January 10, 2008

Harbhajan, cont'd

A link to an analysis of the tumultuous events of the Sydney Test
50

I was planning to write a follow-up post on the Symonds affair after Procter sentenced Harbhajan, when I came across what must be the definitive Indian take on the matter. A blogger called 'strangelove' has posted an exhaustive account of the Sydney Test on Prem Panicker's blog, Smoke Signals, which all of us should read to know what to think. He is withering about aspects of Australian behaviour without demonizing the Australians, he points out the infirmities in Procter's verdict without trivializing the alleged offence and he is particularly good on why Bucknor needed to go. 'strangelove' offers us a sane and morally defensible position on the controversies of this strange match. The post is titled 'The Most Discussable Match' and you can read it here

Mukul Kesavan is a writer based in New Delhi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • AkS on February 26, 2008, 20:26 GMT

    I for one think that international cricket needs this sort of competitiveness. Who can argue after the last bland and unexciting world cup? In cricket where each bowler is on a personal mental battle with the batsmen, the high level of competition inevitably will lead to some taunting. That's what makes the game more exciting and creates more rivalries. And rivalries ARE good. Why are India and Pakistan matches the most watched? Because of a great rivalry. And now the CB final series is going to be immensely competitive, exciting, and just pure fun. You know the players are going to give it all they've got because it's about pride; Australia and India matches are going to draw huge crowds, which means more money and more celebrity. Everybody benefits: we as spectators, players as competitors, cricket as a sport, and the board as businessmen. I think ICC tries to make it a gentlemanly sport, which it really isn't and can't be so just let the game play out. That's my two cents.

  • Cheeky Monkey on January 30, 2008, 0:35 GMT

    I am not really sure what the problem is here. As a mother of 4 children I have constantly called all 4 of my children "little monkeys or cheeky little monkey" so for 28years now I have been guilty of racism even though I am a white mother with white children (I just do not understand how this now is racist.

  • Aman on January 28, 2008, 22:43 GMT

    3.3 Using language or gestures that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person’s race, religion, gender, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin

    So that is the code that he has been charged with, and i believe anyone who has called Harbhajan "Turbanator" in the past should be charged according to that code as well... infact it shall be a charge for 4.4 code.. afterall all humans were monkeys as well but having called harbhajan turbanator... its an offence to his religion, decent, race and his looks...

  • Sree on January 25, 2008, 18:35 GMT

    Well, so many predictions above about some mauling indians would receive at Perth!! :) ... look on whose face the egg now is!!

    Shut the aussies up a bit and look how their game was exposed! Anyway I think the question of whether Steve Waugh's team or Ponting's team was good is now solved.

    Waugh's was better, they din't have to play nasty for their 16th win :).

  • Praveen on January 18, 2008, 19:44 GMT

    I get the feeling that mukul or Prem Panicker wrote that piece. Calling yourself strangelove and then conveniently pointing us to the blog. Nice Try ! Q

  • Praveen on January 18, 2008, 19:43 GMT

    I get the feeling that mukul or Prem Panicker wrote that piece. Calling yourself strangelove and then conveniently pointing us to the blog. Nice Try ! Q

  • saini on January 17, 2008, 22:00 GMT

    no1 expects tailenders to bat ....top order was axed by bucknor that is why there was outcry....and monkey is not racist because what was said before should be taken into account. Like tony grieg said...a person can only take an amount of personal abuse and after that he will definitly say something bad.

  • Neil Pennell on January 17, 2008, 21:22 GMT

    A disclosure to commence with. I'm an Aussie. I love the attacking manner in which the Australian players approach their cricket. I hate the fact that they sledge so much but if any Indian thinks their team is innocent in this regard they are living in cloud cuckoo-land. The ICC needs to be more proactive in dealing with onfield talk and giving umpires the authority to report such. Maybe the umpires already have that authority. If so, then we have even more reason to be concerned with their performance in Sydney. If Harbajhan called a Symonds a"monkey" then in light of the events on the Aussie tour to India he should be banned for 3 matches. If this was a response to him being called a "F.....g H..o" by Symonds then Symonds should be banned for 5. Finally, has it ever occurred to anyone that in the Clarke catch and Ponting "non-catch" that the players genuinely did believe they had caught the ball. I don't recall any Indian calling Dhoni a "cheat" over the Pietersen catch last year.

  • cricfan on January 17, 2008, 19:13 GMT

    Slip51, if ponting was in control of the ball and his body he would not allow the ball to touch the ground with his hand over it.

  • Rajesh on January 17, 2008, 18:29 GMT

    I have asked some black friends here in USA as to what term would be more offensive to them; monkey, bastard or effin homo. Guess what? Monkey turns out to be the least offensive and effin homo the most offensive. This ICC is making a joke of themselves with their schoolboy logic.

  • AkS on February 26, 2008, 20:26 GMT

    I for one think that international cricket needs this sort of competitiveness. Who can argue after the last bland and unexciting world cup? In cricket where each bowler is on a personal mental battle with the batsmen, the high level of competition inevitably will lead to some taunting. That's what makes the game more exciting and creates more rivalries. And rivalries ARE good. Why are India and Pakistan matches the most watched? Because of a great rivalry. And now the CB final series is going to be immensely competitive, exciting, and just pure fun. You know the players are going to give it all they've got because it's about pride; Australia and India matches are going to draw huge crowds, which means more money and more celebrity. Everybody benefits: we as spectators, players as competitors, cricket as a sport, and the board as businessmen. I think ICC tries to make it a gentlemanly sport, which it really isn't and can't be so just let the game play out. That's my two cents.

  • Cheeky Monkey on January 30, 2008, 0:35 GMT

    I am not really sure what the problem is here. As a mother of 4 children I have constantly called all 4 of my children "little monkeys or cheeky little monkey" so for 28years now I have been guilty of racism even though I am a white mother with white children (I just do not understand how this now is racist.

  • Aman on January 28, 2008, 22:43 GMT

    3.3 Using language or gestures that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person’s race, religion, gender, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin

    So that is the code that he has been charged with, and i believe anyone who has called Harbhajan "Turbanator" in the past should be charged according to that code as well... infact it shall be a charge for 4.4 code.. afterall all humans were monkeys as well but having called harbhajan turbanator... its an offence to his religion, decent, race and his looks...

  • Sree on January 25, 2008, 18:35 GMT

    Well, so many predictions above about some mauling indians would receive at Perth!! :) ... look on whose face the egg now is!!

    Shut the aussies up a bit and look how their game was exposed! Anyway I think the question of whether Steve Waugh's team or Ponting's team was good is now solved.

    Waugh's was better, they din't have to play nasty for their 16th win :).

  • Praveen on January 18, 2008, 19:44 GMT

    I get the feeling that mukul or Prem Panicker wrote that piece. Calling yourself strangelove and then conveniently pointing us to the blog. Nice Try ! Q

  • Praveen on January 18, 2008, 19:43 GMT

    I get the feeling that mukul or Prem Panicker wrote that piece. Calling yourself strangelove and then conveniently pointing us to the blog. Nice Try ! Q

  • saini on January 17, 2008, 22:00 GMT

    no1 expects tailenders to bat ....top order was axed by bucknor that is why there was outcry....and monkey is not racist because what was said before should be taken into account. Like tony grieg said...a person can only take an amount of personal abuse and after that he will definitly say something bad.

  • Neil Pennell on January 17, 2008, 21:22 GMT

    A disclosure to commence with. I'm an Aussie. I love the attacking manner in which the Australian players approach their cricket. I hate the fact that they sledge so much but if any Indian thinks their team is innocent in this regard they are living in cloud cuckoo-land. The ICC needs to be more proactive in dealing with onfield talk and giving umpires the authority to report such. Maybe the umpires already have that authority. If so, then we have even more reason to be concerned with their performance in Sydney. If Harbajhan called a Symonds a"monkey" then in light of the events on the Aussie tour to India he should be banned for 3 matches. If this was a response to him being called a "F.....g H..o" by Symonds then Symonds should be banned for 5. Finally, has it ever occurred to anyone that in the Clarke catch and Ponting "non-catch" that the players genuinely did believe they had caught the ball. I don't recall any Indian calling Dhoni a "cheat" over the Pietersen catch last year.

  • cricfan on January 17, 2008, 19:13 GMT

    Slip51, if ponting was in control of the ball and his body he would not allow the ball to touch the ground with his hand over it.

  • Rajesh on January 17, 2008, 18:29 GMT

    I have asked some black friends here in USA as to what term would be more offensive to them; monkey, bastard or effin homo. Guess what? Monkey turns out to be the least offensive and effin homo the most offensive. This ICC is making a joke of themselves with their schoolboy logic.

  • Amin Aijaz on January 17, 2008, 11:37 GMT

    Australia has come to think of itself as being vindicated. There is a thin line between sportsmanship and foolishness. The Aussies tread on it either sides confused about which one is right. Agreed the team was happy and escatic after the win. But we're talking about a team which is used to winning and is world class. When the opposition captain is around you, it takes the simplest of gestures for a hand shake. Which not one of them bothered to do. They were just too wrapped up in their joys.

    End of the day, cricket should be a richer game. In terms of quality and spirits. Useless issues, like the ones which cropped up in the sydney test damage the essence and beauty of the game. It's time that individuals at least, if not the whole teams step up to the cause.

  • Rahul Oak on January 16, 2008, 17:52 GMT

    1. Bhajji should'nt have been on the plane to Oz owing to his mediocrity - he didn't play in Perth anyways, so no point wasting space talking about him. 2. I think its senseless to have a gazillion cameras and still not use a single one of them when in doubt. Its the equivalent of a mall having all kinds of security devices and cameras, but switching them all off at night and trusting everything to a 60-yr old guard with a questionable eyesight and an overestimation of his own ability. Bad decisions ruin matches and they choose to do nothing about it. Enough said. 3. About Ponting and friends, that's how they are. No one can expect a bull to stop charging, or a monkey to stop monkey-tricks (Oh I'm sorry, did I just offend someone with the bull?).

  • RealOne on January 15, 2008, 18:13 GMT

    Chetan Chauhan's seemingly simple rationalization of a 'monkey' being less offensive than a 'bas****' has a reality mirror that is hardly missed .The shameful ‘street dramas’ organized by vested interests in India was definitely 'monkey-ish' & the gleeful references to the word ‘bastard’ to describe each other by Australians reflects their acknowledgement of marriage not being their commonly used institution for procreation.

    Looks like a case of sport imitating life! BTW, patting another man's backside seems to be completely acceptable hetero-sexual behavior amongst cricketers from India & Lee seemed flattered by the 'gloved' grope of his derriere.

  • smale25 on January 15, 2008, 4:56 GMT

    A fair resolution: 1) declare the second test between Australia and India played at Sydney during January 2 – 6, 2008 to be NULL and VOID on legal grounds, 2) cancel the ban on Harbhajan Singh, but punish him along with Andrew Symonds, Michael Clark and Brad Hogg for conduct unbecoming of players of test cricket, and of representatives of their countries.

    Note to Mukul Kesavan: If you need explanation for the legal grounds for canceling the test match, contact me at smale25@yahoo.com

  • Printmycommentplease on January 15, 2008, 2:51 GMT

    According to the Posting Guidelines: The following are not allowed under any circumstances:

    racism and accusations of racism : "Genetically they have cheaters blood in them and are uncivilized" comments about bias by officials against specific teams or player: "Mike procter is avery biased" comments accusing any player, team or official of match-fixing or of any performance being influenced by betting: it's been said elsewhere on Cricinfo

    I've posted a few quite moderate things and never been published. Nice Moderation Mukul! Straight bat as always Cricinfo!

  • JuniorSoprano on January 14, 2008, 23:50 GMT

    "I will not trust a single of this Australian players. Genetically they have cheaters blood in them and are uncivilized." That wouldn't be an unfounded negative racial or cultural generalisation now would it? Admit it, you're terrified about the upcoming mauling in Perth. Let me guess the excuse: the pitch? the ICC? the new umpire? the old empire? Tait's a chucker? run out of nappies? the possibilities are endless, it's a new sport and its bigger on the subcontinent than 20/20: Duckshoving.

  • Gavin1965 on January 14, 2008, 21:08 GMT

    After India's magnanimous gesture of withdrawing their complaint against Brad Hogg, I'm really hoping that Australia do the same (if this is possible) for Harbhajan. Regardless of whether or not Harbhajan said what he is alleged to have said, I think some valuable lessons have been learnt here, and it's time to move on. I'm looking forward to seeing more great cricket between two great cricketing nations!

  • TonyP on January 14, 2008, 18:36 GMT

    I find rajaiput's comment to be incredibly insulting. What he's saying is that because the Australian players are Australian they "genetically have cheater's blood".

    Let's leave aside the patently ill-informed & unscientific nature of this statement & focus instead on its import.

    Let's also ignore the confusion between race & nationality.

    What rajaiput's saying is that my siblings, my parents, my grand-parents, & my friends are all "uncivilised" cheaters.

    I don't see what any of them did to deserve that categorisation. Further I don't see any Indians taking issue with his comments, which means that the Indian readers of this column tacitly agree with him.

    Most infuriating of all is that this board is moderated & this post was read & approved. So that the moderator apparently thought this grossly insulting, manifestly inflammatory drivel was not only acceptable under the posting guidelines but unlikely to offend his readers.

    Many thanks to you all.

  • smale25 on January 14, 2008, 5:21 GMT

    The fact is that by continuing to deny, even at this late hour, that he called Andrew Symonds a monkey, Harbhajan Singh has put the reputation of three great Indian cricketers -- Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble -- in question. He has had ample chances to come clean. The Indian cricket team should realize quickly that they are no longer obligated to defend Singh's honour, but that they need to prepare strongly for the upcoming Perth test. In my opinion, Harbhajan Singh has done a massive disservice to the team by not clearing up the air on the controversy, and continuing to keep the team in a moral dilemma. The team needs a clear mind to prepare for the test. As such many of the team members are only now coming out of prolonged rut in their forms.

  • Raghu on January 14, 2008, 5:05 GMT

    Commit a mistake and then say sorry. That looks the order of the day. And defend the same as ignorance or say i believed so.Friends can be racist... absurd statement ever heard. Friends are supposed to understand the sentiments and keep the mouth shut....47 incidents reported in last 10yrs against indians.. 23 only against aussies but how many times have they escaped. Cricket does not have room for perceptions not to be obnoxious. Media should bring in facts and not manipulate as it wants to.. to increase the sell rate of news papers, its a pity that this is done even after knowing "Data is double edged sword". Add to that the broadcaster not giving footages to the other broadcasters(read "The Week") and after all blind third umpire officiating local 20-20 finals... thats tells the story of cricket in the most spirited land

  • poor old bowler on January 14, 2008, 2:00 GMT

    i carnt see what all the fuss is about the object of batting is to score as many runs as you can without losing wickets the object of fielding is to take 10 wickets with letting the opposition score as little runs as possible. getting a few cheap wickets is a bonus to the bowling team and sledging is a tool used by fielders to put batsmen under pressure,excessive appealing is a tool used by fielders to apply pressure to the batsmen and umpires(what wrong with asking the umpire if its out or not he might say yes he might no,who knows) australia did nothing wrong,they play tough cricket. what is the spirit of cricket?? its to shake hands after the game and say well played but we will beat you next time if you lose or thanks for the game if you win as far as im concerned its up to the umpires to dicide whether some one is out or not, not the players crickets just a game played by most players for a bit of fun and enjoyment,thats the spirit of cricket not all this other stuff

  • ahmer on January 13, 2008, 20:07 GMT

    Mukul,

    It seems that Aussies are now making peace with the Indian players. I think both teams should forget about all this controversy and focus on their cricket now. Indians have felt victimised but this will probably make them more determined to make a mark at Perth. Let us all hope the standard of umpiring is better in the Perth Test and we see some competitive cricket.

    Ahmer (www.pakcric786.blogspot.com)

  • Robert on January 13, 2008, 16:40 GMT

    Racism is when a person or group of people believe they are superior to another race. This can be demonstrated by their behaviour. Even calling someone a name may indicate their intent. I do not know what the Indians intent is. Maybe it is just name calling. This is what needs to be investigated first before jumping to conclusions or having big debates about Racism can come from anywhere or any form e.g. Harbhajan Singh calling Symonds a ‘Monkey’, to racist white people this would be like a Chimpanzee calling a Gorilla a ‘Monkey’. Have the Indian’s had a look at their skin colour? It is the intent that matters.

  • neelesh on January 13, 2008, 13:14 GMT

    Somebody here says cricket is a beautiful game. Let us Indians not get carried away by the only sport we know how to play and add the word adjective "beautiful" to the only thing our simple minds can appreciate - cricket. Football is the beautiful game. Period

  • rahul ponting on January 13, 2008, 13:01 GMT

    Indians are a very fickle people and Mukul is the prime example.....I read nothing about the umpiring when Steve Bucknor handed India the series in England and now you want him dead.....Funny also how Indian players fought with the English and the South Africans now Australians....hmmmm could it be a worldwide conspiracy against India??? Wake up!.. the Sydney test was an umpiring disaster but you attack everyone and everything like the moaners we all know you are.....Oh just a few more examples....remember all of the riots over past years when India lose at home???....remember how you attack Dohni's home one minute and shower him with jewels the next???...I could go on for hours. NOBODY IS PERFECT...NOT EVEN INDIANS!!!

  • daredevil on January 13, 2008, 12:58 GMT

    All this hue and cry from a country whose home umpires till today are famous for making the worst one sided decisions. Who can forget Mr Jayparakash helped Kumble like a true mate get 10wickets in that Delhi test..his umpiring finger would go up in the same instant the ball would hit something.. include a mis hit too in this long category.

    Rather than blaming umpires, look at where your batsmen actually stand. You call Sachin the greatest batsmen around and just imagine, he has never stood out for INDIA in any 2nd innings. The Pontings, Kallis and Inzimam's have done it dozen times. even in the 1st innings, he was taking single of the first ball and giving strike to tailenders to show their net prowess and the list goes on and on..

    you should admit that all this felt resurgence of indian cricket is nothing but a blown away hypothetical day dream.

    p.s i'm not an aussie fan or paki + even with no umpires, you would lose heavily in perth.if you have any left character,show it

  • Pradeep on January 13, 2008, 12:55 GMT

    Not so long ago, Kesavan and his ilk were waxing lyrical about how umpiring imperfection adds to the game's "charm". Here he is, bitter about another defeat. What happened now Kesavan, is it only charming when India gets the decisions in its favour.

  • Venky on January 13, 2008, 12:51 GMT

    As an Indian and a follower of Indian cricket for a long time , the one thing I am absolutely positive about is that if it were Austalia needing 300 odd runs in the last 2 sessions, they would have not just saved the match, but would have made a gallant effort to win. No matter what happened in the 4 and a half days before. That is what I call professionalism and that is what is missing sadly in our Indian cricketers. Well done Australia, at least there's one Indian who appreciates your skill and attitude.

  • Aman Bhatia on January 13, 2008, 12:44 GMT

    Kesavan, you keep talking about Laxman's "sublime" batting and Tendulkar's "great" knock. Symonds not just scored more but also scored quicker and in fewer deliveries. He seemed to score more effortlessly. And oh yes, all 3 had lives. Is this a case of Indian nationalism that seems to be ingrained in most of us, unfortunately. If you can't be impartial, you shouldn't be writing, Mr. Kesavan.

  • Shanmugam on January 13, 2008, 12:39 GMT

    if the tables were turned and it was an Australian that was alleged to make a racist remark on an Indian player, can you imagine the noise that we would have made. The whole thing would have gone as far up as the Parliament and the entire country would have been indignant. What right do we have to ignore Australia's feelings

  • shankar on January 13, 2008, 12:34 GMT

    In india it's fashionable to question America's morals and ethics and it's supposed misuse of power. Well what our cricket board has done in this fiasco is worse than what the Americans have ever done, in terms of power abuse.

  • Arun on January 13, 2008, 12:24 GMT

    Isn't it farcical to claim in earnest, that this was Ponting's way to be rid of Harbhajan as he finds him difficult to play. Australians are professional, if they find it difficult to play somebody, they work on it and fix the problem , not devise Machiavellian techniques to be rid of the problem

  • rajaipur on January 12, 2008, 6:01 GMT

    I did rather be called a "monkey", then a "f...g h...". That phrase is patently ofensive, even to a homo. Forget all your holier than thou attitide, I will not trust a single of this Australian players. Genetically they have cheaters blood in them and are uncivilized. Ricky's problem is very simple - he thinks he is the greatest batsman in the history of cricket, wants to move towards that goal - the only blemish in his record is being "Bhajji's Bunny". So guess who he goes after. calling the Aussies hypocrite is the greatest understatement of this century. Guys wake up and get off this fairness wagon. Start calling a spade a spade.

  • TonyP on January 11, 2008, 17:42 GMT

    An interesting & thoughtful take on things

    I will however take issue with his opinion on Procter's decision that only one side was telling the truth.

    In any case where one side alleges a wrong-doing & the defendant maintains their innocence, logically one side or the other is not telling the truth. This isn't to say they're lying, they could simply be mistaken. It then falls to the adjudicator to apply their best judgment to the evidence before them to determine which side is being more accurate. If one side can produce physical evidence (recordings, video or whatever) that may seal it. Failing that, if one side can produce multiple eye-witnesses whose testimony is sufficiently coherent & consistent that may seal it. We don't know what the situation is, the proceedings are (for some arcane reason) closed to the public.

    But even given that, the author is correct in stating that the BCCI's response should be that outlined by the ICC's procedures.

  • dedalus on January 11, 2008, 15:19 GMT

    Ok, this is a very serious comment. Since the whole thing started with Bhajji patting Lee on his bums, can someone please please tell me what on earth Bhajji was doing patting Lee on his bums!!!! I mean.... wtf???

  • dedalus on January 11, 2008, 15:06 GMT

    oh ok. You like it because it begins with the sentence ''WHAT an innings by Laxman''?....

  • Slip51 on January 11, 2008, 10:57 GMT

    Mukul, Please pass my previous post on to Strangelove it may save the journalists he was urging some future embarressment as that was not my assessment but that of Ritchie Benaud whom I am sure you will agree is considered world wide an authority on all matters cricket. Could not agree more, however, with the comments regarding no-balls. The original reason for the on field umpire calling them, viz to give the batsmen a free hit, went out the window with the front foot rule. They simply do not have time to react if in fact they see it so there is no reason why they could not be called by the 3rd umpire. Plenty of time to check while the bowler is retracing his runup. This would certainly improve the LBW and CB decisions as the umpires head would not be moving as the bowler delivers. Regards

  • dhoni on January 11, 2008, 10:35 GMT

    good one mukul.my point here is thet we shouldn't think of abandoning the tour in any(worse)case.why not gandhigiri?.say,we have to abandon ODI series.so,drop all the seniors including yuvi,dhoni from the team by replacing with young talents and out of touch ones(kaif,agarkar etc,.).in this way we are showing oue protest,at the same time fulfullling our commitments,so as to not get(heavily)fined.

  • Slip51 on January 11, 2008, 10:23 GMT

    As stated in the Laws of Cricket upon which the game is based (Law 32 pertaining to being 'Caught') 1. Out Caught The striker is out Caught if ... held by a fielder as a fair catch before it touches the ground. 3. A fair catch The act of making the catch shall start from the time when a fielder first handles the ball and shall end when a fielder obtains complete control both over the ball and over his own movement. Note the rules state that a player must make a fair catch BEFORE the ball touches the ground. The rules do not say the ball cannot touch the ground only that the fieldsman must have control over it first. From the moment that Ponting grips the ball off Doni he has complete control over it. It does not move in his hand, therefore Ponting has every right to claim the catch. Doni was given not out because the umpire did not see the ball nick his glove (which it did). Reasonable decision by the umpire given the circumstances but Ponting has nothing to apologize for.

  • Aditya Mookerjee on January 11, 2008, 9:19 GMT

    I would like to point out, that sport is indulged between friends, never between enemies. The increasing commercialisation of the game has put the 'friendship', ingredient on the backburner. I believe, Ponting should control his aggression on the field. Is a game of cricket a matter of life and death? The founding fathers of cricket, cherished the 'amateur', attitude, perhaps, because they had anticipated, the presently faced situation, otherwise. The players must play the sport, in a fashion, which is enjoyable to themselves, and to the viewing public. Let the spectators enjoy the game, instead of continuously thinking of only winning and loosing. My sympathies are with the Umpires. If Bucknor had asked Sir Donald Bradman similarly as the other umpire had asked Ponting, on his opinion, on a possible catch, how would the Don have reacted?

  • Anonymous on January 11, 2008, 1:34 GMT

    'strangelove' has done a good job compared to many who have grabbed their flaming torches and rushed to form a lynch mob.

    Aside from hypocracy in accusing players of "cheating" for not walking etc (but perhaps only if they are Australian...) there is also inconsistency in arguments regarding the "spirit" of the game.

    On one hand, it is widely argued that "winning" is not the most important element of the game. Rather, "traditional" notions of fair play (even above and beyond the actual rules) are of primary importance.

    On the other hand, where the same "traditional" notions such as accepting an umpire's (possibly incorrect) decision go against them, the same people will argue in favour of wholesale changes to the game, including referrals of all decisions and the right to force umpire changes etc - on the basis that a team should never be denied a potential win.

    Ponting seems confused at the amount of criticism he has received. I don't necessarily blame him.

  • Tirmizi on January 11, 2008, 0:53 GMT

    A well balanced article.Some genuine points were raised and answered.I agree on most accounts. well said.

  • Awas on January 10, 2008, 23:12 GMT

    On the contrary, I believe the alleged offence is fairly trivial because I don’t agree that “monkey” is such a racist word after all. "Cheeky monkey" is a commonly used phrase.

    Why Pakistani players’ chicken imitation of Kevin Pietersen was not a racist slur? He initially didn’t think much of it but eventually disliked it. It was never blown out as racist though. Is being a chicken less racist than a monkey?

    Awas (http://www.cricketfiles.com)

  • Ranjit on January 10, 2008, 19:10 GMT

    "the definitive Indian take" - ridiculous. I'm Indian and while I realize there were umpiring mistakes, by choosing to ignore India's failings as a cricket team and continuing to be poetic about Laxman's "sublime" innings and Tendulkar's greatness, you have shown just how plain biased you are. If the last 3 Indian batsmen had batted out the last 8 minutes, no one would have heard a noise from Indians. Not all Indians are as biased as you are.

  • saif zia on January 10, 2008, 16:21 GMT

    Mike procter is avery biased.Sutherland is least bothered.Punter is behaving like his usualso-called innocent goon style.the british media , is a big racist. Lyoid & arthur are very narrow minded too

  • Ruchit on January 10, 2008, 16:04 GMT

    An alright piece of writing. Not very senisble but neither very volatile. Makes decent reading.

  • sekhar on January 10, 2008, 11:27 GMT

    George Washongton once said "to secure peace,it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War."

    That is the only way to get the right response for Bhajji, who just fell for the bait. My Sympathies. If BCCI says the tour is on, then it is saying "It is okay to punish Bhajji", we dont care. If he gets banned, so should Symonds who had a "crack" at Bhajji.. Mark Taylor is sooo right when he said Ponting opened the Pandora's box and Ponting is soo immature to reject Kumble's advice.

    Ponting got what he wanted for his nemesis. But he got a real bad deal

    1. His reputation is near zero now 2. Going to lose Brad Hogg for the "bastard" remark 3. Got egg on his face for catching, walking, spirit of cricket stuff. 4. No opposition captain will ever strike any deal. 5. All opposition players will immediately complain 6. The extra unfair edge that Australians used to have through sledging etc.. is gone. 7. No more mental disintegration.

    I think this series will be 2-2

  • Johanne on January 10, 2008, 10:21 GMT

    Well, thank you Mukul for putting on this link. At the end of this brilliant analysis I just thought that if there is anyone who needed to be taken to task, then it must surely be Mike Proctor. I don't believe he has the qualification to be an impartial match refree. It would be very interesting to watch for the High Court judge's view of the whole sorry episode.

  • Raja Pakistani on January 10, 2008, 8:17 GMT

    ICC = Indian's (ruled) Cricket Council.

  • Convict on January 10, 2008, 6:19 GMT

    Congratulations India, 20/20 World Champions and now World Champion dummy spitters.

    Analyse it all you want, that was one emotional tsunami. As the days pass and your hurt at losing subsides may be a little self analysis wouldn't hurt either.

    I look forward to the ICCs revised rules, one for adults and one for India.

    India Rule 1. If we don't like the umpire or match referees decisions we can take our bat and ball and go home.

    India Rule 2. India must be allowed to win a world cup once every 4 years.

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  • Convict on January 10, 2008, 6:19 GMT

    Congratulations India, 20/20 World Champions and now World Champion dummy spitters.

    Analyse it all you want, that was one emotional tsunami. As the days pass and your hurt at losing subsides may be a little self analysis wouldn't hurt either.

    I look forward to the ICCs revised rules, one for adults and one for India.

    India Rule 1. If we don't like the umpire or match referees decisions we can take our bat and ball and go home.

    India Rule 2. India must be allowed to win a world cup once every 4 years.

  • Raja Pakistani on January 10, 2008, 8:17 GMT

    ICC = Indian's (ruled) Cricket Council.

  • Johanne on January 10, 2008, 10:21 GMT

    Well, thank you Mukul for putting on this link. At the end of this brilliant analysis I just thought that if there is anyone who needed to be taken to task, then it must surely be Mike Proctor. I don't believe he has the qualification to be an impartial match refree. It would be very interesting to watch for the High Court judge's view of the whole sorry episode.

  • sekhar on January 10, 2008, 11:27 GMT

    George Washongton once said "to secure peace,it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War."

    That is the only way to get the right response for Bhajji, who just fell for the bait. My Sympathies. If BCCI says the tour is on, then it is saying "It is okay to punish Bhajji", we dont care. If he gets banned, so should Symonds who had a "crack" at Bhajji.. Mark Taylor is sooo right when he said Ponting opened the Pandora's box and Ponting is soo immature to reject Kumble's advice.

    Ponting got what he wanted for his nemesis. But he got a real bad deal

    1. His reputation is near zero now 2. Going to lose Brad Hogg for the "bastard" remark 3. Got egg on his face for catching, walking, spirit of cricket stuff. 4. No opposition captain will ever strike any deal. 5. All opposition players will immediately complain 6. The extra unfair edge that Australians used to have through sledging etc.. is gone. 7. No more mental disintegration.

    I think this series will be 2-2

  • Ruchit on January 10, 2008, 16:04 GMT

    An alright piece of writing. Not very senisble but neither very volatile. Makes decent reading.

  • saif zia on January 10, 2008, 16:21 GMT

    Mike procter is avery biased.Sutherland is least bothered.Punter is behaving like his usualso-called innocent goon style.the british media , is a big racist. Lyoid & arthur are very narrow minded too

  • Ranjit on January 10, 2008, 19:10 GMT

    "the definitive Indian take" - ridiculous. I'm Indian and while I realize there were umpiring mistakes, by choosing to ignore India's failings as a cricket team and continuing to be poetic about Laxman's "sublime" innings and Tendulkar's greatness, you have shown just how plain biased you are. If the last 3 Indian batsmen had batted out the last 8 minutes, no one would have heard a noise from Indians. Not all Indians are as biased as you are.

  • Awas on January 10, 2008, 23:12 GMT

    On the contrary, I believe the alleged offence is fairly trivial because I don’t agree that “monkey” is such a racist word after all. "Cheeky monkey" is a commonly used phrase.

    Why Pakistani players’ chicken imitation of Kevin Pietersen was not a racist slur? He initially didn’t think much of it but eventually disliked it. It was never blown out as racist though. Is being a chicken less racist than a monkey?

    Awas (http://www.cricketfiles.com)

  • Tirmizi on January 11, 2008, 0:53 GMT

    A well balanced article.Some genuine points were raised and answered.I agree on most accounts. well said.

  • Anonymous on January 11, 2008, 1:34 GMT

    'strangelove' has done a good job compared to many who have grabbed their flaming torches and rushed to form a lynch mob.

    Aside from hypocracy in accusing players of "cheating" for not walking etc (but perhaps only if they are Australian...) there is also inconsistency in arguments regarding the "spirit" of the game.

    On one hand, it is widely argued that "winning" is not the most important element of the game. Rather, "traditional" notions of fair play (even above and beyond the actual rules) are of primary importance.

    On the other hand, where the same "traditional" notions such as accepting an umpire's (possibly incorrect) decision go against them, the same people will argue in favour of wholesale changes to the game, including referrals of all decisions and the right to force umpire changes etc - on the basis that a team should never be denied a potential win.

    Ponting seems confused at the amount of criticism he has received. I don't necessarily blame him.