Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Indian cricket - what a sad bunch of losers

Peter Roebuck’s call for Ricky Ponting to be sacked as captain of the Australian cricket team should be treated with contempt. He provides no sound reasons for this call. The Australians played tough, uncompromising cricket and won. The inferior Indian team has lost the second test partly due to some poor umpiring decisions but partly because they lack requisite skills.

The Indians have threatened to abandon the current test series unless (i) umpire Bucknor is dismissed from further service in the series and (ii) a proven charge of racial abuse (specifically the label ‘monkey’ directed at Andrew Symonds by Harbhajan Singh*) is withdrawn on appeal. The latter charge was proven not by the Australians but by the International Cricket Council which has also already rejected the attempt to remove umpire Steve Bucknor. Moreover, the umpires concerned are not Australian nor is the ICC.

The reaction of the Indians to the loss of this test match is the cry of a nation of long-term losers. Obviously a competing team cannot be involved in the selection of cricket umpires. Moreover, calling the dark-skinned Symonds a ‘monkey’ is racially offensive and against the current laws of cricket. Making an appeal against this decision and then threatening to abandon the series unless the appeal goes their way is adolescent behaviour by these losers. The bleating of the visiting Indian side amounts to condemning the Australians for their cricketing skill and success.

I enjoyed the response to this fiasco by Tim Blair. He documents the stupidity of Roebuck’s complaint and the hypocrisy of the Indian team.

Update: Umpire Steve Bucknor has been replaced to the evident satisfaction of India's cricket board (BCCI). Irrespective of his judgement this is a poor decision because it means the losing side in a Test match has got rid of the umpire. Moreover, the BCCI is still threatening to end the series unless the 'racist slur' against Harbhajan Singh is reversed by appeal. He might have won the appeal anyway but applying this pressure leaves India in a no-win situation and damages the future of cricket. It might be assumed that any reversal was a response to the pressure applied by BCCI rather than the truth - it undermines the appeal process. The Indian team and the BCCI are still acting like a miserable bunch of losers.

*In fact I would be prepared to let the ‘monkey’ charge go as an ill-advised, spur of the moment racist remark but Indian captain’s claim that Australia is ‘a team that cheats and lies quite blatantly’ suggests that issues of deficient emotional maturity run deep in the Indian squad.


conrad said...

Such a big fuss for such a boring game -- did it really need to be headline news? Perhaps they should put Britney Spears in, at least as a substitute fielder, and I might start watching it.

Mungrel said...


I applaude your statements of fact as much as your objectivity, and wish those from the 'sub-continent' area could fathom such things. You would think from all the whinging they are doing that the tribunal was an 'all australia kangaroo court' , and not an independant group acting as appointed by the sports governing body.

The Indian team and associates, seem to lack respect for anyone who stands up against them in disagreement, and threaten to go home, threaten to take legal action and all such things and actions peripheral to the game itself. They now appear to lack respect for judicial bodies and their findings, as much as the umpires of the game itself.

To a more civilised culture the sight of so called fans burning effigies of umpires and the australian captain, is as ludicrous as it is primitive, and the current team management should be held in some way responsible for inciting such behavior - not that it appears to take much to replicate.

They are SOOKS and their threats to go home should be ignored and treated with the contempt such childishness deserves. Moreso they should now be sued for failing to complete their contractual obligations, by a all parties who have or may suffer losses due to their actions to date and future such.

Hit them with liquidated damages claims right between the peepers and never ease up - how dare they threaten the Australian publin IN Australia with such contemptuous actions - as they obviously have little thought or respect for us as a people.

As much as it hurts to 'tar them all' with the 'brush of association', but Pakistan has behaved like this and so has Sri Lanka, especially so in recent actions against Australian Umpire , the very Honourable Mr Darryl Hair. Perceived or actual power is a dangerous thing it seems, in the wrong hands.

But alas not all things are rosy here in Oz.

There is in fact an element of hypocrasy, and it comes from the top where attitude is sometimes a reflection of leadership.

Ricky Ponting was given a life recently, and happily accepted the 'not out verdict from the umpire who missed the edge he produced. The problem here is that when he was given out some time later LBW (even though he had knicked the ball before it hit the pad) he stood there in a dissentful manner shaking his head in dis-belief.

We cannot have it both ways i'm afraid and if a player doesnt walk in a manner to assist the umpires in making a correct decision, then no way in the world should they stand there when one goes against then - especially in the same innings.

Credibility tainted by hypocracy was lost here i'm afraid, not so much integrity, but the Hypocrite Crown should be worn in shame.

As for the Indian SOOKS.........let them leave whinging and whining their way home as under achievers and under performers who rely more on their 'backers' than their coaches and trainers.

Sue them for all the trouble they have caused.

Let them know that "THIS IS OUR COUNTRY", and they arent here to act like this or tell US what to do.


Mark U said...

I generally agree that India have totally over-reacted.

However, Bucknor has made some terrible decisions in this test and India are justified in raising his competence with the ICC. And the ICC has, quite rightly, now stood him down (see: http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/baggygreen/content/story/329743.html)

derrida derider said...

Its true the umpiring was very erratic in this match, and that's always going to encourage indiscipline by the players. India (and Australia) are justified in quietly advising the ICC that Bucknor is overdue for retirement.

But the Indians' completely over-the-top antics have discredited no-one but themselves, and speak to a sorry national inferiority complex that India should grow out of it if ever wants to become a nation others look up to.

Roebuck also discredits himself far more than his targets - it's really noticeable in that article that he's unable to make any specific complaints against Ponting.

Anonymous said...

".. a nation of long-term losers."


".. calling the dark-skinned Symonds a ‘monkey’ is racially offensive.."

Both are equally offensive..

Anonymous said...

After reading some of the comments here - I didnt feel they came from unprejudiced or objective persons.
Objectively, we know there were mistakes galore in umpiring. Wouldnt it be right to cancel the whole match in that case?
As for being called a monkey, if there are witnesses to this then the case is clear. If its one word against another then thats hardly sufficient to warrant a punishment and this should be relooked.
A reader from India

Shlomo said...

Do you believe that he used the term or not? Hiding behind legalism is against the spirit of the game. If you believe he said it, you should condemn it.

whyisitso said...

I do wish you anonymous commenters would adopt a specific nom-de-plume. Anonymous is so unimaginative and lazy.

whyisitso said...

Malcolm Speed (an Australian unfortunately) is such a spineless bastard. The refusal of the ICC to stand behind its officials is scandalous (Hair, and now Bucknor). Rewarding blackmailers (and India is that) will always produce demands for more capitulation.

If Bucknor is deemed incompetent then terminate his contract in due course by all means, but to do it in this fashion is nothing but caving in to the most blatant blackmail. But Speed has form on this, and can no longer command respect from decent human beings.

Cricket used to be a game but now it is 100% about money and the sub-continent commands this. I can’t bear to watch it any more.

owzat said...

The comments on this blog reek of racism, having lived in India, I can verify they are not a race of loses. As an Australian cricket fan one cannot ignore the fact that Symonds acted in a manner enticing a re-action. Probably supported by his captain. An excellent game destroyed by the relentless pursuit of money.

Ron said...

"the fact that Symonds acted in a manner enticing a re-action"

Maybe you could explain the specifics of that quote, owzat, instead of extrapolating mere criticism as racism.

I'll say it again the behaviour of the Indian cricket team is blackmail.

Defend that if you can.

reddy said...

"Australians played tough, and uncomprimising cricket".... Bullshit they played. they were 136/6 and umpire made a wrong decision on symonds. and the display of unprofessional attitude by the idiot ricky ponting, when he is appealing for catches after grounding the ball. and all the bullshit decisions against india by umpires. and banning bajji when there is no proof. and the only proof is by two australians, who have lived all through sledging others.

Googly said...


I've been a fan of Australian cricket for twenty years, but they lost me on Sunday.

I think it's fair to say that most agree that the Indians were particularly hard done in terms of the umpiring decisions. I believe that a draw was a just result for the match - no more no less.

I've got to say that the next time I hear the phrase 'hard but fair' (and variations thereof), I'll scream. It strikes me as a weak attempt at a justification for the Australian's win-at-all-cost mentality. The Australian XI and Ricky Ponting in particular appear to me to be operating within a bubble, unable or unwilling to see the larger ramifications of their actions, and how they are perceived by an increasing section of the public.

In this match alone, we've seen Ponting throw his bat in the dressing room after receiving a rotten LBW decision. Despite receiving 40 bonus runs after his edging behind to Ganguly was given not out.

We've had Andrew Symonds blithely state to the press that he was indeed caught behind on 31 runs, but that he's happy with the current level of assistance given to umpires and wouldn't like to see technology taking a greater role. Some credit must be given for honesty, but this, and the timing of those comments only served to inflame to situation and further undermine the credibility of the umpires.

My personal favorite was Michael Clarke edging to slip, then standing at the crease, hand on hip, daring the umpires to give him out. A day later we had the unedifying sight of Ponting raising his finger to signal out to a contentious catch taken by Clarke.
Rather than relief at winning one they shouldn't have, we were treated to unbridled triumphalism, Ponting calling the win 'one of his best ever' despite all of the above. Then to see an Australian captain sledge a broadcaster for questioning the timing of his declaration was really the icing on the cake.

Foxtel occasionally show highlights of the 5th day of the 2006 Durban test against South Africa - if you ever see it, note the intimidating appealing, the outrage expressed at every not out decision, no matter how ludicrous the appeal. Sunday at the SCG was the same, besieged umpires facing a threatening, aggressive fielding side. It wasn't attractive.

hc said...

Googly, None of the observations you make about Ponting (throwing his bat, appealing for a potential dismissal), Symonds (not walking), Clarke (not walking) or the team as a whole celebrating their victory with enthusiasm sound to me like capital crimes.

The debate about walking has been around for years. There is a reasonable argument that the decision about being out is up to umpires not players.

I just don't see it. The Indian team got some bad breaks and have overreacted like a group of inferiors. Cricketers with a bit of spine would have got on with the series without bad-tempered antics.

The reaction in India - burning effigies of Ponting, officials threatening to cancel the series - sound a lot worse than a bit of Aussie enthusiasm.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I wonder if the Indian team/management went so aggressively on this to cut off possible accusations of match-fixing (am not suggesting this happened). The team pulls a loss out of a draw two overs off a part-time bowler. If this furore hadn't started surely questions might have been raised over there (or at the very least about their performance - two bad losses in a row). Better burning Steve Bucknor's effigy than Anil Kumble's! That is - not so much sooks as strategic.

Bring Back CL's blog said...

Harry your writing is that of a peurile teenager.

compare what india did to Symonds at the end of the innings to that of what the Aussies did to Kumble at the end of the match!

You did not get to the heart of the problem concerning the alleged incident which is not surprising from your triumpalist remarks.

Comapre the Indians and their reactions to getting out on 'bad' decisions to Ponting when he got out.

The Australian team are simply boorish and very badly behaved.

You are wrong in thinking if the Umpires had gone the other way it would have been a draw, India would have comfortably won.

If Australians did not indulge in their beligerent and uncalled for sledging the game would be far better off.

I am amazed at the hyprocsiy of criticising Singh who is merely aping Australian behaviour.

ALL abuse should be eliminated.
Winners should be graceful.

Why am I not surprised Tim Blair and his lot would support Australia

Im Bored said...

Can a dark-skinned person racially abuse a dark-skinned person by calling him a monkey? Is it racist if a black man calls a black man nigger?

Are Ausralians hypocritical? Are they bad sports? Do Australian cricketers spit the dummy when things don't go their way?

Did Australia complain after bodyline and get the rules changed?

Dis Australia complain about the West Indies and get the rules changed on the number of bouncers you can bowl in an over?

Do the Australians consistenrly sledge and needle the opponents, and lean on the umpires and do everything they can, but always within the "spirit of the game"?

I for one am sick of the performance of the Australians, and it should come as no surprose that the rest of the world is following suit.

When the Australians can display grace and good conduct under pressure on the sporting field, then we may come across as something more than a nation of jocks and bores.

Googly said...


You're right that none of these things are capital crimes, but capital punishment is not what I'm after.

Read Ponting in today's Australian and tell me he's not at least in part divorced from reality.

Anonymous said...

"I do wish you anonymous commenters would adopt a specific nom-de-plume. Anonymous is so unimaginative and lazy."

anonymous = lazy
whyisitso = unimaginative

Bring Back CL's blog said...

Harry of whom does the laws of cricket the rsponsibilty to uphold the spirit of the game.

It aint the umpires.

It is a hanging offence

Anonymous said...

Reddy........you complain too much about the bad decisions all going against the Indians.......so there werent any bad decisions against the Aussies at all.

As for Singh - have a look at his record adn his personal problems record, adn you will find little wonder that he let his mouth flap away like he (allegedly did), AND NOW wants to hide behind a Punjabi terminology he now alleges he used instead of english on the field .

IS that a coward backing down from his earlier statements, or management comming up with a new EXCUSE.

If he was a real man he would stand by his words and repeat them. All this talk about 'such things that happened on the field, should stay on the field' is good if we are talking about people who are man enough to do this.

So Sing is now saying he resorted to using dialects or languages we dont understand, to sledge or insult other players - is that against the spirit of the game, or IN the spirit of cowardice??!!

All the eggspurts (has-been commentators and players looking for opportunities to expound some forms of sensationalism to retain their jobs) say cricket isnt the same now that it used to be ' in the old days' - of course it isnt you psuedo Einsteins!! There are too many zeros in the pay slips for it to be remotely close.

Perhaps there should be a new agreement by the captains, going back to those old days when men sorted things out amongst themselves.

Let Singh call Symonds a 'Monkey' or 'Mother fu-ker' in whatever clever language he wants to, after the game behind the shed - one on one - and then we shall see if he is a real man !!!!!

whyisitso said...

Third Test. According to replays Tendulkar wasn't out! It was too high. Umpire Rauf will be the next umpire sacked by a subbie team over-ruling the ICC. I wonder how long our NZer will last before he too makes a fatal error.

Cricinfo commenters say that Tendulkar walked off shaking his head. Dissent is of course permissable for subbies!

whyisitso said...

That's two Indians and one Australian out to "unlucky" lbws in the Third Test so far.

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Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. WhoeverYouAre,
(A bit of disrespect for your remark "cry of a nation of long-term loser")
It is common sense that people with the money have power.
Currently, it is India who has got all the money. That is the single reason why BCCI is damn powerful.

Its just like developed world putting trade embargo over developing country because developed countries have got all the money.

anyways. who cares

Naviiid said...

i agree with conrrad

Now if you think about it, indians always happen to be involved in some sort of sledging incident.

I just think they're sore losers