It has been an explosive week for the cricket world with much hand-wringing, chest-beating, barbs and counter-barbs. And even a Sydney man attacking a bus with a cricket bat —no doubt influenced by the general craziness.
And as the McDonald’s ad goes, I am lovin it.
What has given me the greatest pleasure has been to read the reactions of some of the English and Aussie journalists, the post-colonial angst of the once-Burra-sahibs borne out of their inability to come to terms with their own relative marginalization and loss of dominion over the “natives” seeping through each word. [Do not forget to read this piece for more of this prejudice-driven post-colonial angst, albeit in a different context. Hat tip: Bongopondit]
Actually, the chances of a split are probably greater now, as Dalmiya’s fractious reign not only removed England and Australia’s right of veto at the ICC but strengthened the voting power of the Asian bloc by giving Bangladesh full Test status long before they deserved it.
Oh that rapscallion Dalmiya. If only he had not “fractiously” conspired to remove the veto power, we (the Australians and the Englishmen) would still have supreme Viceroy-like powers , which would have given us the unquestioned authority to show these reprobates their place. Let’s see how much monkeying around they could have done then.
Did I just use the world “monkey”? Oh I am sorry old chap. Do have some Earl Grey tea or Foster lager if you prefer. But just keep quiet , let us win and remember to think about the Queen.
The problem with each of these articles is that they intentionally side-track the issue—-making it appear that it is the Indians who are the sore losers, petulantly crying about a wrong decision or two, and then using their financial muscle to assuage their hurt pride.
Whereas the truth is that the outrage is not because of a wrong decision or two—a dodgy leg before here or a close bat-pad there. After all, Indians also have benefited from questionable umpiring decisions in the past. What Indian fans are livid about are the egregious mistakes, committed continually that target India with such precision that using the word “mistake” is a bit of a stretch. Some of them cannot be even called mistakes—-such as Bucknor refusing to call the third umpire. They are also protesting the travesty of justice at the Match referee’s where an Australian’s word was taken over an Indian’s, in possibly the most disgustingly racist part of the whole circus, and where an Australian gets away with the exact same offense (of claiming an illegal catch) for which an Asian (Rashid Latif) was handed out a match-ban.
What makes the accusation that India exerts an inordinate influence on the ICC with its money power so patently untrue is that, over the years, in matters of discipline Indian cricketers have been more sinned-against than sinning. Countless number of times, ICC-appointed match referees have turned the other way when Indians have been abused, only to come up with the harshest of punishments when Indians have tried to reply. Donald abuses Dravid in full view of the cameras after he has the temerity to hit him for a six. Nothing happens to him. But a few Indian players gets pulled-up for excessive appealing. Michael Slater again abuses Dravid, (he now explains it, without an iota of shame, as a result of his having “personal issues” at the time, as if we should care) just when the match referee suffers a temporary attack of blindness and deafness. Anybody who has followed Indian cricket ever since the match referee system came into existence can come up with countless other incidents of similarly patent unfairness.
There are of course some Australian writers who do not go for sleight of hands and goalpost-shifting. But say it as it is. Which I laud.
Sachin Tendulkar, who has sparked the controversy by contacting the board and demanding it support Harbhajan, claims he never heard the word used. Does this mean it wasn’t used?
Would he have us believe that Ponting, Symonds and two teammates orchestrated a fabric of lies and events and even concocted a story dating back four months?
Yes Lalor. How smart of you to cotton onto what exactly we mean. Yes we actually are implying that Ponting and Symonds orchestrated a fabric of lies— perhaps because we saw Ponting practicing the noble art of lying by claiming an illegal catch earlier in the day ! And nice try in linking this with what happened 4 months ago—-while no-one doubts the occurrence of monkey chants in India (they do doubt where it was a symbol of racism), there is nothing but doubt in the statements of the honest Australians, whose words (after their behavior in the Second Test) count less than that dictator from Nigeria who promises to give me 10% of his ill-gotten 100 million dollars if only I give him my bank account number.
The article then compares Ricky Ponting’s catch with the catch of Pietersen at Lords, of course forgetting to mention that in the case of Ricky he is seen to be looking at the ball touching the ground, which makes it evident that he knew that the catch he was claiming is illegal. The reference to Dhoni ‘s catch would have been apt had it been made in comparison to Clarke’s catch—-however Clarke’s catch was upheld without reference to a third umpire, while Dhoni’s was turned down by the very same agency, after the on-field umpire at Lord’s had given out and the batsman was already on his way.
Of course, Lalor finds whole-hearted support in his contention that Indians cannot take a bad decision against them. Namely from Crinfo’s Dilip Premchandran, writing for Guardian. Not just support, I mean whole-hearted “Lalor speaks the truth” and ” We Indians suck” kind of self-flagellating support, which is of course a pre-requisite since this is the Guardian we are talking about.
There is of course parts of the article I could not but help shaking my head vigorously in agreement to.
Individuals who aren’t aware of Glenn McGrath’s achievements and what a full-toss is are sent to report on international games.
The last time I agreed so much with a statement was when Anu Malik asked “Why can’t be original?” These so-called experts I tell you. Putting on the cap of cricket connoisseurs, they write biased pieces against down-and-out players who have angered them before by not being accessible, float conspiracy theories of sinister cabals, and then when said players make comebacks that rubs tar in the face of those experts, they come back with apologies so that they may take their interviews.
So true, Mr. Premchandran — “Journalism without rigor” as you call it.
Also true is the comment made by a certain Dilip in the comment space (which I assume is the author)
People who burn effigies of players and umpires over a GAME of cricket are in no way different from the Taliban idiots who destroyed centuries-old monuments in Afghanistan
Yep. That guy who took a donkey and put a placard of “I am Bucknor” on its neck is a Mullah Omar.
I also endorse Mr. Premchandran’s pillorying of the Indian press for playing to its base. That is wrong. What is however right is writing a “balanced” piece that coincidentally happens to appeal to an English/Australian audience in a media outlet that caters to them.
If there was any disappointment this week, it was that Glen McGrath while predictably provided support for Bucknor, did not drop any pearls of wisdom about racism. Considering he once called Sanath Jayasurya a “black monkey” (note the adjective) and was never censured for it [the Sri Lankans never even complained when the incident occurred, so used-to perhaps they are to such sweet words from Aussies], I would have been mightily interested to know his opinion. As of Lalor who says:
What would the pontificators have said if it were an Australian player accused of racially abusing an Indian? Hopefully, Australian cricket would have responded with respect for the process, outrage at the crime and shame that we would treat people in such a manner.
Aah enough fun. Now onto some cricket.
[An excellent piece here by Prem Panicker]