Bunny: It’s a lovely evening here at the Wankhede stadium, the bookies are chirping in the stands, the money launderers are singing and the home side is batting.
Baja: This is an absolutely critical over, the odds are 3 to 1 we get 15 runs off it.
Bunny: The captain has handed the ball to Master Fixer who is, for some strange reason, wearing a funny hat with feathers. What are you doing?
Baja: Nothing, nothing, just making a call to Dubai.
Bunny: Here comes the first ball, a horrendously lousy one and Tricky Twister lofts it far over the covers, past the betting syndicate seated in the stands into the Compulsive Gamblers pavilion.
Baja: Way to go, Twister. The cheerleaders are going wild.
Bunny: Why is Twister scratching his armpit with his bat? Is that a signal? Slower ball and Tricky sends it shooting straight up, I believe this is what is called the hawala shot.
Baja: Odds on Tricky getting out in the second ball were 2 to 1. But will Slippery Sam catch him?
Bunny: Yes, he does. Tricky trudges glumly to the pavilion, wondering whether he should have asked for more.
Baja: What’s the asking rate, Bunny?
Bunny: About 10 runs an over.
Baja: Not runs, I meant for that really appalling hawala shot.
Bunny: Oh, thirty lakhs would fit the bill, half in dollars. Next man in is Devious Dev, with a distinguished history of throwing away his wicket. How on earth will Master Fixer coax him to get the runs?
Baja: Next ball. It bounces just in front of the bat, begging to be hit for a six. Dev has no option but to oblige, although he manages to limit the damage to a four.
Bunny: Here’s the next ball, with twenty lakhs riding on it. Devious hits it gingerly to fine leg, but it’s Fabulous Fumbler who’s fielding there and he’s not one to miss an opportunity to fumble.
Baja: Devious wanted a run out, but Fumbler didn’t oblige, so that’s another two runs.
Bunny: Dev’s really desperate, he’s banging his head with the bat.
Baja: Next ghastly ball to Dev, who pretends to sweep it and manages to knock down his wicket.
Bunny: That would be forty lakhs.
Baja: Wait, wait, cops have rushed to the field, they’re talking to Devious.
Bunny: They’ve arrested him, they’re marching him off. Wonderful, the chap deserves a bonus. This hit wicket plan goes further back than D-Company.
Baja: Or even Pakistan. I suspect North Korea. Just look at the cheerleaders, they know it’s raining dollars.
Bunny: But the show must go on and it’s old Crusty Trusty who’s going to face the last ball of the over.
Baja: Master Fixer to Crusty Trusty. Faster ball and good old Trusty smashes it way over the top for a six. That’s six plus four plus two plus six, is that more than fifteen, Bunny?
Bunny: It’s eighteen. What are you doing?
Baja: Oh, just calling Dubai.
Bunny: Say, what are the odds on the next over?
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint
Views expressed by the author are personal