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Lords, England – As the summer’s relentless wave of drab weather continues to keep players inside dressing rooms and spectators at home, English cricket’s cash strapped counties have demanded immediate help from the ECB in the form of a human sacrifice to placate Tlaloc, Aztec God of Rain.

The controversial suggestion, which has already caught the attention of Amnesty International, has considerable backing amongst the most financially fragile clubs but it’s believed momentum behind the idea only started to build when leading critic of the county game, Mark Nicholas, was identified as the ideal candidate for sacrifice.

Derbyshire, who first proposed the idea, denied it was a retaliatory move after Nicholas had previously called for several county sides to be stripped of their first-class status. Although when pressed, a spokesman for the club admitted the reason they gave for putting forward Nicholas’s name – that he “existed for no obviously justifiable reason” – was the exact same wording Nicholas himself had used to back-up his own views.

And when confronted with mounting criticism from human rights groups, Derbyshire seemed to backtrack, “Look, we’re not suggesting Mark Nicholas is actually dragged to the top of the Mound Stand and has his heart cut out. We’re talking about a metaphorical sacrifice. We just want him locked into a room with Bob Willis while Bob is in full-on rant mode about Kolpak players. A couple of days of that will be suffering enough.”

However, Shami Chakrabarti, director of pressure group, Liberty, remained unimpressed, “If anything, being lectured to by Bob Willis sounds worse than being killed quickly.”

When asked to comment, Mr Nicholas’s agent remained positive, “Well, this is the first time since he made his remarks about restructuring the domestic game that anyone in county cricket has acknowledged my client has a heart.”