The Taliban's said it'll promote cricket if it returns to power in Afghanistan in a reply to a query on its webpage - Zeenews.com
Praise be unto Him, we've been receiving lots of questions from loyal readers, all of whom are very interested in the policies we will implement after the cowardly Nato infidels flee Afghanistan.
We promise to make cricket a top priority, right up there with the burqa, beards and blowing up statues. And rest assured, we mean proper cricket as in test cricket, one-dayers, T-20, etc. I wish to state categorically, in reply to Mullah Omar's query, that bowling grenades to the batsmen will not be permitted. I know our fatwa on the subject has generated a lot of resentment and I agree the proceedings will become rather dull in the absence of grenades, but I can't do anything about it, since the ICC has turned down our request.
No, dear Hafiz Saeed, peace be upon you, we will not call our team the Taliban Tigers, because we wish to shed our aggressive image. Instead, we shall, god willing, refer to them as the Jovial Jihadis, thus enhancing our image as a playful yet pious lot.
Thank you for writing, Ayman al-Zwahiri, but no, a leg break is not what you think it is, more's the pity. And yes, I agree, we need to ban all mention of the fine leg position. Ha,ha, Hakimullah Mesud, that's a good one, it's true we have no shortage of short legs here. No, no, Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki, you must curb your enthusiasm, the captain will not be shot if we lose to infidels, although we may chop off a leg or two.
As a matter of fact, dear Rahul, we were very disappointed we could not play in the recent Asia Cup at Dhaka. We would love to invite the Indian team to play in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, to help them gain confidence after their recent defeats. Sachin, peace be upon him, could score several more centuries to add to his record. See how much we love India.
Thanks for your email, Zubeida. Yes, we will allow women to watch men playing cricket - we are a new, liberal Taliban, don't you know? Of course, the players will not be allowed to wear sexually alluring colours and we shall refer to the balls as 'round objects'. By the way, please inform us who taught you to read and write - we have to take certain steps in this regard.
No, al-Badawi, I'm afraid we cannot allow football to be played. That's because football is a very lewd game - they make passes all the time. Also, we need the goalposts to hang blasphemers. As for the dear reader who wrote asking us about chess, unfortunately it will remain banned, because the Queen in chess has too much power.
Apart from these games, we would like to draw your attention to some of our own home-grown sports, some of which, we hope, will make it to the Olympics. For instance, we have great expertise in stoning. The game is easy to master: bury adulterers up to their chests and then stone them to death, great fun. And I think we can, with a bit of practice, beat Iraq at suicide bombing.
Yes, David Cameron, now that we have started playing cricket, I'm sure we'll soon start having afternoon tea too. But as for your question about blogging - frankly, we prefer flogging.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint
Views expressed by the author are personal