh cricket team remained in a quagmire of passport verification and questioning by border control officers. While opener Tamim Iqbal was the first to clear customs and make his way to an Auntie Anne’s kiosk for a helping of buttered pretzels, his teammates were subject to a barrage of questions comparable to a new-ball spell on an English greentop.

Off spinner Mohammad Mahmudullah’s frustration boiled over from having to reiterate that he was not the Afghan fighter Mohammad Mahmudullah who was released last year from the Guantanamo detention facility. “Like facing four maiden overs in a row,” he grumbled. Aspiring all-arounder Mohammad Nasir Hossain was questioned about the family trip he took last year, which included a visit to the Islamic holy site of Mecca. He was overheard responding to a question, “No, I only prayed. I did not speak to anyone about airplanes or flight lessons!” Pace bowler Mohammad Rubel Hossain was asked to play the full selection of MP3s on his iPod for agents who, with the aid of a FBI translator, sought to verify that he was not smuggling fatwas or secret instructions to a terror cell within the United States. In line at the food court Burger King the former captain, Shakib al Hasan, commented, “When I heard them playing Rubel’s tracks, I actually felt bad for the officers. He can conjure up the occasional magic yorker, but the man hasn’t figured out when to drop the bass.”

Airport officials noted that their security software flagged the passenger manifest of the flight carrying the Bangladesh cricketers. Said Agent Robinson, “Well, of course we were going to look closely at the travelers among this planeload of Mohammads, and that was before we saw them coming down the concourse behind this beard.”

Down with celebrating like an airplane. To clarify: NOT celebrating the airplane going down.

Despite the frustrations, some among the traveling party were able to keep their mood up. U.S. Border Control officer Raul Trujillas noted, “Their batboy worked hard to keep everyone cheerful. Every now and then you’d hear him exclaim, ‘Come on, lads!’ When it was his turn, he answered all of my questions and chirped a quick ‘Thanks!’ as I handed him his passport.”

It’s possible that this textbook example of ethnic profiling could have been avoided had Bangladesh included their token Hindu spinner, Sachin Choudhury, in the touring party.

Due to continued questioning by Homeland Security agents, pace bowler Shafiul Usama bin Caliphate al Islam was not available for comment.


Australia Poised for Double Innings Victory

5 Jan 2012

SYDNEY CRICKET GROUND, Tea on Day 3. Australia skipper Michael Clarke put on a batting clinic to the delight of his home crowd, crossing 300 runs shortly after lunch to put the Aussies firmly in control of this Test match. Michael Hussey joined the runfest with his own century to go alongside Ricky Ponting’s 134 compiled over the first two days. With Australia declaring at 659/4 in response to India’s 191, the question now arises: Can Australia complete the double innings victory?

Before the match, India opener Virender Sehwag offered his thoughts on the attack they’d be facing after India were dispatched in the Boxing Day Test. “We are slow starters in overseas series. Now that we’ve got our feet under us, you will see, the Aussie bowlers are too ordinary to take 30 wickets.” If the Australians can bowl out India on day 4, they could certainly look to surpass their memorable victory on this ground four years ago by bowling out the Indians for a third time on day 5 before their cumulative score reached 659.

Clarke, however was unfazed by Sehwag’s defiant tone. “I spoke to the umpires, who in turn consulted with the MCC back in London. The MCC tells us that if we bowl India out on day 4, we could revolutionize the game if we bundled them out on day 5, too.” News of the MCC’s consent may come as a surprise to those who view ye olde Marylebone as staid keepers of the games traditions. The MCC, however, were astonished that India were losing by even bigger margins than on their latest tour of England, and welcomed the prospect of cricket’s first ever double innings victory.

“The Indian fans were quite incredibly full of it, continuing to blather on about #1 ranking this, Tendulkar that, how Zaheer would own Anderson, et cetera, et cetera,” stated MCC spokeswoman, Blair Smithfield. “We welcome the opportunity for utter humiliation of Test cricket’s most frugal fanbase, even if it’s the evil Australians applying the beatdown,” she concluded.