Kangaroo Courts and Bent Umpires

There’s a point at which political correctness and politeness of phrase have to be jettisoned in favor of brutal directness — of calling a spade a spade and a cheat a cheat.

So all you people talking about the abysmal umpiring from Bucknor and Benson in the second Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy, get it straight. What we saw at Sydney was not incompetence but openly biased decision-making with Australia universally benefiting from almost all the wrong decisions (except when Ponting was given leg before wicket of an inside edge but many runs after he had already enjoyed grandpa Benson’s indulgent eye when his huge snick behind of Ganguly had been overlooked), with even the third umpire getting into the Cricket Australia act by his sparing of Symonds from a stumping decision.

Have you no shame sirs?

Of course you don’t.

When Hussey and Symonds snick the ball (off R P Singh and off Ishant Sharma respectively) or when Hussey is struck absolutely plumb on the crease by a Kumble special, Benson and Bucknor keep playing “pocket-billiards”with their index fingers, too wrapped up in the pleasure of the moment to bring them out. On the other hand, when the ball brushes off the pad of Rahul Dravid and goes behind, Bucknor’s finger is up like a teenager in front of a girl in a bikini—yes it is caught behind. When another close appeal of stumping against Symonds is made, Bucknor refuses to refer it to the third umpire. When Harbhajan makes his crease and the ball breaks the stumps many seconds after Bhajji’s bat is safely in, the decision is however referred to the third umpire —needless to say if there is some conceivable way in which he may be judged out, it should be looked into.

When Clarke take a catch, which can at best be called questionable and at worst be called illegal (I am positive that the ball hits the ground first and then hits the ground again when he is rolling over and when he is not in control of the ball [Video here]), Mr. Benson looks at his master Ponting (Harish Gautam Bhimani calls Ponting the “fifth umpire”) for affirmation, Ponting raises his finger in a “Bulli kahaan hain teri ungli moment” and satisfied Mr. Benson wags his tail—sorry finger–upward. No consulting the third umpire here. The mind goes back to when Kevin Pietersen was given out caught behind by Simon Taufel and the-then other umpire, Steve Bucknor insisted on referring the decision to the third umpire (while Pietersen was walking off) who, in turn, returned a verdict of “not out”.

Of course, the agency I blame for this state of affairs and our loss in Sydney (a game we would, in all probability have won had the umpiring not been so biased) is the congregation of clowns that goes by the name of BCCI and its okaying the appointment of Steve Bucknor. This man, has over the years, shown an almost Musharaff-like love for Indians —whether it be handing one horrible decision against Sachin after another or his blatantly biased umpiring in the 2003 Australia series which had led to Sourav Ganguly, the then-captain, speaking very poorly of Bucknor in his assessment report. Not just in his decisions, Bucknor betrayed his hatred of Indian players when he mocked Dravid as he came into bat, after he was accused of ball-tampering.

In his defense, Steve Bucknor has said that he was not mocking Dravid, but smelling the ball.

I just smell the ball’’, he told The Indian Express today. ‘‘It is the easiest way to check if someone has tampered with the ball. If one side smells different from the other you can tell that someone has worked on it. You can tell that someone has applied something on it.

Yes there’s an association just waiting to be made here between Bucknor’s penchant for ball-smelling and his appeasing of Australia, but I shall let it pass for now. What I shall not let pass is that given Bucknor’s history with India, why the Board did not raise the red flag when his name came on the umpire roster for this series—in the same way the Sri Lankans raised the red flag on Hair. I hear now that Bucknor has been removed from the Perth Test but the horse has already bolted and the series decided. Who cares any more?

Which now brings us to the real shocker—yes there can be things even more shocking than the umpiring—Harbhajan Singh being suspended for three Tests on charges of racism for calling Symonds a “monkey”. I will not get into the practice of Aussies running to mamma at the slightest provocation when they themselves unleash the worst kind of vitriol on their opponents, commenting on the character of their wives and (allegedly) shouting choo-choo to Chris Cairns after his sister died in a train accident, and then dub opponents sissies for taking it “outside” when they complain.

Instead, I would like to concentrate on the unfairness of the whole judgment ,which was, in more ways than one, the kind of verdict a kangaroo court would come up with.

It is a well documented fact that ICC match referees have been known to have a bias against “non-white” teams (yes we are now entering actual race territory here) where when an Indian player and a white player get into a verbal scuffle, the white man is let go and the Indian penalized. But this time, Mike Procter (a South African player who represented South Africa during apartheid) set a new low even by ICC standards. First, on camera in an interview to Healy, he himself accepted that there was no “evidence” against Harbhajan (like stump-microphone records) and that it was very much a case of one person’s word against the others.

And then at 2 am (Australia time) he comes up with the following verdict:

I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Harbhajan Singh directed that word at Andrew Symonds and also that he meant it to offend on the basis of Symonds’ race or ethnic origin,” said Procter.

So what happened? Well five Australian players supported Symond’s contention (two of whom claimed they heard it) and that was it. The testimony of the Australians , even though they may be in the same team and have a definite interest in getting Harbhajan banned, counts more than those of Harbhajan and Sachin, the only two Indian players on the ground.(in this report, it is said that the Indians felt the whole hearing was a farce with the decision having been taken already) Is this the ICC version of Pakistan’s Qanun-e-Shahadat where a man’s testimony is equal to two women’s and the woman’s testimony is of no importance when she has been raped (Hudood)?

That Bhajji was a target for the Aussies was known to all—whether it be because of his uncanny ability of picking up Ricky Ponting or his publicly calling Australians “vulgar” or his refusal to let Aussie abuses go unanswered. With that background, we should not be surprised that on a day that Australia was well and truly under the whip, this incident very conveniently “happened”, which now with the help of Mr. Procter, has become an enormous advantage for the Australians and particularly Ricky Ponting.

While India-Australia battles have never been friendly (Sunil Gavaskar once walking off in protest against the umpiring and Lillee’s sportsmanship), it has taken a downturn in the last few years—ever since the Australian tour of 2001. The reason for that, I believe, is because around that time the Indians started answering the Australian barbs and taunts without turning their eyes downwards and slinking away.

Here are two extracts from former Australian player Justin Langer’s Rediff diary from 2001.

Extract 1:

At the toss of the coin, VVS Laxman (captian of India A) won the toss but rather than deciding to bat or bowl he politely asked Steve Waugh what he would like to do first. Without hesitation, ‘Tugga’ said he would like to bat first and they shook hands and walked away.

This above was the behavior they “expected” from Indians.

Now, read this.

Extract 2:

Listening to the great importance the Indian people place upon respecting their elders and people in authority, I was quite surprised to see the reaction of the young India ‘A’ leg spinner when he dismissed Steve Waugh today. His performance was perplexing, as one would have thought the captain of the Australian cricket team would command a little more respect than he was granted.

This is a slight variation of a sentiment I have heard repeated ad nauseam, almost always from Australian experts—verbal abuse and expletives are ingrained in the hard way Australia plays the game while bridely “laaj” (demureness) is what characterizes the Indian ethos. Ergo when Aussies abuse Indians, they should not try to beat them at their own game but instead stay within their comfort zone (i.e. submissiveness).

Which is why I suppose when an Indian pressman asked Ponting an uncomfortable question (which was not “respectful” perhaps), he reacted with the same good grace and respect for Indians that he displayed while shoving Sharad Pawar.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting on Sunday lost his cool when questioned about a catch he claimed during the final day of the ill-tempered second Test against India here.

Ponting, fielding at silly point, turned back and dived for a looping catch offered by Mahendra Singh Dhoni but grounded the ball in his effort.

However, he didn’t bat an eyelid before making an appeal, which was turned down.

When asked during the post-match press-conference about whether he caught the ball cleanly, an incensed Ponting took offence to the question.

“I claimed the catch and there was no way I grounded it (the ball).”

“If you are questioning my integrity, then probably you shouldn’t be sitting here,” retorted a furious Australian captain.

Right. If you question Punter’s integrity as a sportsman, you should not be in Australia. Similarly if the same Ponting questions our integrity and disrespects us , then by his own logic, he should also not be playing in India for the India Professional League and making money off us. Just as Greg Chappell, who accused the BCCI of being racist towards him, should not be in India taking money from the very same agency, that is if he has an iota of self-respect.

Which is, admittedly, a big “if”.

And now coming to the Aussie press, which has historically been merely a PR extension of Team Australia.I clicked on a link I got from Nitin Pai, which was a link sent by Amit Varma and came to a piece by Andrew Stevenson that was pretty amazing. In it, it is conjectured that caste plays a role in India’s team selection. In order to support this hypothesis, Stevenson pastes in extracts from some Bramhin-hating Dalit activist who for the first time, explains why Dada fields badly and Laxman can never make that second run.

Siriyavan Anand, a Dalit (the caste formerly called untouchables), has written provocatively and critically of the Brahmin domination, suggesting it was easy to “infer that cricket is a game that best suits Brahmanical tastes and bodies, and that there has been a preponderance of Brahman cricket players at the national level”.

Anand’s argument that cricket is an idle and indolent game – at least when played by higher-caste Indians – is readily accepted by commentators and even Australian crowds, who know next to nothing of caste in India.

“Why do their fielders not chase the ball to the boundary? Why do Indian batsmen rarely run for singles, apparently preferring to hit the ball to the fence or amble through for two runs in no obvious haste?” Anand wrote. “Having too many Brahmans means that you play the game a little too softly, and mostly for yourself.”

Further support for the hypothesis of pervasive casteism in the Indian team is provided by that great player of yester-year, Vinod Kambli who tells us that he was booed at Indian grounds because of his caste with the article further going on to suggest that he was not persisted in the Indian team because he was not Bramhin. While Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri and Harsha Bhogle oppose the article’s thesis, support comes from other quarters.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan, assistant editor of cricinfo.com, believes caste is relevant within the Indian team at a subconscious level, “in terms of the groups that are formed, in terms of the people who feel wanted, in terms of the people who don’t feel wanted”. “It’s also because people from the lower castes have this tendency to not feel wanted, people have to make an extra effort,” he says.

“But people from the top castes have a tendency to be stand-offish, so I think exaggerates it a bit more and the gap increases.”

Siddhartha can see caste as a possible explanation for the Brahmin dominance, particularly in batting. “Traditionally, cricket has been an elitist sport, and in terms of the physique and what you need as a batsman, it’s more skill, wrist and angles than what you need as a fast bowler or fielder,” he says. “That probably explains it in a way. If you look at the body structure of the higher castes, you would find they aren’t as athletic as they are deft.”

The article further goes on to provide us with a table where each player is put under a caste heading.

Brilliant. [An excellent retort to the article here]

Now I know that being from the land of Gandhi, I am supposed to take this with respect and perhaps even accept it as the truth. I am however from the land of another “G”.


Which is why I exhort the Indian press to please write an article on the Australian team, by digging up their family trees and finding out what kind of convicts they descended from and putting it next to their names—rapist, armed robber, murderer etc. And then analyze how the descendants of one class of criminals have dominated over the other without forgetting to get some disgruntled Australian cricketer to give a quote saying that he was given the cold-shoulder because his ancestor’s crime was not considered “cool” enough.

Detestable? Absolutely. But then so is the original article.

Finally, here is my message to team India and Anil Kumble. You guys have made us proud. Forget the cricket match, as far as I am concerned you guys won it—look at the number of decisions they had to rig in order to get you to finally lose. What was at stake was something greater. Your identity as sportsmen. When Sachin and other players came out of the dressing room to handshake the Australians Ricky Ponting, the great-man-whose-words-may-not-be-questioned and Symonds, the man produced by Intelligent Design, in the post-match interview to Mark Taylor, showed their sporting spirit by not even saying a word of appreciation for India’s superhuman efforts (only Michael Clarke made a passing remark) . Through your gesture of appreciation for your opponents even after all that had transpired, you showed, in a way that can be no clearer, the difference between the two sides.

And dear Anil Kumble, thanks for that fighting innings on the last day—it was nothing but sensational. It is tough to keep competing when you have no faith in the umpires and when you know that there is no trick that is too low for the opposition to pull. But you did compete and that too brilliantly.

Finally please do remember one thing.

There is a reason why cleaning sewage pipes, wiping one’s rectal orifice and playing cricket in Australia can all be referred to as “attending to things down under”.

Update 1: Bucknor decides to wear his heart on his sleeve. Or rather his uniform. Finally some honesty. [Link courtesy the Telegraph]

175 thoughts on “Kangaroo Courts and Bent Umpires

  1. Sanjeev Bikhchandani January 7, 2008 — 1:25 am

    The important thing is that the rules should be the same for both the sides and they should be made explicit before the game starts.

    So if Virender Sehwag is suspended in South Africa for appealing for a taking a catch which wasn’t then should Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke be. Or are the rules different for different sides.

    If most sledging is OK but some terms are deemed racist therefore some forms of sledging are not acceptable while others are – then let the ICC publish the rule book of sledging – what sledging is OK and what is not with illustrated examples, a dictionary etc. (for instance it is apparently OK for Glenn McGrath to ask a West Indies batsman what a certain part of Brian Lara’s anatomy feels like because it was non racial macho thing to say – basically gutter level personal abuse if OK in the gentleman’s game but not anything to do with race). Why should not strict action be taken against both forms of abuse.

    For the record let me state calling someone a monkey does not have racist connotations in India – in fact a monkey is a revered animal in India and one of the major Indian Gods is the monkey God Hanuman. However that is no defence since calling a person of African descent a monkey does have racist connotations and should not be done – but maybe many in India do not understand the sensitivity of the matter.

    The joke doing the rounds in India is that when an Australian child learns to say the word “Mother” for the first time the parents say “Two cheers. Junior has learnt half a word”. For the Australian team to complain about sledging and occupy the moral high ground on this issue is a bit much.

    I guess they were geeting a taste of their own medicine in the World Cup 20-20 and India and were suffering from some not inconsiderable digestion as a consequence.

    Harbhajan made a mistake if (and only if) he referred to Andrew Symonds as a monkey. Wrong choice of animal mate – you should have tried some other noteworthy animal to respond to Symonds’ abuse – swine or dog come to mind as possible candidates – they do not carry racist connotations. It gave the Aussies a handle to turn the tables on the Indians by raising the racism issue. The Indians need to refine their sledging strategy. It needs to be more nuanced – someone in the Indian camp needs to think this through. India needs a specialist sledging coach (anyone for Gregg Chappell for this position – he is Australian and they are the best at this).

    But be happy India, the world is indeed flattening – in colonial times it took the word of ten Indians to overrule the word of one white man in India. Today you need to have two white Australians (Hayden and Clarke) to overrule the word of one Indian (Sachin).

    But we havent heard the last of this. This is only the beginning.

    Today you have a situation where a white match referee (from a country that till very recently practised the worst form of racism as state policy) takes the word of two white witnesses (who are not neutral) over that of one Indian witness (who is not neutral) and without any independent witness or corroborating evidence (no video, no audio, nothing heard by the umpires) bans an Indian player (who the white Australian captain finds himself incapable of playing and so will benefit from this ban, and it was this Australian captain who insisted that the racism charge be laid at Harbhajan’s doorstep).

  2. Well…you are pretty quick are’nt ya? This test definitely left a bad taste in the mouth. Everyone knows aussies suck when it comes to aggressiveness, this time around they went a bit further and outdid themselves. It was indeed sad that professionalism is totally forgotten and the way things carried on the pitch looked more rough than what is displayed in the ” street cricket” at every nook and corner in our country.

    I did’nt expect much difference in attitude from the aussies, but what I felt disappointed is the lack of belief in our team. The body language is just bad, ( point in case…Wasim Jaffer, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj). I dont mind accepting defeat, but to accept it before the play the game is unacceptable. even though Laxman made a ton in his first innings, I still would never put my money on him.

    A note on the empires….BOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

  3. They will now forever be branded as CHEATERs of the worst kind. Cant wait for them to come to India and see all those banners come out to “welcome” them.

  4. Right from employing hags old enough to retire from ordinary desk jobs as elite panel umpires to selecting Speed’s salaried bitches like Denness and Procter as match referees, the ICC has gone to the inevitable fate a rotten-to-the-core beaureaucratic shithole with too few handling too much money. It’s the simple lack of peer pressure that leads to this bastardization. Same with the BCCI. I bet my pumpkins that a lot of players would absolutely love it if the BCCI decides to tank the tour tear a new asshole for Speed (namely in his pocket). Unfortunately, BCCI is led by a bunch of chors and baniyas who would literally pick out an atthanni from a sewage drain with their teeth.
    But that’s not all. For once, can’t we expect the big 5 (ST, SG, RD, VVS and AK) to threaten their baniya bosses to put in the last drop of their star values into spoiling the BCCI’s cake and strengthening ICL ? Not once, in the face of such barefaced “legal” mudplay ? What more do they have to gain from their careers, which will be over in about a year ?
    Probably it doesn’t matter. Which makes sense. No reason to get worked up. It’s exactly what it smells like.

  5. Brilliant. I’ve been so disgusted watching this test match; there is no point watching series anymore. Heck, Indian like their Pakistani counterparts should simply call off the tour at this point. Why such drama anyways?

    That monkey symonds should really be locked in a zoo; his behavior off field, on field or any field don’t do justice. Heck I would say if anything Monkeys should feel offended that Symonds was call one of them!


  6. last_commentator January 7, 2008 — 1:44 am

    GB, I’ve have nothing more to complain against Ponting or Australia.
    Today I’m ashamed as an Indian to see those spineless bastards in top positions of BCCI. If they had any shame left, they should have called the team back on Bhajji episode. Utter shame!!!! And that man calls himself ‘Maratha Strongman’ – what an irony.

  7. Its Gautam Bhimani, GB.

    You summed it pretty well.

  8. Well said, GB.

    I am also quite surprised that BCCI was quick to clarify that the tour would not be called off. In my books, that was something that could have been left unsaid. Let the Aussies worry a bit about getting hurt where it hurts the most. The only thing BCCI has, after all, is its financial might.

    In fact, more than just leaving it unsaid, the BCCI should actually be giving it some serious thought. After such complete subversion of Cricket and indeed, Justice, do we really have a good (non-financial) reason to continue the tour?

  9. for once, i completely agree with an entire cricket article of yours :-).

    if india bankrolls world cricket, why don’t our spineless officials have a backbone?

    i would drop jaffer and get pathan back. we get an extra bowler (of however limited current ability). then either get yuvraj to open (he is more comfortable with pace than spin) or pathan to open (if we bat first). without harbhajan, definitely short of bowlers.

    for future australia tours, we should send a second string side down under – like waugh appears to want – so they can get some good exposure (and the aussies their wins).

    – s.b.

    p.s.: Ian Chappell quote ‘”Batsmen usually say to each other ‘you take care of this bowler etc’. [In] this match the Indians might have to say ‘you take care of Bucknor, I will take care of Benson’.” ‘

    unfortunately, that still leaves the third umpire, the referee and the final adjudicator (ponting)

  10. Ponting has totally lost my respect as a sportsmen.

    From his not walking when he had clearly nicked the ball to his vociferous appeal when he grounded the ball before completing the catch, to his ‘fifth umpire’ like decision on Ganguly, his behaviour has been most disgusting. And then the gall to get all self-righteous and angry on being questioned…

    Excellent post, GB.

  11. Absolutely brilliant. And spot on. What stands out in all of this is the absolute spinelessness of the BCCI. Someone (I foget who) actually said on TV that we do not present our case as well as the Aussies do. Understatement.

  12. GreatBong,

    I don’t follow cricket that much (not since they kicked me out of my high school House team because I couldn’t play cricket that well) but here’s what I don’t understand: why has Bucknor been allowed to officiate for this long?

    I recall watching a World Cup match long ago when it was obvious to me (a neutral observer, not tuned to the nuances of the modern game) that Buckor was as biased as a Bucknor!

    What’s the use of praising the Indian team’s sportmanship etc after the series was lost? Are we going in believing that competing nicely is more important than winning? Like we do in the Olympics?

  13. dada bhalo diyechhen. bhabchhi aamader dada captain hole kemon react korto.

  14. GB, very quick and excellent article, impressive.

    I definitely believe that India would have won, had those atleast 10 decisions hadn’t gone against us.
    and ofcourse icing on the cake for australians is they managed to get bhajji banned for 3 matches, how conveniently, mafia like, they got rid of an opponent who feared them the most..plain disgusting

    One thing really frustrating is why guardians of indian cricket sitting in the BCCI haven’t voiced their concern or taken any action in this regard. Events of the last few days at SCG would have prompted any other board with an iota of pride and dignity to call off the tour.
    The BCCI being the mightiest and wealthiest board one would expect it to rule the cricketing world instead constantly injustice is being mated out agains us!!

    Also seriously what’s up with our senior players as well.. no body was standing up and challenging ausisies in their mind and verbal games…everybody gets so submissive when they play against aussies as if a shivering cow stuck in a lion’s den.. our players are also to blame as they, in the past also, become too “gentelmen” and “esteemed” to act aggressive and stand up against those bastards..what really pisses me off is when anyone says “it’s just a part of the game and one should move on” is same as saying ” we are cowards and gutless to stand up and complain”..We were just sitting duck and waiting for an offense to occur and then whisper and take it all in our stride and move on…. whereas look at the aussies even for wrong reasons everybody get together and always launch a planned attack on and off field…

    Come to think of it, now i respect even Inzamam more on his guts to forfeit the test last year

    and for those motherf***ers, benson and bucknor, well what to say they deserve more such expletives…

    And less said is better for the aussie players, our gully cricketers play with more spirit and sportsmanship and even though a batting side used to keep their umpire, he would be more responsible and neutral then bunch of blinds officiating at SCG..

    Serioulsy guys, tour sholuld be called off

  15. GB

    Fantastic article. I hope someone in the Australian media picks it up and it gets published there. Our Indian journos are not doing justice to it.

    I personally think Harbhajan was targeted and set up. The same way Sreeshanth would have to, if he was playing.

    The Indian team should protest the next test by wearing black armbands mourning the death of sportsmanship in Australian cricket.

  16. My fear is that any body outside india, just like in the past, going to listen our complaints or read loads of articles in indian media on the cricketing atrocities commited at SCG? or again it will fall into deafs and blinds of ICC or people will forget and move on with another game of gentlemen? just wondering if such thing had happend to aussie or england side they would had made big hue and cry and attributed it to genocide of cricketing rules and news would have splashed all over the media in cricket playing countries.

  17. http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/wc2007/content/story/133468.html

    may be we can follow it here. Mike Procter is the common guy. atleast he should remember it.

  18. What about the brits and aussies using the term,”Holy Cow”, Cow is respectful for hindus, isn’t that racial abuse??

  19. anonymous coward January 7, 2008 — 5:29 am


    Whats with the caste slurs ? You are as good, if not better than the Aussies at slurring.

    GB, I would request you to bump off jokers like him from the comments thread.

  20. For me the only culprit is BCCI. The board is just as spineless as our PM Manmohan Singh.

    I am sorry to mix politics with sport but that is the way it is.

  21. What woulld you call an aussie who scores high in an IQ test?
    A Cheater

    What would you call an aussie who has half a brain?

    Michael Clarke’s nickname is pup, isn’t that racial abuse?

  22. Great Bong Admirer January 7, 2008 — 5:51 am

    Excellent article. Why is it that mainstream Indian Newspapers do not write like this. We should simply ostracize these decendents of convicts, and monkeys.

    great work Great BOng.

  23. i said the exact same things just a moment before you. lol. even checked your site to see if you’d posted on it already.

    that was a killer of a last line!

  24. Goddamn,
    It’s weird. You’d expect crap like this in the early 90’s or before, but this is awful. And these maaders are all 3 time world cup winners.

    Nice post GB

  25. Well Said, Dada. BCCI should demand for removal of Mike Procter or call of the the tour.

  26. cmon ppl.. what else can u expect from aussies.. srry to say this .. but descendents of convicts.. showed their true colours………

    team India shud catch the next plane home and boycott the series and triangular….

  27. >playing “pocket-billiards”with their index fingers, too wrapped up in the pleasure of the moment to bring them out

    Pocket billiards .. ha ha ha .. ROTFL.

  28. All in all its just another post reflecting my heart

  29. latest.. India suspends tour…. GOOD.. finally they showed some balls of the field..

  30. When they said that Steve and Mark had done a lot for Australian Cricket, I thought they were refering to the Waugh twins!

  31. GB, no point discussing this. ICC is Imperial CC in all but name. I think if the Asian nations come out of ICC for some time, then things will be better. Now whats happening is that these **&&^* are to put it in an Indian way “eating our salt and chewing our asses”. Let’s cut off the financial nerve of these guys.

    Recently Ricky Ponting proudly displayed a character certificate from Chris Broad – which clearly shows the nexus between the ‘white’ officials and ‘white’ players. What extra-ordinary spirit have the Aussies shown to deserve that certificate?
    Infact, an argument on Cricinfo yesterday descended into “Where were you when Aussies were cheated out in the Ashes 2005”.Thats symptomatic – the only time Aussies get the wrong end of the stick is when they play with the English fire :-). Trust the old blighties to get under the skin of even the Aussies 🙂
    And Ricky Ponting who cried buckets about the ‘spirit’ when a 12th man picked out of the counties ran him out, does the same now.

    But then, its only a game. Imagine the plight of the aborigines who have been suffering these *&^#$# for centuries 😦

  32. I remember one West Indies keeper being fined for runout while he had used his one hand to remove the bails while the ball was in his other hand. I wonder if same cannot be done for Symonds and Ponting. After all they brought disrepute to the game. What do say dada

  33. Well said, GB, especially about the caste system in Indian cricket. This is a whole new angle of looking at things. Something that no Indian could have possibly thought about.

    I applaud the innovative spirit of the aussies when it comes to playing mind games. They just reached a new all time low.

    All hail Anil Kumble. I hope the tour goes on though, but won’t be surprised if they decide to come back.

  34. GB, I admire the passion in your post – straight from the gut, like Sourav’s shirt waving. Like everyone else I resent that India lost a chance to compete as equals because of the umpiring, & that Ponting will continue to act holier-than-thou for the rest of the series. And Harbhajan managed to get himself dinged, which I think is a result of lack of command over English & giving a proper retort. But we can’t afford to ignore the brittleness of our second innings batting, the mental block that is thwarting Yuvraj (so good in the one-dayers when we last visited Australia) & Jaffar, the lack of purpose to our bowling against lesser batsmen (like in the match against Pakistan that Pathan toook his hattrick). The best respond we can give is by winning the next tests, & in this hungama over umpiring & racism, I am worried that we are getting sidetracked.

    Also, the other worrying thing I noticed in the course of the match was that in the face of adverse umpiring or gamesmanship our fans become like commentators on Rediff. Prem P’s blog, after Symond’s ‘life’ at 30, had comments about monkey on monkey sex, ape dance etc. Reading such comments perpetuate the myth about ‘racist’ Indian fans & the crap that Mr. Anand is dishing out (and what is Cricinfo’s Sidharth V doing supporting that theory?). In your post, the insinuation about the social & government system in South Africa during Mike Procter’s playing days is quite a logical leap. At this rate, Roshan Mahanama would be the only ‘acceptable’ match referee for India.

    I have been seeing Gavaskar on a few YouTube clips, defending the Indian team. I am so glad we have someone like him on a public platform to articulate our position & counter the Aussie PR juggernaut. We need canny, smart & effective counters to the likes of Healy & Slater.

  35. Umpiring and match-refereeing towards teams from subcontinent has always been skewed against them.. I remember reading in “Sunny Days” an incident during 1974 India tour to England. Those were days without neutral umpires and the Engish umpire officiating in one of the tests just refused to get his finger out of the coat-pocket for the plumbest and surest of dismissals during England innings. Despite this India mow down the batting order .Venkat clean blowls the last batsman and turns towards the umpire to appeal. The umpire says- ” He is bowled”.Venky’s retort- “I know. But is he OUT??”
    And as for the match referee- remember when Mike atherton wass caught on cam rubbing soil on the ground? Match referee politely asked him of he had any nefarious intent in doing so. Mike ofcourse claimed it was all done in wide-eyed innocence and that was that!!!!!English papers even claimed that Atherton confused the law that allows for the ball to be rubbed on the ground and eneded up doing it the other way round!!!!!!

  36. Looks like I spoke too soon.. and BCCI did change its mind!

    The tour has been suspended pending Harbhajan’s appeal.

  37. It still peeves me that our tail enders couldn’t handle a part time bowler like Clarke.

    If our teamsters have any balls, they should suck it up and level the series. It’s not impossible you know.
    I’d personally like to see what Pankaj Singh can do, and also give Sehwag a chance. If the Australians can play a dirty game, we should play the game on their terms.

  38. From an Australian newspaper :

    “INDIA has lodged a counter-claim of abuse against the Australians during Harbhajan Singh’s racial discrimination hearing.

    The Indians alleged that Brad Hogg referred to an Indian player as a “bastard”, which is considered to be a highly offensive term in India. ”

    I understand that ‘bastard’ is not an offensive term in Australia.

    Obvious, nahh??



  39. Ok so I can’t call Symmonds a monkey but can I call a monkey as Symmonds

  40. Again an excellent post !!!
    Its like ‘unka khoon khoon hamara khoon paani’…BCCI should cancel the tour immediately and definitely do something about the incompetent ‘umpire’ Bucknor. For the match refree, word of a white man is more truthful in comparison to a brown skinned person. As a judge he has to go by the evidence …period. Its very hard not to write any expletives in the comment while thinking about whole incident.

  41. Severe and with the perfect amount of Vitriol…take a bow, GB.
    As my infuriated Sikh friend put it,”saale jailbirds…after all, there are a nation of convicts

  42. @ Anonymous
    Thats very very derogatory thing to say to a monkey …Its good that you asked before actually calling a monkey as Symonds. Be prepared to be sued by Animal rights activists in case you have already committed the crime.

  43. After watching the test match, someone has written some rules have to be incorporated by ICC to give the other teams a perfect clarification

    (1) Ricky Ponting – (THE TRULY GENUINE CRICKETER OF THE CRICKET ERA AND WHOSE INTEGRITY SHOULD NOT BE DOUBTED) should be considered as the FOURTH UMPIRE. As per the new rules, FOURTH UMPIRE decision is final and will over ride any decisions taken by any other umpires. ON-FIELD umpires can seek the assistance of RICKY PONTING even if he is not on the field. This rule is to be made, so that every team should understand the importance of the FOURTH UMPIRE.

    (2) While AUSTRALIAN TEAM is bowling, If the ball flies anywhere close to the AUSTRALIAN FIELDER(WITHIN 5 metre distance), the batsman is to be considered OUT irrelevant of whether the catch was taken cleanly or grassed. Any decision for further clarification should be seeked from the FOURTH UMPIRE. This is made to ensure that the cricket is played with SPORTIVE SPIRIT by all the teams.

    (3) While BATTING, AUSTRALIAN players will wait for the ON-FIELD UMPIRE decisions only (even if the catch goes to the FIFTH SLIP as the ball might not have touched the bat). Each AUSTRALIAN batsman has to be out FOUR TIMES (minimum) before he can return to the pavilion. In case of THE CRICKETER WITH INTEGRITY, this can be higher.

    (4) UMPIRES should consider a huge bonus if an AUSTRALIAN player scores a century. Any wrong decisions can be ignored as they will be paid huge bonus and will receive the backing of the AUSTRALIAN team and board.

    (5) All AUSTRALIAN players are eligible to keep commenting about all players on the field and the OPPONENT TEAM should never comment as they will be spoiling the spirit of the AUSTRALIAN team. Any comments made in any other language are to be considered as RACIALISM only.

    (6) MATCH REFREE decisions will be taken purely on the AUSTRALIAN TEAM advices only. Player views from the other teams decisions will not be considered for hearing. MATCH REFREES are to be given huge bonus if this rule is implemented.

    (7) NO VISITING TEAM should plan to win in AUSTRALIA. This is to ensure that the sportive spirit of CRICKET is maintained.

    (8) THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: If any bowler gets RICKY PONTING – “THE UNDISPUTED CRICKETER WITH INTEGTIRY IN THE GAME OF CRICKET” more than twice in a series, he will be banned for the REST OF THE SERIES. This is to ensure that the best batsman/Captain will be played to break records and create history in the game of CRICKET.

    These rules will clarify better to the all the teams VISITING AUSTRALIA.

  44. No doubt the test has left a really bad taste and everyone is quite upset about the whole thing.. But the bitter fact remains that Australia is still the best team when it comes to just the Sport, not the Sportsmanship. At the same time, it has definitely become the most hated team for me..

    Question is – is there anything that WE can do along with expressing our discontent through these messages? Any thoughts? Suggestions?

  45. Didnt expect anything less than brilliance on this subject from you. The umpiring and the awful Australian ‘spirit’ of the game has started the year awfully for all of us.

    Maybe you can check out my take on the second test –


  46. GB, I was convinced Harbhajan was going to get the rough end on this one. I don’t think we could have expected anything different from Mike Procter. The umpiring was clearly biased, Bucknor may have had an axe to grind, though I’m not sure Benson was deliberately biased.

    Ponting’s moralising on the whole catching issue was always laughable, not sure why Kumble was gullible enough to accept it. The basic argument that we’re familiar with: how can you trust a team who cheat at the crease? No one has to walk for lbws or feathers, but Clarke-type incidents have happened in the past. Or Symonds in the first innings for that matter. And how about Gilchrist the ultra-honest sportsman blatantly appealing for the Dravid wicket?

    Anyhow, couple of things:

    1. There is a lot of name calling and stereotyping going on about Australians in general on various blogs/forums. This is uncalled for and shows us in a poor light. I hope everybody calms the f**k down and realise this is a game, not a reflection on Australian society. (I’m not referring to your post, btw).

    2. This shouldn’t be an excuse to absolve the Indian team of another poor performance under pressure, a situation which the umpiring was admittedly responsible for. Jaffer, Yuvraj and Dhoni have all been passengers so far and have played like total novices. The way the team has played Hogg is criminal. Ganguly has looked in supreme touch every time and has conspired to get out without learning from previous dismissals. Both Ganguly and Yuvraj were in constant danger against Hogg’s flipper, Ganguly because he wanted to attack Hogg (cutting good length flippers) and Yuvraj because he didn’t have a clue. It is shameful that we now have a team which stuggles against Clarke, Symonds and Hogg. Dravid started the slide with that tortuous innings on Boxing day and he’s still not sure if he wants to go after half volleys. Stuart Clark bowled a magnificent spell to get rid of Laxman and Sachin gone, but Laxman was stuck on the crease and Sachin was unsure almost as soon as Gilchrist stood up. Kumble was the one batsman who coped with the pressure. Overall, we were robbed of the first innings spoils (and possibly with it the game, because we could have had a genuine winning chance), but the second innings was a disaster.

  47. malcolm speed pulled up Proctor for not taking action against yuvraj singh for dissent at a breakfast in front of 480 people after the previous test.

    how much do you think that was an influence in coming down on bhajji?

    on ganguly’s catch:

    also it should be remembered that in a captian-umpire meeting, kumble and ponting instructed the umpires that a fielders word would be taken in a catch, the captain would communicate this to the umpire.

    that’s what happened.

    anyway, kumble is a lion hearted captian. its awesome to see someone like that in charge.

  48. Megatron - Aussie Sucks January 7, 2008 — 11:14 am

    Bad, Worse, Worst that’s how situation went right after test started. Blind and Deaf that’s what the system is for indian cricket team. There is no point in belaboring what went wrong.
    I will tell you what is wrong , it is our mentality- “sab chalta hain” and people in BCCI, those assholes should raise strong voice against the injustice. Alas!! mr minister and his chauvinist can only clear Aussie arse..after all they are so good at it

    Three cheers to Kumble and his team,except Yuvi,Jaffer – we are proud of you.

  49. Shourideb Bhattacharyya January 7, 2008 — 11:22 am

    Hi GB,

    i am in sydney now so can get first hand Aussie reaction to the fiasco…some aussies are absolutely furious with their cricket team and have actually considered carrying an indian flag to the next test match..there is some criticism on TV as well….these are the intelligent Aussies…the rest could not care less.

    There are some very dumb and blatantly racist people who would still defend the aussies though…unfortunately there are a good number of these types too..


  50. Nice post GB. You are spot on. I am astonished to know that the word ‘monkey’ is racist in nature. If so be the case then most Indian parents should be in jail for such a heinous offence. Since time immemorial Indian kids (or pranksters) have been referred to as monkeys whenever their parents lost their cool.

    The Australian team looks like a bunch of professional goondas with a ‘punter’ leading them from the front. They have lost all the respect from Indian fans and I am sure that they would be greeted vociferously with monkey chants next time they visit our country.

  51. Very well written article, if only for you mentioning the should-have-been -LBW Hussey dismissal. I’ve yet to see an article which has mentioned that. I’d honestly thought I’d seen the worst of the umpiring of the Australian summer though when Sangakkara was robbed of his double hundred. Boy was I wrong there.

    Brad – Australian, white and glad he chose India and not Australia has his favourite team as a five year old

  52. My two cents…

    My sincere and earnest request to all the dictionary makers out there…Please replace the word Blunder in all your dictionaries with the word Bucknor…not much of a difference but the meaning will be all the more clear, even for people who do not understand English at all!

    And Mr. Mike Procter, did no one teach you how to count? When four out of six people say they have not heard anything racist (Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar and the Umpires), it means the majority…2 out of 6 does not mean majority…and u shud take a decision based on what the majority tells you. Of course if you believe that the two umpires who could not hear any of the edges that were heard by the grandmother living in the next lane could not hear this also, I wholeheartedly support you. You can now hang a board saying ‘If someone is taking Aussie wickets too frequently, they deserve to be banned’.

    And regards the series, I lost out on so much sleep waking up at 5am in the morning to savor what I thought would be a great game of cricket. Instead I got to see loads of human errors (most of which go against Indians) and an insult to our ancestors…If it is true that we did descend from the apes, calling Andrew Symonds a monkey is an insult to mankind and the monkeykind too!

  53. Arnab,

    There is no point in us getting excited until and unless the BCCI plays it the hard way with the ICC. Looking at the present boss of BCCI , it looks bleak.

    On the other hand, how would I love to have the Aussies as guests at the Eden!! And would love to meet the Holier than Thou Ponting at a night club. This time we would make sure that he stays lying on the footpath after the bouncer kicks him out, again.

  54. your last line was BULLS-EYE bro

  55. Arindam Mukherjee January 7, 2008 — 1:01 pm

    If there is a doping scandal, records are overturned, victories annulled, medals, honors and money taken back.

    But there is no such action taken when umpires act blind, and sportsmen act like hench men. Ponting and his lynch mob of merry men are perhaps the worst humans to have played in the test arena. Ponting is right in a queer sort of way when he demands that his integrity not be questioned – how can you question something that does not exist?

  56. We must rethink what cricket really stands for: here’s a quotable quote which captures my sentiments best:

    “Cricket: 11 cunts playing 11 cunts each trying to trick two blind and deaf idiots while pushing the rules as far as they will go.”

  57. In this whole morbid saga, BCCI was plumbing depths of stupidity by saying this event wont affect BCCI-CA relationship. I dont know who the jackass who thought of this statement. Suddenly I remembered the genteel PM’s statements after every terrorist attack that the event wont affect Indo-Pak peace.

    The term racist abuse is probably more abused than the race itself.

  58. Hara hara bom bom January 7, 2008 — 2:32 pm

    Charles Darwin (& Lamark) had got it hopelessly wrong. Man did not decsend from ape.

    Ape descended from Man !!

  59. Did you read this article in the Sydney Morning Herald?

    I am glad that we are seeing reactions like this in Australa, and not a blind support of he Aussie team’s behavior.

  60. “In this test match there was one of mine (where) I wasn’t sure if I caught Rahul Dravid [Images] in the first innings. I was 95 per cent sure (I’d caught it). There was a little bit of doubt there for me. I said I wasn’t 100 per cent sure, so Dravid stayed.” – Ponting


    Look at the tone of this crazy m*****f*****. ‘I said I wasn’t 100 per cent sure, so Dravid stayed.’ – What does he think, he is the umpire. If BCCI has any bit of shame left, they should call off the tour. }:

  61. It is an amazing article Gb,it brings out the mixture of emotions and anger a cricket fan would have felt after witnessing such a farce authored by Bucknor and Co. and a man of unquestionable integrity,

    I believe in the next test (if it happens) somebody should question Punter’s lineage or what kind of criminal record his ancestors had?

    Wonder what “Dada’s” reaction would have been had he been the captain?

    But we still can’t forgive players like Yuvraj,Dhoni and Jaffer,what exactly are they in Australia for??

  62. @Ani_says

    Yuvraj sure has reason enough 🙂

  63. The decision to ban Harbhajan being a horrible one, still does’nt change the fact that you had 9 players (I am not counting ganguly and dravid who were obviously done in) who could not bat 2 sessions on a pitch that had no demons in it apart from low bounce. The incidents off and on the pitch do not take away from that basic fact, and that is why India lost. We can blame bucknor till the cows come home but it takes away from our own inadequacies as a team. Bad decisions hurt us more because the Aussies capitalized on it more than we did, Symonds dropeed on 30 makes another 130 odd, because the Indian bowling lacks the penetration to make another dent into his armour.

    I am reminded of a morning in johannesburg in the mid 90’s where a young Allan Donald after being repeatedly frustrated by his slip cordon and Richardsons inabitlity to hold on to catches, sealed the matter by striking a painful blow to the batsmans knuckles (which ended up breaking a bone or two) and then having him caught behind the next over. The batsman in question was a certain mthew hayden, who did’nt play again till 2001.

  64. s:

    “We can blame bucknor till the cows come home …”

    isn’t that as racist as saying ‘until the monkeys stop dancing’?

    also, are you advocating that the indians bruise the aussies? similar sentiments weren’t exactly welcome when rameez raza said that about tendulkar …

    – s.b.

  65. Hello GB,

    Have heard a lot of your site recently, and was quite happy to see a well written article, although i dont think this is restrictied to one individual.

    As any Indian would, I enjoyed the criticism laid out to Pointing and his teammates. However, the Indian media as well as its supporters are enraged and the obvious reaction is to cancel the tour. Cancelling a tour because 6-7 decisions were wrong are a bit of an overreaction (yes, i agree with pointing there :p). Be the bigger person and beat them at Perth, thats what we should be aiming for.

    Coming to the serious issue of umpiring, which as many of you have highlighed was abysmal. Like all south-asian teams, somehow the climate in australia seems suitable for decisions to go the home team’s way. And such decisions have been given by many umpired not just Bucknor. I’m sure all of us are keen followers, and many of Bucknors decisions have gone our way as well, and to single out a west-indian as seemingly racist against the non-white race seems contradictary.

    Im not writing this to defend bucknor, but what i want to get across is that bucknor is not the only umpire to blame and there is a serious issue behind it. For generations the australian shore has frightened umpires of making wrong decisions against the home team. It could be attributed to their on-field hostility or the agressive nature of sport. But there exists a serious problem with playing cricket in Australia, which needs to be addressed by the board. To ban steve bucknor for the upcoming match is not a permananent solution. Remember the tour before the last? sachin leg before wicket? (shoulder rather :)), it wasnt bucknor then? Umpires will continue to change and we will continue to crib at the fact that we got hard done. Either we take it as a part and parcel of playing cricket in australia or address this serious problem. Any of you willing to choose the former?


  66. A good and angry article.

    I think the Aussies are trying to take away the focus from the questionable behaviour they displayed on the field. Proctor should have meted out the same punishment to Ponting that he did to Latif. By going on the offensive on Bhajji the Aussies have ensured that the Indians don’t get the time and energy to make a case of the dishonest catches claimed.

  67. I have said this regarding Gavaskar’s comment about David Hookes and I will say it again. Australians are not too good in taking insults. The reason they dont like harbhajan Singh but someone like VVS is extremely clear. In North India, people swear. Bhen$$ and Madar&& are used in every alternate word by people of Punjab, UP and Delhi. Sledging therefore comes naturally to Harbhajan.

    Let us analyze the tunnel visioned analysis of Allan Border, a player whom I respected immensely for his guts.


    Border says:

    “But the former Australian skipper admitted a lack of dressing room rapport between modern Test sides made it difficult to ease tension after on-field flashpoints.
    “What we think is just routine banter, they take offence at. It is straight-out cultural stuff,” Border said.
    “The cultural issues were always there in our day. When we say ‘lucky bastards’, they might take offence. It was a simple Aussie term no one takes offence to in Australia.
    “It is considered almost a compliment here. But the Indians have never liked it and nor have the West Indians.
    “It is a tough one to get around. I don’t think the umpires have any drama with our lot. Everyone knows there is a hard edge to the way we play. ”

    Again Allan Border is guilty of villain production at the expense of mirror manufacture. So if Harbhajan Singh is coming from a culture where “routine stuff” is wishing the other guy, “How would you like if I pump some bullets into the c** of your preggie wife”, then is it ok for him to be baffled? After all, he meant it as a compliment!

    That is why I was with Gavaskar when he made that Hookes death reference. If you call Symonds a bastard, he could not care less. So you have to say things which get under his skin. That is what sledging is all about. Actually I believe that the Aussies know the temperament of Bhajji and were setting him up. They are trying to wash away all their crimes by using this monkey thing as a shield. Again, there is no proof as to whether he said it or not. It is a very strange scenario. You can sledge using any number of personal expletives, and when the person naively hits back with the word you have been waiting for, you put on the ‘racist’ t shirt. It is therefore to India’s advantage if the players are given a crash course in personal sledging after studying what personal remarks exactly offends the Australian player. For example, Australians are very family oriented. They take time off from Tests and ODIs when their wives crank out babies. Therefore Indian players should memorize the names of all the near and dear ones of Aussie players and have a good idea as to what personal expletive will get under the skin of individual Aussie players. We also need a sledging coach, a cunnilinguist (cunning linguist) who will teach players how to respond to ‘bastard’ by personal references to the worst form of sexual exploitation, BDSM, child molestation, death references and necrophilia. Remember that is all personal attack, and cannot be branded as racism.

  68. Wasim Akram said in Anandabazar:

    “Till now, the Australians have used the worst kind of expletives against us and our families. We took it and moved on. Never did we act like “cry babies. And now when Harbhajan uses the term ‘monkey’, it is a level 3 offense!

  69. India needs to patent this invention ASAP.
    It is the remedy for all kind of problems.
    It is a good physical and vocal exercise.
    Wherever and whenever there is injustice, just burn the effigy.
    Someday India might produce a super hero out of it, the Effigy Burner Man or Captain Burner.
    This hero will have torch and flames printed on his chest and under wear respectively.

  70. They take time off from Tests and ODIs when their wives crank out babies.

    Huh??? yourfan2, you’ve managed to outdo yourself, which is a bit of feat. May be they do, may be they don’t, but what a disrespectful thing to say. Get some perspective please.

  71. And youfan2, btw, while you’re at it, can you please stop the David Hookes commentary? You’re speculating just like Sunny was, which is alright but here the man lost his life. Strange things happen, not everything can be explained away in our preferred terms.

  72. @nanda Kishor-

    “May be they do, may be they don’t, but what a disrespectful thing to say.”

    Is that so Nanda Kishore? Oh ho ho ho ho ho ho ho. So calling Sanath Jayasuriya a black spider, Lehmann’s cunts, Mcgrath’s allegation to Sarwan’s homsexuality, Symonds innuendo of Harbhajan’s gayness, Slater’s expletives against rahul Dravid etc are very respectful? Wasim Akram was quoted in Anandabazar saying , “Aussies always used the worst kind of expletives against our mothers and sisters.”

    Maybe they grow up on a diet of that in grade cricket etc. and hence calling them such terms doesn’t affect them. Therefore if I have to sledge, I should be bringing in reference to the people who they are very touchy about- their wives and their children- both born and unborn. There is NOTHING unfair in it. Cant you see? Do not look at the vulgarity of the sentence. Look at the intent and the objectives that it wishes to accomplish. This is a psychological game. One which Waugh euphemistically termed as ‘mental disintegration”.

    Also get some perspective into the Aussie meaning of playing cricket hard but fair. Hard means the Border school of thought, “Black bastard is OK. But please you bringing in David Hookes! That is sick mate.” Fair- well to be honest, Waugh and Mark Taylor were much more fair captains. That is the reason why even though the rest of the world were irritated by the Aussie antics, they admired the prowess of their cricketers. Gilchrist walking in the WC semis actually was as great an act of sportsmanship as Walsh’s decision not to ‘Mankad’ Abdul Qadir in 1987. The Glenn Mcgrath school of thought about sledging was, “Hey hey. Dont you have any basic decency. My loving chweet cutiepie wife is suffering from tit cancer and you wag your dirty tounge about her. I can talk about your sexual life. But you should not hit back. Cant you see how we make statements like family is so important, playing with kids in the backyard etc. Also Oz has a lower divorce rate than USA. We are uxorious husbands. Don’t you talk about my wife, Sarwan.”

    I was so glad that Sarwan blasted back at Mcgrath. :)Just so glad. Now Mcgrath was a great bowler. Mention should be made about Eddo Brandes reference to Mcgrath’s wife and cookies. The Aussies dont take these things well. They don’t. Bastard doesn’t perturb them. Neither does “your momma… etc”. So you have to change your gameplan. Or else succumb to their moral high-handedness to decide what is sledging and what is not and get treated like a doormat.

    Mark Nicholas writes:

    “The game of cricket belongs to the players. It is they who set the standard to which they play and they who decide the spirit in which they play. Verbal abuse, sledging, mental disintegration – call it what you will – is an ugly, modern phenomenon far removed from the feisty banter associated with many a competitive former player.

    This was history repeating itself. In 1985, Allan Border had come to England, been everyone’s buddy and got beat. Then he got beat again at home, 18 months later. When he came back in 1989, Ian Botham et al could not understand why Border was not on the town with them. He was tired of being Mr Nice Guy, that’s why, so he became Captain Grumpy instead. That Australian side beat David Gower’s England 4-0. Ponting went one better when he had his next crack, thrashing Andrew Flintoff’s team 5-0. England were shocked by the Australian’s overtly aggressive on the field approach. Many lost respect for opponents they had previously admired.

    Then, as now, neither party was more culpable than the other and nor should cricket teams anywhere in the world ignore their own contribution to the affairs that exist – many umpires in county cricket for example despair at the behaviour of the modern player. To find an innocent party is to uncover a sapphire in the surf. The game has been waiting for this and now it has happened. It has happened because a young, fearless Indian bit back with something below the belt and because his intelligent and hugely respected captain concluded that “only one team was playing within the spirit of the game”. Even England hadn’t gone that far. ”


    I can understand playing hard to win. How hard? even by restoring to claiming catches that they did not take? Rashid Latif was banned for claiming a catch like that. Does Proctor have the balls to do that? Oh I know what Ponting said about “Fielder is true. Cameras lie”. The point Sunny Gavaskar has been making again and again is that Kumble did a mistake by that agreement with Ponting. I could not agree more. And this is not the first time I have seen Bucknor favoring Aussies or rubbing Indians the wrong way. The sadness of this loss comes not from the loss itself, but in the manner of being pushed to defeat. This was effectively 13 vs 11. Steve Bucknor and Benson were more successful wicket takers than some of the Aussie bowlers! If a protest is not due now, it never is. Aussies played their cricket shamlessly and unfairly at the SCG, not hard and fairly.

    Read newspapers around the world. Everybody is sympathizing with India. Even CMJ in London Times. Ponting has now gone a bit soft as he just went home and checked his bank balance and thought about the 2020 tourney in India next year.
    The worst thing is that both Hussey and Symonds went on to make hundreds after their letoffs.

    Saurav Ganguly said in Rediff:

    “”We had the possibility of saving the game. Obviously if me and Rahul had carried on, things would have been easier for the team. But once you are given out, you are out,” the dejected left-hander told Times Now channel.
    “We played well in the match. With Australia 134 for six (in the first innings), we could have dominated the match. But it did not go our way. We batted well to score 500 and it could have finished in a much better way for India.”

    So f-ing true. As well as Brad Hogg played, if Symonds was given out at that stage on Day 1, India would have dominated this Test match. Now they have lost the rubber.

  73. Hi,

    I may be the odd man out here, but the fact of the matter is we should have been able to draw the test match if we had applied ourselves better. I do not suspect umpiring was rigged it was just plain incompetent.

    As for the Harbhajan issue, he is a loose cannon and should have known what he was getting into.

    As for the Indian Team if they really want to punch the Aussies where it hurts than defeat the mothaf#$#r in the game and not pussy around off the field. This is professional grade cricket in Australia, our team (seniors especially) know what they were in for.

    Our players did not last 2 sessions Period.

  74. Yourfan2, fine. You would rather just continue to rant. I don’t disagree with anything you say about the umpiring in the match or the double standards of the Australian team or the so called hearing. But it is interesting that you think your disrespectful comments are somehow justified because of all that. I was reminded of another comment you made about placing bills on a stripper’s c**t, which was nauseating. I’m not moralising, I’m hardly in a position to do so – but please be dignified in your outrage. Good luck.

  75. Some morons like Michael Slater say that it all evens out on a long term . But I am not thinking of the long term. Only this series. What kind of justification is that? Symonds wants the human element to stay. Why not? He is after all the beneficiary.

    Also some people are defending Clarke by saying that its not entirely clear if the ball hit the ground. What a joke! Tell you what- since India run poorly between the wickets than the Aussies, Kumble should make a pact with Ponting that in case of tight run outs, the word of the batsman should be final. And in case of disputes, we can always say that there is doubt as to whether the bat was grounded even thought TV replays clearly show it short of the crease.

    Umpiring errors are nothing new to cricket. But of what magnitude. And a bearing on this Test match. So when was the last time you guys saw THIS KIND OF UMPIRING !!!:

  76. When I was a child, my father called me a monkey many times. I wonder if he was being racist towards me.

  77. GB

    thanks. I asked for this in one of the comments i posted in another article, and you just gave it. And this is what i was expecting. by the way have you heard of the community on orkut called IPCM(India Pakistan Cricket Matches)? if you hold a membership on Orkut, just have a look and you will get a glimpse of what an avg indian thinks and how much is his frustration.

    By the way given all that is said and done, I am still awry of the fact tht India could not hold fort for 2 sessions on the last day. and especially 3 wickets were not enuff for an over! Guess if there is a Devil(I dare not say God) of Cricket, he is australian.

  78. And australians may think calling your mother/father/ sister in any name is a good joke and can be left out at the field while you comeback, but when you call someone a monkey its racism, But i have something else in my mind!

    Tell me guys, when was the last time you called some sworn enemy of yours a monkey to abuse him? in standard 2? or may be 3? I find it very hard to believe Bhajji, a sardar, would have called symonds a monkey to offend him where he can easily put symonds’ mother before every C word/F word and turn out excellent expletives. I have full confidence on Bhajji that he wowuld rather prefer “teri maa ki” conjunctioned with some more anyday than calling symonds a monkey!

  79. excellent post….and here’s a video of aussie media flagrantly backing up ponting (when he lost his cool)

  80. Guys,
    How many of you think the following as actions to be taken?

    1. Strip off the test status of this match (too many official blunders) to declare it as a International Test Match.

    2. Need to have an inquiry panel to inquire the three Umpires, and Match refree. Comittee should be represented by coloured/non colored in equal parts. Till the verdit is given they should be banned from doing any umpiring or refree to any matches (including gulli cricket)

    3. Ricky ponting should be charged for the same reasons what latif faced as a pakistan capitan (charged and banned while playing against bangladesh for wrong claim of catch). If found guilty of the same terms, then should be banned for 4 times.

    4. If the above three happens, then tour will be continued. Otherwise, the tour will be cancelled and the fine amount that BCCI should pay AC will be done after filing a case against ICC and a verdict is given off that case. (This will delay the money that the AC will suffer as a part of loss).

    — I know I am being too greedy to expect the above to happen!!!

    But as a minimum, All the supporters that go for next test match should go in with a big Hanuman Poster. If Hanuman poster is not allowed, then they dont watch…so no much collection also (I saw too many indians in the stadium this time). So, must be good amount of money right in the loss right?

    All the indian players should play with big Black ARM band as a protest and also they should play with their mouth covered with the same color cloth. when they field, No appeals. No request for a decision from umpires.

  81. This just gets more and more ridiculous.
    Malcolm Conn writes:

    “At the heart of the Indians’ grievance is the feeling they were set up by the inquiry and that match referee Mike Procter dismissed the evidence of Sachin Tendulkar and Harbajhan while accepting the evidence of Symonds, Michael Clarke and Matthew Hayden.
    Ponting revealed yesterday exactly how the incident unfolded.
    “I was made aware by Michael Clarke, who heard it on the way past,” Ponting said.
    “He told me straight away. I told (umpire Mark) Benson straight away. Making his way to slip, Haydos (Hayden) told me he heard it as well.
    “When I knew a couple of guys had heard it, I made my way off the ground and spoke to (team manager) Steve Bernard straight away and explained to him everything that had happened.
    “This is what I’m instructed to do by the referee, tell the umpires first, then tell your management. I ticked all the boxes, did what I had to do, then got on with playing the game.”

    That explains it. Ponting is so deluded that even if he or some of his team-mates do something wrong, he will always think that its right. This also explains his attitude to catching. Mr. Integrity indeed. How ridiculous can this get. Clarke claims a catch which bounced twice. Is there any credibility in what he said? And the world knows that Haydos and Roy are best mates. I am in agreement with the Ancient Mariner. Harbhajan probably used some other expletive. But they intelligently twisted it to their own agenda. The case for Symonds was already set up over the past few months. Mike Procter is clearly biased.

    Quoting from ‘The Australian’:

    “The Indians accused Ponting of making up the claims because he wanted to be rid of Harbhajan, who has removed him in three of four innings this series.

    Procter is believed to have inferred that only one side had been telling the truth. “I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Harbhajan Singh directed that word at Andrew Symonds and also that he meant it to offend on the basis of Symonds’ race or ethnic origin,” Procter said in an official release.

    When the Indians left the hearing, one player expressed his frustration to Indian journalists. “It’s been a terrible day,” the player was quoted as saying in the Hindustan Times. “We have been treated unfairly by the umpires, cheated of a favourable result in the match, are playing a team that cheats and lies quite blatantly, even while pretending to uphold the spirit of the game.

    “The worst of it is, they get away with everything, every dirty tactic, every dubious call. On top of it, there’s this (the Harbhajan controversy). How are we supposed to feel, and in what mode does anyone expect us to play?”

    Talking about Symonds- Is this sledging or what?

  82. To see why Symonds was so infuriated, please check this out. This adds an entirely new spin to the event (at the cost of self-promoting) –


  83. CA: And tell mommy what would you do to him if he comes here.

    Ind: I would kick that monkey’s ass.

    blah, blah

    Mom: But that’s not a nice word. You should say I would kick bastard’s ass.

    Ind: ohh

  84. As I said, there is no room for civility and niceties with people who behave like such obnoxious and obstinate cunts. ANY kind of expletive is JUST FINE.

    Eddo Brandes and Ramnaresh Sarwan have shown the way. The Brandes one was so good that it became a classic.

    “McGrath, frustrated that Brandes was still at the crease, wandered up during one particular over and inquired: “Why are you so fat?”

    Quick as a flash, Brandes replied: “Because every time I make love to your wife, she gives me a biscuit.”

  85. Fuck Y’all, we should stop acting like babies and let our results do the talking. Had bad umpiring decisions helped India win not one mother fucker in India would have opened his mouth in protest. We are hypocrites and losers and bad losers at that.

  86. sardarjis are known to be racists and bigoted, that an idiot like bhajji would have denigrated someone based on race is very very probable.

  87. I think at the bottom of all this is an inherent fear of the aussies, the indian team’s fans(retards)are trying to come up with excuses for our pathetic performance. Kumble played so hard and bravely…..fuck that u pussies. What matters is the results. And about the racism thing, yes we are the most accepting broad minded people are’nt we…fuck, we hate and kill people who look like us (caste system). Fuck the incompetent indian team, the best outcome of all this would be for sachin, saurav, rahul and anil to retire en masse. Lets get some young blood in the team.

  88. Hi SID

    Instead of telling people to f off, you should go and fuck your crippled mom in the shower. why deviate discussion?

  89. Ok Kabir, thats enough. No more expletives please. Sid has already revealed himself to be pretty despicable in his assessment of Sardarjis and pretty moronic in his assessment of the only people who have performed on this tour. Let’s not get down to his level.

  90. Hi All

    As an Australian I am very interested to read all of your comments.
    For those not happy about the umpiring decisions go to the 2nd Test at Eden Gardens in 2001 and recall the 9-2 lbw count. Not even a neutral umpire or match referee there. The Indian umpire retired after that test didn’t he?
    Also look at the umpiring decisions of the 2005 Ashes series involving Australia and in particular Damian Martyn. You will have trouble finding too many articles complaining about these two games publicly, because most people accept the umpires are doing their best under very difficult circumstances.
    What is the solution for the contributors to this discussion. Sack the umpires that do not do a good job? Who judges the good job? How many will you sack? What if they favour India? Do they just get sacked if India lose?
    For the people worried about the “bad” Australian cricketers your referals to monkeys, convicts and toilet humour are very illuminating. Your maturity and commonsense is educational.

  91. Hi- i really dont think anyone in India is under the impression that symonds is black – also the word monkey is hardly used to connotate black people (we have other words for that – which are never spoken). heck, my mom is so naive that she thought it was okay to refer to blacks as “negroes” until I told her…so these allegations of “racism” are preposterous. Singh is probably darker than Symonds. Symonds just happens to look like an ape – nothing else to it!!

    Look, Aussies – you need to understand something – no one cares 2 hoots about your country – no, not even the US (whom you pander to so devoutly), and not even the UK (who, because of your ethnicity you love to hate..). India, is an emerging superpower, and in many ways, this cricket team represents the face of modern India – one that will not take Shit from anyone – not your cricketers (whom we so convincingly defeated in the fastest form of cricket), not your media, and not your cricket boards filled with “stupid old white men”.. sorry mates – this is how its going to be in the new century.

  92. Get Speed. Power’ll become President!
    Problem Solved! 😉

  93. If you want to express your displeasure to Cricket Australia, their number is 61 3 9653 9999. Ask for Public Affairs (and what a public affair this has been).

  94. Hi David,

    Great to see you here mate. First lets get your lies out the way. There was a match referee then: C W Smith. One umpire was Indian, another was Peter Wiley, a Britisher or as you would call him a Pommie. Unfortunately there is record of this on the Net , so getting two more Aussies to shout that there was no match referee and no neutral umpire wont change the truth.

    As to that test, getting 9/2 lbws just means that you guys were not able to play with your bats. Thats all. No one in 2001 ever commented on the consistent biased umpiring, not even your largely jingoistic press which cannot stop cribbing otherwise. Neither do you have any kind of video evidence of cheating like we have of your cheater captain claiming catches with the ball on the ground and of thick snicks that only the umpire does not hear and of ball brushing pad with bat nowhere near.

    But I am glad that so many years after that drubbing, that defeat still rankles you so much so that you have to come to my humble comment space with your litany of lies.

    As to your convict origins, if you try to rake up our caste identities that is exactly what you are going to get.

  95. Yes, a pity that spirit of the game was largely absent – test cricket is hardly meaningful or enjoyable without it. The umpiring was below par but I guess Kumble’s dignified positioning was decent for a losing team (despite partial umpiring) that at best performs randomly against world class bowling/fielding. Although part of a bigger disease, seldom does any of these Indian batsman (other than Ganguly of late) seem to show test temperament to hang on for 2 sessions of a 4th innings against a spirited attack. If *test* cricket is all about testing and trying conditions, then robustness against outrageous or even adverse decisions is as desirable to have as Kumble’s spirit and dignity.

  96. Fly on the Wall January 8, 2008 — 5:04 am

    Reading this blog from Australia, practically all of you claim ‘monkey’ is not racist and an Indian player would never use racial abuse.
    Yet 99% of your rantings on the internet are racist and defamatory.
    You are childish imbeciles – like half the Australian team you despise.

  97. A nice article but a bit virulent though (not necessarily a bad thing :))!

    However, instead of pointing out the positives (which I’m confident others have already done) let me make a few remarks that I feel are worth making:

    (i) The umpiring controversy: It does not require to be said yet again that some of the decisions they made were terrible- there is more than enough evidence of it. But this is not the first time that the fate of a match has been decided by a bad decision. So, why all the holler and hoopla suddenly? We played well but apparently not well enough, we were also at the rough end of some decisions, and we lost. I haven’t watched too much cricket to be able to document more detailed statistics but I can narrate two incidents that come to mind- first, Harbhajan’s hat trick in THAT Calcutta test against Australia; I think one lbw was questionable and another catch (I think it was Shane Warne) should have been directed to the third umpire who would perhaps have given the benefit of the doubt to the batsman and second, the last Australian wicket to fall in the same test was that of Glenn McGrath who was given out lbw for padding up (with his “daddy longlegs”) way in front of the crease.
    So, what I am trying above is not to justify the bad umpiring (which I can’t even if I wanted to ;)) but saying that we should carry on with the game and leave the captain to file his ire against the umpires in his match report.

    (ii) Benson asking Ponting: I do not know for sure but I read about some “agreement” between Kumble and Ponting regarding catches taken by their respective fielders. I do not know if their decision made umpires a part of their agreement but we need to consider that before coming to conclusions and attacking Benson, at least for the Ganguly decision. If not, then this should be brought to the attention of the match referee/ ICC and appropriate steps taken. In any case, I think both Kumble and other captains should be a bit wary about coming to a “gentleman’s agreement” (couldn’t conceal a smile though :P) with Ponting about relying on the fielder’s word for catches.

    (iii) Harbhajan and racism: I do not know what evidence Procter had when he took such a decision but if it emanates that Harbhajan did utter this word, and on top of that if he was conscious of the racist overtones associated to it, not only is the ban justified, I don’t mind a stiffer ban, if not a life penalty. He is a fine cricketer, but fortunately in today’s world, we just don’t judge a person by his talents alone, he is answerable for his actions too. (Take the case of the Nobel Prize winning Watson, of DNA fame.) Too much suffering has been caused by racism and various other social evils, and we must learn to decry what was bad and move ahead.

    (iv) The issue of Dalits: In your otherwise well-worded article, I find your reference to Australians as convicts quite abhorring. This is exactly what I was trying to impress upon in the earlier paragraph. Just as many of us *wrongly* classify every German as a Nazi or every British as a “colonialist”, it is unfair to blame or stigmatise people for the sins of their ancestors. This is the exact reason why we have so much ethnic and communal problems today, we should judge a set of people by their actions and words, not by what their forefathers did (as was done in the feudal societies that we have thankfully “recovered” from). This is also the reason as to why Dalits suffer so much discrimination (even in post-modern twenty first century India). As for the article which is the cause of all this, I do not know if it was written precisely with malice in mind, but there is no denying the influence of the upper castes in many spheres of society in India- I just hope and pray that cricket is spared that ignominy.


    P.S.: I might be repeating a comment already made by some other fellow reader (as I haven’t read all the 99 comments- if I did, I would have to face the fury of my advisor on Wednesday :)). In that case, my apologies and can you please direct me to your response (if you found it worthy of making one) to the earlier relevant comment.

  98. Yes apologies about the match referee – I meant the TV umpire who ruled on the Shane Warne “catch”. Intersting article to be found at http://frontlineonnet.com/fl1808/18081300.htm. Read the second last paragraph.

    Also greatbong re-read Shurva’s post. I have not abused, ridiculed or belittled you, your countrymen or your ancestors. Once again your depth of thought astounds me.

    PS Swoop = find another blog mate, you’re lost here

  99. david:

    “For those not happy about the umpiring decisions go to the 2nd Test at Eden Gardens in 2001 and recall the 9-2 lbw count. ”

    mate! looks like g.b. has already responded. here are my 2 cents worth: would you prefer nine lbws against your team (when the ball did not hit the bat), or half of them converted to caught behind (like dravid’s) or caught in the slip (like ganguly) or caught when not caught (like ponting off dhoni)?

    for the record, i have been a big fan of evonne goolagong cawley and cathy freeman. this symonds though – i’ve lost all respect for him and his slimy captain.

    – s.b.

  100. Attn: David,

    Like GB said , Thank you for throwing in your en lighting ( I say that cos apparently whatever an aussie says these days is considered valuable) but useless piece of information. If you pick one occurrence in a series of 2001 and that rare mistake in ashes that you have been at the receiving end,we need not discuss anymore, as every other team in the world has more than few instances of injustice meeted out to them especially when they visited Australia.

    What was sad though the lack of professionalism that was displayed.It went on for a while and I am sure I need not remind you of the famous Mcgrath – Lara tussle and many more of that confrontations.The point is you have fundamentally lost the spirit of the sport and the sad part is that you can never understand.

    For your info I am attaching through one of your australian editors links below..


  101. Hi David,

    You say: I have not abused, ridiculed or belittled you, your countrymen or your ancestors.

    No you have not. But a particular pressman from your country, who writes for a supposed respectable media outlet, has insulted us (and tried to imply and create divisions in the team that DO NOT exist) with his comments about the caste of our players. If that does not seem low down, then surely a reference to the origins of the Australians should not.

    Please read again my post. I said that referring to the criminal origins of the Australians was detestable. However so is the caste-reference. Again, do not be fooled into thinking that you guys can get away with murder, by saying that is just the way you play the game or, in this case, write reports. That is do not expect to get away without us Indians retorting in kind.

    Thats all I said.

    Incidentally if you do not know the difference between match referee and third umpire (and need me to remind you of it) [and still do not realize that one of the umpires was neutral as per ICC rules at that time], then perhaps you are watching the wrong sport. And its quite futile arguing further with you. [The fact that I replied to your last comment was that I just wanted to reply to your “charge” of having insulted your country—it’s become kind of a habit I suppose to selectively read (or in the case of Symonds to listen) to what is being written/said and try to twist it to an advantage]

    And should I read Shuvra’s comment because it agrees with you? [Incidentally his name is spelt as Shuvra and not Shurva]. Did you read all those here that do not?

  102. Yourfan2

    “tit cancer” is absolutely unacceptable and violates every basic standard of human decency. For goodness sake, there are other ways to slag someone without trashing his sick wife.

  103. Apologies to Shuvra – not intentional.

    Peter Willey not Wiley if you are being pedantic.

    You are not reading my posts.

    You are upset about the umpiring in Sydney – you blame the umpiring.

    I am upset about the umpiring at Eden Gardens – I blame the umpiring.

    What is the difference.

    I didn’t think the Eden Gardens umpiring was deliberate – just wrong at times. I was upset but moved on. I didn’t swear on websites, didn’t publicly insult anyone, didn,t burn anything.

    Do you think the Sydney umpiring was deliberate?



  104. David,

    You are free to think what you want about the Calcutta Test. You are free to think the umpiring was biased in every test you lost. You are also free to believe that Elvis is alive. There is nothing I can do about it. Except of course smile.

    However I should mention that it is the entire world that saw you guys cheat at Sydney. And they have said so in as many words.(Look at the verdict of Akram and of people like Roebuck–none of them said anything about Chennai or Calcutta. The Aussie press however was plenty vocal about the heat, dust and bad food in India—why did they miss the umpiring?) There is documentary video evidence of Aussie players cheating. What I,a mere blogger, “think” in the context is immaterial.

    I am not surprised at your reaction though as it follows the Symonds template of trying to cover up one’s own atrocious behavior (I do not mean “you” personally but your country’s team) by creating imaginary instances of hurt.

    Again as I said, you do not have a South African from apartheid era sitting in judgment here, so…

    Note please that throughout this discussion I have not said “Are you questioning my opinion? If you do that, you should not be sitting (commenting) here?” Which is what I believe your glorious captain Ponting said to an Indian pressman, in a slightly different way.

  105. David,

    The difference is this – Eden Gardens was a fascinating Test Match that wasn’t characterised by consistent bad umpiring, dishonesty and ill-will. Syndey was.

    While none of us is saying that this umpiring was “deliberate” in its truest sense, all we’re saying is that such predictable errors questions the competence of the umpires, and their tendency to get influenced by Australian on-field behaviour. This behaviour of the Australians, and their vague calls to “playing hard and fair” and the “spirit of the game”.

    In the “spirit of the game” you don’t wait to be given out when you edge to slip. You don’t claim catches you haven’t taken. You don’t behave as if the other team is expected to simply bow to all your antics.

    Also, as I have said elsewhere also, Australians cannot seem to take anything that hampers their progress in the right spirit – history has shown us this – think about Bodyline, off-spinners and now supposedly-racist taunts. What about Glenn McGrath and his million racist comments? No evidence, you say? What was the evidence then, for Harbhajan Singh’s comments?

    Also, Mike Procter calls someone else racist? Really? A White South African??


    PS: Great post, GB. Keep it coming.

  106. Well cheated, Aussies. It would have ben utterly shameful, if you hadnt won the match, even after using the most underhand tactics ever seen.

  107. Spot on GB !!
    Ponting should be sacked and disgraced along with his non-apologetic teammates (Symonds, Gilchrist etal)

  108. This whole disgusting thing about ” “monkey” is unacceptable but “bastard” is not”, or “growing up in their backyard with “gamesmanship”” underlines the basically uncivilized mindset that takes the world as it’s baap ka raaj and decides all laws to be based on the sensibilities it defines.
    Unfortunately for these spoilt, uncultured, candysucking fatasses, the world is changing fast, and so are the Indian youth – doubly so in their attitude towards their fair skinned peers. In the last couple of days, we have seen a great deal of netizens fight the dirty reverse racism game with fire. And gulping down their own medicine, the fat boys are realising how fast the clock is ticking. It is more than apparent that the tone has been unusually whiny.

  109. GB,

    agree totally. here is what every patriotic Indian should do.

    STOP watching ICC tournaments. watch ICL sponsored matches only.

    since money hurts more than silly comments and thoughts, you must act. within days BCCI will be forced to act on your turn about message.

  110. We must pay heed to what kumble said after the game. He said, i have played enough cricket not to get personally affected by such things. The trouble is most indians, even those like us, who have watched ‘enough criket’ , get personally affected by such incidents. the deep indignation, and if i use the term, overreaction of indian media, is going a bit far. a game, even if unfair, is well, a game.just.but its true, after loosing in sydney and perth to follow, we have little to look forward to in this series.

  111. I for one feel Bhajji was definitely abusing Symonds…He uttered the words ” Teri Maaa Ki ” and Symonds being the dim-wit that he was; heard it as “Mankey”

  112. well….i was laughing for almost 10 mins after reading this article!!! brilliantly written!!!
    Aussies are whiners. Above all,Ricky Ponting leads a pack of overgrown schoolkids…
    talking about the caste issue in the indian team selection, all of us must remind that moron named andrew stevenson,about the indian teams that won the ’83 world cup and the T20 championship…oops, of course he wont remember it….the aussie asses were burnt in these 2 championships by the indian teams!!!!
    And speaking about the bhajji issue, once bhajji’s charges are cleared, the indians must pressurize the ICC for 2 things:
    1. Sack Procter for passing a judgement without evidence.
    2. Take the testifying aussie cricketers to task on the basis of a false testimony.

  113. Indian media should plan sting operation on bak-bak Bucknor. I am sure this tharki will be caught redhanded.

  114. It appears that the affliction of selective recall does not just affect Ricky Ponting and Co. Suvra and mates, I do not think any person who watched the Eden 2001 test will ever need to be reminded that Shane Warne’s catch had indeed been referred to the Third Umpire.

    Ironically, Mike Proctor’s decision smacks of nothing but racism. Hitler’s Lebensraum is finally here – and it is now called the Imperial Cricket Council.

    I seriously hope that this incident helps Asian teams in countering insitutional racism within ICC. Remember, there was no system of appeal against ICC match Referees before controversy during the Port Elizabeth Test, 2001. Even that time, ICC and the western media had gone crazy with the bogey of Indian control over cricket.

    ICC Regulations on Principles of Natural Justice speak of fair hearing and rule against bias. The Harbhajan incident and Malcolm Speed’s past run-ins with the Indian Board and his repeated utterances indicate a violation of both this principle.

  115. “Ponting, Ponting”

    “Yes, Papa”

    “Eating sugar?”

    “No, Papa”

    “Telling Lies?”

    “No, Papa”

    “Open your mouth”

    “I think if you are actually questioning my integrity …, you should not be standing here.”

  116. GB,
    I am not a regular at the Blog sites, except for when I have to post one of my rare ones or read Jai Arjun’s. Your page is so refreshingly sarcastic and amazing choice of words. I noticed someone mentioned how would things have been if Ganguly was the captain for this series instead of Kumble…I wonder too being a Bong. Not that I am intending to pull down my Kannadiga bro in any way! I have greatest regards for all cricketers including chotu Patel!
    I have been writing about this series and this row over Bhajji, Bad umpiring, Brahminism in Indian Cricket and Boos to the Australians (strange alliteration) on our corporate portal. Interestingly enough one of the Business Heads of the IT MNC I work with writes on his own posts:
    “so, i thought i should apply for umpireship for the next matches.

    i think 2 of my qualifications make me the ideal candidate..
    1. i am color blind. i cannot be acused of favoring a team or person because of color
    2. i do not know the technical rules of the game. so, i am unlikely to interpret rules – so, no chance of vagueness.
    will you support my candidature?”
    I think it’s funny and would whole heartedly back him up! But do we actually want to vie for positions that suit the lowlife! Ricky PAnting in contention for fourth umpire! Alas! We are will all go straight to the best times of cricket ever.

    Great writing, GB. I framed the line: There is a reason why cleaning sewage pipes, wiing one’s rectal orifice and playing cricket in Australia can all be referred to as “attending to things Down Under”.

  117. I find it hard to believe that a Punjabi, that too a Sardar being just content with such a tender expletive like “MONKEY”. I rather feel that Harbhajan must have answered to Andrew Symonds’ (The Swine’s) continuous “Bakchodi” with a nonchalant “MAINU KI … … …” (i.e, “I am least interested in your grumblings”. Since, the word “Monkey” was deeply ingrained in The Swine’s back of mind, “Mainu Ki” was interpreted as “Monkey”. Hence the confusion.

    Great Bong – Excellent post.

  118. The above post about “Mainu Ki” was from the undersigned.


  119. @Mallu

    Awesome explanation!

  120. thanks GB!!
    for once it was really nice to see a spade being called a spade…..
    I hope it does a bit to shake Indians from their “ostrich” ways.If even this episode can’t get people out of their very impotent smugness and that so bloody familiar “we are too self assured to get heckled by such trivialities” then of course we as a people deserve to get short-changed(ok fkkd for that sake) and I’m not talking just about cricket.
    as for the Aussies ….one needs to give them some leeway keeping in mind their ummm….special sort of history.
    i dont feel like commenting on the umpires..it’s so damn evident what they did had nothing to do with human “errors”.Though i’d really want to know what was the exact sum paid to them (along with other baser rewards)
    But the person for whom i feel really sorry is none other than my fav Symmo….we should start a Symmo relief fund to get the services of a competent (read non Aussie) psychiatrist who can convince his patient that his parentage has got nothing to do with monkeys.I can’t find any other explanation for his obsession with that M word.Or maybe he may feel real nice to know that we all (at least those who believe in the theory of evolution) have descended from apes.Its a different matter that some got a raw deal…

    p.s. it’s time to take a stand.if this is not ,then well…. until next time.

  121. What I find interesting is that there has been a lot of comment from past australian cricketers on how australia play the game “hard but fair”. Ponting himself has said that he did nothing wrong and that the only thing in the test which was worrying was the Harbhajan case.

    There have also been comments on this blog and on others on the umpiring and how in the past there have been bad decisions. People on the Aussie side of the fence have cribbed about things earlier and how at the end of the day India couldn’t bat even a day. From the Indian side there has been enough of the “we were robbed” sentiment

    But not one person is willing to comment on why Michael Clarke claimed the catch. How was that “hard and fair”. In my view there can be the following options – Clarke was not sure that he took the catch or he knew that he did not take the catch. He could not have KNOWN that he took the catch – he could only have thought that he might have. If he knew he did not but claimed it, that is cheating – far worse than anything else which happened in the test, whether bad umpiring or alleged racism rows. If he was not sure of whether he took the catch or not then why did Australia claim it? Why did Ponting indicate to the umpire that it was out? Did Clarke tell Ponting that he took the catch when he was not sure – that would be cheating again by Clarke. Did Clarke tell Ponting that he was not sure? In that case how did Ponting decide to tell the umpire that it was out? In my opinion, that would be cheating by Ponting. In any event there would have been cheating by some Australian players. Why did the Australians not say that they were not sure and take it to the third umpire?

    I know a response to this would be that the captains had agreed to take the fielder’s view on catches. But that does not give the fielder the licence to cheat. The fielder’s view could be “I am not sure, let’s refer it.” What prevented Clarke or Ponting to take that view?

    The racism issue unfortunately has clouded this out. You can’t stop someone from being racist – if one believes one is superior, one can’t change that. At the best you can ensure that belief is kept in check. But you can ensure that no one cheats because that is even more insidious – it completely alters the basic point of two teams competing on an even keel. Asking the umpire to take the decision is one thing but providing false information to the umpire is another. And this is something which hasn’t been discussed.

    Either Clarke or Ponting deserve a five match ban for this…and I don’t see why Mike Procter cannot take this up suo moto. Rashid Latif got such a ban, didn’t he? As match referee Procter’s job is to ensure that the spirit of cricket is maintained. If he chooses to take no action, I would like to hear his explanation on how this did no harm to the spirit of cricket


  122. David to GB:

    “Also greatbong re-read Shurva’s post. I have not abused, ridiculed or belittled you, your countrymen or your ancestors. Once again your depth of thought astounds me.”

    And what did Shruva say?

    “The issue of Dalits: In your otherwise well-worded article, I find your reference to Australians as convicts quite abhorring.”

    Right. Just like we find such an offensive article based on such a superfluous premise published on Australia’s best newspaper, Sydney Morning Herald, to be repelling.

    “Just as many of us *wrongly* classify every German as a Nazi or every British as a “colonialist”, it is unfair to blame or stigmatise people for the sins of their ancestors.”

    Right. Just like it is unfair to question the presence of a Brahmin if he has worked his ass off to merit a place in the Indian side. Never mind if his ancestors sinned against untouchables 750 years ago. The higher presence of Brahmins in the Indian side is a mere coincidence. The article tried to extrapolate racial influences in modern India by judging from a sample size of 11 (astonishing!) players who play for the cricket team.

    “This is the exact reason why we have so much ethnic and communal problems today, we should judge a set of people by their actions and words, not by what their forefathers did (as was done in the feudal societies that we have thankfully “recovered” from). This is also the reason as to why Dalits suffer so much discrimination (even in post-modern twenty first century India).”

    Do you understand sarcasm? That it be a way to mock an article of frivolous judgment. In fact this reference to aborigines and convicts was a masterstroke by the master blogger.

    “As for the article which is the cause of all this, I do not know if it was written precisely with malice in mind, but there is no denying the influence of the upper castes in many spheres of society in India- I just hope and pray that cricket is spared that ignominy.”

    Cricket is spared of that ignimony! Dhoni captained India and will captain India in the future too. Anybody who knows even a little bit about Indian cricket will know that the problem in Indian cricket was quota. Even today a cricketer from Orissa or Assam may find it difficult to break into the national side as compared to a player from states which have historically fed the national side. He could be a Brahmin. But the state that he played for often has a decidedly big influence. Thankfully, since 2000, such things are starting to change. And well, on that issue, the same thing happens in Australia. Havent you heard people like Ian Chappell say what 10 million times on the air that when a NSW player gets his state cap, he also symbolically gets the Baggy Green. How many Northern territory players have you seen? And thats where most Aborigines stay. So would it be OK on my part to speculate and draw conjectures on the composition of the Aussie cricket side based on that? And there is no denying the white supremacy of Australia. Did you know their immigration policies till a few years back? Australia was built on anarchy, rape, loot, murder and discrimination towards women. How many aborigines were killed and pushed to the harsh outbacks? And what about racism? So if an Australian makes an analysis of the plight of Indian untouchables, is it wrong for GB to write about the disparity in the living standards of Aborigines and white people?

  123. @ Arnab :
    You always reserve your best for cricket, don’t you? [:)]
    Can’t agree more on you on this.

    However, I have a short post on what I feel about the whole issue in my blog.

  124. Brilliant and aptly worded… Thanks for bringing out the fundas of the cast”e”ing table… sounds like a clear cut case of throwing a dart and then deciding what the target is…

  125. Thallassa to me:


    “tit cancer” is absolutely unacceptable and violates every basic standard of human decency. For goodness sake, there are other ways to slag someone without trashing his sick wife.

    Everybody knows that. But did you read what GB said about aussies mocking the death of Chris Cairn’s sister. Unfortunately Thallssa ,that is backed up their employer, ACA, as playing cricket ‘hard’. So in order to survive and hit back, you have to sacrifice all defined limits of civility as far as speech is concerned. And the funny thing is, they dont like when they are dished out that treatment. Classic case in point – Sarwan Mcgrath incident. McGrath asked, “Hey how does Brian Lara’s dick taste like?”
    Sarwan: “Why dont you ask your wife?”

    Now if you say Mcgrath was distraught because his wife was suffering, then thats his problem. Not Sarwan’s. McGraths problem is he considers his point of view, “I can make sexual references about you. But dont bring my wife in.” Heh why did you bring Brian Lara in. It is not incumbent upon Sarwan to know how McGrath wife’s tits are. Lets look at Michael Slater’s reaction when Tony Greig needled him about the Rahul Dravid incident from 2001.

    Slater: “There was so many things going on in my life when I said that.” Greig: “How do you know if Harbhajan is not facing similar problems?”

    Exactly. If you keep on saying, we don’t need to examine ourselves and our behavior, then the rest of the world should sledge exactly in the way Australians define sledging -“No racial remarks. But I can get as personal with you as I want.”

    And if that is so, they HAVE every f-ing right to abuse the Aussies and the people whom you are touchy about. You just have to see Harbhajan Singh’s interview on Channel 9 to see how deeply he respects his father who made him what he is today in spite of extreme poverty. So if an Aussie makes a reference like, “Hey was your dad a pimp?”, can Harbhajan Singh be faulted for saying anything about his wife, irrespective of whether she is sick or not? That is why don’t have any repentance or compunction to what I advocated : that any personal insults which the opposition is not comfortable with should be retorted with the worst form of sadism, torture, personal death references, mockery of the sick and the the diseased, child molestation, wish for pregnant women to die along with their children, creepy child violence and sexual molestation, female infant circumcision, arcane sexual rituals, animal sex, BDSM, vandalizing graves of the dead, tampering with their dead bodies and necrophilia. You just have to chip at away at their superficial self esteem that they have for themselves and their loved ones till they examine their amazing sense of entitlement to sledge “their way”. Only this can open their eyes. Now you can go on as to how that would be “simply unacceptable”. You can say that what I just said was ‘sick’. My answer is yes, in a civilized society. On a cricket field with the bunch of a-holes who think its their right to dish out and not get back, and who are backed by their employer for behaving like that, this is the whats FAIR.

    From Cricinfo:

    “Allan Border and Steve Waugh, both former Australia captains, have suggested that cultural misunderstandings could have contributed to the race row boiling over to the point of India suspending their tour. Border said that while he thought Australia had no need to apologise for their on-field behaviour, which has attracted widespread criticism, it was time for international sides to start understanding each other more.”What we think is just routine banter they take offence at – it is straight-out cultural stuff,” he told the Courier Mail. “The cultural issues were always there in our day. When we say ‘lucky bastards’, they [West Indians and Indians] might take offence at that.”

    —Again, why should anybody change their sensibilities to match yours? Aint that a very wrong claim? There are plenty of internationally established ways of non offensive communication. Just like how millions of people in businesses from diverse countries and cultures communicate. So does a guy from Citibank Australia greet a guy from Citibank Chennai as “You are one lucky bastard!”? I don’t think so. But if he does, his employer will take him to task. Here the employer puts every bad and obnoxious behavior under a blanket “playing hard”. And playing well has got nothing to do with it.

    Tim De Lisle in Cricinfo:

    “Cricketers say a lot of stupid things to each other. It has been known for one to address another as a Pommie bastard, or Pommie wanker. Is that racism? There isn’t (usually) a skin-colour dimension to it, but it’s still racial. And pathetic. If the pot calls the kettle black, is it being racist too?

    You can argue endlessly over whether one remark or another has a racist element. What is needed is a big, simple, magnanimous response. Beneath it all lies a deeper malaise: sledging itself. Cricket shouldn’t just be trying to ban racism. It should ban sledging. “

  126. Excellent post Great Bong. I have linked your post not only because it is the best blogpost on the issue I came across, but the comments here are quite enlightening. 😉

    By the way, the latest theory on the controversy is like this:

    Harbhajan is innocent. He just looked at Andrew and said, <‘teri maa ki…’. Andrew wrongly heard it as ‘monkey’.

    That’s it!

  127. Prem Panicker kicks the ass of Robert Craddock:


  128. And yes, you can help me with a puzzle there.

    I am kinda stuck now. :p

  129. “We go out to play the game as hard as we can but also as fairly as we can, and Ricky is very big on that.”

    He denied accusations that the Australians were arrogant, saying: “I know all the guys and that’s so far from the truth it’s not funny.

    “We have a great pride in playing for the baggy green cap, and for each other.
    “We know how hard it is to get an opportunity to play for Australia.
    “We are not going to play at 80 or 85 per cent.”



    That was Micheal Hussey in todays papers. I dont think any cricket team would mind Australian players giving it their all in batting bowling or fielding. Neither does any one dispute the talent of the Australian players. But the last line gives Hussey away. So where does the remaining 15-20% come from? By calling opposition players ‘bastards’?

  130. This one is for those who need a chill pill:

    Brett Lee and Asha Bhonsle in haan main tumhara hoon

  131. The monkey chants did not have racist cannotation in the first place.
    The ‘monkey’ term was associated with racist abuse only by Ponting. This clearly shows that the abuser here is Ponting and not the Indians. Without understanding this simple thing the dimwit he is Symmonds is playing into Ponting’s hands. Ponting should have some dignity. and Symmonds should have some self-esteem. The aussies should learn some basic manners, decency and respect. In short they should evolve from sub-human species to Homo sapiens.

  132. Hey guyz
    have a look at this recent bit of sarcastic comments

  133. What The Ancient Mariner said got me thinking.
    What if Bhajji did say teri maa ki and Symonds mistook that for mon-key? Hmmm. Possible, no? 😛

  134. Aussies’ take on sportsman spirit, honest, integrity goes something like this:

    “Hum chode to chamtkar lekin
    tum chodo to balatkar”

    our hero aka indian team would shout in the line of hindi film:
    ” tumhara khoon khoon aur hamara khoon pani?”

  135. Here is an interesting precedent of Clarke’s “catch” of Ganguly:

    look at the replay of the dismissal @0:45 … find anything familiar?

    This is Hopkins c Clarke b Hogg, umpire Benson
    from this match on Dec-20 2007:

    No wonder Ponting and Clarke were so confident of pulling catches off the grass in front of TV cameras…..they’ve been practicing!!!

  136. This is a Good one.

    One of my good friends believes Bhajji must have said “Maa Ki” and Symonds obviously heard it as Monkey.

  137. Just a Forwward I got @ work today…

    New words added in dictionary !!!

    > Ponting: (n) (adj)

    > 1. A substance or entity or even a person of unquestionable integrity

    > 2. An act of uncivilised behaviour. [Also, pontingness (n)]

    > Usage: The judge was driven towards justice because he knew that the

    > pontiff was a ponting.

    > Sir Bonkers said, Dont try to bully me. I surely can fathom the

    > pontingness in your eyes.


    > Bucknor: (n) (adj)

    > 1. Temporary blindness leading to missing out on the obvious.

    > 2. To be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    > 3. Situations leading to grave judgemental errors.

    > Usage: I feel bucknored by my boss; Life often throws a bucknor at

    > you.


    > Benson: (n) (adj)

    > 1. Something that legitimises a severe bucknor.

    > Usage: First they bucknored me and then they bensoned it! I am toast.


  138. @ Whoever asked what Dada would have done.

    He would have refused to play and would have got the team back. Offcourse such a scenerio also would have meant that we had Dalmia as the BCCI chief. And not the greedy bunch who are supposedly running the richest cricket board of the world.

    @ Whoever was calling BCCI members as Baniya.
    I ignore it in the same spirit as the song “Mochi kahe khud ko Sunaar Re”.

    @ GreatBong
    The Bangalore Mirror has made a graphic page with reactions of bloggers where they have picked up the best. And you are there with your blog link. (Means more converts to Mithunism).
    Good to see you there as this tabloid which usually prints stories on ‘Wife Swaping'(right on the front page) and has half of the paper designated for gossip with pics of Jolie/Spears/Hilton/Janet/Tyra/.. in their skimpiest. Infact they also have a Bollywood film reporter whose name rhymes uncannily to Lara Larani.

  139. the counter allegation on Hogg is not exactly a great strategy. First , the battle is a about racism,some thing grave and serious as compared to lewd remarks, which (ironically) are a tad more common place. India has done harm to its high moral ground and worldwide sympathy by this apparently ‘tit-for-tat’ allegation. Moreover,targetting some one as useless as Hogg ! i bet he would have any way been dropped for perth test.

  140. Can we at least refrain from calling Aussies or umpires disgusting names? Even if we agree that is the best way to get under Aussies skin and use that to disguise our own viciousness, there is no need to spell out exactly what topics those “gaalis” should encompass on a blog. We are not trying to teach Indian cricketers here on this blog.

    Using filthy language beyond reason just demeans and devalues the discussion and this blog comment area. There is no reason for us cricket fans to dive down the the levels of the Aussie cricketers’ sledging and proceed to beat them in that domain. The Aussie cricketers are not here on this blog. So why tilt at windmills?

  141. Did you know that Bhajji only reacted after Symonds called him “Osama Bin Laden”? Well…no one heard but it is true. And I have a billion people to vouch for it.

  142. Me thinks the kangaroos are finding it hard that India has finally “arrived”

    The “growth” of India is showing in body language of every citizen including its cricketers. The current generation is no mood to continue being mere pushovers.

    What happens in the Nation reflects everywhere. By same measure we could see the drooping shoulders of Pakis in last few series that we had with them.

    Point is Aussies always would throw around their weight all these years and in recent years India has taken the center stage and that upset the Aussie applecart in a way. Aussies can see of how Indians are all over the place and they probably have not woken up to India’s grand coming of age. Or atleast not reconciled to that fact.

    The caste-system article was one Aussie’s desperate attempt at showing that – “Look India may be making tall claims of economy etc, but there’s lot of trouble in the nation”. That article was clearly planted and timed. And even though it may be true was irrelevant to the situation.

    Somewhere its playing in the Aussie mind that the “Browns” are now taking over the cricket world stage. And its difficult for them to adjust to this new situation. Their hegemony is not going to last forever.

    The much ado about Monkey, is a symptom of that cause. The root cause is may be one or all of these – Jealousy, Frustration and unable to deal with a Strong and Confident India.

    Aussies have habituated themselves to seeing self-deprecating, condescending Indians all these years who were in Awe of the Goras. It’s hard for a nation that is rich alright, but no where in competition in a lot of areas to see a Brown nation standing up to it.
    I am not sure if the average Aussie intellect is anything to do with this, but it clearly lacks the ability to articulate and come to terms with this new situation. A situation where Bhajji, Yuvi, Dhoni et al refuse to be the “good boys”. They refuse to keep their eyes down and walk away after hearing expletives from the Goras. They are ready to give it back.

    Aussies will have to deal with this themselves. Whether they are trying to pull a fast one by “manufacturing” such issues or not is anyone’s guess. The fact of the matter is India is now the epicenter of world cricket. Australia may choose to ignore this or just drop dead. Wouldn’t matter.

  143. To those who as What dada would have done, refer to SA Tour few years back- where the script played out was similar to whats happening now. Dalmia did posture more but in the end achieved nothing – we did get Denness the menace removed, but the charges stuck on Sehwag and Co. and the test we played without Denness was made unofficial. It was a pyrrhic victory – not a reflection on Dada or Dalmia but it is too romantic to assume dada would have somehow stuck it up aussie asses – fact is Aussies and ICC bunch of whites are smart – that is why even when they dont have the financial clout, the pretty much get their agenda done. Even now, India cannot really flex its muscles in the way the Imperial CC did with the Aussie and English veto. Thats because of all this moral hogwash cleverly created by the western media and ICC. So, even when they are out of Power, the westerners are running the Cricket world.

  144. duuuude

    bucknor’s wearing a Jamaica tee… surely people other than the Aussies can use yellow right?

    carry on with the vitriol!!

  145. What I hear now is that the BCCI has come to know of the ‘real fact’ ( the fact being that Harbhajan would not have uttered something as benign as mere ‘MONKEY’ when faced with a fusillade of obnoxious verbal volleys from Symonds & Co. WHat he said was the regular ” Teri Maa ki…” which was mistaken for MONKEY by Symonds. ) Sounds logical. theek ki naa ??? 😀

  146. Thanks for all the comments. Please excuse me for being unable to answer to all your comments individually—-this month of January being particularly hectic for me at work. And to be honest whatever time I get, I spent glued to the computer screen watching cricket in the evenings or reading all the juicy stuff being written about it…..

  147. @ yourfan2

    dude, you are amazing. Sorry arnab, this time i will shower praises on him and not you. Though your article is very good, but his comments have surpassed you in humor or to be apt toilet humor. Hey man, how come you write such good slurs ??? plz plz a training session is requested.

  148. hey man why dont u send the article to the australian press. i hope the indian press get this articles its not doin enough for this issue. i feel they are rather confused on this topic, whether to support it or sensationalized it~~~

  149. A nice caption for the pic of Ponting there:

    “Do this (right hand) or no this (left hand).”

    Ok, think I’ve crossed risque. Cheers.

  150. Dear GB,

    Will we get a post now that Hussey and Symonds have been given out with very poor decisions in the second innings of the perth test??

    Or will we hear the familiar “cricket is a great leveller” statement?? Iam waiting….

  151. Perhaps these videos will show you that Indians are no saints either…please learn to be objective before spewing venom.

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