Confronting Mortality

There are aspects of all our lives which we know we're good at. And there are things we think we're good at, but which, in fact, we can't do as well as we think we can. And, eventually, our capabilities are changed and diminished by the vagaries of time, age and misfortune.

Ricky Ponting knows he's a great batsman and has probably always fancied himself as a pretty good captain too. He would be unlikely to admit that it was his good fortune to find himself in charge of a team which, at its best, could make anyone associated with it look good. The innate psyche of a great sportsman will always be reluctant to admit to inadequacies and failures. You don't spend 152 Test matches breaking the best bowlers of your generation by having a clear sense of your own weaknesses.

Eventually, though, everyone has to confront their mortality. In Ponting's case, the runs have dried up, his team is a pale shadow of what it was and a permanent reputation as the man who lost three Ashes series is staring him in the face.

Bearing all that in mind, as well as the fact that he's got a long list of previous convictions, it's no wonder he gave Aleem Dar an extended piece of his mind earlier today. This is not to excuse it. He got off lightly, but this was a man simply raging against a dying of the light over which he has little control.

When Ponting turned his attention to Pietersen, the batsman's face signified a mixture of astonishment and humour, but no real concern. He knows that he will still be playing Test cricket long after Ponting has gone.


Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

I see that the story has evolved now and apparently Pietersen told Ponting he had nicked it.

Maybe that might explain part of what happened, but I agree he has got off lightly and I do wonder if ICC might have took into consideration that it would be harsh seeing Ponting sacked as captain while serving a suspension.

Brian Carpenter said...

Really, Dean? I hadn't heard anything about Pietersen saying he'd nicked it. There was no evidence and only one person appealed so it seems a bit unlikely. Maybe he was trying to wind Ponting up, which wasn't difficult in the circumstances.

I think the leniency was because of who Ponting is. A junior player (say Steve Smith) would have been carpeted. Completely wrong, because a Test skipper should be setting an example and Ponting had previous.

William said...

My Dear Brian,
Is there a typo in your first para? Sure it should read, "And, eventually, our capabilities are changed and enhanced by the vagaries of time, age and fortune."
Never surrender to time!
Happy Birthday.

Brian Carpenter said...

Well, TM, I agree. But perhaps, just at the moment, Mr.Ponting wouldn't.

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

Thats right Brian, it was Pietersen trying to wind Ponting up, I can' tremember who said it, think it was Shane Warne.

I agree, someone like Steve Smith probably would have got banned, like Sulieman Benn did last year for clashing with the ICC cricketer of the year, who didn't a ban.

Subscribe in a reader