Australia today broke off
diplomatic ties with New Delhi following the demolition
of its cricket team by India's one-man hit squad Sachin
Tendulkar. A spokesman for the Australian Foreign Office
blamed Tendulkar's three back-to-back hundreds against
Australia for the precipitous downslide in relations
between the two countries.
"In its sheer brutality and aggressive intent, it outdoes even the May nuclear tests. We see no option but to sever relations till Sachin is reined in and the Indian team signs a non-aggression pact. It should also consider offering a No-First-Use-of-Tendulkar treaty to Aussies," the spokesman said.
Canberra suspects that two more hundreds may be in the offing, given India's proclivity to do things in a three-plus-two pattern.
Australia's neighbour New Zealand reacted differently, calling on India to join ANZUS, a security pact involving Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Officials in Wellington said India could come in at the expense of Australia and the treaty could be renamed INZUS.
New Zealand was also willing to trade its entire rugby football team in exchange for Tendulkar, officials added.
The British Foreign Office meanwhile announced that it was conferring the Victoria Cross on Tendulkar and foreign secretary Robin Cook would be calling on the batting maestro.
The Booker Committee announced nomination of Tendulkar's yet-to-be-written book for the literary prize. British tabloids are said to be offering up to 50,000 pounds for a quote from maids of the Tendulkar household.
Tendulkar's feat did not go unnoticed in the US state department, either. Asked by an agency reporter what effect Tendulkar's hundred would have on the neighbourhood, spokesman Jamie Rubin said Washington expected him "to bring India around to signing the CTBT.". "We hope Mr Tendulkar's heroics would help India realise its greatpower aspirations. It is not necessary to conduct nuclear tests to prove one's importance. Centuries are just fine," Rubin said. Rubin hoped that Tendulkar's hundred would not aggravate the tensesecurity situation in the region. "Washington is also ready to help India and Pakistan resolve the Kashmir dispute if Mr Tendulkar's feats heighten tension," Rubin said.
At home, Tendulkar's feat provoked joyous celebrations across India.The Vishwa Hindu Parishad said it would build a Tendulkar Temple to commemorate the events. The bat and ball with which Tendulkar beat Australia single-handedly would be carried in a procession throughout India culminating in a massive rally in Dadar's Shivaji Park. "We also demand that Dhaka be renamed Tendulkar Nagar," a Bajrang Dal spokesman added.
The Shiv Sena announced that Tendulkar would be conferred the title of Chhatrapathi at the Shivaji Park rally. Henceforth, the batting maestro would be called Chhatrapati Sachin Maharaj, the Shiv Sena supremo decreed.
The Victoria Terminus, recently renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, would now be re-renamed Chhatrapati Sachin Tendulkar Terminus. "Doesn't he bat like Hitler?"the Supremo chortled.
Elsewhere, the DRDO announced that its intercontinental ballistic missile would be named Tendulkar, or Tendu for short. The ICBM would have a range of 5000 miles and be capable of hitting targets in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, DRDO sources said.
Agencies add : The Indian announcement provoked sharp reaction in Islamabad where the head of Pakistan's nuclear programme, Dr A.Q. Khan, said Pakistan already had an ICBM called Inzamam (Inzy for short) with twice the range.