News that dastardly gambling syndicates have possibly been nobbling international cricket matches came as a shock to some. Not for me, however – using my phone scanner I have been listening to these super-criminals hatch their cunning plans for years. Here's one I recorded some time back.
"Yeah, hello, it's Little Mo from Lahore, how you doing, bro?"
"Doing good, bro, I thank you."
"Cool. Listen, we need to come to an agreement about what might or might not be occurring in your big game this Sunday."
"What... the Test match?"
"Shhhhhhhh, bro... people might be listening... just keep it random... you get me?"
"Yes... sorry... so this Sunday, what do you need?"
"I need you to... step over the line... in the third of the fifth."
"Sorry, bro... the what?"
"The third of the fifth, bro."
"You mean overs?"
"Keep it random, bro... da Blofelds are listening..."
"Sure... sorry. bro. but I'm really not sure what it is you're asking me. When you say step over the line... are you meaning... like the boundary line?"
"No, bro... I mean when you be slingin' da object towards da wood."
"Holy intifada, bro, are you fick or what?"
"Sorry, but you're really not being that clear, bro, and I don't want to get the wrong thing. I heard what happened to A in Sydney... that wasn't pretty, bro.'"
"Listen, I believe him falling off the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge was a terrible accident, bro... but he did do silly stuff... you get me?"
"What did he actually do, bro?"
"As I said, bro, I can't be too specific, but let's just say he misunderstood certain instructions and ended up losing some of our friends a lot of greenery..."
"Holy swimwear, batsman... do I have to spell everything out, bro? Spondoolee, turtlebacks, bread... cabbage... whatever, bro, you get me?"
"It doesn't matter – all you need to do is step over that line on the third of the fifth."
"Right... just so we're clear, you're talking about a yes-ball, right?"
"The opposite bro."
"I know... I was using code. Even if da Blofelds are listening they'd need an Enigmatic machine to crack it, bro."
"Enigma machine, bro... it was an Enigma machine."
"I know, bro, I was using code again..."
Oh... right... so we're clear, right? A yes-ball in the third of the fifth."
"Right... my fifth... or the game fifth?"
"Do you want me to jump da line in the third of my fifth or the fifth... thing we're talking about... of the innings?"
"No, bro... the third one of your fifth thing we're talking about."
"Sorry, bro, but what if I'm put on by the big man for three things and then taken off and then he puts me back on a bit later? When I'm back on later – does my second thing count as the fifth or do I start again?"
"It's just the fifth thing whether or not the big man has kept you on or taken you off."
"Right... thanks, bro. Sorry, just one more thing because I really want to get this right, bro, and not let you down. Let's just say that I come on for three things, then go off for a bit, then come back on, do one more thing and then at the start of my second thing, which is actually my fifth, I do a wide thing by accident."
"Sorry, what the hell are you talking about, brother?"
"Well... if you follow my argument, bro – I've thrown a wide thing on, say the second thing of the fifth thing right... that means that the white Dickie Bird is going to add an extra thing to the fifth thing..."
"And, bro, that means, is my third thing actually still the third thing or one more?"
"I think I get you, bro... that is actually a good point that I have not considered... I think the answer is just to make sure that the first two things are kosher and not wide things or stuff. Keep it legal, bro, you're a professional."
"I'll do my best, bro. I won't let you down."
"That's good, that's good."
"How are things otherwise, bro? Family good and stuff?"
"Yes thank you, bro, all good. You're a good man, bro, let me give you a little tip straight from the mule's mouth – make yourself a little spending material."
"That would be wicked bro."
"Right... you got a pen?"
"When you run on to the grass on Sunday – maybe you could take a tumble on the steps of the big tea-house."
"Sorry, bro, the big tea-house?"
"The vermilion, bro."
"Forget it, bro, stick to the original plan – don't let me down."
"No worries, bro... laters..."