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Thread: Cricket Sours Relations Between Australia and India

  1. #1

    Cricket Sours Relations Between Australia and India

    Probably of interest to two people around here and a dog and maybe a few tumbleweeds, but anyway.....

    Australia and India are currently playing each other in a cricket series in Australia. The games are called 'tests' and they are meant to go over 5 days. Yes, yes, I know the Americans who read this will roll out the 'boring' adjective for test cricket, but I can assure you that once you know the ins and outs of the game it is nothing of the sort. The tension builds for days and each day, each minute, has its uncertainties and trials. There is a constant psychological battle between opponents and once hooked into the game it is hard to forget it. If you see a great test match you have seen one of the greatest sporting contests you will ever see.

    Anyway, in the test just finished in Sydney, the Australian team won the game with minutes to spare after a titanic battle over the five days. However, though the game was one of the greatest in the history of the sport, the umpiring (or referering if you will) was extremely poor and sorely favoured the home side (umpires come from different countries to those competing). The Indians would surely had won this game if they had of had an impartial treatment from the umpires. (there are two umpires and they have virtually no assistance from technology to assist their decisions)

    India is totally absorbed by cricket. It is a nation of great contrasts and widely differing classes all unified in a love of a game first invented by the English. Players are treated as virtual Gods in India. Players cannot venture into public because they are mobbed by fans, sort of like the Beatles in their heyday. Millions play the game on every apposite street corner and many hundreds of millions more follow the players at the national level.

    To rub salt into the Indian wound for the loss was the fact that one of the Indian players was charged with racism, namely calling a black Australian player a 'monkey' on the field. It does sound bad, but having played cricket I can assure you a lot worse is said on a cricket field between opponents and I am of the belief that what is said on the field should bloody well stay there.

    To add further to the mix is the fact the Australian team has been acting like a pack of pork chops on the field. They seem to be whooping it up in the American fashion which just isn't done in cricket....'trash talk' is not something that is associated with the ideals of the sport of cricket, but it has crept into the game.....Aussies don't mind a bit of 'mental disintegration', but acting like tools when you have a small victory over an opponent and jumping all over each other like a pack of poofs at a poof party as seems to happen in the USA with every other sport is really frowned upon by many of us. Even the captain of our national team, which is one of the most priveledged posts in our country, higher even than our highest elected leader, our Prime Minister, has been acting like a Class A idiot on the field. Many Australians think he has brought great discredit to our country....

    ....and certainly many Indians think that way! There have been a stack of effigies burnt of umpires, players and even cricket officials in India. Not to mention the headlines. This sporting contest is grabbing all of the attention in both countries and has the potential to affect diplomatic relations as well.

    Don't believe me? Check out the top stories in the Sydney Morning Herald and India's Hindustan Times, or the Times of India....it has supplanted every other story and will do so for some weeks. This will be one of the biggest sports stories on the globe of this year and probably of this decade. Not that you will hear about it Stateside, but it is one of the rare instances where sport is on the front pages and not the back.....and it isn't the first time where cricket has been there nor probably the last.

  2. #2
    Article from the Hindustan Times:

    Jingoism should have no place in fair play

    January 08, 2008
    First Published: 00:13 IST(8/1/2008)
    Last Updated: 16:31 IST(8/1/2008)


    For someone who loathes being jingoistic and believes that chest beating reflects a mindset riven with an inferiority complex, the last five days have been a mind-churning experience. Much as one hated the intimidating aggression of our rivals and squirmed at the way Indians love to hide behind the veil of “unfair play” as a cover-up for their inferior skills, there was still great admiration for the way Australians play their cricket.

    Waking up the day after the loss, one expectedly finds the newspapers doing their bit to add to what the TV channels have been telling us — about how biased umpiring did us in. Then, one part of you wants to say why blame the umpires alone? Why blame the Australians? Why couldn’t our team last two sessions on the final day. Even after having been literally mowed down by the umpires, we should have been able to save the match.

    No matter how many dollops of jingoistic claptrap our media dishes out, the fact remains that in the end we just could not bat for 70 overs to save a Test.

    And yet there is something within you that says you are not being fair. You are not being fair to a team that, despite their timid defeat in the first Test, had fought with a tigerish resolve on the first day of the Sydney Test. Had the umpires not intervened, India could have dismissed the best team in the world for around 250 runs. Even after the damning finger had done incalculable harm to India’s chances, they still out-batted the Australians. It was an exceptional performance. Had the umpiring been fair, India would have, even by a conservative estimate, been ahead by at least 150 runs.

    We can’t blame the Australians here as the umpires are appointed by the ICC. Fair or unfair, they can’t be accused of conspiring with the umpires to put India on the mat. This is something for which the ICC should take all the blame and introspect seriously why incompetent umpiring and handling of the game should spoil a Test match.

    But India, despite all the wrongs done to them on the field, could have still salvaged a draw and been in a much stronger position to take a high moral ground and tell the umpires and the Australians of what they thought of them.

    And yet, the images that are now stuck in the mind are those of a smug, arrogant Ricky Ponting appealing for a catch even after he had grounded the ball; of Michael Clarke standing his ground even after being caught in the slips and of the same man’s word being accepted by the umpire that he had taken a fair catch in the slips.

    Images of a self-righteous Ponting telling the umpire that Clarke had taken the catch and also that of Adam Gilchrist jumping in glee
    behind the stumps after catching Rahul Dravid off his pads.

    You would say what is wrong in all this. All players do it, not just the Australians. Yet something snapped within you. This is not cricket and this is not the way a champion side should play their sport.

    The captain of the best team in the world should take lessons in grace and dignity from the man whose team he was sickeningly desperate to beat.

    There is definitely something to be proud of in the way Anil Kumble played his cricket and if you are an Australian, there is something definitely to be embarrassed at the way Ponting played his cricket.

  3. #3
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    I've never been explained the rules to cricket, so I don't know my ass from my elbow. I do know it's huge in your region of the world.

    The passion of International Competitions is something Americans just don't get. Hockey, basketball and baseball seasons are so long, that international competition is deemed as unnecessary. It's really unfortunate, because it's the best sports rush you can get.

    As for acting like douche bags after wins, I totally understand. If only everything could be like in rugby: say one word to a ref and he tacks on 10 meters to a penalty. An occasional fist fight once in a while doesn't hurt either.

    Congrats on the win then.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by RaoulDuke View Post
    I've never been explained the rules to cricket, so I don't know my ass from my elbow. I do know it's huge in your region of the world.

    The passion of International Competitions is something Americans just don't get. Hockey, basketball and baseball seasons are so long, that international competition is deemed as unnecessary. It's really unfortunate, because it's the best sports rush you can get.

    As for acting like douche bags after wins, I totally understand. If only everything could be like in rugby: say one word to a ref and he tacks on 10 meters to a penalty. An occasional fist fight once in a while doesn't hurt either.

    Congrats on the win then.
    I'm actually pissed off with the win because we didn't deserve it and the behaviour of our players definitely didn't merit it. The Indians were much more classy on the field in terms of behaviour and they really dug in as far as their actual performance went - they were better than us but were dudded by the umpires. They deserved the win. It is a travesty our team won and far worse was the behaviour of our players.

    We have had the best team in the world for many years, for about 16 years now....before that it was the mighty West Indians who ruled the roost (from the Carribean, not the sub-continent). If you got uppity with them, as our Australian players seem to be increasingly being doing with their opponents from whatever country these days, you would have 6 foot 10 inches of extremely mean black man attempting to knock your head off from a distance of 22 feet with a ball harder than rock that they can ping at your head at a speed of over 150 km's an hour. When you experience that it tends to make you a lot more humble on the field and have a lot more manners towards your opponents. Unfortunately the West Indian team has fallen by the wayside in recent decades, so our arrogant players no longer have put up with this charging at them with a ball that could do some serious damage if left to its own devices:


  5. #5
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    I give you credit for being objective and critical of your team during a victory. Most of the time a win will eclipse everything, including arrogant behaviour.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by RaoulDuke View Post
    I give you credit for being objective and critical of your team during a victory. Most of the time a win will eclipse everything, including arrogant behaviour.
    I guess cricket is one of those sports where winning is important, but how you win is even more important.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Death View Post
    I guess cricket is one of those sports where winning is important, but how you win is even more important.
    So wait, during these 5 day test matches, are you 24/7 at the bar or is alcohol frowned upon during these events?

    What if I wear the proper attire (a white sweater and linen pants) at the pub?


  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by RaoulDuke View Post
    So wait, during these 5 day test matches, are you 24/7 at the bar or is alcohol frowned upon during these events?

    What if I wear the proper attire (a white sweater and linen pants) at the pub?

    I'm never too far from a beer when watching cricket.....and to be honest never too far from a beer when I was playing either!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Death View Post
    I'm never too far from a beer when watching cricket.....and to be honest never too far from a beer when I was playing either!
    When they play for 5 days, it's not a WHOLE day is it? A 9 to 5 thing, stop and resume after lunch??

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Black Death View Post
    ....and certainly many Indians think that way! There have been a stack of effigies burnt of umpires, players and even cricket officials in India.
    Those Indians do like their burning effigies. I remember last year they were burning effigies of Jage Goody after her Celebrity Big Brother racism row with Shilpa Shetty. And then a few moinths later they were burning Shilpa Shetty effigies after she was kissed by Richard Gere.
    Mad, the lot of them.

    I don't mind cricket, probably prefer the one-day stuff to test, but don't care for this 20-20 stuff.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by RaoulDuke View Post
    When they play for 5 days, it's not a WHOLE day is it? A 9 to 5 thing, stop and resume after lunch??
    It's generally a 11 to 6 thing, though sometimes play can start early or finish late, depending on weather, the time of year and the over-rate. (there are 6 balls an over, each of which is sort of like pitching in baseball except with a run-up, has to be straight-armed and you can bowl the ball at someone's head, provided it hits the ground first)

    There is of course lunch and tea in between, with breaks for drinks every hour....it is originally an English sport and they do like their tea. As I said, a good test ratchets up the tension over days and the payoff on the final afternoon is immense.

    The sport has a history of 'gentlemanly' behaviour and acting like a buffoon is frowned on....unfortunately my national team has a history of acting like that in recent years, and they were certainly like that in the Sydney test. The next test is on the other side of the continent in Perth, the pitch used there (the ball bounces on the pitch before reaching the batsman) has totally different characteristics than the Sydney one (a vagary of the game) and I suspect will likely favour the Australians.

    Our country has been on top of world cricket for some years now, but the financial epi-centre of the game is in India. There is a huge amount of money in the game now, especially with India becoming more and more prosperous.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Death View Post
    It's generally a 11 to 6 thing, though sometimes play can start early or finish late, depending on weather, the time of year and the over-rate. (there are 6 balls an over, each of which is sort of like pitching in baseball except with a run-up, has to be straight-armed and you can bowl the ball at someone's head, provided it hits the ground first)

    There is of course lunch and tea in between, with breaks for drinks every hour....it is originally an English sport and they do like their tea. As I said, a good test ratchets up the tension over days and the payoff on the final afternoon is immense.

    The sport has a history of 'gentlemanly' behaviour and acting like a buffoon is frowned on....unfortunately my national team has a history of acting like that in recent years, and they were certainly like that in the Sydney test. The next test is on the other side of the continent in Perth, the pitch used there (the ball bounces on the pitch before reaching the batsman) has totally different characteristics than the Sydney one (a vagary of the game) and I suspect will likely favour the Australians.

    Our country has been on top of world cricket for some years now, but the financial epi-centre of the game is in India. There is a huge amount of money in the game now, especially with India becoming more and more prosperous.
    If we were in a bar I'd order some pints and have you explain the rules to me out of curiosity. Don't bother typing them I'm sure you'd lose me at the first witchet or either weird word.

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