By Alan Tyers at Marylebone Crown Court
Serial offender County Cricket was once again back in the dock today as a court heard a plea to have its sentence of 16 games a season reduced to 14.
Judge Lord Chief Justice Chief Lord Judge Justice Chief Chief Lord ‘Judgey’ Judge (no relation to Robin Smith) told the court:
“County Cricket is currently doing a 16-game stretch, mostly in solitary confinement apart from visits from the odd pensioner, and the decision facing the court is whether to allow it an early release of 14-games a year.”
The defence argued that the resultant eight days off for good behaviour could allow County Cricket time to rehabilitate itself into wider society via a so-called programme of One-Day Release matches.
However, the judge rejected a plea to have prison conditions of 40 hours hard labour increased to 50 in line with practices worldwide, saying: “Do we really want to be carrying on like they do in India and Rhodesia and Ceylon and all those other frightful places?”
In this unusual case, the jury is made up of dependents of the prisoner, who subsequently face a thorny moral dilemma.
“On the one hand,” said a juror. “It’s nice to be here on jury service, go for some long lunches and get a break from my day job of sitting in the Chief Executive’s office out in the Shires.
“On the other hand, the cakes are better at home and my big leather chair is a lot more restful than this jurors’ bench, so there are certainly two sides to every story.
“I think on the whole I’ll just have a bit of a sleep and wait for somebody to come along with my money.”
With the jury apparently unable to reach any sort of meaningful conclusion, there was nothing left but to allow the prisoner to decide its own fate.
Judge Judge presented the defendant with a stark choice: “Reform for the good of society or carry on doing exactly as you please while other people pick up the tab.”
“It’s a tricky one,” said County Cricket. “I think I’ll probably carry on as before, but it would be nice if we could have another retrial in a few months time to go over the case yet again.”
Lord Chief Lord agreed that it would be best if we all had another review as soon as possible and, after waking up members of the jury, adjourned the proceedings.
By Alan Tyers. Further invented possibilities in CrickiLeaks: The Secret Ashes Diaries, by Tyers and Beach, here