Hitting the Fan

With India having gone the way of every other team that faces Australia, the s*** has really started to hit the fan in Sydney.

From this distance one can only agree that the umpiring throughout the match was poor; Bucknor has looked past his best for a year or two now and Mark Benson probably hasn't reached his best yet. And most of the errors went against India, although Indian fans should be wary of getting too paranoid. Even allowing for the part played by the officials, the Indian batsmen should have been able to bat through the last day, especially when they made such a good fist of the first innings at the SCG. Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke may be many things, but world-class bowlers they're not (even though Clarke's Test average - 15.54 for 11 wickets -suggests otherwise).

As for the other controversy of the hour, well, who knows what was said, although I assumed that the umpires must have heard something and reported it to Procter for the case to have been declared open and shut so rapidly. Now I read that it was the word of Ponting and Symonds against that of Harbhajan and Tendulkar.

Either way, there's too much postured verbal sparring between players going on for my liking. No sooner have we gained an injury-induced respite from the lunatic Sreesanth than Harbhajan's piling in. Not that Australia can complain; they virtually invented 'sledging' and there's more than a few players in the current side who know how to mix it with the best of them. And then there's Nel and Prior (oh, sorry, the England selectors have seen him off for the time being).

Time to grow up, calm down and just play the game.


Edmund said...

Come on, Brian, surely the Aussies have got away with murder here, and their gun-ho attitude of arrogant and self-absorbed aggression (being allowed to revel in some horrific umpiring decisions, which Mike Procter should really have been able to address – after the 2006 Oval fiasco, it is surely time that the match referee was able to exercise some sanction over the mistakes of the on-field match officials…) has turned what should have been a close and exciting test match into a travesty of over-excitability, mixed with dishonesty.
It is time that the so-called Number 1 team in world cricket was called to account for such behaviour, which is ten times worse when they play at home and worse than for any other country playing at home (as England also suffered last winter, to a lesser degree). Let them be encouraged to learn how to play our beautiful, elegant and subtle game with the dignity, fairness and respect that it deserves. They have been particularly subject to such outbursts of belligerence since the end of Steve Waugh's sobering influence and sense of respect and our 2005 Ashes victory has only made them determined to behave in this unseemly fashion.
When it comes to Tendulkar's word against Ponting's, I know whom I trust more. And can you imagine Lara behaving with such truculence?
I agree with Peter English's article: http://content-www.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/current/story/329708.html

And 'the lunatic Sreesanth'? I am afraid I cannot share your joining in the media baiting of this talented, young and enthusiastic prospect for fast bowling on the sub-continent. Surely you don't really believe that the beamers of last summer were deliberate?

Brian Carpenter said...

Good to hear from you again, Ed, and many thanks for the comment.

I think you can probably tell from the overall tone of the piece that I'm becoming completely fed up with international players abusing each other - it detracts from what is, as you say, a 'beautiful, elegant and subtle game' - and that goes for anyone, regardless of nationality. While I would agree that Australia - or Australian cricketers and their culture - have made the major contribution to the problem becoming as bad as it is, I don't think they're necessarily any worse than a number of other people who are around now - as I said, Andre Nel and the particularly inane Matthew Prior came instantly to mind. Re Sreesanth, I admit that in using the word 'lunatic' I was deliberately trying to elicit a reaction, but much of his behaviour since coming into the Indian side has been shameful - I'm thinking in particular of the running verbal battles he conducted with various Australian players (Symonds included, surprise, surprise) in the ODI series in October and, while I don't think the beamer was deliberate, the bouncer he bowled from about 18 yards to Paul Colingwood (from memory) surely was. As for his bowling, I'm an unashamed admirer - try clicking on his name in the labels section to see a selection of my views (the one posted on 16.12.06 is very representative).

The whole thing is very messy - the ICC have dug themselves into a huge hole again by replacing Bucknor, and Procter is surely going to be under pressure to justify why his verdict went against Harbhajan when there doesn't appear to be any corroborating evidence (from the umpires, for example, although you can imagine the Indian reaction if Bucknor was further involved). Lastly, if any recent Australian captain has had a 'sobering influence' I think it was Mark Taylor and not Steve Waugh. If anything, things started to get worse under Waugh after a brief improvement under Taylor.

Brian Carpenter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Subscribe in a reader