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Tainted Pakistan Test cricketer Danish Kaneria, who has been slapped a life ban by the English Cricket Board for involvement in match-fixing, met President Pratibha Patil yesterday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan to seek a pardon for his crimes.
During the meeting, which lasted for close to half an hour, over excellent kebabs deftly prepared by the first lady herself, Kaneria appealed to the President to take over the reins of the International Cricket Council post her presidential term and commute his life-ban.
The move comes in the wake of President Patil going on a mercy overdrive in her last days at office, commuting close to 35 sentences. However, Danish was most impressed and moved that one of the beneficiaries of President Patil’s mercy had actually passed away 5 years ago.
The leg spinner, who is yet to come to terms with the shock of being banned for life, addressed the Indian media, saying, “What has happened to me is very unfair. Yaar, I’m feeling so bad when people call me Banish Kaneria! It is all a conspiracy to get rid of me! I thank Mamata didi for sympathizing with me in this regard!”.
When asked about the details of his rendezvous with the first lady, Kaneria said, “Who said Indians don’t have large hearts? Look at the President! Shahid bhai, aap sun rahe ho kya? When I read that Her Excellency is granting mercy to everyone alive as well as dead, I knew that this was God’s way of answering my prayers! I earnestly pleaded with Pratibha tai to become the ICC president, so that she can suspend my life ban with immediate effect!”
When asked about the President’s reaction, Kaneria said, “I told her that she can become the ICC’s first woman president, by advocating the causes of equality of women, betterment of women’s cricket etc. You know, the same hogwash and mumbo-jumbo that propelled her to the office of the President of India! Plus, being the ICC president gives her the option of traveling to all cricketing venues around the world, right from Barbados to Christchurch, and perhaps even grabbing some of them! Why will she refuse yaar?”
Kaneria was however left disappointed, as sources from the Rashtrapati Bhavan announced that the president has been “deeply pained” by media reports of her clemency drive and that she is not likely to grant mercy to anyone in future.
The mainstream media, however, seemed to have different agendas to focus on, with CNN-IBN deputy editor Sagarika Ghose tweeting, “Danish Kaneria banned for life! No outrage here? Where are you all, Internet Hindu militant trolls!? (sic).”
The PCB however feels the time has come for the Pakistan Government to pass an ordinance granting immunity against prosecution to all Pakistani cricketers so that they won’t keep getting arrested and banned.
(Reported by special correspondent, Ashwin S Kumar)