Professor of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, Noam Chomsky, has declared an interest in playing for Australia in Test matches.
Speaking to Jeremy Paxman on newsnight about the effect of Comic book films on Middle Eastern financial policies, Chomsky suggested he’d consider playing Test Cricket for Australia if asked. After breaking his own record for the most words said on university campuses in one calendar year, Chomsky said he needed new challenges, “I have often thought that if a rational Fascist dictatorship were to exist, then it would choose Cricket Australia”.
Test Cricket is an odd choice for an 83 year old American professor. Chomsky, rumoured to be a leg spinner, was introduced to the Australian Team through Julian Assange’s bootleg video of Mark Waugh’s last innings 116 at Port Elizabeth.
“In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, Test Cricket is more than just an ideal to be valued – it may be essential to survival” said Chomksy.
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland was excited to hear of the news. “We’ve been worried about the marketing of Test Cricket for a while now. Reality TV fans have T20, drunkards have ODI cricket, but the intellectual elite who love Test Cricket have often been overlooked, we think that Noam could provide a bit of excitement to the game”.
Asked whether it was a stunt, or whether Chomsky was qualified to play for Australia, Sutherland replied, “he’s not going to play every Test, perhaps not even every day of a Test, but in terms of exposure for our game, just his name mentioned alongside Test Cricket or the Boxing Day Test could provide us with a big boost internationally. I should add that in terms of his qualification, I am sure the ICC would allow us a one off exception for Noam, for the good of the game.” Sutherland suggested that Chomksy would probably be paid outside the Contract system.
While Cricket Australia were excited about the potential news, others like Ian Chappell were against it. “Look, Chomsky may have a hundred books to his name, he’s not a Test Cricketer. We shouldn’t be going down this path. Frankly, with Eddie Cowan already there, Australia don’t need another late blooming writer in their side. This bloke’s never played a shield game. It’s ridiculous”.
Brad Hodge called the decision a “horrendous publicity stunt” and called Manufacturing Consent (one of Chomsky’s books) a “ghastly attempt at assigning blame on the hard working men and women of America’s media”.
Neil Harvey was unavailable for comment.
When pushed on why Chomksy had picked Test cricket, he was non committal, but did say
“We shouldn’t be looking for heroes, we should be looking for good ideas”.
Australia play Sri Lanka in the boxing day Test this year. It’s the first time these two teams have come together for this Test since 1996 when Murali was called for chucking. Reporting on that match for the Adelaide Advertiser, Naomi Klein was moved to say “What haunts me is not exactly the absence of literal space so much as a deep craving for metaphorical space”.