Sunday, 12 July 2015
This blog-cum-archives magnum opus thus far is, without doubt, the seven-part exploration of the Curious Case of Adrian Shankar, the cricketer who blagged a two-year deal at Worcestershire in May 2011 on the back of fabricating his real age and completely inventing a T20 tournament in Sri Lanka.
It was a story that tickled the belly of (county) cricket fans, but there were a few facets that hadn't emerged until I told the story: namely, the fake website he built in a desperate bid to persuade Worcestershire his story was kosher, and a thread on a Sri Lankan cricket fans' forum that I started in an attempt to lure him into a dialogue-by-proxy, both of us as sockpuppets. I also screengrabbed his retrospectively revealing blog for bat manufacturers Mongoose, written while at Lancashire, and from that made some amateur speculations as to the specifics of his psychological wiring.
It remains untarnished as a jaw-droppingly bizarre story, and one that I tried to condense to 1800 words for VICE last month. The process was reasonably slow, with their lawyers being careful not have anything that was potentially litigious published, but the soundness of my sources and evidence was enough for them to eventually run the following piece, which provoked a little mirth on the social medias.
The Strange Case of Adrian Shankar, the Cricketer Who Lied His Way to a Professional Contract