WCup SMS would make for a great crime story

2015-04-22 00:00

AGATHA Christie is still seen as the queen of crime novelists, some of her tales turned into intriguing movies and television series with the ­mercurial detective Hercule Poirot getting to the bottom of any misdemeanours.

It’s a pity the great dame is not here in this day and age to wield her pen, or perhaps iPad, in what would be a best-selling story of intrigue, lies, contradiction and of course great mystery. Dear Poirot would be hard pressed, close to depression, perhaps even ending his life for fear of failure for once, as he tackles the baffling case of the mysterious SMS.

Yes, it would be a fascinating read. The peaceful Poirot mingling with the politicians and cricket bosses of our dear land as he plots to uncover the mysteries surrounding the supposed phantom SMS that was sent to the Proteas on the eve of their World Cup semi-final clash against New Zealand last month.

That we lost is a crime in itself, but there is more dirt hidden under the clothes, towels and kit in the changeroom,. It’s dirt that Poirot would be smacking with anticipation in getting his hands on, wanting to know exactly what, where and how it has caused so much scandal and denial.

His search would be narrowed down to two prime suspects — our Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, and Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat. At this stage, he would hesitate to call them honourable as they would surely only earn such a title and such respect once proven innocent. And that is where our detective must delve into all past experience, tapping into all his reserves to arrive at one of his unchallenged conclusions.

It may sound a formality dealing with only two suspects. From the outside, it’s a simple case of one must be guilty and the other innocent. That’s far too easy. Work must be done, paperwork of course and meetings scheduled, the two essential ingredients in solving any headline issues at the southern tip of Africa.

Proof, a small word that requires massive effort, sometimes a lifetime of commitment, is the vital ingredient in tying up criminal activity and at this rate, Poirot would do well to visit Home Affairs and apply for the longest extended visa available, such will be his time spent on this riddle.

What will he have to work with? Well, the usual accusations that started the whole debacle, followed by the vehement denials, contradictory statements and so-called poor media reports that have “tarnished” the gentlemen’s game of cricket. Also the fact that the alleged SMS and subsequent team selection appears to be some spirit from hell that descended over the Proteas camp at the most inopportune time, affecting all and sundry into making decisions they were never aware of.

Strange but true, final proof that such possession of people by unknown spirits is not just defined to the big screen and a tangent of some over-zealous screen writer hoping for a fantasy yarn to make him millions.

Nope, this is real and that wicked, dangerous phenomenon is still out there, freely blowing in the wind, ready to strike and permeate SA sport once more.

Poirot will follow leads, avenues based on statements straight from witnesses mouths which, as he gets closer to the truth and that final point of proof, will suddenly be denied and construed to be misread, throwing the detective back to square one and the start of the journey once more.

Silence and no comment will be a frustration, sure signs for such an astute sleuth that lies, job preservation and of course the truth is being hidden to protect others.

At times in his slumbers as he reflects on his progress, Poirot will be haunted by images of former Protea captain Hansie Cronjé confessing his match-fixing ways before the King Commission. It would be sign for the detective to pursue the truth at all costs, as he wakes in a cold sweat, knowing Cronjé told the truth and took the fall for many others involved in illegal cricket activities.

It’s mouth-watering stuff. Let’s all applaud and encourage our hero. He will need every ounce of it as this could be one case where he may stumble and fall, such are the ways of Africa.

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