In an effort to make the "gentleman's game" a bit more manly, the England and Wales Cricket Board have voted in favour of major alterations to the way the game is played.
Following consultation with players and officials alike, the most radical of all the changes is the requirement for all players to finish the game with a breathalyser score greater than 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. Only the umpire is permitted to stay sober. Should a player register a lower reading, he will be punished by having to walk home rather than travel on the team bus. Other changes include:
- The decision to replace Tea with Closing Time. Cheese and cucumber sandwiches will also have the crusts left on and players will be required to change into their slippers before entering the pavilion
- Play will no longer be stopped because of rain or streaking. In the case of rain, the bowler is required to deliver yorkers; in the case of streaking, the ball is to be delivered at full toss
- Scoring remains more or less the same, however, with the only alteration being the award of eight runs should the ball knock a pint out of someone's hand in the crowd. Play will then be required to temporarily stop in order for the batsman to buy the fan another drink out of his own pocket. Should a batsman be caught in the crowd, they shall be deemed as out by the umpire.
Fans and players alike appear to have welcomed the move towards a more eventful game. England ace Freddie Flintoff is reported to have said that the proposals will "make an already great day on the lash even better". Commentators have also lent their support. Michael Holding has said that "it will make a traditionally boring game quite interesting". Some journalist have suggested the rule changes be applied to international cricket but one England fan thinks they would have little effect: "it won't make an ounce of difference to the way England have played recently; they might as well be pissed anyway."