Cambridge Grad’s Cricketing Fraud
A Cambridge Graduate is sacked by Worcestershire after it turns out he is not quite all he appears to be.
You know that story of Ali Dia? The footballer who told everyone his cousin was World Player of the Year, got himself signed by a premiership club and then turned out to be, well, rubbish?
Well it now turns out that Cambridge has produced his cricketing equivalent. Adrian Shankar, who graduated from Queens’ in 2004 with a degree in Law, has been released from Worcestershire County Cricket Club this week after claiming to be somewhat better than he actually was.
29 year old Shankar told the club he was 26, the youngest ever captain of the Cambridge University team. Even the University website was duped, also listing this as fact. He further claimed to have been playing high level First Class cricket, with plenty of success, in Sri Lanka.
In fact, after a century in the 2002 Varsity Match, the faker had bounced around the county 2nd XI team circuit, failing to make any sort of impact. He never played Sri Lankan First Class cricket, and his reference from the University coach Chris Scott was completely made up.
Despite this web of lies, no one at Worcestershire bothered to check up on their new ‘star’, and it was only after his two performances last week, in the one and four day formats, that anyone started to smell a rat.
A first ball duck opening the batting in his first game followed by an injury hit 10 a few days later were his only contributions before the story came out, and it now seems that Shankar’s dream is over.
But, like Dia before him, there has to some sympathy, or even grudging respect for the fraudulent Shankar. As a Cambridge Law graduate there weren’t a lot of doors closed to him, except those closed by a lack of sporting talent.
But he chose to follow his dream of playing top level cricket and refused to let this minor detail get in the way. He did it by nefarious means, but surely most people will understand the desire.
Poll, does what Adrian Shankar did make him a Lad for trying, Bad, for defrauding other professionals out of their place in the team, or Sad, because the whole thing is a bit pathetic?