India v England First Test Report Card, Day Three
Featuring Ollie Pope's idiocy, pigeons and quiet dignity
Ollie Pope’s Idiocy
Ollie Pope, you’re a bloody idiot.
The ICC Papal Rankings aren’t real. It’s just a little wordplay joke I invented because I thought it mildly amusing that you and Lloyd are youthful cricketers who shared a surname with such grandiose, religious overtones.
Lloyd bowled well in a recent Big Bash match - obviously I can’t remember exactly when, or where, or who against, or who he was playing for, or what, exactly, he did - and you’d been out injured for a while, so I simply concocted the comical notion that the ICC might be tracking your relative performances in one of their many ratings systems. The comedy arising, of course, from how it would be absurd to devote such time and mathematical rigour to comparing just two players, one of whom hasn’t even appeared at senior international level, and yet embracing that absurdity as a little satirical jab at the governing body who so often get bogged down in minutiae rather than more important cricket matters.
It’s, on reflection, a great joke from me (punched up by my Ridiculous Ashes co-host, Alex Bowden, who correctly pointed out that ‘Papal Rankings’ is a more official sounding term than ‘Pope Rankings’) and I stand by it as an outstanding work of satirical wordplay founded on a nonsense premise. Really good stuff.
For you to take it so seriously, amassing England’s third, and largest, century of the Test, saddens me. I expect the idiots on social media to angrily misunderstand what, to me, seem very obvious japes. This, after all, is why Tom from MySpace invented social media.
But to have a player - even an England player - misinterpret such a blatant throwaway gag, and respond to the perceived slight of dropping to second in the ICC Papal Rankings, by furiously scoring a magnificent 148*, partnering first with Ben Foakes to give England a lead, and then with Rehan Ahmed to extend that lead into the outskirts of defendability?
It just proves to me that you’re a bloody idiot, Ollie.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say you’re now number one on the ICC Idiotically Misunderstanding Social Media Jokes Rankings. Deal with it, mister.