Monday, January 7, 2008
When in doubt, let's ask Ricky
Much has been said in the last few days about racism in cricket. Fingers have been pointed and decisions handed out. Opinions are everywhere. Culprits of the past have magically transformed into upholders of everything sacred, as they sermonise from the safety of the commentary box.
However, brushed under the carpet amidst the charge of racism is an equally important issue. Dishonesty, or to put it crudely, cheating. Both Ponting and Clarke claimed catches when the ball had clearly been grounded in the process of taking the catch. Isn't that bringing the game to disrepute? Isn't that putting to shame the cricketing fraternity and the Australian nation? Dishonesty is as deplorable as racism. While the charge against Harbhajan remains unsubstantiated, the evidence of poor sportsmanship is clearly visible in several replays. Ponting was guilty and so was the 'pup' who is expected to follow in his footsteps as the captain of the Baggy Greens.
I wonder what the ICC plans to do about it. It's simply not fair to ask an umpire to be accountable for a wrong decision, when players go scot-free for deliberately misleading them.
And if wrong appealing wasn't bad enough, the players in question also turn up at the press conference and deny any knowledge of what happened, profess fair play and lay the onus on the umpires. Ponting even went as far as asking a journalist, "Are you questioning my integrity?".
I wonder what Ricky thought the whole matter was about.
Ponting's actions have brought not just the game, but also the Australian nation, to serious disrepute. India has only lost a test match. Australia has lost face.