My firm belief is that professional sport solely exists as a medium in which banter can thrive. The points and the rules and what have you function as a sort-of agar plate, providing the necessary nutrients from which the banter can grow. Take, as an example, this fine bit of banter from Aussie cricket team captain Tim Paine, in which he tried to convince India‘s Rishabh Pant to join Hobart‘s Big Bash League team:
In the exchange, captured in its entirety by the stump mic, Paine attempts to convince Pant of the merits of moving to Hobart, one of the selling points somehow being looking after Paine’s kids: “Can you babysit? I’ll take the wife to the movies one night and you’ll look after the kids.“
A solid bit of banter in itself, but made even better by an Instagram post from Paine’s wife, Bonnie, showing Pant holding one of their children and captioned ‘Best babysitter’.
Look, obviously the ideal turn of events would have been that he actually babysat the kids for an entire evening, but this is still some outstanding stuff.