Epitome of larrikin patriotism Ricky Ponting put Country before IPL and summarily booked himself a Companion of the Order of Australia medallion. This was the precise the provocation behind putting together a list of seven other cricketers who put something before some other thing in recent past.
Sample what comes first for whom.
1. Mohd ‘Yo-Yo’ Yousuf: Put Christianity before Islam, Islam before Christianity, ICL before Pakistan, IPL before ICL, ICL before IPL, Pakistan before ICL…to be continued.
2. Brad ‘Machiavelli’ Haddin: Put gloves before stumps.
3. Michael ‘Love-struck’ Clarke: Pre-vice captaincy, put ailing father-in-law before team; post-vice captaincy, put team before marriage. Pup skipped IPL I to be with ailing Pop-in-Law and now cricket commitment puts his marriage with Lara Bingle on hold.
4. Allen ‘Fraud’ Stanford: Put himself before law. Now he comes first, followed by Vijay Singh, Michael Owen, Kevin Pietersen, ECB, WICB and FBI sleuthhounds.
5. Bryce ‘Sleepy’ McGain: Put a sound sleep before a cricket tour and missed the flight to South Africa. What else you expected from someone who knew Australia had sleepless nights ahead?
6. Andrew ‘Fredalo’ Flintoff: Uncannily, he too preferred a nap before a tour and almost missed England’s flight to the Windies. Doosra is told it was part of his preparation for the tour. The nocturnal booze cruise in the Caribbeans to be precise.
7. Mitchell ‘Cupid’ Johnson: Put girl friend before Queensland. ‘Midge’ dumped Queensland and moved to Western Australia to be with his lady love Jessica Bratich. Jessica being the national karate champion, it’s not known whether Midge did it under duress.
(P.S. Doosra takes a nine-day break, solely because it's my last chance to dissuade my parents from completely disowning their unworthy son. So friends, Roman and countrymen, make the most of my absence, enjoy every nano-second of it before I return and hit back with vengeance. See you all. Happy blogging)