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Hours after the morale shattering defeat handed down by the Indians in the 3rd test, a devastated Australian captain Michael Clarke reportedly went missing, sending a shock wave through the entire cricket fraternity. A day later, Coach Mickey Arthur broke the news officially in a press conference, where he made a snappy Power Point Presentation to members of the media, with photos of Clarke in different places after the match. The last slide showed Clarke sitting in the hotel lobby with a cricket bat, desperation written all over his face. That was the last time anyone saw him.
Unreal Times correspondent, Krishnamachari Stillcant, who calls himself The Batsman, carried out a brave stealth mission and reported on the whereabouts of Clarke after his disappearance. Here is an account of his breathtaking journey exclusively for our readers:
The grim soundtrack of the Batman trilogy plays in the background, as Clarke purposefully walks out of the hotel lobby, the bat still in his hand. He sees a kid playing with a ball on the road. He hands the bat to the kid. “Take it,” he says in a deep rumbling voice.
Awestruck at the gesture by his hero, the boy takes the bat and mumbles, “Thank you”.
“Be careful. They will come looking for me,” growls Clarke.
Clarke strides manfully towards the nearby runway where a cargo plane is waiting for the goods to be loaded. Suddenly a bunch of hooded goons come rushing towards Clarke, and before he can react, a cloth wraps around his face, and his world fades to black. The last thing he remembers is a distinct smell of chloroform.
Clarke struggles to open his eyes, and squints at the sunlight streaming in through the door. It seems early in the morning. He looks around, and finds the surroundings strangely familiar – it is the famous balcony of the Lords, the Mecca of cricket, modified to look like a sacred monastery.
He hears heavy footsteps. He looks up. A rather old looking man with a flowing beard walks towards him. He recognizes him instantly, ”OMG! WG Grace, the father of cricket. But you are dead,” he blurts out
Old man: Only the body is mortal. The legend never dies. I am the Ra’s Al Ghul of cricket.
Clarke: Wow! I never knew you guys have decentralized your organization. Is Liam Neeson your boss? What do you call your organization? This is super cool, mate.
Ra’s Al Ghul: Don’t be a smart ass now, Pup. We call ourselves ‘The Indian Premier League of Shadows”.
Clarke: But why did you bring me here? I was on my way to buy the Samsung S4 so that I could make better PPTs, when your guys attacked me.
Ra’s Al Ghul: You are here for a reason. You will have to do what is necessary to defeat what has become evil.
Clarke: I don’t understand. What has become evil?
Ra’s Al Ghul: The Aussie Cricket team. As the Aussie’s favoured son, you will be ideally placed to strike at the heart of the pathetic cricket you guys are showcasing.
Clarke: What! I can’t do that!
Ra’s Al Ghul: Aussie Cricket’s time has come. Like the West Indian Cricket Team after Lara retired, Indian Cricket after Azharuddin and after they lost to England and Australia, this Aussie cricket team has become a breeding ground of mediocrity and incompetency. It is beyond saving and must be allowed to die. This is the most important function of The Indian Premier League of Shadows.
Clarke: But there still are good cricketers in the team!
Ra’s Al Ghul: No my son. When a forest grows wild, a purging fire is inevitable and natural.
Clarke: But why didn’t you destroy the Indian Cricket after they lost to us?
Ra’s Al Ghul: You want to know the truth?
Clarke: I think I am entitled to.
Ra’s Al Ghul: You can’t handle the truth. I still remember the day when an Indian Cricketer was brought here to fulfill the same task as yours for Indian Cricket.
Clarke: But the Indian team is still the same.
Ra’s Al Ghul: That man was divine. I couldn’t even look into his eyes directly. Such was his aura. I knew this man could single-handedly take India to glory.
Clarke: Who was he?
Ra’s Al Ghul: Sir Ravindra Jadeja.
At the mention of his nemesis, Clarke, in a rabid moment of frustration, takes a bat lying beside him and with tremendous hand-eye coordination and nimble footwork, destroys the entire army of the Indian Premier League of Shadows, except for Ra’s Al Ghul whose unconscious form he leaves with the pitch curator of Lords. Then he walks towards the nearby runway where he finds a private jet waiting. He boards the plane. The man who welcomes him aboard is none other than the Australian Cricket Board chairman, Wally Edwards. Clarke briefs him about the day’s events.
Edwards: So what are you planning to do?
Clarke (looks ahead solemnly as the Batman soundtrack plays again): I cannot revive the team being a man. I will be a symbol. I will carve that symbol on my helmet from now onwards.
Edwards: What kind of symbol?
Clarke (slowly turns to Edwards as the soundtrack reaches a crescendo): A symbol that frightens me. It’s time that my enemies share my fear, Sir Ravindra Jadeja.