Steve Smith’s image has miraculously appeared on a piece of toast in England, finally confirming the batsman’s long-suspected divinity and ability to stand out on all surfaces.
Smith’s holy likeness was discovered in a non-descript café in Manchester following Australia’s Ashes triumph, with attention drawn to the piece of toast after it was being booed by a group of English people.
The discovery was rumoured to be made at the same eatery that recently sold journalist Peter Lalor a beer for $99,983 – a venue already enjoying notoriety for miracles after the lager was served cold.
While the inexplicable appearance of Smith’s image and its indisputable affirmation of his holiness is being lauded as this century’s greatest evangelical event, it still remains only the second most supernatural thing the former skipper has done this summer.
Smith has spent this Ashes series demonstrating his Jesus-like qualities by mercilessly hammering the crap out of England, in the process helping Australia retain the urn they were scheduled to lose.
He delivered a stunning double-hundred at Old Trafford to underpin his side’s series-clinching win, in the process extinguishing the nightmare of Headingley inflicted by the last-wicket partnership of Ben Stokes and Jack Leach.
Many believed the psychological scars of this failure would haunt Tim Paine’s men for the rest of the series – not because they coughed up the trophy to a bloke like Stokes, but to another bloke who looks like the only thing he can drive is a Skoda.
Such was the relief following the Manchester victory, Smith celebrated the achievement in style by sporting a pair of Leach’s spectacles, a move described by some as unnecessary and others simply as Superman resuming his Clark Kent persona.
Smith’s holy apparition is the latest sighting of religious phenomena on inanimate objects, a concept that has increased in recent years as society becomes increasingly desperate for the second coming of various deities, and/or to go viral.
The batting savant’s canonisation on food places him alongside other celebrated deities such as Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and the haunting image of Steve Waugh’s face found imprinted on Jason Gillespie’s leg.
Religious leaders had long suspected Smith’s saviour-like credentials, with the Australian run-machine’s ability to immaculately conceive bulk runs for his country from a batting line-up made mostly of fishes and loaves.
His heroics have often seen him compared to Jesus Christ, not only for his superhuman displays of divinity in white flannel, but because he was also crucified for the sins of others with an Easter in purgatory – that being the IPL.
Despite this, questions were raised after records showed he’d fallen twice to the gentle off-breaks of Joe Root, with some concerned the New South Welshman could be vulnerable when carelessly reverse-sweeping in the 200s.
While his divine immortality came under further question after failing in the fourth Test with a paltry 82, it is believed senior clergymen were left in no doubt of Smith’s impending sainthood when he made one of his extravagant leaves in the shape of a Jesus fish.
Smith enters the realms of celestial beings with a Test average that now sits at a tick under 65, a number forever edging slowly upwards to the game’s iconic and elusive mark, 69.
The sacred bread bearing Smith’s immaculate image has already sparked a wave of bootlegs, with sightings of Smudge’s second coming in the shape of Marnus Labuschagne, while another eyewitness reckons he saw a batsman that looked like Dave Warner.
In the interim, England are making enquiries on the importation source of the toast’s grain in the hope it qualifies under the ECB’s heritage rules to replace Jason Roy.
Elsewhere, Australian officials are hopeful of securing the slice to be showcased somewhere fitting, like Cricket Australia’s museum or eBay.