Russia’s sports ministry has refused to include cricket on its register of officially recognised sports,
after President Vladimir Putin was bowled out by a girl.
Alexander Sorokin, a member of the Moscow Cricket Sports Federation, said the refusal was down to errors in its application
which confused the president and caused him to think he was agreeing to have a maiden over to play with his googly.
He was persuaded to face an over from women’s number one off spinner, Sana Mir, after being told her technique involves a firm grip, a stiff finger and a ball twist.
But when her first bowl circumvented his bat like Russian forces round a UN mandate, Putin declared it a ‘shit game’ and returned to the Kremlin with his bat and ball.
Exclusion from the official list does not mean cricket is banned, but it won’t be eligible for support from the Russian treasury,
placing it alongside poverty and LGBT rights.
Among the sports which are officially recognised in Russia are petanque, draughts and mini golf.
Coincidentally, these are games which President Putin excels at. In a recent address he announced plans to add to the list Ker Plunk, Jenga and Connect Forces – a game he particularly enjoys playing with Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko. In the future he aims to play a live action game of Risk involving all of the former Soviet states.