Brisbane’s local rag, The Courier Mail, a broadsheet newspaper turned tabloid dished out an effusive campaign against the English cricketer Stuart Broad against the backdrop of the Ashes series. It is called the Broad Ban campaign.
The Broad Ban campaign is a lay out strategy adopted by the editorial desk to snub the player by not mentioning his name in the news line and without featuring his photograph. The tabloid acted smart – if Stuart Broad expected vehement gibes and vociferous jeers from the Aussie crowd, he was set for a silent treatment by them. Some players excel when provoked but a man gets a beating on his ego when ignored.
Courier Mail’s campaign jolted at its very first step. Stuart Broad ripped through the Australian batting line up on the first day of first test of the Ashes series. The master brain behind the broad ban strategy fell awestruck. Despite that, the imagination of Aussie journo ran wild and broad.
The next morning, Broad straight up from his bed walked briskly in his boxers to the hotel lounge to catch a glimpse of his colourful picture in the daily along with praises of his previous day heroics. To his utter disappointment he could only spot a silhouette amidst his team mates. It is rumoured that Broad learned it was his silhouette from his girlfriend who was waiting on the other side of his Whatsapp messenger.
Broad’s mother back in the UK moved the court against the Courier Mail. ’27 year old English medium pacer’ phrase with a silhouette was appropriate for an obituary column, his mom inferred. However, she took a little solace from her Indian friend, a mother of two grown up girls when she mentioned it is customary in India for every bachelor/bachelorette to have an age-sex-location profile and a silhouette with free membership on Shaadi.com.
Andrew Flintoff wasted no time to express his rage and advised the tall little boy, Broad to carry the tabloid under his arm with his shirt off to the press conference. Being a shy kid since clobbered by Yuvraj Singh during the T20 World Cup in 2007, Broad decided to heed his senior statesman but with his shirt on. When enquired by the media, Broad said he was following the path of Mr. Arunanchalam Muruganantham who invented the cheapest sanitary napkin for women. Inspired by him, Broad found a cheaper alternative to sweat absorbent pad- which was the tabloid, the Courier Mail.
The Courier Mail has already charged Broad against denigration of their business. At the same time the England team management has filed a case at the International Court of Justice for breach of human rights. The plaintiff claimed Broad was denied the right to be photographed along with the team members. He was also denied the basic right of association and freedom of exposure.
Mean while, David Cameron, the Prime Minster of the United Kingdom, after returning from the Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka demanded an investigation into the issue by an international agency after his similar demand to instigate an investigation against human rights violations in Sri Lanka irked the President of Sri Lanka.
England Cricket Board (ECB) requested the government to behead the masthead of The Courier Mail circulating in the UK. They also vowed to burn the newspaper into Ashes for which the Ashes tournament will be played for in the subsequent years.
Disclaimer: All these stories have been later found ‘Cooked’ up in the English dressing room.