Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

Teh Spirit of Teh Game

Posted by Possum Comitatus on January 9, 2008

The most ironic thing about this latest outburst of jingoistic politics-by-other-means from India is that the only group to come out of this sordid affair that even remotely appear to be living in reality , are the Australian Test cricketers themselves – demonstrating the very thing that they are so often accused of being removed from!

All this horseshit about arrogance on the field, sledging, mental disintegration, bad sportsmanship and how such behaviour is ‘just not cricket’ – honestly people, pull your heads out of your arse. If I hear one more knob bleat on about Teh Spirit Of Teh Game as if it were actually something other than a convenient myth, I think I’m going to puke.

Professional cricket is a professional sport supported by big money, it’s highly competitive, psychologically brutal and the stakes are high and the pressure relentless – professional entertainment is a tough business. The rules of the game that exist will always be pushed to their absolute limits, simply because that’s what happens in professional sport when so often it’s a collection of the small little advantages that can make the difference between a winning and losing team in a multi billion dollar, high pressure industry.

If you long for the days of amateur cricket and its gentlemanly overtones (which is a load of rose coloured poppycock to begin with, as any player involved in any level of representative cricket over the last 30 years can attest) – then go down to your local sporting field on the weekend and lap it up. That’s where you’ll find it – although these days, probably minus the inherent racism, the yobbish misogyny and blatant class warfare that was rampant in the times of yore, yet is now conveniently well ensconced in the collective amnesia of cricketing tragics everywhere.

If you expect the brutal, highly competitive, commercially driven world of professional cricket to be populated with cardboard cut outs from Australia’s greatest cricketing hagiographies – we’ll, you’re an idiot. You’re an idiot for believing the marketing tosh that it was ever that way in the first place, and you’re an idiot for believing that it can ever be that way now.

Not as big an idiot as that attention seeking famewhore Peter Roebuck – but close.

So let’s look at what this hoo-har is all about.

The Indians got a few rough umpiring calls in the match – OMG!

Like that’s not a regular facet of the game.

But suddenly it’s now become a grand conspiracy against them, effigies are burned, the Indian national media is carrying on like a bunch of methed out meatheads and the Indian team are poor widdle victims that are only trying to play cricket, but these bad Australians and their hyper competitive ways just hurt their widdle feelings.

Give me a break – a measure of a good team is how its players respond to bad umpiring calls by adapting their on field performance to make up for it. We all witnessed how good India was in that regard – it’s why they lost the Test. Their response was a batting collapse or a session of poor bowling. There were a few bad decisions, there weren’t 20.

If they had played better, they might have prevented a loss.

The irony of India, the country bringing more financial pressure to bear on international cricket than any other, whinging about the hyper competitive consequences of that financial pressure is really quite something.

The other great part of the hoo-har is the charge of racism. The umpires made their decision – Harbhajan Singh was found guilty and for any other team in the world, that would have been life, they would have sucked it up and the world would have moved on.

But not India.

Their attempt to dominate the game at the financial and political level has been successful, but their ability to dominate the game on the field has been a dismal failure. The fallout from the latest Test is where these two issues collide, with their political influence over the game being engaged to make excuses for the lack of ability on the field. It wasn’t that they were beaten, you see, it was that they were robbed! India getting Bucknor removed from the next Test match is apparently some kind of vindicative proof.

See, it was all about the poor umpiring, not India’s poor cricket playing.

Then we have the racism. This must grate on India – how dare those old white colonial bastions of cricketing racism accuse India of racist behaviour!

So rather than actually have to deal with any nasty racial underbelly that may exist within Indian cricket (let alone the caste ridden wider Indian society), rather than accept the umpires decision, the Indian cricket board simply flexes their political muscle again, threatens to take their bat and ball and go home if the judged reality isn’t re-written in a way that would make their cricketers look better.

This pathetic little hissyfit has destroyed any semblance of independence in the International Cricket Boards adjudication of the game. India have used political and financial intimidation to bastardise the processes of the ICC to make up for that which they could not achieve on the field….. and they have the audacity to whinge about others not playing in the spirit of the game.

I wish they would take their bat and their ball and go home. At the very least it might spare us from having to listen to any more excuses for their poor on field performance.

174 Responses to “Teh Spirit of Teh Game”

  1. Ron said

    What caused the this massive dispute

    their continued losses ..no
    the poor Umpiring decisions which they DID get…no
    a combination of these …no

    The spark was an INDEPENDENT Match Referee (and a past successful test cricketer in Mike Proctor from South Africa) finding an Indian cricketer Singh guilty of racism

    their integrity was blown

    Glen McGragh has previously said BEFORE this Test thatSingh had a big mouth

  2. Mullo said

    Stick to pseph.

  3. Ferny Grover said

    So….because big money is involved and the stakes are high then trivial matters like fair play and ethics don’t matter any more? You’re beginning to sound like a neocon Possum.

  4. Possum Comitatus said

    Ferny Grover, We can argue about whether what we might call fair play and ethics ought to matter until we all turn blue in the face, although it probably wouldn’t take long since most of us would agree that they should matter and probably should matter a great deal.

    But that doesn’t change the reality that in professional sport they dont really matter at all and never will. Behaviour will be dictated by the space within the rules, and the space within how far the rules of the games can be stretched.

    Why people treat professional sportsman as role models for kids astonishes me.

  5. Dangerous said

    Hmm. Not sure about that Possum. Professional golfers call their own penalties and there’s lots more money on the line then…

    Also, you can find the whole thing to be out of proportion, and still find the Australian team’s attitude puke making.

  6. Ferny Grover said

    Possum, if you are right and ethics don’t matter at all in professional sport, then that is a situation we must never accept. A large part of the current national angst about our cricketing side is because we want our sport to be played tough and fair – and what we’re getting appears to be a ‘win at all costs’ or ‘the end justifies the means’ approach. Once we start excusing this because big money is involved then not only is the game and its players diminished, but our national character is also called into question. Like our politicians, we want our sportspeople to be worthy of respect. During the federal campaign you were among the many who lamented the loss of values in political leadership and hoped for their return under Rudd. The desire for values extends to all facets of society, including sport – regardless of how much money is involved. Both sides (and their administrators) need to do some serious reflection over what haws happened.

  7. Mullo said

    “Why people treat professional sportsman as role models for kids astonishes me.”

    Why? Kids adopt sportsmen as role models. I don’t like it (especially when they happen to behave as hideously as the Australian cricket team) but that doesn’t make it untrue.

    “Also, you can find the whole thing to be out of proportion, and still find the Australian team’s attitude puke making.”

    Precisely.

  8. Possum Comitatus said

    I think it’s interesting that people find the Australian cricket teams attitude disgraceful when their attitude is no different from any other professional cricket, soccer, rugby league, NFL, NBA team etc.

    Remembering back to when the West Indies were unbeatable, everyone thought they had an attitude problem as well, right up until the moment they started losing. I bet their attitude didn’t change an ounce though.

    It seems to be almost human nature to start looking for excuses why a sporting teams dominance must be due to something else other than their ability, or to start impugning their behaviour simply because of their dominance.

    I bet if the Australian team wasn’t winning all the time, we’d be hearing nothing of this at all.

  9. Neil said

    I dont mind teams wanting to win but in other sports eg Rugby,AFL Soccer they at least have respect for the opposition and a bit of humility. This present Australian team doesnt. The fault lay at the cricket officials letting the players get away with this arrogance. Its become a crap game and its deserves all its going to get from a public sick and tired of the antics

  10. Ferny Grover said

    Who are you and what have you done with Possum?! Has some shrill, rude young nuisance hacked into the usually reasonable and rationally calm (albeit morally outraged) Possums site to use his name? This doesn’t sound like Possum at all.
    You can’t seriously argue that because all other sports behave badly it’s ok for the cricket team to do the same?! Under that kind of thinking it would be ok for all politicians to act like Carl Rove because that’s just how politics is done nowadays. Rubbish – we voted for change in November because we want better standards from our leaders. And here’s a message for our cricketers – we want better standards from you as well!

  11. Possum Comitatus said

    Ferny, I’ve never seen (except perhaps Golf as Dangerous pointed out) a professional sport, particularly a team sport where the type of hyper competitiveness that the Australian cricket team is catching flack over isnt, nor hasnt always been the norm – that’s the raison de tre of *professional* sport: winning – where the ends justify the means, simply because the sport revolves around the ends

    If we say “wouldnt it be great if that were not the case, and professional sport didn’t care so much about winning that their behaviour was always noble and never left a bad taste in the mouths of specators”, but this type of professionalism in sport has never really worked that way because the livelihoods of sporting teams are based on their wins and their losses. So of course the boundaries are always going to be pushed.

    I’m not so flabbergasted with people that think all professional sporting teams might need to pull their head in occasionally (although I recognise that it would always be more about marketing their behaviour than any actual change in the reality of their behaviour), but I am completely flabbergasted that people actually believe that professional sport hasnt always been thus. The Spirit of The Game is a myth – from the moment a kid plays his first competitive representative level cricket, the true ‘spirit of the game’ simply involves not bitching about the umpires decision. That’s where it ends nearly all of the time.

    Professional sports, paticularly team sports that are driven and funded on the basis of win/loss outcomes will rarely, if ever involve model ethical behaviour by it’s participants. I think we are all dreaming if we think that could ever happen.

    Especially since it is just entertainment and nothing particularly important.

  12. Bring Back CL's blog said

    very very silly.

    firstly the Aussie team,

    compare ponting after he was dismissed to say Dravid.

    notice a difference.

    Compare the Indians congratulaing Symonds ( who was out THREE times) to the Aussies when Kumble finished at theend of the match.

    Notice anygrace from Australia. no just old fashioned boorish behaviour.

    I am sick and tired of telling my kids and others in the team no that is not they way to behave and just because Ausssies do it doesn’t make it right.

    The BIG fuss eventuated because the Asussies word were taken but not the Two Indians includding Tendulkar. Indeed he was so incensed he essentially urged the BCCI to do something.

    Compare the cricket team to the dignified way the Socceroos behaved after THAT decision!

  13. Mullo said

    “It seems to be almost human nature to start looking for excuses why a sporting teams dominance must be due to something else other than their ability, or to start impugning their behaviour simply because of their dominance.”

    I can’t think of one example of someone trying to use Australia’s bad behaviour to explain their dominance. Can you?

    The outcry is because people like to see good sportsmanship. You might be right in that bad sportsmanship has always existed. But haven’t we always criticised it too?

  14. Pancho said

    The Indian’s have behaved petulantly, particularly with regard to the threat to go home, but Australia have also been morons. Clarke standing his ground when caught at slip? Appealing every over in an attempt to intimidate the umpires? Hayden and his sign of the cross? Ponting aggressively telling a journo that he is beyond question? That sort of garbage is really annoying, particularly when you are the unquestioned world champions. There is no need for them to act like arses, and they will still win far more than they lose.

  15. benthead said

    If you carry on like a dickhead you’re entitled to be called a dickhead. Who knows, you might even be a dickhead. Singh is a peanut, and unfortunately just about the entire Australian team are too – if not before they make the team then soon after.

    When Lehmann called a Sri Lankan a black cunt he was suspended for two one-day games, when Singh called Symonds a Monkey he got three Tests. That’s 15 days versus 2. The sentence is well beyond what other people have received and is clearly excessive given past sentences.

    If ethics don’t matter in big sport then they don’t matter anywhere – not in big business and not in big government. The way we treat people either matters or it doesn’t. And making excuses for carrying on like a two-year old is piss weak.

  16. Xercius said

    (sigh) . . . Possum’s right, folks. In yet another of my previous lives I saw this all close up and from the ‘inside’. It’s why I:

    Hate Cricket (not the game per se . . . just the media hype and national hysteria the surrounds it at the Test level);

    Hate football (all codes . . . I don’t discriminate: see above);

    Never, ever, had any desire to coach a team sport (attitudes and ‘team culture’ fixed that, as did my coaching / management experiences with one particular National Team).

    I might also add that, in my view and experience, a great number of our favourite ‘professional’ sports are unbelievably amateurish in terms of their administration and the manner in which the (cough) ‘athletes’ conduct themselves.

  17. benthead said

    If you carry on like a dickhead you’re entitled to be called a dickhead. Who knows, you might even be a dickhead. Singh is a peanut, and unfortunately just about the entire Australian team are too – if not before they make the team then soon after.

    When Lehmann called a Sri Lankan a black cunt he was suspended for two one-day games (remember the whingeing Aussies then!?), when Singh called Symonds a Monkey he got three Tests. That’s 15 days versus 2. The sentence is well beyond what other people have received and is clearly excessive given past sentences.

    If ethics don’t matter in big sport then they don’t matter anywhere – not in big business and not in big government. The way we treat people either matters or it doesn’t. And making excuses for anyone carrying on like a two-year old is piss weak. If you’re prepared to stick it up the Indians then stick it up the Australians too. If the Australians are just playing it hard and fair, then so are the Indians – just using different means. Just like Australia complained after Bodyline and had the laws changed. Just like Australia complained about the West Indians and their bouncers, and had the laws changed.

    The Australians have carried on like jocks and bores an the field for over twenty years now and there’s an awful lot of people, Australian and otherwise who are sick of it.

  18. Possum Comitatus said

    Mullo – Cricket for the last 9 years (where the teams behaviour – the mental disintegration of batsmen, has been boo’d and hissed by other international teams) , accusations of Australian swimmers taking performance enhancing drugs when they went through that purple patch leading up to the Sydney Olympics, the grapple tackle used by the Melbourne Storm a few seasons ago. All these accusations looked pretty typical of professional sport where the winning side starts getting accused of winning for engaging in behaviour that somehow isnt right.

    I think the true difference between good and bad sportsmanship in most professional sports is simply the marketing. Pretty cynical thing to say, but that’s what it looks like.

    It would be great if professional sportsman were always noble, ethical and role models of human behaviour – but they’re not, and they’re probably never going to be so on the whole because of the nature of the professional sport itself.

    If we look at other industries where that same sort of performance pressure exists because its all based on high stakes outcomes, but where the behaviour surrounding it is actually hidden from the public eye…. say the financial investment sector and places like Mac Bank – it aint a pretty sight. The thing that seems to differ between the two is the spin and marketing of the actual behaviour to the public eye – where sportspeople have it because they have to and the financial sector doesnt have it because it doesnt need it. But the ethics and carrying on involved all seem eerily similar.

  19. Xercius said

    Possum,

    I do, however, know of some real role models in professional sport that do genuinely demonstrate the ‘right’ attributes. But, they are few and far between, and are in the most unlikely of sports. Mind you, those sports are (when competition is in progress at least) individual sports.

  20. Possum Comitatus said

    Xercius,

    There seems to be something about the power of self-reinforcement that goes on in a team environment, particularly with male teams, that encourages the stretching of the limits of behaviour that spectators and everyone else would find acceptable. Maybe it’s just us blokes finding our inner caveman, maybe it’s got to do with a lot of professional male sportsmen sacrificing a lot of their formative years to the sport itself and being slightly socially retarded as a result (if I can put it that way) – but at the end of the day, if we all watch professional sport, we are supporting it and this is probably always going to be the reality of most if it, even if the marketing of the sport might occasionally be succesful enough to temporarily suggest otherwise.

  21. Cat said

    I watched several blocks of the game and when the controversy erupted afterwards I wondered if they were talking about the same game. There were bad decisions and a mix of good and bad behaviour from both sides but this fuss overwhelms any crap that happened on the field. Neither team were paragons on the field but the attitudes since have been far worse. I think the Aussies are arrogant but I also think the Indians behaviour has bordered on the absurd. An Indian reporter interviewed on the 7.30 Report last night essentially said that Tendulkar is a god and so to not take his word on Singh’s behaviour is blasphemy. And the ICC caves on everything (what is the point of “independent” umpires and match referees if the Indians can overturn any decision they do not like by chucking a hissy fit a toddler would be embarrassed by).

    I think the whole bloody lot (Aussies, Indians and ICC) should all be sent to the showers.

  22. Cat said

    On a more pseph like subject Poss – do you think that Newspoll ran the poll that put Obama 12 points ahead of Hillary on the day before the NH primary?🙂

  23. Possum Comitatus said

    Cat – you might be on to something with Newspoll!

    Although I’m sure that their sample of rural and regional voters will be appropriately adjusted for the final poll before Super Tuesday:mrgreen:

  24. 2353 said

    Yes the Indians are boorish and so are the Australians. My solution (which is quite successful) is to turn off Channel 9’s coverage, turn off 4QR (ABC Local Radio) and read a book or watch a DVD.

    For this issue to be the front page of the paper for the majority of this week is ridiculous. Who cares if a team of over paid people take their bat and ball and goes home on some trumped up or valid pretext? Can we as a nation find something with more real importance to talk about – such as Nicole & Keith’s upcoming baby (actually that’s another ridiculous story). There must be something of real worth going on in Australia.

  25. Tom said

    Whatever is claimed about professional athletes playing hard to win and trying to get the odd bent decision or a dubious advantage (football players trying to shift throw-ins up, tennis players grunting, etc.), some sportspeople are worse than others in this respect.

    The Australian cricket team brought all the guns of dishonesty, petulance, psych-outs, boorishness, and self-regard to bear during this Test, and took the best advantage possible from a series of bad decisions by the umpires (Benson as well as Bucknor).

    They shouldn’t be held above criticism just because gaming the system is a commonplace of high-level sport. Does no one criticise a football player when he dives to win a penalty?

  26. B1 said

    Completely agree with almost everything you’ve said Poss.

    Australian cricketers can be dickheads at times and as far as I can remember they always have been and I’m sure they always will be. But that is no threat to the game; what is a threat to the game is when the most financially and politically powerful cricketing nation in the world ceases to respect the role of the games decision makers (both the on field and off field ones).

    They have a right to raise a general issue with the ICC that they are unhappy with the standard of the ICCs appointed umpires; and as with any judicial process they have a right to appeal the decision on Singh if they believe he did not receive a fair hearing. But they should simply lodge those via the appropriate processes and get on with playing cricket and let the appropriate processes conclude. They do not have the right to use their powers to force the results they want; to compensate the fact that they have not been good enough to get a win or draw against Australia. They might as well refuse to play until the history books are rewritten to show India as the winners of the first 2 tests or for that matter any tests they have previously lost.

  27. Mullo said

    “It would be great if professional sportsman were always noble, ethical and role models of human behaviour – but they’re not, and they’re probably never going to be so on the whole because of the nature of the professional sport itself.”

    I don’t think just because a problem has always existed it can be excused or tolerated. Quite the contrary.

    “I think the true difference between good and bad sportsmanship in most professional sports is simply the marketing. Pretty cynical thing to say, but that’s what it looks like.”
    😀

    Cynical you say?

    I think a lot of it’s pretty black and white. Appealing when you know the batsman’s not out and not walking when you clearly edged a ball to slip – there’s no marketing there. That’s bad sportsmanship and people will (rightly) always criticism.

  28. Mullo said

    should have read “…people will (rightly) always criticise it.

  29. steve_e said

    1. The reason independent umpires are appointed was that on the Sub Continent (India, Sri Lamka, Pakistan and Bangla Desh) you could not get the local umpires to be objective as the crowds know where the umpires live. It is unfortunate that the quality of the eye sight and the hearing umpires is not that of a fit and active 25 year old but it does apply to BOTH teams.
    2. Match Referees are old cricketers who are also human and may be forced to show their lack of the Wisdom of Solomon qualities but it applies to BOTH sides.
    3. As far as I can recall they actually count the scores in this game. Therefore it does matter if it is a run or a wicket taken. Professional sportsmen and women get paid to win. It is therefore understandable that the players on the field are intense and push the rules to the limit (and even beyond from time to time). Cricket is now like baseball but so far minus the drug taking. Putting the opposing player off their game with a question of that has a sexual reference has been going on since there has been competitive sport. Look at soccer and other football codes. If you have not played it, imagine what is said in a rugby scrum.
    4. India is where the money is located so its influence on cricket is stronger than any other country. all the players know this fact. The Australian public is becoming aware of it. That the umpire is now to be changed for the 3rd Test and a suspended player is to have an effective appeal of his supension should not be a shock but it means that the International governing body is just doing what its financial masters tell it. The parallels to major league baseball and the control the TV networks have on this game are clear.
    5. The professional commentators, all almost exclusively ex players some are very long in the tooth and have little direct experience of the game as it is now played, all have their opinions and let us know what they are. Perhaps we need to recall the line from a Client Eastwood movie: ‘Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one’.

  30. onimod said

    I totally agree with Poss on the whole team sports thing. I’ve played other sports at a very high level, and it never ceases to amaze me that the biggest wankers make it to the top – it’s what, on the whole, makes them winners. They’ll play harder, train harder, and they really do believe they’re bloody good and most importantly they create a culture of performance around them. In my opinion they’re purpose built for modern professional sports, in the same way that psychopaths have a better chance than most of us of reaching the top of the corporate tree (google the research). Often times they’re not even the most talented, but they’ll drive the talented but mentally weak away (hello evolution).
    Teh Spirit of Teh Game – absolute bullshit. It was Steve Waugh who coined ‘mental disintegration’; Alan Border drove Dean Jones to hospital in the Caribbean; without Ian Chappell there’s be a very different game being played today; Douglas Jardine drove Larwood to what could easily be interpreted by the politically correct as assault or attempted murder. The spirit is as Possum interprets – be an animal on the field, so long as you respect the umpire, and put the animal away when you get off the field, and pretend to be a gentleman. Spot the gentleman in the real world – it’s not easy, and then you expect a stronger grouping of them on a cricket pitch?! That’s bizarre.
    Sportsmanship – same thing. See any soccer players admitting the foul when the ref doesn’t call it? See any Rugby players admitting they came in to the side of the maul, or didn’t ground the ball. Any AFL players admit they didn’t really hold the mark? Do NRL players admit the second last pass was forward? We don’t expect them to either. The problem here is that the TV has spoilt the game. Even the ABC radio waits for the TV replay to show up. Call the game in real time – the same game the players are playing and the umpires are officiating, because the game we’re watching at home on the TV isn’t the same thing any more.

  31. Mate said

    Ok, I’m reminded of a time when, conducting street interviews for a radio station in Darwin during the first war on Iraq, I interviewed heaps of ppl with different viewpoints. My favourite guy was this dude who said “There was a war?, Jesus sorry I didn’t know mate, I’ve been out bush for weeks”

    Sums up my thoughts about this completely

    This is about a game right?

  32. Johnathan E. Combatant said

    One question I’m reglarly asked is:
    “Entertainmentwise, all competitive team ball-games are pretty much the same arn’t they?”

    THAT’S THE MISTAKE A LOT OF PEOPLE MAKE!

    Fans like to watch sport that has an edge.
    That’s why the Coporations gave us Rollerball.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073631/plotsummary

  33. GrahamS said

    Not only do I not agree with you Poss I don’t understand where you’re coming from. This is not about poor umpiring (as poor as it was) it is not about racism either. It’s not about India’s attempt to dominate the game (personal attacks show a distinct lack of adequate argument) In fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with any of the things you have mentioned.
    This blindly-supporting-the-Aussie-cricket-team patriotic bullshit annoys me. The Australian cricket team has a lot to answer for, as does Ponting and I will not blindly support them just because they are Australian.
    This is about the Cricket Board taking the word of Aussie players over the word of the Indian players relating to what was and wasn’t said on the field between Symonds and Singh. India believes it has been shamed by being branded racists in front of the whole world – but on what evidence? The 2 umpires didn’t hear the monkey comment, Tendulker didn’t hear it and Singh said he didn’t say it. But because 3 Aussies allegedly heard the comment, that was enough to convict Singh and portray India as racist. Well it’s no wonder they want to appeal this and you can’t blame them for getting shitty enough to want to leave this place.

  34. Tell it, Brother, Tell it!

    (and Roebuck teh Famewhore: that SOB needed telling – well done.)

  35. Deano said

    First time post on Mumbles here. I’m an avid reader but i can not agree with the possum on this one.

    There were many things i didn’t like in this game. I didn’t like Ponting staring down the umpire when given out (incorrectly) in the first innings. He should not have thrown his bat at the advertising board. He must have forgotten that he was given not out when he was out only 20 runs ago. On the last day he continually stared down the umpires after they have given their decision. Ricky should learn to accept the decision and get on with it.

    The team’s “mental disintergration” strategy was aimed at Ponting’s nemisis, Harbhajin Singh, throughout the game. He is a known hothead – he has a lot more going on in his life than just cricket. The aussies saw this weakness and were relentless, he was always going to bite back. In a schoolyard scenario it is called bullying.

    Singh may have said “monkey” but given the evidence presented he surely still has the benefit of the doubt.

    There was an agreement between teams prior to the series to accept the fielder’s word if they have taken a catch. It was Michael Clarke who was first to renege on the deal. No wonder Ganguly didn’t walk in his second dig – I wouldn’t accept an aussie fielder’s word either.

    It was great to see Symonds make a great century and the indian team shaking his hand after the dig. They had much reason not to, given the poor umpiring. Anil Kumble was less fortunate after his great fighting effort trying to hang on the game. No aussies shook his hand, not until well after their mid pitch moshpit.

    The Indian Cricket Board have been ordinary since and so has Ricky Ponting’s inability to see any wrong in his team’s sportsmanship.

    The fall out will be huge for the Aussie players. Older, established fans wil cease going to the cricket whilst the drop in their marketability in India will be a huge financial loss. This will hit the player’s hip pocket very hard. They have a long way to go if they are to get a cent from me. My annual MCG pilgrimage is currently on ice.

  36. GrahamS said

    When I said Ponting and many of the other members of the Aus team have a lot to answer for, read this: http://www.theage.com.au/news/cricket/why-pontings-heroes-just-dont-appeal-to-me/2008/01/08/1199554654309.html

  37. Yo Ho Ho said

    I think the point that is failing to be made – and that Possum was getting at – is that the Australian behaviour is normal for cricket. It is only castigated now because they are winning. When another team behaves as such – as they do in every single cricket game, including this one – it is considered as ´part of the game´.

  38. JM said

    Bad sportsmanship is one thing. Racially motivated insults are another. Rascism is far more serious.

    There is no moral comparison between the two, let alone an equivalence.

    Neither excuses the other.

    Deal with one, then deal with the other.

    Everybody who’s faciliting this phony, concocted moral equivalence needs to pull their head in.

  39. Ron said

    Sanctimonious blogers why not answer some facts instead of blindly believing your esteemed Peter Roebuck.

    I CHALLENGE anti ponting blogers to dispute the following but I assume my detailed case is beyond you

    FACTS
    1/ Roebuck’s court record listed below in point 11
    will shame you blogers. He has NO credibility

    2/ Ritchie Benaud says the criticism of Ponting and of the Aussie team’s sportsmanship is QUOTE: “nonsense”.
    Benaud has more credibility than all you blogers combined

    3/ 90% of ALL batsmen from all Country’s for 100 years will not decide if they are out. They will force the Umpire to decide.

    Anyone who has played at any level knows in advance the game is played on the understanding sometimes you are given out when you were not and sometimes you are given not out when you were.
    The game is based on this assumption that it evens out over time

    Lara does it , also Tendukar ,also Ponting , also sobers , also Border. ie. 90% of batsmen for 100 years
    The gall of blogers to all of a sudden query Ponting accepting whatever decision the Umpire made

    4/ There is NO evidence of any Country appealing when they know a batsman is not out. This is a lunatic myth

    BUT there is 1000’s of evidence examples PROVING that bowlers & fieldsmen from all Country’s do not appeal at all even though
    an LBW only missed by a centimetre or the ball missed the bat by a centimetre.

    Watch 1000’s of slow motion replays over the years of Lee , Mcgragh , Clarke , Warne, Mcgill etc
    where they did NOT appeal yet the batsman would have been out if the ball was a centimetre closer !!!!

    5/ ALL Country’s teams without exception appeal incessantly.
    Australia does NOT appeal any more than any other team.
    No bloger can supply any stats to challenge this fact.

    6/ Sledging is done by ALL test teams. how can blogers be so unknowing.
    Sledging is a part of Rugby ,soccer , AFL , Boxing, , Swimming.

    The complaint is the Aussies do it more…coincidently only since the aussies have been winning..loser’s excuse.
    (don’t like it personally but the above sports have sledging)

    7/ dobbing in: Ponting & indeed Kumble were contracted before the series compelling them to report any racial abuse immediately to the Umpires and part of that contract listed examples of ‘racial words’ . “Monkey” was one (due to last tour)

    8/ The Match Referee (Mike Proctor) found Singh guilty of racism. Proctor is South African & a former star test cricketer.

    It is the INDIAN TEAM who has publicly challenged this independent Match Referee’s decision which is both bad sportsmanhip & by publicly criticising his decision brought the game into disrepute.

    Kumble’s gall to ignore this fact & then you blogers 2 buy it !

    9/ This dispute really is about India (formerly a white British colony) having its integrity being humbled by one of its players being found guilty of racism against a white man.
    India has been shamed hence the violent but unjustified respo

    10/ The Indian team are the losing team. Bad Losers do complain

    11/ After Peter Roebuck Retirement
    Roebuck in 2001 was given a suspended jail sentence after admitting caning three young cricketers he had offered to coach. He pleaded guilty to three charges of common assault involving three South African teenagers between 1 April and 31 May, 1999.[1] Roebuck was originally accused of indecent assault but pleaded guilty to lesser charges of common assault. However, the judge said he did not accept the purity of Roebuck’s motives. He said: “It was not appropriate to administer corporal punishment to boys of this age in circumstances such as these. It seems so unusual that it must have been done to satisfy some need in you.” Ian Fenny prosecuting said: “Roebuck then pulled the boy towards him, in what appeared to be an act of affection. He then asked if he could look at the marks on the boy’s buttocks, something which he in fact did.”[2]
    He now resides in Sydney , Australia , where he writes columns for the Sydney Morning Herald , and the Melbourne Age , as well as commentating for the ABC radio cricket coverage in Australia. He is known for wearing his trademark straw sunhat at all times, even in the commentary box.

    12/ If you anti Ponting blogers still feel the same way ,
    then in future support the Poms (as you have much in common)

  40. Ron said

    Channel 9 footage proves Singh’s racism against Symonds !!!!
    (see below ‘the Australian ‘ report

    Ponting took a strong line against Singh’s racism against Symonds in the Sydney Test after the Australian players had wanted Harbhajan charged for racially abusing Symonds in October during a one-day tour of India.

    It was only a decision by Symonds to privately seek out Harbhajan after the seventh match of the spiteful tournament which defused the situation.

    When Harbhajan allegedly called Symonds a “monkey” again during the third day of the second Test, Ponting decided to report the incident because of the first outburst more than two months earlier.

    TV FOOTAGE of the incident from the Nine Network shows Symonds saying, “so I’m a monkey, am I?” after an exchange with Harbhajan as they crossed paths at the end of an over.

    A short time later, Ponting became involved and was clearly seen saying to Harbhajan, “that’s the second time you’ve called him a monkey”. The Australia captain, held up two fingers to emphasise the point, adding “there was once in Mumbai”.

    The TV Footage puts shame on you anti Ponting blogers

  41. David Richards said

    I used to be a fan of Touring Car racing.. until they turned it into F5000s with a sedan body whacked on top with the cars bearing little relationship to a Ford or a Holden as they appear on the showroom floor. Last year’s blatant cheating by the two major Holden teams was but the last nail in the coffin of my interest in this category. Poss has a point.. the current furore over the boorish behaviour of both teams in the cricketing gladiatorial contest is no different to the antics of McEnroe or Hewitt. That does not mean that we have to accept it, however.

    A pox on all sport!!!

  42. David Richards said

    BTW ….is ‘Teh’ merely a typo, or is there some arcane net meaning to deliberately mis-spelling ‘the’?

  43. Xercius said

    Dave,

    C’mon, mate . . . come back to teh motorsport ‘fold’. I don’t like teh ‘tactical shananigans’ that go on between some teams any more than you do, but I look beyond that and follow it more from teh technical and engineering perspective. There are some seriously clever people involved in that game (and other categories . . . Neal Bates in the ARC for instance).

    Besides, with all the talk of ‘role models’ in professional sport, you can’t deny that blokes like Lowndes (who can rightly claim to be an ‘athlete’ given how hard he works both in the car and at his conditioning regime out of it: as do they all) do not represent a standard of behaviour ‘athletes’ in other sports would do well to follow.

    Oh . . . and the ‘Teh’? You had to be there . . .

  44. WhoGivesaRats said

    Poss, at last someone who speaks a bit of sense.

    I find most of the criticism of the Australian cricket team to be ill argued and lacking details. The general comment seems to be that the Australians behaved badly but never are examples given. There are no examples of “brown eyes “ being thrown or nose picked and the only specific charge has been against Brad Hogg (unproved at this time) for calling two Indian batsmen “bastards”. This to my mind is extremely minor as though my working life I was called this or worse almost on a daily basis and this in an Office not a road gang. However, if this is some infraction of the rules of the game let him wear the penalty.

    Where examples are given they are invariably incorrect. I have seen claims that Ponting did not shake the hands of the Indian batsmen. Well this is not correct. I admit that he “celebrated” with his teams mate (for a short period) first before he sought out the Indians but I would contend that this acceptable and desirable and reflects the behaviour on any sporting field any week-end in this country.

    Some have alluded to the habit of Australian batsmen not walking. However, it is not their job to decide if they are in or out. It is solely the preserve of the Umpires to determine this. If a batsmen walks does he then have the “right” to reject an umpires decision giving him out? Of cause not.

    I am also at a loss to understand that criticism of the Australian teams attitude and what horrific behaviour reflects this. It is clear that they are enthusiastic, dedicated and focused on the task but surly this is something they should be praise, rather than criticised. It is these traits, which are so admired in other fields, that help makes them the best cricket team in the world at this time. Take away these traits and maybe the best team would be India.

    It is funny that though there is little if no difference between the on field behaviour of both teams it is only the Australians that are called “arrogant”. I have seen no adverse comments concerning the behaviour of Sing (rolling all over the ground) when he dismissed Ponting (given out LBW of a hit ball).

    To my mind the more serious charge is that of racial abuse. This overshadows ANY other charge and there should be no tolerance of such behaviour.

    What we have in Sing is a serial offender (see today’s press). However, it appears in the minds of many that racial abuse is OK as long as it does not come from a “white” player.

    Some argue that the particular abuse is not racial however one only has to examine the behaviour of the spectators in India or the “monkey” t-shirts now appearing on the internet to realises that this is a false assumption.

    I have to agree with you concerning the comments of some ommenters and past players. It appears that Roebuck is more concerned with getting readers to read his newspaper collum and the likes of Lawson is just protecting his current position and maybe even future coaching appointments.

  45. David Richards said

    Yes – there are some sportspeople who are good role models, Craig being but one. As far as race drivers being athletes is concerned, wearing a full fire proof suit, in a metal box that reaches well over 50deg C, with heart rates high enough to kill a bull elephant, while doing all the myriad of mental calculations , gear changes, roll bar adjustments, brake-bias adjustments etc lap after lap with hardly a false move is far tougher than just about any other sport you could care to name. I’m more interested in the Sports Car/GT scene now than V8Stuporcars… more like the cars you can actually find in the showroom. It’s a fine line between professionalism and bad sportsmanship.. in all sporting categories. In cricket (seeing as that was the original topic), bad sportsmanship has been with us since at least the bodyline series, and the class and race thing was very prevalent and all that boys own adventure stuff about it being a noble game is just twaddle. Mind you, it’s still damn good fun to play down the park, in the backyard, or on the beach. Then again, most sport is better to actually do than watch (with the possible exceptions of golf and lawn bowls.. which are neither).

  46. Ron said

    WhoGivesaRats # 43

    agree. Not precious little ‘petrol heads’ like Dave Richards just can not articulate any argument against yor reasoning

    So they just pretend you did not say it

    Typical of the ‘politically correct looney left.

    All precious talk but no substance

  47. benthead said

    WhoGivesaRats

    i think youre a bit one-eyed mate. I’ve seen plenty of criticism of Singhs antics. I’ve seen plenty of criticism of the racist slur he made as well. Perhaps you could tell me why Darren Lehmann was suspended for two one-day games for calling someone a black cunt and Singh gets three test matches. That’s called inconsistency. Just as everyone babbling on about the sooks of India wanting to take there bat and ball and go home seem to forget the reason we have independant umpires is because Mike Gatting took his payers from the field over the standard of umpiring in Pakistan. And what did the ICC do – they granted the wishes of the English and Australians. The boots on the other foot and we can’t handle it. Just like the rules were changed when the Aussies whinged after bodyline. Just like the rules were changed when the Aussies whinged about the West Indians bowling bouncers. Just like the rules were changed when the scared little Aussies bowled an underarm. Just like the first person to dispute a catch and refuse to walk was an Australian – the same man who orered the underarm. And did the umpire say Greg you have to go – no, he stayed on the pitch.

    The people saying India are not carrying on like pork chops are ignorant, and i’d have to say that anyone who can’t see that the Australians carry themselves like a bunch of jocks, boors, and dickheads, and have been doing since at least AB took over the captaincy, with just a short relief when mark taylor was in charge, are ignorant as well.

  48. benthead said

    And Ron

    Bit rich you saying all talk and no substance isnt it. Your post doesnt even make sense. Youve got nothing to say and you cant even do that properly. People who throw cliches around like the politically correct loony left are either rednecks, liberal party supporters or white trash. Which one are you?

  49. Chade said

    I’m quite surprised that you haven’t had Indians (there’s a couple above, but not as many as elsewhere) flooding this site already, claiming that somehow the Entire Indian Nation’s Honour has been offended…
    What do they do, google the terms “Ponting”, “Singh”, “racism”, “sore losers/winners” and “cricket”?

  50. benthead said

    Guess what Chade

    theres Indians flooding sites saying we do nothing wrong, and theres Aussies flooding sites saying we do nothing wrong

    well, youre all peanuts

    the inability to see your own faults is the definition of immaturity

    Grow Up

  51. Possum Comitatus said

    Chade, I had a flood of them late last night – I’ve got them going into the moderation bin. I dont do flamewars here.

  52. Possum Comitatus said

    Benthead, the reason for the difference between the size of the penalties for Lehmann and Singh looks like it’s due to the second offence nature of Singhs monkey quip – where the first time it was dealt with between the teams, this time being dealt with via the official process.

  53. MattH said

    Thanks Poss, your post is once again the most sane analysis I’ve come across. I’ve been absorbed with the uproar over the last few days. Tangental to what you’ve written about, a few other things come to mind:

    Caveat: I know jack about contemporary Indian society/politics. Reading Indian blog responses at cricinfo and bbc, I was struck by the number of responses (including the diaspora in the US, UK etc) who cannot concieve how ‘monkey’ is a racist term. There seems to be a mix of out-and-out denial, post-colonialism anger and emerging BRIC ‘superpower’ national pride (“Our time has come” etc…) emotion in the responses.

    And I’m sitting there thinking… this stuff is coming from the educated, English-speaking elite. It’s been rare to find any moderate responses/rants that appear to come from an Indian writer, much less blog responder. Do the respondants represent mainstream India, or are they just part of a net-mobilised political group – some part of BJP or something. Reading online versions of the Hindustan Times, the Times of India etc… seem to indicate that these responses aren’t from a small minority. Roebuck, for all his flaws (and I really disliked his comment that the recent win would be appreciated only by rabid nationalists… cheers Peter), I appreicate that he can at least get a bit of media space – I like living in a society that attempts to be tolerant and pluralistic.

    It’s been interesting to see this blog commentariat being mobilised to visit Australian websites as well. Some Fairfax net polls exploded out to 40,000 plus responses, where prior non-cricket polls would only receive a couple of thousand responses (and I seem to recall some Fairfax report that treated these results as ‘the voice of Australians’). I particularly enjoyed Jack the Insider’s efforts at Teh Australian – “Some are more imperfect than others” goes for some 30 odd pages, and he put in a huge effort to respond with varying degrees of politness and bluntness to enraged India bloggers. Matt Price, RIP, would be proud.

    And finally, all this reaction over cultural misunderstandings (the seriousness of the term ‘monkey’ and ‘bastard’) that have emerged from a cricket game – imagine how difficult it would be to discuss slightly more important things, such as international global warming negotiations.

    If only Shreesanth had been included in the tour group. Now THAT would have been interesting.

  54. jassy said

    Possum – the ICC is a political body always has been always will be, you are really objecting to the Indians wielding political power in a open, and perhaps clumsy way. Or perhaps to the politics of control transferring so directly into the field of play, where of course the transfer should be subtle and behind closed doors, and publicly denied.

  55. EconoMan said

    I thought Lehmann was suspended for 5 one day matches. I agree that 3 tests is greater than 5 1-day matches. A rough equivalence of 3 to 1 is probably about right. Remember also that the minimum penalty for Singh’s offence is 2 matches. Had he been given 2 matches, the furure would be exactly the same.

    Poss, you are spot on about the ‘its because they’re winning’ argument. And the push the boundaries argument re professional sportspeople, especially in (male) teamsports.

    Ron in #39 listed a bunch of facts about the situation. I want to add one I think is critical. Many people keep saying that the Aussies were bad winners because they over-celebrated and didn’t shake hands:

    1) Of course they celebrated hard straight after the wicket. It was an awesome win of an extremely high quality (of cricket) test match, that sealed a series against probably their best opponents in the world, and kept a record-equalling streak of wins going (with a great chance to break it in Perth).

    2) More importantly, they did shake hands with the Indian team as they were walking off the ground.

    As to umpiring decisions etc, No one is arguing that India didn’t get the rough end in this match. But talk of a grand conspiracy is garbage. Does anyone remember what it was like for teams touring the subcontinent batting on the last day, especially back before 2 neutral umpires? The Australian tour of India in around 2001 is an easy example.

    Demanding batsmen walk is also rubbish. Take the good with the bad. Do the fielding team demand the batsman come back to the crease when the replay clearly shows he hit it onto his pads before the lbw decision? (Of course, if batsmen choose to walk, that’s noble of them. But it doesn’t put the onus on others!)

    Finally, the BCCI and many others are attempting to conflate the issues of bad umpiring, alleged bad sportsmanship and Singh’s racism case. That’s bullshit. Sure, bad umpiring might lead to tension, which might lead to sledging, and so on. But to use it as an excuse for racism? Unacceptable. And for those of the ‘leave it on the field camp’, how dare we suggest ‘white-man Ponting’ should have told Symonds to suck it up and let it go.

  56. Xercius said

    Ron

    (sorry ’bout this Poss) Re the ‘petrol heads’ remark (for I am often attributed with that, which irritaes me somewhat).

    An exercise for you:

    “Lowering the vehicle will reduce body roll” Discuss; making reference to instantaneous roll centres, roll couples, roll slope, moment of inertia and comparative roll stiffness front / rear. Your answer may include reference to wheel frequency vs the rate of the installed springs. You may select a suspension geometry configuration of your choice for ease of answering(Chapman Strut, MacPherson Strut, Upper / Lower wishbone, Swing arm, Reverse A Arm with trailing links etc).

    David Richards (Prodrive?) was making a point concerning the pyshiological and psychological demands required of a elite motor sport competitor. From my knowledge of this (as an ex AIS Satellite Coach for cycling, a qualified level 4 fitness leader, ex national-level rally competitor and having worked with Olympic-level athletes in a number of sports) it definately qualifies them as ‘athletes’ way before any so-called ‘athlete’ in cricket, football or any number of other team sports (they only think they’re fit . . . they ain’t, let me assure you).

    I think the other point he was trying to make was that, if you think there’s money in, say, professionl cricket, then it pales into comparison with the amount sunk into (and generated by) top level motorsport (even in Australia). It is a highly, highly professional endeavor, even at the club level. Further, you can’t be some unfit dill to operate at that level.

    But, when you start to talk about the cultures and behaviour of athletes in a comparative sense, then, for me, the ‘fuss’ about the Cricket seems nonsensical. They’re boofheads paid well above their worth who never, as a daily part of their job, place their very lives at a degree of risk.

    It’s a game . . . not a sport . . . a game.

    That it is a game played ruthlessly by a team more than another is no surprise in an environment of the money involved, ‘team’ culture and dynamics and the media attention it recieves (and for all the other reasons Possum described in his original post).

  57. Chade said

    lol @ Benthead

    I didn’t make any reference to right and wrong, but if you can show me a India-specific website flooded with Australians commenting as illogically (Defending National Honour, etc) on the cricket (like any of the state-based newspapers here), I’d be surprised…

  58. Dubbs said

    How refreshing, I though I was the only un-australian sports fan who though that the Australian Test Team were a bunch of pratts. I have not been able to watch cricket since Steve waugh took over as captain except when whoever they were playing had a decent shot at winning – and that was just to see the Australians have a dummy-spit (which they are the world champions exponents).

    Can anyone tell me is there anything more cringeworthy in Australia sport than the Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi chant…Well yes there is…It is the sight of Brett Lee pretending to start a chainsaw after he has taken a wicket…Between Lee and Lleyton we see to have a monopoly on dickheads with emblematic arm signals.

    Personally I hope the Indians piss off home and then bring the NRL season forward 2 months so we don’t have to put up with this tacky spectacle any further.

  59. Ronin said

    Like a lot of sports, Cricket is a form of entertainment. The viewers like to see a good contest, and feels happy when their team wins. There is an added bonus if the people playing the game does not appear as complete bastards. This is where ‘sportsmanship’ comes in. Professional cricketers may indeed by all foul mouth baffoons, yet they cannot appear so to the general public. Blowing up the incident hurts the game overall.

    There is a clash of culture where sledging is involved. The Australian views that insulting another player is fair game, but race, religion and family is out of bound. Other cricketing cultures don’t see it the same way. To them, one insult is the same as another. This is where captaincy is important, and incident should be played down instead of escalated. The Australian captains must look beyond just winning the match, being ‘legally correct’ is no consolation if the other team refuse to play.

  60. happy chap from Griffith said

    Hmmm I was already to write a long and angry diatribe about all the fucktardery the Indian team have been carrying on with, but Poss and Rod have pretty much summed it all up (high 5!). However…I shall indulge myself in a small diatribe…

    How can anyone actually take these clowns that are having a teary over ‘sportsmanship’ and ‘spirit of the game’ seriously? Where have you lot been living? Sorry to say it but Bradman was a deadset cunt and Jardine pioneered the spirit of the game! This whole situation comes back to two simple things: 1) the Indians being bad losers; and 2) the Indians being willing to use racism to try and unnerve the most dangerous player in the Aussie team in the pursuit of winning. Spirit of the game my ass!

    Thanks for injecting some sense into this Poss.

  61. happy chap from Griffith said

    *woops already= all ready

  62. happy chap from Griffith said

    Those folks who think the aussie team’s behaviour rude and unusual should run their eyes over this bit of work by the Oz:http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23027330-25837,00.html

  63. Deborah said

    I’m a new Australian – 11 days now, ‘though I have lived here previously.

    Are the stump microphones on all the time? Seems to me that if we could hear all the alleged sledging, then the perpetrators, from any team, might not be so keen to engage in it. A bit of transparency could be a very fine thing.

    It wouldn’t help with comments that are out of range of the mikes, of course.

    Still deciding whether or not to transfer my allegiance to the Australian cricket team, but given the on-going woeful performance of the old country’s team (NZ), it may not be such a hard decision.

  64. Cath said

    Ok, I need help. I don’t get this – I really really don’t get this and I think this might be the right blog to ask for an explanation.

    Its a game. There are bats and balls and men in white clothes running around. I know this. I have accepted that in the period following Christmas I will have trouble getting access to quality written drama and comedy on the t.v because other people in my house want to watch men chase a red ball around a field. Fine, I don’t mind. It is a free country and no one is forcing me to sign up to the national religion. New migrants are forced to know this stuff, but that is another diatribe.

    But guys, how in the hell is this allowed to become a international bloody incident? WHY DOES IT MATTER WHAT A BUNCH OF BLOKES WHO ARE GOOD WITH THEIR BALLS DO OR SAY??? What are all of you highly intelligent politically engaged folk doing devoting so much time and thought to this? What is the attraction? What is the point?? When is the sports page going to get off the front page and go to the back of the paper where it belongs so i can go back to throwing it straight into the recycling?

    Please, I am aware I am missing something here. If you could answer my questions without reference to the rules of the game, statistics or incidents that happened over fifty years ago I would be deeply grateful.

    Thanks

  65. Chade said

    Deborah, the stump mikes are only on when the ball is in play. I think they’re not on all the time so that the cricketers can sledge (from both sides), pretty much – although they used to put it in much “nicer” terms…

    Mind you, the mikes were on when when Mark Boucher was going on about something a couple of years ago – and there’s a couple of pearlers from Flintoff. Funny blokes, those two. You could probably find it on youtube.

  66. onimod said

    Two quick comments
    As I suggested earlier, the players might have a little issue with the forensic analysis of channel nine and the I-told-you-so attitude that goes with it:
    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/01/09/1199554741543.html?s_rid=theage:top5

    Ronin
    “The Australian views that insulting another player is fair game, but race, religion and family is out of bound. Other cricketing cultures don’t see it the same way. To them, one insult is the same as another.”
    I agree with you general sentiment, but failing to recognise racism, well, it’s racism regardless, and it’s why Harby’s been given 3 weeks in the bin to think about it.
    Racists don’t generally know they’re racists – it’s that simple. Australia has drawn the line at racism.

    Quick third comment – the general idea idea that you can’t be a critic unless you have perfect character and have never made a mistake is a strong one in this whole argument here. Here’s a view from an Indian mate, living in London; accomplished cricketer: “The Indians are in Australia for a Cricket tour, not a political tour – get on with it”

  67. JP said

    Deborah @ 63
    As much as transparency would be nice, the stump mikes need to be kept off air most of the time so the telecast can keep its G(Exempt) rating and be shown in kids TV hours.

    Ronin @ 59 says:
    “Like a lot of sports, Cricket is a form of entertainment. The viewers like to see a good contest, and feels happy when their team wins. There is an added bonus if the people playing the game does not appear as complete bastards. This is where ’sportsmanship’ comes in. Professional cricketers may indeed by all foul mouth baffoons, yet they cannot appear so to the general public. Blowing up the incident hurts the game overall.”

    Bollocks – it does not harm the game. As you said, cricket (and all sport) is just another form of entertainment for the couch-bound. Its nice that some people still play sport at a grass roots level, but that’s pretty irrelevant to the “made-for-TV” professional level. At that level, it’s just theatre. And to be good theatre it needs villains, heroes, controversy, injustice, redemption and the rest. Take away umpiring mistakes, hotheaded Indians, and boorish Aussies (and the various pathologies of the West Indies, Pakistan, England and S Africa) and you rob the game of its drama – effectively you’re left with Sri Lanka vs New Zealand, and doesn’t that draw the crowds? How anyone can believe that getting the soap opera of the current Australia/India series leading the TV news and all over the front page and letters page of every newspaper hurts the game is beyond me – that drama IS the game.

  68. happy chap from Griffith said

    Cath,

    First of all let me provide some reassurance, there is hope for you yet: My girlfriend is from Norway. Norway is not exactly known for its love of cricket- nor are Norwegians well known for their pithy insights into the game of cricket. Therefore, a couple of years back when we started seeing each other the poor girl’s grasp of the game was not too crash hot and, no surprises here, she didn’t exactly think it was spellbinding stuff. However, three years, and a bit of explaining, later, I am proud to say she’s recently become a convert. She even insisted on watching all of the recent tests with India (yes tests!). Recently when we were watching the Sydney test on the box she turned to me and said, “You know what, this is great! I now know why you people like cricket- you get to sit on the couch all day and, while sorta watching, do something else as well!”. She’s right. Cricket isn’t so much a good game because it’s packed with action, but a great game because it has just the right mix of action and repetitive rhyme so as to make it relaxing. Give it a go while reading a magazine, surfing the net or having a couple of beers and a chat*. Trust me, if my Norwegian girlfriend can develop a love of the game you’ve got to be in with a chance!

    *I also have my suspicions that this is why us men have always had a (potentially) greater love of the game. It’s one of only a few times in our lives when we get to experience what it’s like to do two things at once!

  69. Charles said

    Ahh you forgot one thing, it’s entertainment, the big are because it is entertainment, and our team is expected to live up to our self image, you know, fair go and all that. If it fails to entertain it’s all over, and you can carry on as much as you like, thats the bottom line.

  70. Ron said

    suggest blogers re-read # 47 Benthead

    NO ‘aussie’ and I repeat NO ‘aussie’would think so poorly of ALL
    aussie cricket teams since Border took over in 1982. 26 yrs ago

    Many blogers here are happy in live in this great country but still retain a pathetic jealousy of aussies & joyfully denigrate our great aussie sportsmen

    but yous won’t go live back in your crappy countries of origin.

    Possum’s accurate article brought out yous rats

    The price of immigration is a minority of immigrants like the arrogant whinging Poms & Kiwi’s don’t appreciate how great we are

  71. EconoMan said

    Charles 69: “…thats the bottom line” …

    ‘cuz Stone Cold says so.

  72. Ron said

    EconoMan , get it straight , Singh made the racist comment per the 9 TV footage not an Australian

    how facts get changed by the whinging losing Indians

  73. Ferny Grover said

    So in your world Ron, an Aussie can’t criticise an Aussie – and if an Aussie does criticise an Aussie it shows that they must not really be an Aussie but an imposter who is really from some other ‘crappy country of origin’?

  74. happy chap from Griffith said

    Benthead @47 says

    “i’d have to say that anyone who can’t see that the Australians carry themselves like a bunch of jocks, boors, and dickheads”

    but…dude…what else can we expect them to be? Literary icons? Nobel Peace Prize recipients? They’re folks who’ve spent every last waking moment of their lives competing by hitting a ball with a bit of wood, or hitting a bit of wood with a ball. This is their bread and butter, it’s their livelihood at stake. Of course their going to be ruthless bastards because that is what is demanded of them.

  75. happy chap from Griffith said

    True that Ferney Grover- it’s important to remember that us aussies are all from some other ‘crappy country of origin’ so no point folks throwing that phrase around.

  76. Ferny Grover said

    We’ve really got to get rid of this perverse idea that because something is a business then ethics, or sportsmanship, or just plain manners don’t matter. That’s why Enron happened – and HIH. We excuse bad behaviour because dollars are at stake.Why?

  77. EconoMan said

    What are you talking about Ron (@72)? I know Singh said it: (“the minimum penalty for Singh’s offence is 2 matches.”) Where on earth do I say otherwise? Did you mean someone else?

    And btw, how can you possibly read my post and think I’m siding with ‘the whinging losing Indians’? I agree with Poss, and I didn’t dispute anything you said (just added a couple).

  78. Barry said

    By definition,

    The Indians are claiming that ‘Roy’ is a liar. (In that he made up what he reported Singh having said to him.)

    Also, that Ponting is acting outside the ‘spirit of the game’. (In that he reported to the umpires a matter that the rules required him to report to the umpires at the time he was advised of it.)

    By contrast, the Indians have done the right thing by not reporting the Hogg comment – “B*stard” – untill they required a ‘tit for tat’ complaint to lay.

    ‘Our blokes’ may well be boorish in their behaviour. However, it is difficult to see anything other than ‘sour grapes’ in the touring team’s responses and complaints.

    Memo to the Aussies: How smart is it to sign contracts to play sport in a country where it is the done thing to burn effigies of sport participants you don’t like? Remember how they treated Chappell (Blame the coach not the players!)

    In short – wannabes who lose the plot when they don’t cut it.

  79. Zafar said

    What a surprising topic to find being discussed here. But as an Indian origin person who immigrated to Australia more than a decade ago (‘as a mother/engineer/nurse practitioner blahblahblah’) imho the whole brouhaha throws up some interesting issues.

    It has long been acknowledged that India really has only two genuine religions. One of these is cricket. (The other is Bollywood.)

    Judging from the strong responses (here and elsewhere), apparently one of Australia’s religions is also cricket. (No surprise, I guess.) Keeping that in mind, expecting a rational (or even neutral) response from anybody is unrealistic. And the two major responses (defensive protectiveness ‘our cricket team has done/can do no wrong, it’s the other lot that are mad/bad/dangerous/childish’; and disappointment ‘but you’re cricketers, how COULD you be dishonest/unsportsmanlike/ungracious/arrogant?’) are consistent with that.

    (I admit to tending to the second position – I’m not particularly happy with the behaviour of either team. Perhaps good sportsmanship is only a myth, but myths are what religions are built on, and gain/give meaning from. Gotta respect my religious beliefs, man…and it’s ‘natural’ for me to be unimpressed with people who disprove them to me so demonstrably.)

    And ‘sledging’, whatever your opinion of it, clearly doesn’t translate well across cultural boundaries. Just because Indians play cricket doesn’t mean they ‘get’ where the line between sledging and abuse lies in Australian eyes. And vice versa. India DOES have a racist aspect, just like Australia, but it’s also the home of the – revered, widely popular – Monkey God Hanuman. Is ‘monkey’ really going to have exactly the same meaning to Indian sensibilities as it does to Australian sensibilities? Isn’t it a bit arrogant to assume that it does, or even that it should?

    Similarly the word ‘bastard’ – same word, deeply different meanings (and responses).

    As for the technicalities of it (he said, he did, his bat was here/there/everywhere), not so interesting.

  80. Ron said

    get your facts right Ferny #73

    What I said is read Benthead # 43…clearly he is a reluctant
    Australian who is jealous of our 26 year aussie sporting record

    What I then said are many blogers here are happy in live in this great country but still retain a pathetic jealousy of aussies & joyfully denigrate our great aussie sportsmen

    If the truth hurts Ferny bad luck

    Of course there are ALSO blogers here who are fair dinkum aussies who criticise pontings teams standards.I never said otherwise so don’t misrepresent

    BUT none of them including you will dare criticise the Indians either for their racism or for calling ‘Roy’ a liar or the Indians crass losers behavour for publicly criticising the independaent referee Mike Proctor

    cause yous have double standards

    The Indians are calling ‘Roy’ a liar.
    BUT

  81. John VK said

    Fight you Bastards I hate peace.

    Anyway it’s on three levels.

    International thuggery using revenues to get an objective. Overiding the independent adjudication of whatever form is corrupt

    Skill one side hopelessly outclassed or else there would not be bitching, whining and complaining by one side and it’s upporters.

    Conduct Umpires make mistakes simple, how a player deals with this determines the character. Racial vilification is not sledging when the ground rules have been explained simple. No amount of fudging or twisted logic addresses it. The crowd can be told and controlled to a degree.

    What part of “in Australia calling a player an ape is vilification dont do it”, can an arrogant young moron not understand and lieing about it dont fix it when there and witnesses that heard it and one witness a failing legend who says he didn’t and he is God.

  82. noone said

    Here Here Possum, my thoughts almost down to a letter

  83. Ron said

    John VK , well said as did Possum

    can you imagine if the aussies were losing , were then guilty of racism , then publicly critised the independent referee , then denied making the racist comment DESPITE the TV footage proving you did….

    the precious loney left , the righteous ‘politically correct’
    and the ‘reluctant Australian’ jealous immigrants would cry

  84. HarryH said

    Looking at this trash of a post Poss, i think this site should stick to what its good at.

    I can’t believe you’ve bought into JWH’s insidious nationalism.
    If you can’t see the problem with the way the Australian cricket team plays its cricket then nationalistic bias can be the only answer.

    Playing hard cricket is ok up to a point. But this team has crossed a line that is clearly not palatable to most. It has been simmering for years.

    When one side pushes the limits to the very edge they usually win. When BOTH teams push those limits, things will erupt.

    Australia have for the last 12 years pushed that assertiveness that Howardism really exploited, to the distaste of most onlookers. India as a nation, now have that same assertiveness in spades and won’t back down from confrontation.

    Welcome to what we witness as a result.

    As to the Indian peoples reaction to Racism claims from Australia….i think the Haneef affair might make their blood boil a bit.

  85. Too flamin’right.

  86. HarryH said

    I think the bottom line is the Australian cricket team are a bunch of assholes. If they were English or Pakastani or Australian they would be assholes. Just like LLeyton Hewitt is an asshole. Just like Pat Rafter, The Aussie Netball team, Chris Judd etc etc etc are not assholes.

  87. WhoGivesaRats said

    Benthead @ # 27

    I think that you have addressed the wrong question. My point is that generally the demonstrated behaviour of the Australians has been acceptable. In this instance we have an Indian who made a racial remark to an Australian player that is outside the laws and spirit of the game. According to the instructions of the Referee given to the Captains before the game this is required to be reported which the Australian captain Ponting complied with.

    Even if the rules of the game did not require Ponting to report this behaviour I believe that Pointing would be remiss if he did not, for racism is unacceptable at any time.

    It therefore appears that Ponting and the Australians have been unfairly criticised for doing the “right thing”.

    This is not an argument over the right penalty to be imposed however it should be remembered that this is the third time this particular Australia has been subject t to this sort of racial abuse and the second time by this particular player

    As for the supposed criticism of Sings and Indians antics just peruse this blog and you will see how little it features.

    I see little to criticise independent umpires about. Just think of the uproar if an Australian umpire was involved.

    I have to say that part of the problem is ably demonstrated in you last paragraph. In reality there is little or no difference between the behaviour of the bulk of international cricketers but as you demonstrated it is the Australians that appear cop the bulk of the criticism. However, you response is to call the Australians names and by implications suggest that it applies to all of us. I have come to believe that what the Indians are demonstrating is a double standard. The slightest pretext to condemn an Australian while at the same time no evidence is good enough to condemn the Indians.

    At least Australia has steered clear of the phoney argument of “national pride” which seems to be the sole driver of the Indians reactions. If they were “fair dinkum” they would accept the penalty and get on with the game. If they are not prepared to do they should return to India today and allow the rest of us to live our lives without this carry on. I am afraid that this would be the best for the game, as I believe that India through their behaviour is doing harm to the game.

  88. Mate said

    Zafar Says: (79)
    January 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    perfect

  89. Ron said

    WhoGivesaRats
    Can the Indian team on their return flight also take the looney left and the jealous Pommy , Kiwi etc expatriates

    Let them stew in Indian racism , Indian caste inequality , Indian disregard for neutral match Referees , Singh/Tendukar’s denial of racist comment despite contrary TV footage evidence

    NOW the Indian team threatens the NZ appeal judge that if the racism appeal is not successful , then the team may go home

    WhoGivesaRats, these blogers have been infected with “Howardism”
    ie. when confronted with an undenial fact , ignore the subject !!

  90. Ferny Grover said

    Ron @ 80. Actually I wasn’t stating any facts, just asking a question – which you have answered eloquently. Thank you, though a simple’ yes’ would have done. Oh, and there’s no such word as ‘yous’. Everyone knows it’s ‘yooz’!

  91. lurker said

    Sure Ponting needs to learn to bit more gracious on the field after victory – shking their opponents’ hands and thanking them for a good game would make a start!

    But I can’t help wondering whether admitting to a fault is considered a sign of weakness in Indian culture – I know that this is the case in certain cultures. Someone is not telling the truth about the whole Harbajan incident.

  92. Ron said

    Ferney says
    there’s no such word as ‘yous’. Everyone knows it’s ‘yooz’!
    lacking in education in the outback ,I guessed how it was spelt.
    thx Ferney

    Lurker says; Someone is not telling the truth about the whole Harbajan incident.

    Lurker you are right. In case you were unaware,

    during the one day match in Mumbai India in october , singh called Symonds a ‘monkey’. The team wanted to report it to the Match Referee.]
    Symonds said no , I’ll talk to him man to man which he did.
    At the same match sections of the Indian crowd abused Symonds with a ‘monkey’ chant

    The 2 Cricket Boards instructed both teams any racism was to be reported to the Umpires for the match Referee to adjudicate and some words were specifically prohibited including ‘monkey’

    Singh’s ‘monkey’ comment to Symonds in Sydney is the SECOND offence over two continents. The TV footage lip reading clearly shows Symonds & then Ponting admonishing Singh for using the word ‘monkey’ with Ponting ALSO ayong “this is the second time you have called him monkey mate”

    Fair dinkum how could any aussie believe Singh & Tendukar denials
    except the jealous Pommy/Kiwi etc expats
    whilst the looney left delusion is it never happened

  93. They behaved entirely appropriately for sportsmen who had just won a world record number of tests in a row. And I still don’t understand Roebuck and others objection to Hadyn crossing himself. What’s with that? Sure it shows Haydos is a little bit dim, but what’s it have to do with this storm in a turban? Boorish and arrogant? What a laugh that people are pretending to be outraged by this.

  94. Harmless Cud Chewer said

    Fourth Bruce: New-Bruce will be teaching political science, Machiavelli, Bentham, Locke, Hobbes, Sutcliffe, Bradman, Lindwall, Miller, Hassett, and Benaud.

    Second Bruce: Those are all cricketers!

    Fourth Bruce: Aww, spit!

    Third Bruce: Hails of derisive laughter, Bruce!

    (with apologies to Monty Python)

  95. Stephen Lloyd said

    The funny thing is how fanatical the indian fans are about this. You look at online polls on the smh and news.com.au websites and where polls normally attract 4000 or so votes, these on this topic have 50,000 votes, with 70% in favour of India, lol!

  96. codger said

    Dear Possum if I could have your attention for a moment; I understand it must be fun down that end of the see saw he saw she saw what with Faris Texas & Ron et al.

    Yes it is big bucks big politics big deal blah blah.

    Couple of quick points:
    ‘a measure of a good team is how its players respond to bad umpiring calls’
    India outscored Oz in the first innings despite Roy @ 30…
    ‘The umpires made their decision – Harbhajan Singh was found guilty’
    It was the match referee after a bollocking for not pinging an Indian in Melbourne for dissent (and admitting it much like you know who @ 30), no mikes, no umpires, just honest ozzies; he said she said Haneef country here; now here comes the judge…

    Rewind to last year. The origin of this is as you allude to vigorous ‘professional’ sport.

    ‘some Australian commentators have argued that Ponting went too far by bringing the matter to the authorities’ attention. Some have even interpreted his actions in the light of his personal duel with Harbhajan, who has a better record against him than any other bowler in world cricket.’ (Telegraph.co.uk) Hmmm.

    8 zip now I think Possum; and HS when asked if he had the wood on punter replied along the lines that ‘he wasn’t there long enough to know.’ Ouch.

    Do have a look at these and get a taste of the combat not to mention the guile and skill of one HS. But cop the eyes of the Ozzies and in particular our own punter.

    Magnificent professional rivalry

    HS – India’s first hat trick – (Kumble could have had one in Sydney)

    And the 20 20 semi final –

    Monkeys & bastards; phooey, fakes & phoneys. Roll on Perth.

    Update, the proactively pure at heart out @ 30 says in teh OZ he started it after taking umbrage at teh great bum bat incident…must be true. Chainsaw Lee apparently couldn’t have given a monkeys err rats. Onya Brett.

  97. Tad said

    Hi Poss

    I’m a big fan of your site. Kept me sane and informed during the election. But the fact that you’ve brought so many anti-immigrant and racist comments onto your blog in your defence must surely give you pause for thought.

    I was a mad keen supporter of Australia for many years, but the way that nationalism and racism were used by Howard over time meant that the (totally expected) nastiness of professional cricket took on a political edge that can’t be separated from the sporting achievements of the amazingly talented Australian teams of the last decade. I’ve since been an “anyone but Australia” kinda guy, especially if the opposing teams come from former oppressed (read non-white) colonies of the British empire. It’s a hard position to stick to when it’s England, NZ or a mainly white RSA team, but the synergy between racist politics and sport makes it too off-putting for me to keep barracking for Ponting’s men.

    I think that you are guilty of judging cricket in isolation from wider politics, just as some people who hate the Aussie team mistakenly want to see it return to some mythical pure form of “sportsmanship”. I don’t expect that in a world of big-money professional sport with national teams that there will be much change in the Aussie team’s behaviour unless there is wider social change. But that doesn’t mean I make excuses for it either.

    Cheers.

    PS Another example of how you can’t separate on-field politics from off is the ridiculous idea of the national team of one of the most race-obsessed white countries in the world crying foul about racism from a black team. Sticks in the craw even if in some abstract world (like that of the ICC) it rates as reasonable.

  98. Possum is probably right. The Indians are a bunch of cry-babies, the Aussies are entitled to play it tough, and Peter Roebuck wouldn’t know shit from shoe polish.

    Maybe.

    But that is not the point. It is how the Aussies are perceived that matters (matters in in terms of their income, popularity and therefore their ultimate success)and it is the management of that perception that has led to, and still contributes to, their predicament. More here … http://tasmanianpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/01/its-perceptions-stupid.html

  99. Bring Back CL's blog said

    2 points.

    1) a personwho sledges a person by saying their a f… c… can expect no sympathy if ssomeone then sledges back at them.
    There should be no abuse at all. You cannot have some abuse of players but it must be left on the field ( remember the hammering Graem Smith got for saying what went on) but some abuse is banned.
    That is complete and rank hyprocisy

    2) both the Harbarnator and moreimprtantly Tendulkar ,who has perhaps the greatest reputation in the game, said the word monkey was not said. Indeed Tendulkar was so enraged he provoked the BCCI into action. given Tendulkar warned his colleague that Symonds was provoking him I doubt very much monkey was said. Indeed Symonds reaction is that of a person not sure of whethet the word was said.
    I wouldn’t at all be surprised if hindi was said.

    The BCCI have appointed a person who can sort this out. His decision should be final.

    It does seem as some people here approve of boorish behaviour.

    more is the pity

  100. Mullo said

    I could have handled things better: Ponting – SMH 11/01/08 http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/01/10/1199554831128.html

    “Maybe I should have reacted differently here and Michael Clarke might be saying the same thing, and a few of the guys might all be looking at what we’ve done that last game,”

  101. steve_e said

    Zafar

    So I take it that when the crowd in India was calling out Monkey to Symonds they were chanting that he was a Hanuman like figure. It was a form of worship not ridicule.

    Mate, this would be a serious mis-read of the intent of the crowd.

    Indian crowds get angry when they do not win. As they often do not win, they get angry on a regular basis. The reason they tageted Symonds was that he was winning games by his own efforts and their team was loosing games. They did not target Ponting or McGrath. There is a further reason to target Symonds – he reacts. If there was no reaction, then the crowd moves its attention elsewhere.

    In the Sydney Test Symonds innings allowed Australia to set an above 400 score when it could have been much less. The description of him as a Monkey in Sydney was to bait him and get a reaction. If Symonds had ignored this bait then we would not have heard about it.

    Crowds generally like to get under the skin of players. I recall the impact of a cricket crowd (Bay 13 at the MCG) describing the NZ bowler Hadlee as a Wanker. The result was the bowler lost his focus and performed poorly. As he was the opposition’s best bowler this helped the home team. Playing at home is seen to be an advantage because the crowd is on the side of the home team. It was ever thus and the only way to change this home team advantage would be to lock out the crowd and play to empty grounds. This has happened in soccer when the crowdd has rioted but it seems a bit extreme as a way to proceed.

    So we move on. There will be another game and the home team will chear when the opposition loose.

    This is how games are played when the keep the score.

  102. Ron said

    Bring Back CL’s blog
    I doubt very much monkey was said

    you are right even though the TV footage lip reading in Sydney shows Ponting & Symonds admonishing Singh for using ‘monkey’

    and even though the WHOLE test team wanted Singh charged 2 months ago in 2007 in Mumbai for calling Symonds a ‘monkey’
    on the first occasion

    and even though Symonds is has an impecable sportsmanship record whilst Singh has the prior form in Mumbai PLUS was charged in 2001 in a Test Match in Sorth Africa by the Match Referee for ball tampering as was Tendukar

    Yep , you blogers simply ignore the facts and follow your bias

    Yooz should go back to your crappy country of origin yo jealous Poms Kiwi’s etc or if yooz are from the looney left , you,ve obviously had your full days drug quota already

  103. Bring Back CL's blog said

    ron,

    it is apparent hindi was said. you might need to hear the video as Symonds asks a question i.e. he isn’t sure

    Tendulkar said monkey wasn’t said and his character and behaviour is well above any of the Australians.

    Why would he bring on such a cconfrontation?

  104. Bring Back CL's blog said

    Fact.

    Tendulkar was merely getting mud off the ball which is what Denness agreed what happened.

    Another fact.
    In India when the Aussies were swearing and carrying on with singh he merely gave back what they were doing.
    How was he to know about their hyprocisy of it being perfectly okay to sat f… c… out on the field and keeping that on the ffield and then suddenly saying hold on mate you cannot say monkey.

    It is either NO abuse, as it should be, or any abuse at all.
    Not slected pieces of abuse being said to be not allowed.

  105. Ferny Grover said

    Ron, I was only kidding about ‘yooz’. Try ‘you’.

  106. dany le roux said

    One or two political matters have been overlooked here on a site which is normally 100% political – the resentment by many of India’s population for the treatment of Dr Haneef by our former Government and the open and ingratiating endorsement of the game of cricket by el Rodente.

    Was the treatment of Haneef “not cricket”?

    Did the Indian cricket team (perhaps unconsciously) want to redefine the way Whitey treats Indians in such that any hint of discrimination gets as much publicity as possible?

    There are a total of 300,000 migrants of various forms scheduled to arrive this financial year – many more than in the past and very many from India. I do not live in Victoria where most of the Indian migrants are apparently going but it would not do their success as migrants any harm to know that Indians, cricketers and migrants alike,will react vigorously to anything which even looks like racism.

    I am a little biased against Indian migrants for the reason that I bought a business from one which turned out to be a dog with all book entries mostly fiction. When I complained about it I was expected to have some special sympathy for the Indian concerned because he was a migrant struggling in the new country to make good.

    My attitude now is that their country is struggling to cope with their reproductive incontinence long after the technology became available to prevent this and that their profound vanity prevents them from planning a sustainable population. They must therefore since they breed excessively suck energy and resources from other countries – they have stuffed the I.T. industry in the US and their call centres have put countless ordinary workers out of jobs in the US and here.In effect they do not care whose country they use as a usufruct just so long as they can con the locals ( and umpires) into thinking they are somehow obliged to give Indians special treatment.

    And as for cricket.Why on earth do people do things in the name of a sport which endlessly goes on proving the Newtonian Laws of Motion when they are easily accepted by most people post childhood? Don’t they quite believe them? Are they looking for exceptions to the rule? Will the ball take off for a boundary even if you hit it in an opposite direction?

    The worst of it is that when they finish playing cricket they start playing football.

  107. Ron said

    Bring Back CL’s blog says
    Tendulkar said monkey wasn’t said and his CHARACTER and behaviour is well above ANY of the Australians

    Well , NO Aussie would make such a statement denigrating ALL 11 aussies of the aussie cricket team

    So pal , piss off back to your crappy country of origin

    Tendukar was charged with ‘ball tampering’ . The Indian team AGAIN threatened to cancell the South African tour midstream
    and the Math Referee backed off to save the tour

    If the Indian bluff can be called then in South Africa , they would have gone home but would have been to scared to try their baby threat this time. Tendukar has form

    As for Ferny, mate “you” continue to show me up and I seek some
    consideration from you as you destroy my arguments with you eloquence

  108. Bring Back CL's blog said

    ron,

    I was born here and apparently can do a little research which is beyond you.

    You were completely wrong with Tendulkar which is why Denness agreed with the charge being dismissed. The err tv replay showed this clearly.

    Nor do you understand how the charges were made in the first place. how did the incident start? Who started it?
    Who warned whom not to be provoked? Who said they talked in hindi?

  109. Zafar said

    “So I take it that when the crowd in India was calling out Monkey to Symonds they were chanting that he was a Hanuman like figure. It was a form of worship not ridicule.”

    No, of course not. They were trying to irritate him and throw him off his game. No argument there. My point was that calling someone a ‘monkey’ in India is just not that big a deal. Just like calling someone a ‘bastard’ isn’t that big a deal here. (Though it would be in India.) Insisting that everybody should have the same standards (and assumptions) as Australia when it comes to calling someone a monkey or a bastard doesn’t make any logical sense – or at best, is a somewhat blinkered view of the world.

    The degree of offensiveness (and assumed racist intent) lies to some extent in the ear of the listener (er…not smooth, but you get my point?) – which is what makes the fine line between sledging and unacceptable abuse hard to recognise when the two teams aren’t from the same basic cultural background. Which makes me wonder whether sledging is that good for the game.

  110. Zafar said

    “Was the treatment of Haneef “not cricket”? ”

    IMHO it was not.

  111. Bring Back CL's blog said

    Yes Zafar which is why all sledging should be banned.

    The fine line is simply hypocrisy.

    Not to mention appalling standards to set for young kiddies

  112. Ron said

    Bring Back CL’s blog ,
    Singh has made a racism comment against Symonds in 2 continents
    Singh & Tendukar have then lied because they’ve been caught out

    Neither has any credibility
    Fortunately the TV technicians via footage can prove Singh lied
    Your version is as biasely corrupt as your views

    Zafar #110 Says:
    “Was the treatment of Haneef “not cricket”? ”
    Cricket had nothing to do with Haneef

    Haneef was treated shabbily by a cynical Howard to win votes on
    a false terrorism agenda.
    Howard actually would have preferred Haneef to be an ‘arab’ person but any non Anglo still served his disgraceful object

    SHOCK Ashes loss by odds on favourites Australans in 2005:
    No excuses by the aussie team , no claims of poor Umpiring by the Aussies , no criticism of the aussies ‘behavour’ , no claims of aussie bad sportsmanship and the Aussies lost with grace.

    Ponting said we were outplayed and needed to improve.

    So we do have a recent comparison of the aussie and Indian teams losing….and the Indians by comparison look like poor losers

  113. Ferny Grover said

    The problem with the Aussies is not that they’ve been poor losers – but poor winners. I don’t think anyone here has been defending the Indian team, Ron (and frankly your angry demands that those concerned by the Aussie behaviour should, “piss off back to your crappy country of origin” is way out of line). Both teams have behaved reprehensibly – and that’s the point. We want a better standard of behaviour from our cricketers – and as Aussies (yes I belong here) we want a team that makes us proud that they represent us.

  114. Bring Back CL's blog said

    last time ron,

    Denness looked at the footage and correctly made the observation that Tendulkar was doing exactly what he said, getting mud off the ball.

    The TV footage does not give any proof towards the charge at all. It simplyhas Symonds asking a QUESTION of Singh ie are you caling me a monkey. Tendulkar is in a position to hear whether Singh made the stement or not. only a few Ausssies are, indeed that appear to be further away than the umpire who said he did not hear what was said.

    Do some homework before you make charges

  115. Nathan said

    Very poor argument Possum,
    The Indians are perfectly entitled to appeal the decision (especially as they are claiming he never said Monkey). The Umpires didn’t hear it either.
    Personally I think they entitled to complain about the umpiring as it was awful – the worst I have ever seen. And it definitely contributed to the outcome.
    The Indian cricket team weren’t burning effigies, so I am not sure why you mention this.

    The Indians are mostly upset because the Australians had an agreement that they would take each others word over catches. Ponting abused this by claiming Michael Clarke took a catch that no one would have been able to confirm.

    I don’t see how you can see this issue as one-sided, and your attempts to make this look like the BCCI is bullying is, well a little silly.

  116. RoD said

    Tendulkar was … getting mud off the ball which caught keep down in the seam!

    Possum – absolutely fabulous article. I came for pseph, I’ll stay for the insight.

  117. Ron said

    REPLY TO THREE BLOGERS

    1/ Bring Back CL’s blog
    The truth is you do not know what the TV technicians found out
    You have created your false version to protect Indian lies

    ANYONE who understands our Aussies speak will interpret Symonds and Pontings replies to Singh as meaning Singh called Symonds a ‘monkey’

    The TV techicians got the following words EXACTLY:
    Symonds to Singh:
    ” so you’re calling me a monkey are ya”

    This is NOT a question !
    Its a statement of fact which in a pub would be followed by a
    punch from Symonds

    Ponting to Singh:
    ” this is the second time you’ve called him monkey mate”

    (the first time Ponting is referring to is in Mumbai in Oct 2006)

    Most reasonable people would conclude Singh called Symonds monkey
    The ‘Indian defenders’ will falsely twist these words to defend the guilty Singh who has done it twice over 2 continents

    2/ ‘monkey’ was a prohibited word
    Because of Singhs use of the word in Mumbai and the cIndian crowd’s use of it in India, both Cricket Board’s agreed both Captains must report any racism to the Umpires for the Match Referee to adjudicate

    ‘monkey’ as well as ‘black’ were nominated prohibited words
    So Singh KNEW it was racist & prohibited before saying it
    “Bastard’ was not included but may in future

    3/ ‘poor winners’
    well the problem with this argumenmt is it makes Aussies alleged ‘boorish behavour’ equally as bad as ‘racism’

    Its not.

    All Countries sledge. I do not like sledging.
    Sledging by the Poms when they are winning hurts Aussies whose sledges in return are lame
    vice , versa

    The winning teams sledging is always more hurtful than the losing teams lame responses

    I’d like to see examples given of the aussie’s ‘poor behavour’
    bearing in mind Gangualy Dravid and Jaspar all stood their ground LONG AFTER the Umpire put his hand up

  118. Bring Back CL's blog said

    ron,

    Does the TV have Singh calling Symonds a monkey or not?

    Well no they do not to answer the question.

    did Singh say the word?

    Well we know BOTH singh and Tendulkar are saying Singh talked in Hindi.

    Cogitate on this rather than coming out with jingoistic phrases that has no evidance to bacck it up.

    And no the indians did not stay long at the crease.

    Dravid was dumfounded by the decision but wlaked once the decision was made, Gangukay was waiting for the decision tobe made by the umpire who rather than going to the third unpire simply took the fieldsman word, very strange given in most situation the fieldman wouldn’t know and in this case it looked as though he got it off the ground. Bear in mind who ‘caught ‘ him and his reaction inthe second innings.

    If you are referring to the last man then it might be reasonable to assume he was in a state of shock

  119. Nathan said

    Ron, I am sorry but you are not a court to decide who is or isn’t guilty. The Match referee decided that Singh was guiltym, and the Indians are appealing. This isn’t a matter of “sportmanship” it’s a matter of process. The Indians are following the process they are entitled to.
    Symonds admitted he hit the ball in the first innings (that Dhoni caught). That’s not exactly an exmaple of “good” behaviour.
    The players have a responsibility to the game. And they’re (Aussies and Indians) are turning it into a joke. I am not watching it anymore.

  120. Bring Back CL's blog said

    signing off but the ICC have appointed a person whose judgement should be respected.

    He wil decide on the rights and wrongs.

  121. steve said

    Poss totally off topic but these seem like your sort of people.

    http://www.usaelectionpolls.com/

  122. Unfrickingbelievable said

    Y-A-A-A-A-A-A-W-W-W-W-W-W-N

    Ain’t you otherwise intelligent honourable folk got anything better when there is no election pending?

  123. Unfrickingbelievable said

    ‘better to do

    Sheesh

  124. dany le roux said

    I agree with Unfrickingbelievable that there are more suitable matters to talk about here.

    Mumble today is saying that only 85% of voters are really enfranchised and he does not have a comments facility.

    He seems to be advocating Optional Preferential Voting.

  125. Ron said

    well guys when Symonds says that in 2 different continents Singh called him ‘monkey’, I believe him

    Clearly blogers here are calling Symonds a liar

    Lets call a spade a spade.
    Thats what some blogers are effectively saying he’s a liar
    Whilst those blogers who are reserving judgment are weakly having a bit each way

    Whilst Bring Back CL’s blog says Tendukar has better character than all 11 aussie cricketers , which IS “unaustralian”

    Still waiting for examples of Australian’s alleged bad behavour”

  126. jassy said

    Ron sweetie, you seem to be able to draw a lot of conclusions about something you at best have heard 3rd hand. What is it that allows you to believe Symonds? There is a very simple explanation for the reason you’d believe something rather than another when frankly you have very little evidence either way. I’ll be nice, it is called patriotism. By all means be patriotic – yay for you – but don’t confuse patriotism with thought, reason, analysis or argument, call it what it is.

  127. Thomarse said

    126 responses to cricket! meantime in the real world banks are putting up interest rates without any RBA rate rise and Gillard just tamely signed up to give wealthy private schools another four years of lots more of our money and nothing is heard of any education revolution.

    Cricket!

  128. John VK said

    Ron, No offence mate I wouldn’t bother with Homer (Bring back CL) he hasn’t accepted any logic or evidence for three years that I know of.

    As for some of the others, there are the we hate Australia and any of it’s values tribe (including everything ordinary Australians like).

    There are the we hate Howard Tribe, a subset of the we hate Australia tribe they are also part of the we love Stalin and any other trendy mass murderer of the last century except Hitler unless you really press them, because they hate Jews too and America and democracy. Anything that happens is Howard’s fault including the Tsunami and the fall of the Roman Empire.

    They hate cricket because it’s Australian and therefore to be attacked because it’s not socialist or communist.

    There is the odd leavening of people who will accept facts and most people say a say and move on.Most people who comment come mostly because Poss can argue logic and some people come because it was part of a left wing hip poltical thing for a while pretending they understand Poss’s math.

    But Poss nailed it on this issue.

  129. Ron said

    thanks John VK mate

    Yep you are right.
    Many blogers here are happy to INDIRECTLY call Symonds & Ponting a liar without the courage to say so directly.

    This faith is dismissed as ‘Nationalism’ whereas in fact no sensible world class Aussie sportman would make such a serious allegation unless it was true

    Yep the TV footage tech,s extract of words actually spoken would normally also be a clincher but this is ignored

    I will take your advice mate & not re-blog.

    Thanks Poss , an accurate article which was too close to the truth for many categories:
    the looney left , the righteous politically correct , the jealous of anything ‘australian’ and the delusional world class sport should be a gentlemans game group

  130. Malcom Conn said

    PRAISE PONTING , DON’T BURY HIM

    by Malcom Conn |
    The Australian Sport Editor
    January 2008

    RICKY PONTING should be championed as a national hero for exposing racism in cricket.

    For taking his bold stand to protect Australia’s only black player, Andrew Symonds, from continuing racial taunts by Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh, Ponting deserves to be feted, not condemned.

    He should be considered in the same light as former AFL stars Nicky Winmar and Michael Long, the Aboriginal footballers who took a stand against racism two decades ago.

    Anyone who disagrees should pick up a well-worn broom and sweep racism back under the carpet where it has been allowed to fester for decades.

    The only way to deal with racism is to tackle it head on.

    Claims from commentary box-chained greats of the past such as India’s Sunil Gavaskar, former England captain Tony Greig and Pakistan’s Wasim Akram that Ponting should have dealt with the slur of Symonds off the field are ignorant of the facts.

    Symonds tried. When Harbhajan called him a “monkey” during the seventh match of the one-day series in India last October, an upset Symonds informed team officials and then went and knocked on the Indian dressing room door.

    He sought out Harbhajan and explained he found the term offensive.

    Harbhajan apologised and the Australians believed they had an agreement with Harbhajan that he would not abuse Symonds in similar fashion again.

    So when Harbhajan called Symonds a monkey last Friday, during the third day of the second Test in Sydney, Ponting decided enough was enough and felt he had to act.

    Only by dragging racism into the harsh glare of public ridicule can it be satisfactorily dealt with.

    Cowards who use racial abuse are shamed and public education begins on the hurt of racial vilification.

    Harbhajan’s three-Test suspension by South African match referee Mike Procter on a charge of racial vilification should be held up as the way forward.

    And all the respected Indians who claim that “monkey” is not a racial slur in India must explain a remarkable coincidence.

    Of all the current and former Australian greats that I have spoken to in recent days, none has ever been referred to as a monkey by an Indian player.

    So it appears that the only Australian player ever called a monkey by an Indian player happens to be black.

    Symonds has been the only Australian player ever subjected to monkey chants by Indian spectators, who were arrested and ejected during the same game in Mumbai where Harbhajan first racially abused Symonds.

    To call a black man a monkey is to suggest he is sub-human.

    For Harbhajan and his mates to deny that he ever used the word monkey is like Mark Waugh denying he was paid by Hansie Cronje’s illegal bookmaker for information.

    I believed the bookie then and I believe Symonds and his team-mates now because Mark Waugh and Harbhajan both have form.

    That the Board of Control for Cricket in India is again disgracing the game by attempting to blackmail the ICC into overturning Procter’s decision is the sort of classic dummy spit which continues to make international cricket a joke.

  131. Ron said

    I rest my case

  132. Nathan said

    Ron,

  133. Nathan said

    Oops hit enter too soon.
    Yes, Ron, I am calling Symonds a liar. That’s in this case, though. In India, it seems Singh did call him a monkey. Symonds lost all credibility for me when he didn’t walk in the first innings.
    And I guess Ponting “knew” like he “knew” Michael Clarke had taken the catch to dismiss Ganguly.

    You do understand that people who lie aren’t evil, everyone lies at some point. It’s not a terrible crime. Or are you just pointing out that I am un-Australian?
    And to say that no world class Australian athlete would make such an accusation is quite simply an ill-considered argument. Why are Australian athletes so different to everyone else?

    By the way, am I right to understand Singh apparently said it in Hindi?

  134. Verity said

    Zafar at 79 – well put.

    The need for supporters to take sides hasn’t helped.

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter cricket has been the loser and this has been a result of a lack of justice in the process. Why is calling someone a black c… a much lesser offence than the term “monkey” which is not inherently a racist term? The question arises as to whether the punishment was equitable or whether it was heavier for racist reasons ie to put the Indians in their place.

    By blowing the matter up Ponting has us all looking to see how the name arose. Ponting has not helped matters at all and has damaged the cricket brand as well as Symonds. The Australians are proud of the sledging they have done over the years and it looks now as if they can dish it out but can’t take it themselves. Whilst those who are partisan will never see beyond the team that they support others see poor administration, poor leadership and lack of ethical behaviour.

    It goes beyond whether Symonds said “Monkey” or not. As the game is reliant on income from fans it would be appropriate for Ponting to provide a better example. The fact that the Australians can call other teams girls as a term of abuse and get away with it whilst calling them black girls is racist and there fore forbidden shows how skewed the values of our cricketers are.

    Missed the mark on your defence of the Aussie cricketers Possum as you missed the bigger issues.

  135. PASOK said

    If it was alright for the Aussies to play the game hard and appeal for everything (such as Dravid 2nd innings) then it was fine for Grosso to take a dive in the FIFA World Cup.

    Yet after the World Cup, Italians were (they always will be, in my opinion) cheats for daring to maximise all possible advantages. But the Aussies playing hard is not cheating, just professionalism?

    Using pure football teams, the Aussies used to be like Barcelona: winning is not enough, you must do so with skill, grace, elegance and teamwork. Now, the Australian cricket team has become the Italian Football team: win no matter what. I think it shows tremendous insecurity in the team’s abilities that they must resort to push every boundary in order to win.

    Personally, I find the Australian cricket team repugnant. Under Ponting they have eroded the worldwide respect and admiration that the team earned under Taylor & Waugh. The Sydney test was the only cricket I’ll watch this summer. Fortunately I have my a-league to continue to occupy me for the summer, as it has done since September.

  136. smokey said

    Not often I disagree with you Possum, but I will do so on this occasion in a gentlemanly manner🙂 (I should point out here and now I’m a dual citizen Kiwi/Aussie)

    I stopped being a serious follower of cricket a few years ago as I got disgustingly sick of Oz winning all the time and their attitude in winning. This latest thing isn’t anything new, just the culmination of many years of Oz cricket being in the same sort of insulting huddle as we saw after that test when Oz won other day. Which I’d agree with the many who’ve come out questioning the sportmanship of Australia on the cricket pitch. This isn’t the first time arrogance has been on display, but it’s been the worst time.

    If you want to stick up for the ref and that the Indians should wear the decisions, then you should also accept that Ponting doesn’t. His display even in that match, the captain of Australia, as he threw his bat around after being given out says it all. And who could forget a while ago a glass panel or something being broken after an Aussie was given out, overseas wasn’t it?

    Ponting is a bad sport who has succeeded in the dubious task of even disgusting many Australians with their own cricket team, and infecting that team with his own virus. He’s an arrogant asshole who should be given the boot, now. His display on telly the other night announcing that a reporter shouldn’t be there for daring to question his integrity was sickening, utterly. He has no place representing this country as a cricket captain on the sporting field. An embarrisment to us all.

    Yes, cricket has become an intense sport. But as Aussies that doesn’t mean we should abandon the fair go just so we can win. Or should we suggest they take up underarm bowling again to win? Same thing mate.

    To sum up, that last test at the end and the way the Aussies carried on was shameful, and as an Aussie I was embarrissed. It wasn’t what we’re about as a society, and not what we were on about when we voted Rudd in just now.

  137. Ron said

    Nathan , I said I was not going to further re-blog

    However you ask for my reponse to your #133 comment so I will not be discourteous in ignoring your blog & will answer in detail

    1/ I said no world class “Aussie” sportsman would make such a serious racist allegation without it being true.
    I ONLY used “Aussie” because Symonds an Aussie made the claim !

    I believe no world class sportsman from ANY Country would make such a serious racist allegation without it being true

    So yes it is unaustralian to believe any world class sportsman
    would lie in making an untrue serious racist allegation.
    On this matter of Symonds integrity I disagree with you

    2/ Ponting ‘knew’ Clarke took the catch because Ponting asked him
    and Clarke said he took it
    Kumble the Indian Captain ‘knew’ Laxman took a catch if Laxman told him he caught the ball.

    In this area 2/ (UNLIKE point 3/ below) ALL test Countries players have integrity & have always demonstrated sportsmanship.

    ie. if a player says a ball was not ‘grassed’ its always accepted
    as opposed to whether a player snicked a ball which is left to Umpires to decide

    In fact in the Indian first innings Ponting took a ‘catch’ off Dravid and declared it was a no catch so Dravid was not out
    (TV replays actually showed it was a legal catch)

    3/ The one area where ‘the spirit of the cricket’ has never been followed in ANY Country at first class level is when a batsman snicks a ball.

    95% of ALL players from all countries force the Umpire to decide whether the batsman snicked a ball & have done so for 100 years.
    ie. 95% of all countries players won’t walk even if it was snicked

    Cricket has always been played on the pre knowledge that somtetimes you are given out to a snick when instead the ball only hit the pad and sometimes you are given not out when you snicked it.

    Playing tradition is that the good and bad decisions on snicking even out over time.

    Of the 22 Aussie & Indian players in the Sydney test , only Gilly will always walk but he is the exception to the norm

    So yep , Symonds snicked the ball and got away with it. This has been happening for 100 years and therefore does not reflect on Symonds honesty & truth of his racist allegation

    Apart from Gilly , every Indian & Australian player has in the past got away with being given not out when they snicked a ball
    but conversly been given out when in fact the ball hit the pad

    This cricket tradition is not cheating but recognition that Umpires are imperfect & good/bad decisions even out over time

    4/ Symonds understood the Hindu word ‘monkey’ because 10,000 Indians had chanted it at him at Mumbai in October 2006 !

    5/ Symonds is the only black player in the Aussie team.
    The 10,000 Indians at Mumbai chanted ‘monkey’ AT ONLY SYMONDS.
    Singh in Mumbai said ‘monkey’ AT ONLY SYMONDS

    Therefore for blogers here to suggest ‘monkey’ was not intended to be a racist comment by the 10,000 or by Singh defys logic

    The Indian Cricket Board at the time unlike some blogers here accepted that ‘monkey’ was racist.

    6/ ‘black’ was also a prohibited racist word agreed prior to this series as was ‘monkey’.

    I would accept increasing the number of prohibited racist “sledging” words to reflect each cultures sensitivities & to keep ‘sledging’which is part of competitive world level sport to a mental test.

    Indians also ‘sledge; , so do Kiwi’s , so do all Countries teams
    but ‘sledging’ does not justify a racist response (Singh’s error)

    7/ Ponting made the charge because it was a second offence.
    Ponting was warned by Kumble of the likely explosive Indian response which Ponting would have known anyway

    Ponting was courageous to make this stand knowing this because it may irradicate racism from cricket.

    Singh is not the first offender and it is not unreasonable to assume that Players from ALL Countries including Aussies have done so in the past. Its time to stop it.Ponting made a stand

    8/ As to Singh’s guilt or innocence:
    Singh’s form in Mumbai ,
    Symonds or any test cricketer would not make the claim if it was not true,
    The TV footage tech’s lip reading summary supports Symonds
    The Independent Match Referee beleived Singh was guilty

    The Appeal howevr is likely to say the evidence is not conclusive if only because the issue has become one of such serious National pride that cricket could not survive a guilty verdict without the cricket world being split in 2 irreversiblty.

    This is a ‘win’ for the arrogant Indian Cricket Board

    9/ Blogers criticism of the Aussies ‘poor behavour’ in celebrating their success’s during & after the Test is really about blogers moral embarassment of the numerous poor Umpiring decisions that went against the Indians.

    The aussies celebrations were no different to any team’s celebrations during and after winning a close test.

    The Aussies do not appeal any more or less than most other Countries.

    The Aussies did not make the poor Umpiring decisions.

    The Indians should have worn them with grace.
    In the 3rd Test , the poor decisions may go against the Aussies

    Blog #130 from the ‘Australian’ sports Editor is worthy

    Thank you Possum for stating your opinion

  138. WhoGivesaRats said

    Nathan Says @ # 133

    “Yes, Ron, I am calling Symonds a liar. That’s in this case, though. In India, it seems Singh did call him a monkey. Symonds lost all credibility for me when he didn’t walk in the first innings.”

    Clearly you know little about cricket and ever less about ethics. It is not the Batsman job to determine if he has been dismissed or not. This is the jog of the match officials. If we demand this of batsmen we will have batman failing to leave the field (regardless of the situation) because they think they are not out. All the way back to the good Dr. Grace we have had disputes between teams regarding dismissal and to put such a decision is the hands of the batsman shows a distinct lack of understanding of people.

    It appears that you believe that (without any evidence) that it is permissible to call Australian players liars while at the same time arguing that the Indians are as pure as the driven snow. There is nothing to support the arguement that either Symonds or Ponting are other than honest men and you assault on their good names reflects very badly on you and your argument.

    In fact anyone who walks (like Gilchrist) is a goose for they are not in the best position to make such a decision.

    I have to disagree with Verity at post 134 where he says that Ponting “blew things up” I assume he is referring to the reporting of the racial abuse. Verity fails to understand that he was required to report such a racist slur. Pointing did the right thing and any other action would have left himself open to criticism. If this action had damage cricket than cricket need to be damaged for racism is not acceptable at any time, not just when carried out by “white men”.

  139. Nathan said

    WhoGivesaRats,
    Of course it is the players responsibility. The Umpire is there to clarfiy when required. A player is required to uphold the spirit of the game and should walk if they know they are out.If a batsman thinks they are not out and the umpire indicates they are, then they leave the field (see Dravid and Ganguly in the second innings). Of course the batsman is in the best position to determine if they hit the ball, that’s why Gilchrist walks.
    You’re putting words in my mouth. I said Symonds, not “australians” If Singh said it in Hindi, how would Symonds (or any other Australian) know what he said? Singh and Kumble (not sure why people mention Tendulkar as he was batting with Kumble at the time) both say he didn’t say it. No one is “honest”, what a naive comment, everyone lies and claiming that my argument is poor because I don’t believe they are pure of heart is pretty silly. When Ponting confirmed Michael Clarke had taken a catch in the second innings – when the replays showed it would have been impossible to tell – just confirmed in my mind that he isn’t so “pure”.
    I never said the Indians were “as white as driven snow” – just saying Possum has blown this out of proportion and that the Indians are perfectly entitled to appeal the decision.

    Ron, I think you are again using nationalism as a defence.
    1. It could be that he was mistaken. If Singh was speaking in Hindi, how would Symonds definitely know? Singh may have said a word similar that Symonds mistook for it.

    2. I saw that first innings catch and the tv replays were not conclusive and the commentators (on radio) said it couldn’t be given out.

    3. Sure most players don’t walk, but most of the time it’s actually hard to tell. A fine edge could have been your bat on pad. In this case though, it was VERY obvious he had hit it. And he spoke about it later. Just making the point that Symonds isn’t so pure of heart.

    4. Sure they called him monkey in Mumbai. So he could understand the word in Hindi. I don;t believe he is a fluent speaker of Hindi though, and could have mistaken a word that sounded similar.

    5. Not arguing that “monkey” isn’t a racist term. Of course it is.
    6. ditto.

    7. Not arguing that he shouldn’t have reported it. I am saying that he could be wrong.

    8. His guilt in Mumbai doesn’t prove his guilt here. And I disagree that the BCCI is being overbearing. They are perfectly entitled to appeal the decision. Heck even the AFL allows appeals and have often allowed players to continue playing while they decide how to approach the ‘challenge’. And of course the evidence will be inconclusive. Mostly because it is. It’s a very flimsy charge, and to suspend someone for 3 tests on heresay is pretty ordinary.

    9. It’s irrelevant what the Aussie ‘attitude’ is. Possum was writing about how the Indians were being overbearing and using their financial clout to get a guilty player off. I say that’s a poor argument.

  140. Ron said

    Nathan , some reasonable points you make & some don’t agree

    however I think you and many blogers have misunderstood Possum’s three fundamental points mainly because your views are coloured by the fact India got such an embarassing deal in Umpiring mistakes ,particularly by Umpire Bucknor.

    a/ Indian team management here said Umpire Bucknor had always been anti Indian in his decisions & demanded his removal.
    If not ,the Indian board then said the tour may be cancelled.
    This was an unacceptable challenge to the fabric of the game

    b/ Indian local Management in South Africa in 2001 supported
    by the Indian Board theatened to cancel their Tour midstream because they disagreed with Mike Denness Match Referees decision
    This was an unacceptable challenge to the fabric of the game

    c/ Indian team management here supported by the Indian Board have threatened to cancel this tour midstream unless Singh is found not guilty and this threat remains RIGHT NOW
    This was an unacceptable challenge to the fabric of the game

    The Indian management & Board have demonstrated that Indian Tours will only proceed midstream if THEY agree with independent Umpires and Match Referees decisions.

    Issues of ‘sportsmanship’ , ‘bad behavour’ , ‘walking’ & even whether Singh is guilty or not , are secondary issues & red herrings

    As to the issue of racism ,
    Symonds is the only black player in the Aussie team.
    The 10,000 Indians at Mumbai chanted ‘monkey’ AT ONLY SYMONDS.
    Singh in Mumbai said ‘monkey’ AT ONLY SYMONDS

    Guess that was a coincidence

  141. onimod said

    Nathan

    You must be a new-comer to cricket and I’d suggest that you’re not going to be a fan for long if players lose their credibility if they don’t walk. Even ‘everyone’s hero’ Gilchrist has not walked on occasion.
    Name a player and I’ll dig up some footage or an admission of not walking.
    You might have some good points in there, but on the issue of ‘credibility’ you’ve shot your own foot off there mate.

  142. SIEV XI said

    Possum, you bewdy, ’bout time I read an article like this. Does anyone really doubt that Barji called Symonds a monkey? Roebuck has laid the issue bare, he and all you nuff nuffs who so value the spirit of the game are wilfully putting your attraction to nostalgic notions of class before the fact that a racist act occurred on the field. Ah yes, you hanker for the good old days of fair play, a stiff upper lip, and spanking schoolboys. Symonds has been a credit to himself through this, and Roebuck’s call for the Punter’s sacking is just class warfare. Don’t get sucked in by failed Englishmen trying to revive a dead empire in the antipodes. And don’t get sucked in by petulant Indians.

  143. Bring Back CL's blog said

    people just don’t get it and Conn is perhaps the worst of the lot.

    You can’t go around calling people f… c.. and then start crying about being called a monkey. It is as simple as that.

    Either ALL abuse should be banned ( My preference) or none. It is sheer hypocrisy to say some abuse id bad but other parts aren’t.

    If we go back to India Singh was given carte blanche in abuse by Australia. He was mystified when they thought monkey was wrong.
    He agreed not to say.

    At this stage the only evidence to support Symonds, who let us not forget stuck his neck into something that didn’t concern him) is him and some team-mates most of whom were further away than the umpire who didn’t hear anything.

    Tendulkar did not hear anything and has a far more impeccable reputation than any of the Aussies.

    We have been given NO reasons why Proctor believed the Aussies over the Indians.

    However at this stage the ICC have selected an eminently impressive individual to investigate.

    We should all agree to abide by his decision.

    Some people ought to investigate 2001. Denness made a goose out of himself which was a shame as one or two needed to be brought into line.

    There was also was a match which was not recognised as a test.

    The Australian cricket have been a disgrace for sometime.
    I would have hoped 2005 taught them a lesson and they would grow gracefully but far from that they have got worse.

    If anything comes of this they now know most Australians believe they need to pull up their socks

  144. Hugo said

    You know it’s a big story when a psephological website can fill up with comments about cricket game. FWIW, here’s my two cents’ worth.

    There have been several issues to get highlighted by last week’s Test.

    1. There’s little doubt in my mind that if India had held on for a draw (as they should have), then we wouldn’t be hearing nearly as much about the fracas. However, it’s also clear that India were on the wrong side of several glaring umpiring mistakes (more than usual IMHO), making their task that much harder. The problem for all professional sports is that the standard of officiating has not kept pace with the standard of play – players have improved 100% over the last 20 years, but umpires have not. This is a cause of growing frustration in all sports.

    2. It’s quite apparent that our cricket side is not well-liked, despite being one of the best sides in history. However, I think Possum is being a bit glib by stating that it’s just because the Aussies are so good – the West Indies sides of the 1980s were just as dominant over world cricket, but they were widely popular around the world. It does appear that the goings-on in Sydney has given everyone the chance to vent about what a self-absorbed and obnoxious bunch our boys are (not least the captain). Some of these comments have been over the top (eg Roebuck), but that doesn’t make the thrust of these complaints wrong. It’s worth noting that the Australian public seems to have come down on the side of the Indians.

    3. The alleged Harbhajan monkey comment was badly handled. I strongly suspect that the Aussies deliberately targeted ‘Bhajji’, knowing that he’s a bit of a hot-head – indeed, Symonds has admitted approaching Harbhjan first. This dos not justify the use of of an agreed barred term, but neither does it paint Symonds as an innocent victim. Singh was convicted on the say-so of a few Aussie players, but with no corroborating evidence from umpires or microphones, by a white South African (over-compensating anyone?). Looks like pretty rum justice to me.

    4. Complaints about the power of the BCCI have a whiff of post-colonial resentment about them. Why can’t these pesky Indians know their place when playing our game? Well I got news for you all – cricket is now an Asian game, and will become more and more so in the future, so we’d all better get used to it. Personally I’d rather play India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka more than NZ or England.

  145. Enemy Combatant said

    “Grasshopper, when does a “macama moment” become “too much monkey business?”

    “When Mr. Sidarth comes to Virginia, young man.”

    Then Senator George Allen (R-VA): “Welcome to America,(Mr. Macaca), and the real world of Virginia, here.”

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/447792.cms

    Quoted in “The Times of India” article, Mr. Sidarth said:
    “American politicians polluting public discourse with racial slurs better run for cover.”

    And the voters of Virginia shortly thereafter(mid-terms Nov. 2006) gave the bigot the boot from the Senate.
    The incident was duly reported in The Times OF India. So it’s a tad cute of for members of the Indian Cricketing Establishment to claim that the word “monkey” spat venomously was not a racial slur.

    Unless of course, they don’t read The Times. Which isn’t very establishment at all is it?

  146. Peter Roebuckpom said

    AUSTRALIAN TOUR OF INDIA 3rd JULY 2008
    PRESS RELEASE 3rd JULY 2008

    INDIA has thrashed Australia in 2 successive tests
    footnote
    Umpire Billy Bowden made 10 bad decisions against Australia

    The Australian test team after months of learning how to be good sportsman, act as ‘gentlemen , always walk & never sledge
    are now looked up to by all Indians as the Country playing in the best spirit of the game

    PRESS RELEASE 4th July
    Australian Cricket Board demands Billy Bowden be sacked for the 3rd Test otherwise the Australian team will cancel the tour

    (due to Bowdens 10 Umpiring errors against the Australians in the 2nd test)

    The most revered sportsmanship Captain in the world Ricky Ponting
    defends Clarke for allegedly calling Singh a black negroe ape

    Feddie Flintoff the esteemed Match Referee charges Clarke with racism & suspends Clarke for 3 matches

    Australian Cricket board threatens to cancel the tour unless the racism charge against Clarke is revoked

    ICC appoints a NZ appeal Judge

    Australian Cricket board now threatens that the Tour may be cancelled if the appeal Judge does not clear Clarke of racism

    Captain Ponting names specific Indian fielders who falsely claimed to have taken catchs (there is no clear TV footage)

    Billy Bowden is sacked as an Umpire

    Australian tour will be cancelled if Clake is not cleared

    PRESS RELEASE AUG 2008
    All other Test Countries demand Umpires not be sacked and Match Referees & Appeals decisions not be subject to Countries threatening to cancel a tour midstream

  147. Alan said

    The thing about sportspeople is that we pay them huge amounts for PLAYING GAMES. Most of us have to WORK. Games are children’s business. How is it that we are so surprised when sportspeople behave childishly? We encouraged them, for god’s sake! Professional sport gives people a strong incentive not to grow up.

    For years I have admired what Shane Warne could do with a cricket ball, and thanked Christ he was on our team. But would I invite him into my home? No chance. A gifted sportsman, beyond argument. But a dysfunctional human being. And Harbajhan Singh is Warnie in a patka.

  148. Peter Roebuckpom said

    In the Hindustan Times 11/1/08
    KUMBLE NOW WRITES THAT MICHAEL CLARKE IS A CHEAT
    and has falsley claimed he took a catch

    Symonds & his TWO WITNESS’s Clarke & Hayden falsely claim Singh made a racist slur

    Ponting is a poor ‘sportsman’ translation bends the rules a cheat

    Whatever the Australian teams faults are , this Indian team’s slurs against Australian test players deserves contempt.

    The Indian team’s threat to cancel the Tour unless both the Umpire is sacked and the Match Referee’s decision is revoked is
    also contemptable

    4 of the 11 Aussie team are labelled by cheats or liars or both
    Any bloger who believes the Indians on this IS “unaustralian”

    Possum’s call for them ‘to piss off’ ASAP is justified

  149. Ron said

    Alan #147 agree ,I wouldn’t invite alot of them for dinner either

    Despite their great skills some of our sportsmen play up & Warney
    is an example. We love him despite knowing he has faults
    especially with mobile phones

    Most sports fans know the term ‘sport’ no longer applys to worldclass competition. It is competition , played very hard
    both physically & mentally.Only the delusional think its a ‘game’

    If we played China, russa or the US cricket , WE would be regarded as the soft gentlemen.They’d play cricket harder than us

    What we would not accept is an aussie TEAM of crooks.

    The Indians have now labelled Symonds , Clarke , Hayden & Ponting
    as crooks… their gentlemens word for crooks is “cheats”

    Those blogers that believe the Indians allegations should blog for the sacking of these 4 Australians
    Guess its safer to question their “behavour” instead eh

  150. gusface said

    Geez louise-this one is a no brainer really
    1.indians are so egalitarian that the issue of class position is “untouchable”
    2.aussies are stratified based on race ,religion and cast -hence we dont have indias great “every one a curry muncher and each shall recieve curry in equal proportion
    3.Why wasnt Mahatma Cote made match refereee-if the indians didnt like it -they could eat “fat cat” instead

  151. Peter Roebuckpom said

    me thinks Mahatma Cote as match referee would rule

    that the traditional ‘white’ cricket gear now be black gear
    that the one day ‘white’ ball now be black
    that Symonds is a closet aborigine being a caste level unworthy of being on the same field as Indians

    that finally an Indian’s word is corruptable if losing
    unless integrity curry is added to the fries

  152. Pritam Singh Sekhon said

    I’m a non-Indian-born Indian who’s been an Aussie for 34 years. One of the things that has been grating on me over the whole “monkey” bizzo is the blatant hypocrisy of the Indians who have been pretending that calling someone who looks African a “monkey” given the history of the term being used in European football matches (and this info would not be beyond the reach of Indians today) as a form of racial abuse with transparently dishonest excuses like it not being a term of abuse in Indian culture.
    That said, Ponting and his team are now well and truly off my to-watch list for the crassness of their behaviour in the Sydney test.

  153. Ron said

    Pritam Singh Sekhon you have put many aussie born blogers here to shame with your honest & integrity that the Indians know monkey is a racist slur.

    Quite rightly you say the aussies ‘crassness’ is a separate issue and so it is. As is the Indian challenge to Umpires & Refs

    These 3 issues were always separate issues , but got mixed as one

    Do not be too quick to deny yourself of watching good cricket.

    As I’ve previously bloged , the appalling Umpiring errors against the Indians exaggerated the appearance of bad behavour.

    With “normative” Umpiring in Perth , the test will be worth seeing , not as a ‘sport’ but as a hard world class ‘competition’

  154. scaper... said

    I have never in my experience of watching cricket at any level,seen this before!!!!!!

    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=ofCYo7k7M9Q

    Check out the noble language by the so called batsman…I know who is more honourable.

  155. Hi There,

    I put together a short video compilation of India’s sporting Spirit. That pietersen clip above gets a run, and a few others as well

    http://oxenshizer.blogspot.com/2008/01/spirit-of-indian-cricket.html

  156. scaper... said

    Nice compilation Andrew…and people question the integrity of our players???

  157. Cat said

    Time to pull stumps on this one Poss before it becomes more commented on than anything the election offered.🙂

  158. Ron said

    Scaper, nice video

    Thought Cricket was a also game with statistics

    Offical ICC data 1997-2007 shows the number of sanctions for PLAYER MISCONDUCT from Match Referees per country.

    Australia were 4th (25) , England 3rd (26) , Pakistan 2nd (39)
    India was first with 43 infringements.

    So when India say to play in the spirit of the game…hmm

    Reference HeraldSun 13/1/08

  159. Zafar said

    An interesting entry on sledging and how it seems to be perceived by the different cricketing nations:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sledging_(cricket)

    Which may provide some insight into the widely differing instinctive reactions to the issue, and to what’s cricket/not cricket.

    And a link to a (left leaning) magazine website in India:

    http://www.outlookindia.com/

    Which has lots of people weighing in with articles on the issue. Some agreeing that ‘monkey’ is racist, some frankly (and embarrassingly) racist themselves.

  160. Nessy said

    Good on you possum. Keep telling the truth!

    Cricket is now a professional sport and not a game for gentlemen. It is to be played within the rules but the spirit is only limited to the rules of the game. Play to win, play hard and give no quarter. When you lose make no excuses and use the pain to achieve success.

    This Aussie team, and all teams since 1988, are the best. World champs. We should be proud of them. Keep going boys, we love what you do. You are the best and don’t change a thing. The South Africans play exactly the same way as us but aren’t as successful. They envy us and want to be like us. So don’t change anything.

    The Indians? They are a powerhouse off the field but are just a bunch of squealing losers on it. They can’t accept the fact that Australia keeps “bending them over” on the field. For example, 1999 in Australia, 2004 in India and the 2007 World Cup Final.

    How do they respond to constant thrashings? Learn from the Aussies and improve their internal structure? No, they threaten to take their bat and ball and go home and accuse the Aussies of being rascists and cheats. We should tell them to go and get stuffed and not schedule any more tours here for them. Most of us would rather see England, South Africa & West Indies play anyway.

    I also note that as soon as all this crap begins to calm down the Indians inflame the issue again. For example Kumble’s remarks about Ponting. India are running an agenda here. Best way we can repond is to thrash the sooks within 3 days and breaks plenty of bones and hearts in the process.

    India are bad losers. Aussies are world champs. Facts. For all you bleeding hearts get over it. This is the real world of professional sport. How about supporting our boys, who are the best, rather than trying to cut them down. When I heard John Bertrand and Herb Elliott my heart sank. I was ashamed, not of our cricketers but of them. I’ll always admire and support our cricketers. It’s a pity many fairweather Auussies can’t as well.

  161. Peter Roebuckpom said

    Nessy oh dear , you speak too much truth for our Asian culture

    Our culture does not allow for losing with grace.
    It’s easier to blame biased Umpires..you do understand our pride

    Our culture does not allow for accepting Match Referees decisions
    unless they clear our players..you do understand our pride

    Our culture does not allow white men pinching our best excuse
    namely ‘racism’…worse still you use our best excuse against us

    Our culture allows us to take our bat & ball home whenever we like…but if anyone else threatened this its bad sportsmanship

    You whites tried to indoctrinate us with your silly principles of honesty & integrity…but you failed to change our culture. Ha

    Nessy , can you now see theerror of your ways ?

  162. Nessy said

    Peter,

    Yes, I am a barbarian!

    Forgive me!

  163. Andos the Great said

    For another calm and considered commentary, by Glenn Mitchell, check out:

    http://blogs.abc.net.au/grandstand/2008/01/are-we-too-hast.html?site=cricket#more

    Very worthwhile read.

  164. Bring Back CL's blog said

    in terms of taking catches it is often the fieldsman believes thay have taken a catch when they haven’t.

    Remember Michael Slater going off his head in India about taking a catch that wasn’t.

    Way back when I played I remember telling a colleague that in fact they hadn’t taken the ctach that in fact the ball hadtouched the ground.

    It happens all the time. If you use technology then use it if not then just let the Umires make the decision.

    Unlike snicking the ball in this case the Fieldsman can get it wrong yet believe they were right

  165. Peter said

    Fabulous post Possum! Totally agree!

    Now the third test has been played – another great game of cricket. This time India won by just 72 runs – a close match in test cricket.

    In the Australian second innings, two of Australia’s better batsmen got bad decisions. Now one could carry on like a pork chop and say we would have won the game if it weren’t for the umpires.

    A reaction like that would of course be ridiculous. There’s no way of knowing how things might have been different – we could easily have still lost. The same goes for the second test against India. Had they not recieved those infamously bad decisions, they still may have lost. A major part of the game is mental, and players are likely to react differently in different circumstances. It’s just impossible to accurately predict what might have been.

  166. Peter said

    Just adding to my comment – it’s how you handle all the circumstances, including all umpiring decisions, that matters most. Whoever handles all these circumstances best wins the match.

    I believe that Australia handled the situation of the game better in the second test and deserved the win. For example, Symonds could have lost all confidence in himself after that snick that was given not out, and he could have got out shortly after his let off. As we know, he reactly very positively and made the most of the situation. On the other hand, India became very defensive, very quickly after things didn’t go their way.

    In the third test, India made the most of the circumstances and also deserved their victory. They came up with wickets at all the important times, and made runs whenever they really needed them. They were in front in the game from start to finish and deserved the win.

  167. codger said

    As I said Possum, as I said…cheers.

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