10 January 2008

I wasted post number 200 on this?

Normally, I'd weigh in with my 2 cents about how the Australian Cricket Team is the least sporting bunch of arrogant idiots yet to grace the world stage, but it's all been said elsewhere, and a heck of a lot better than I could.

And after the last test match in Sydney, there have been so many issues thrown up by this one match - is it any wonder that I've just given up completely? I'm partially not surprised that India are hopping mad about this, but also partially staggered at the power that the Indian cricket authorities (BCCI) are able to wield.

Needless to say, there are kiddies growing up now who are being told by their coaches to play like these guys. Which is all well and good - the Australian cricket team are the most skilled team on the planet at the moment.

Unfortunately, as Plonka points out on his blog, cricket is not just about skill with a bat and ball. Cricket is also about playing within not only the letter of the Laws of Cricket, but also within the spirit of those laws.

Thus, when those kids say to their coach, "Even though the umpire gave me out, I didn't walk because he was wrong," we should be pointing out to them that this is not on.

But coaches and players these days use cricket at it's highest level as a barometer of what's acceptable and what is not. This is why Cricket Australia needs to show some authority by reading the riot act to its players.

So Harbhajan Singh called Andrew Symonds a "monkey". Up until a few years ago, I didn't even know that the term "monkey" was racist. Apparently, calling someone a monkey is not OK if that person is black. Symonds is supposedly a "black" man, notwithstanding the fact that his skin colour is whiter than most of the Indian cricket team.

Singh should know better after criticism of sections of the crowd at the recent matches between Australia and India in Valodara, Nagpur and Mumbai (who were calling Symonds a monkey, allegedly), although I am looking forward to the outcome of Singh's appeal, having been suspended for three matches originally.

The Australian cricket team has used sledging of opposition players to their advantage for some time. This is occasionally criticised, but the fact that it's the Aussies who are complaining is deemed in most parts of the cricketing world to be horribly hypocritical.

But the whole thing appears to be the final straw for a lot of Australian sports fans. "Enough!" they're saying.

For a good look at both sides of the debacle, please click here. The BBC has done a good job of compiling different comments.

As for me, I'm completely off cricket until I see evidence that the Australian level of sportsmanship has improved.

I see the BCCI's blackmail and threats - for that is exactly how they've behaved - to be entirely justifiable.


Plonka said...

You're right, it's amazing the power the sub-continent wields when it comes to umpires. First Darrell Hare and now Steve Bucknor. The only difference as I see it is that Steve actually made a couple of mistakes. But don't worry, if he'd been white he'd have been accused of racism too, just like Darrell and make no mistake.

I think I agree with Waleed Aly when he says that the racism card is normally played by the Asian nations and we stole their thunder and now they're pissed. I'm not sure, but it would explain a few things.

And you couldn't be more right about the kiddies. Not walking when it's that obvious and claiming catches that weren't is just not on.

You know, watching Clarke take "catches" on the bounce made me wonder how many legitimate catches he took in the back yard. Dishonesty there can be dangerous, especially if you played in the back yards and parks that I did.

And I'm sorry. I've tried but I just can't not watch cricket. As Bill Woodfull said all those years ago; "The game is too good to be spoilt" even by a bunch of prima donas...

Dikkii said...

I would have found it ironic and hypocritical about the Singh/Symonds monkey scandal if Singh was Pakistani.

But given the crowd behaviour on the sub continent, I have to conclude that Singh just took it too far.

You're right about cheating in the back yard. It never would have been stood for in my day, either.

Plonka said...

The thing about the "monkey" taunt is that in India, at the end of our tour over there, the teams got together and agreed that it was a racist term and wouldn't be used on the field by either team, hence the hue and cry.

But now the integrity of the other agreement, the one where the fielding team gets to make the umpire's decision for him (which should never have been allowed) is called into question, as it should be.

Plonka said...

And I keep forgetting to mention. Your page has gone all white. I like it and it's easier on the eye, I have to admit, but wasn't the green steeped in tradition?

Dikkii said...

You're right, the green was steeped in tradition. That's why I've attempted to keep the links green, as well as other bits.

Not as obvious now, though. I may not keep this layout.