Ways you never knew an on-field cricketer can signal a bookie


INDIA DISCARD pacer Shantakumaran Sreesanth allegedly used a towel. Left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan reportedly rotated his watch around his wrist. Offie Ajit Chandila forgot to flash the code.

Sreesanth and Chavan might have copied the codes from the spot-fixers of IPL5, or they might have been innovative. But it’s unlikely that the spot-fixers of IPL7 or matches of any other T20 and ODI tournaments would be naive enough to repeat the towel trick or the wristwatch signal.

Here’s a list of copyrighted codes an aspiring spot-fixer can use only if he pays a 2% – I am not greedy, see – cut.

The yucky codes
~ Pick your nose, roll the gooey mucus between your thumb and forefinger/middle finger until it turns into a rubbery pellet. Then…
•…let the rolled nose-goo pellet fall with the rustling of fingers to signal an upcoming no-ball
•…flick the pellet like a carom shot to signal an upcoming wide
•…put the pellet in your mouth to signal an upcoming long hop to be hit for a six
~ Spit on our palm and lick the saliva back into your digestive system. This is to differentiate you from other cricketers who keep spitting on the field at random despite being paid enough to bring a spittoon along.
~ Slide your hand inside your pants down the crack of your derriere to finger your anus, extract the hand and sniff that finger – once, twice, thrice for different signals.
~ Pick a fellow cricketer’s nose, spit on his palm and finger his anus for similar or modified signals.
~ Untie your shoe – right or left according to plan – lift the leg up while bending to sniff it. Smile as the smell hits you because grimacing will be all too apparent.

The ugly codes
~ Stick your tongue out and let it hang like a dog panting for a bone
~ Stick your tongue out, flicker it, draw it in and continue the process like a snake sniffing a prey
~ Tug at the seams of your underwear as if it is a size too small; pulling from the crotch side can mean one code and pulling from the crack side another (caution: don’t try the Tendulkar style of adjusting scrotum contents; it falls in the intellectual property rights category)
~ Scratch your butt crack over the pyjama as many times as it takes to send the message across
~ Lift a leg like a dog about to pee on a shrub or the wheel of the SUV (Ferrari, if you can get the tax waived) the over you are about to throw will fetch you
~ Giving the up-yours gesture (this might be mistaken for the sniffing-the-anus-caressed-finger code, and may entail getting angry with someone)
~ Mock-shag; nothing like a bit of make believe khudkhushi when your career could be on khudkushi mode

The sexy codes
~ Deposit a dildo with any of the two umpires at the start of play, retrieve it at the opportune moment and slip it inside your pyjama to pretend you have a hard-on
~ If the umpire refuses to accept the dildo, wear a seemingly inconspicuous cap made of malleable material, take it off at opportune moment, mould it into a dildo-like thing and slip inside your pyjama to pretend you have a hard-on
~ Give the come-hither look with half-pouting your lower lip with your teeth pressing the other half
~ Hug an imaginary lover and engage her/him in a lip-lock
~ Do the humping/mounting act on an imaginary paramour; this is not difficult, just make the Dwayne Bravo midriff jhatka one-dimensional like a series of pelvic thrusts

The dancing codes
~ Gangnam style. Everybody does it after taking a wicket; do it before starting an over or before lobbing a hat-trick of catches to the same fielder or before recording a hat-trick of dropping those catches
~ Bhagwan style with usage as above (okay, you know it as the Amitabh Bachchan style but hey even IPL is not original, inspired as it is by ICL)
~ Bhangra style with usage as above (choose between pointing the index finger of both hands skyward or pointing the middle finger, an artistic variation of the up-yours code)
~ Dandia style with usage as above (statutory warning: this might make you uproot the stumps and invite trouble)
~ Bihu style with usage as above (easy, almost like the Dwayne Bravo jig with both hands on back just above the derriere)
~ Nataraja mudra with usage as above (this guarantees expertise in open-the-shoe-and-sniff-the-sock code)
~ Chakka style with typical clapping and chanting of ‘hai hai’

The spiritual codes
~ Sit in asana and do pranayam before taking strike or starting an over (this ensures the blessings of Baba Ramdev)
~ Pretend to seek dua with both palms facing skyward or be on your knees to kiss the ground like Pakistanis do before taking strike or starting an over (this ensures a post-cricket career from Bhai in Dubai)
~ Kneel as if near an altar and make the cross sign before taking strike or starting an over (this is for the sake of secularism)

The gear codes
~ Wear your gooti – that’s eastern Indian slang for balls – guard over your pyjama (come on, if Superman can wear his underwear outside, so can you a protective gear)
~ Before bowling the over, seek a pair of gloves and offer to the non-striker; good if he doesn’t, better if umpire takes them
~ Before taking strike, seek a new ball to offer to bowler; good if he doesn’t, better if umpire takes it
~ Replace one of your pads – the one for the back foot, preferably – with an iPad (the bowler’s not aiming for your legs, anyway, and taking instructions from bookie on-field conveys your transparency)

The dumb codes
~ Before starting over, fish out your mobile phone and call your girlfriend
~ Tap umpire’s shoulder/hat/backside as you start measuring your run-up
~ Hop like Javed Miandad did imitating Kiran More
~ Pull your pyjama down to flash ‘This is it’ embroidered on back of your brief/underwear
~ Take from umpire a pair of scissors – the one that he uses to snip threads off the seam of a ball – and cut off the sleeves of your T-shirt

Finally, towel code
~ Chuck the small circular thing; use a towel as marker for your run-up

(If you have more ideas, do send them in for the benefit of my new team BPL Bashers. This is an employment generation scheme for a set of 22 players from below-poverty level, with or without capability to bat, bowl or field. Each will be given enough opportunity to make at least Rs 25lakh – TDS for the team management will apply for anything beyond Rs 50lakh – and set up his own business or use the money as bribe for government job. BPL Bashers will have new players for every season, ensuring financial uplift for as many as possible. So help the poor, help cricket, help India hit poverty for a six.)

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About rahconteur

A mid-career journalist who's worked horizontally across India - from Arunachal Pradesh to Gujarat
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