Samir Chopra November 9, 2008

Why is the Indian fan so angry?

It is both an indication of my current (mild) mistrust in other umpires because of many little incidents like the two I have cited above, that I now feel the most relieved when I see Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf umpiring in India's games.
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One thing the India-Australia series was bound to do was generate a few flame wars between Indian and Australian fans. One didn't have to wait long, starting with the sniping in the press, the release of Adam Gilchrist's autobiography and ElbowGate.

One common thread in these debates, at least from the Australian side, is the sense of disbelief that Indian fans could be so unbelievably over-the-top in their sensitivities. Do they really think the world is out to get them? I don't think the world is. But I want to highlight a small part of the subtext to the sensitivities of Indian fans. I do not speak as a representative of the group, but merely want to offer a small personal glimpse into the set of accumulated feelings that could lead to this state of affairs.

Consider umpiring. The Indian distaste for Steve Bucknor was most notoriously on display at Sydney earlier in the year, and we haven't heard the end of that debate yet. But why would Indians ever think particular umpires were against them? What could their motivation be? I'd like to suggest that while there might be no overt prejudice in umpiring decisions against the Indian teams, the alert fan has not been ignorant of what might politely be called an "attitude" towards the Indian team. And that isn't a trust-engendering state of affairs.

Here are two, small, anecdotal vignettes. In the 2001 'Kolkata' series, Peter Willey was umpiring at Kolkata. The Indian 12th man ran onto the ground with either gloves or a bottle of water or a message or all three. Willey waved him off the ground imperiously, much like a District Collector might have waved his khansama off the gymkhana polo grounds. I wonder whether he would have employed that body language to an English or Australian player. I think Willey would have waited till the player was on the ground and gone over to talk to him. In the Delhi Test, Billy Bowden called a dead ball on VVS Laxman, cancelling the runs made by the batsmen because they had run on the pitch. When Laxman asked Bowden why the runs had been cancelled, Bowden put a finger on his lips, much as a schoolmaster might chastise a schoolboy. Again, I wonder whether Bowden would ever have used such a patronising gesture to an English or Australian player.

What does this have to do with the quality of umpiring decisions? Aren't they professionals doing a job? Yes. But they are also human beings, prone to all the foibles of our species. So are Indian fans, in suspecting prejudice subconciously underwrites patronising behavior. And they express themselves the most vehemently on the Net, not the best venue to express subtlety in arguments (those happen best over beers and face-to-face).

Back when neutral umpires were first introduced, I'm ashamed to say I was worried about Pakistani umpires officiating in Indian matches. I wondered whether they would actually be neutral when it came to Indian teams (all the umpiring controversies in India-Pakistan games had left their mark on me). It is both an indication of my current (mild) mistrust in other umpires because of many little incidents like the two I have cited above, that I now feel the most relieved when I see Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf umpiring in India's games. Their umpiring is of decent quality (Taufel beats everyone hands down) and best of all, I never worry about whether they have got their backs up during their interactions with the Indians.

Perhaps my worries are unfounded. But I'm speaking here frankly as an anxious Indian fan, one used to Murphy's Law balefully staring down at the Indian team. I do not offer this post as an exculpation for any over-the-top expressions of national paranoia or insecurity, but just a small glimpse into what might ground the expressions of this very large, very vocal, and very passionate group of cricket lovers.

Samir Chopra lives in Brooklyn and teaches Philosophy at the City University of New York. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Adam on March 19, 2009, 12:21 GMT

    Indian fans are both the best and the worst in world cricket. No fan is more passionate or supportive towards the game.

    But no fan is more damaging to the game with this continual whinging. This article is reflective of that. Examples of 7 years ago? come on, what a joke. I don't see any report about decisions in India's favour, of which there are many.

    Seriously Indian fans, this continual complaining about umpires/officials is simply making excuses for your team. They don't play the game, they simply do their best job. If you want to blame someone for losing blame the players, make them accountable for their form. I'm sure, deep down, you all know that India receive as many good decisions as they do bad.

    Stop making excuses for your team. It's ugly, embarrassing and a blight on the current game. Why don't you just enjoy the current team which is pushing to be the best in the world. They're exciting to watch. Just take the good with the bad guys and STOP THE WHINGING!!

  • 12th Man on November 18, 2008, 8:32 GMT

    Aleem Dar is a good umpire and i admit that. Asad Rauf should have been history by now. The only consolation is he is equally bad when it comes to umpiring decisions and that removes any bias he might have.

  • Random Aussie on November 15, 2008, 7:25 GMT

    A thoughtful piece of comment well written. And the usual Indian complaining about the umpires. We know that if it were not for the umpires, India would be the rightful champions of cricket. Even after a great series win we still have fans who want to whine and whine about umpires, talk about umpires, compare umpires, find racism hidden here and there and look for someone to blame. It is a lack of maturity and objectivity in watching cricket here with the victim mentality holding strong.

  • Cameron on November 13, 2008, 1:43 GMT

    I really think that there is a need for perspective here. There is no doubt that every country in the cricket world could select a range of incidents in isolation, scrutinse them to the enth degree & come to a conclusion that the world is out to get them. For every example the Indian fans site on this blog one can easily think of a counter example that has impacted England, Australia et al. I do not know whether it is the majority of Indian fans who feel this way but the supporter base is so large that even a small minority can make a significant amount of noise in forums like this. When you combine this with a large and often hysterical Indian media, a BCCI who appear to have had an ethical bypass it is giving the world an unfortunate impression of the broader Indian cricket community.

  • Pete on November 13, 2008, 0:55 GMT

    This topic fascinates me. I still remember (before neutral umpires) when Australia were 4-20 against India in India, and not one batsman was legitimately out. Mark Waugh was given out bat-pad when his bat was a foot from the ball. It really was laughable. Now we have neutral umpires, and Indian fans constantly think all the umpires are out to get them. On top of that, if you listen to Indian supporters, bad decisions against their players is somehow 'cheating' by the opposing teams, and no Indian player has EVER used sledging, only in 'retaliation'. Sometimes I think all Indian blog contributers are about 15 years old.

  • krishna on November 12, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    My little contribution for whatever it is worth. While I do not believe that the World is out to get India, I definitely believe Australians do get the rub of the green more often than not from the lawmakers, officials, umpires, everybody concerned.Frankly,their their on-field behaviour is atrocious and the lack of punitive action (think McGrath(countless occasions),Slater,Warne) against over-appealing,foul-mouthing opposition in the name of "fair" sledging is laughable. Aussies get more umpiring decisions in their favour as well,just ask anyone.This comes simply from the fact that they are the dominating force in cricket and somehow have made the World believe the ludicrous "Hard but fair" propoganda. This is not uncommon to other sports-just observe the number of times in football,hockey-in fact any olympic sport-the better team/player gets favourable decisions from the referees.In a sense,it is a subtle reflection of a natural order-people like winners.

  • Longmemory on November 12, 2008, 2:52 GMT

    Firstly, to PK who argued that Indian family values and culture make us over-sensitive to insults about mothers or sisters, whom are you kidding??! The two most common cusswords in India are "maadarc...h" and "behnc....h" - you know what I mean - and both words show no respect whatsoever to mothers or sisters. The idea that Indian players are so pained at hearing sledges at their mums and sisters is simply laughable. Secondly, to all those who keep harping on Harbhajan and Symmo, there was a hearing presided over by a New Zealand judge, he weighed all the evidence and concluded "not guilty". Moreover, he explicitly slapped Symmo on the wrist for starting the whole damn thing. What part of a verdict of "not guilty" do you not understand? If an umpire's decision - right or wrong - is the last word and the batter has to walk, since when is a judge's verdict not the last word? So just shut up about Harbhajan and Symmo - both those morons fully deserve each other in my view.

  • Lloyd on November 11, 2008, 13:14 GMT

    Valid points.This is also why the Olympics do not see fit to include cricket,because its the primary sport of India,Pakistan,Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.There is defitely prejudice,modern Apartheid as evidenced by the Eurocentric nature of the Winter and Summer Olympics. Cricket2012Games.com believes we should be talking about this version of apartheid more

  • Prad on November 11, 2008, 13:02 GMT

    Sunil Gavaskar is wright when he says the subcontinental players are treated seperately when compared with players from england and australia. if you take the statitics of players punished for any offence in matches involving australia and england you may find most of them are subcontinental players.

  • Gazzo on November 11, 2008, 10:44 GMT

    It's interesting how this anger seems to be manifested mainly in the Indian cricket fraternity. Surely if racism were rife within the ICC the West Indies would also experience similar problems? Or the non-white players representing SA and England? Unfortunately there seems to be a culture of victimhood in Indian cricket, fostered by the refusal of the BCCI to force players to take responsibility for their actions

  • Adam on March 19, 2009, 12:21 GMT

    Indian fans are both the best and the worst in world cricket. No fan is more passionate or supportive towards the game.

    But no fan is more damaging to the game with this continual whinging. This article is reflective of that. Examples of 7 years ago? come on, what a joke. I don't see any report about decisions in India's favour, of which there are many.

    Seriously Indian fans, this continual complaining about umpires/officials is simply making excuses for your team. They don't play the game, they simply do their best job. If you want to blame someone for losing blame the players, make them accountable for their form. I'm sure, deep down, you all know that India receive as many good decisions as they do bad.

    Stop making excuses for your team. It's ugly, embarrassing and a blight on the current game. Why don't you just enjoy the current team which is pushing to be the best in the world. They're exciting to watch. Just take the good with the bad guys and STOP THE WHINGING!!

  • 12th Man on November 18, 2008, 8:32 GMT

    Aleem Dar is a good umpire and i admit that. Asad Rauf should have been history by now. The only consolation is he is equally bad when it comes to umpiring decisions and that removes any bias he might have.

  • Random Aussie on November 15, 2008, 7:25 GMT

    A thoughtful piece of comment well written. And the usual Indian complaining about the umpires. We know that if it were not for the umpires, India would be the rightful champions of cricket. Even after a great series win we still have fans who want to whine and whine about umpires, talk about umpires, compare umpires, find racism hidden here and there and look for someone to blame. It is a lack of maturity and objectivity in watching cricket here with the victim mentality holding strong.

  • Cameron on November 13, 2008, 1:43 GMT

    I really think that there is a need for perspective here. There is no doubt that every country in the cricket world could select a range of incidents in isolation, scrutinse them to the enth degree & come to a conclusion that the world is out to get them. For every example the Indian fans site on this blog one can easily think of a counter example that has impacted England, Australia et al. I do not know whether it is the majority of Indian fans who feel this way but the supporter base is so large that even a small minority can make a significant amount of noise in forums like this. When you combine this with a large and often hysterical Indian media, a BCCI who appear to have had an ethical bypass it is giving the world an unfortunate impression of the broader Indian cricket community.

  • Pete on November 13, 2008, 0:55 GMT

    This topic fascinates me. I still remember (before neutral umpires) when Australia were 4-20 against India in India, and not one batsman was legitimately out. Mark Waugh was given out bat-pad when his bat was a foot from the ball. It really was laughable. Now we have neutral umpires, and Indian fans constantly think all the umpires are out to get them. On top of that, if you listen to Indian supporters, bad decisions against their players is somehow 'cheating' by the opposing teams, and no Indian player has EVER used sledging, only in 'retaliation'. Sometimes I think all Indian blog contributers are about 15 years old.

  • krishna on November 12, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    My little contribution for whatever it is worth. While I do not believe that the World is out to get India, I definitely believe Australians do get the rub of the green more often than not from the lawmakers, officials, umpires, everybody concerned.Frankly,their their on-field behaviour is atrocious and the lack of punitive action (think McGrath(countless occasions),Slater,Warne) against over-appealing,foul-mouthing opposition in the name of "fair" sledging is laughable. Aussies get more umpiring decisions in their favour as well,just ask anyone.This comes simply from the fact that they are the dominating force in cricket and somehow have made the World believe the ludicrous "Hard but fair" propoganda. This is not uncommon to other sports-just observe the number of times in football,hockey-in fact any olympic sport-the better team/player gets favourable decisions from the referees.In a sense,it is a subtle reflection of a natural order-people like winners.

  • Longmemory on November 12, 2008, 2:52 GMT

    Firstly, to PK who argued that Indian family values and culture make us over-sensitive to insults about mothers or sisters, whom are you kidding??! The two most common cusswords in India are "maadarc...h" and "behnc....h" - you know what I mean - and both words show no respect whatsoever to mothers or sisters. The idea that Indian players are so pained at hearing sledges at their mums and sisters is simply laughable. Secondly, to all those who keep harping on Harbhajan and Symmo, there was a hearing presided over by a New Zealand judge, he weighed all the evidence and concluded "not guilty". Moreover, he explicitly slapped Symmo on the wrist for starting the whole damn thing. What part of a verdict of "not guilty" do you not understand? If an umpire's decision - right or wrong - is the last word and the batter has to walk, since when is a judge's verdict not the last word? So just shut up about Harbhajan and Symmo - both those morons fully deserve each other in my view.

  • Lloyd on November 11, 2008, 13:14 GMT

    Valid points.This is also why the Olympics do not see fit to include cricket,because its the primary sport of India,Pakistan,Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.There is defitely prejudice,modern Apartheid as evidenced by the Eurocentric nature of the Winter and Summer Olympics. Cricket2012Games.com believes we should be talking about this version of apartheid more

  • Prad on November 11, 2008, 13:02 GMT

    Sunil Gavaskar is wright when he says the subcontinental players are treated seperately when compared with players from england and australia. if you take the statitics of players punished for any offence in matches involving australia and england you may find most of them are subcontinental players.

  • Gazzo on November 11, 2008, 10:44 GMT

    It's interesting how this anger seems to be manifested mainly in the Indian cricket fraternity. Surely if racism were rife within the ICC the West Indies would also experience similar problems? Or the non-white players representing SA and England? Unfortunately there seems to be a culture of victimhood in Indian cricket, fostered by the refusal of the BCCI to force players to take responsibility for their actions

  • Abhishek on November 11, 2008, 10:01 GMT

    Ponting has been fined 20% of his match fees for slow over rate in Nagpur test. This is a Level 2 offence as per ICC rule book and if person makes same Level 2 offence a second time within 12 months, he gets penalty corresponding to Level 3 offence. This was the argument given while banning Gambhir for a test. Ponting was penalized in Jan in Perth test for slow over rate against India and it is his 2nd offence within 12 months. But he is not getting any test ban. Am I missing something?

  • anand on November 11, 2008, 8:57 GMT

    great.I always thought only that I am the only indian who noticed all these things it's nice to to see others view.

  • Chetan Asher on November 10, 2008, 13:45 GMT

    The real problem for Indians is not with Australians / Englishmen, we all understand cultural differences will be there.

    However - if ICC requires Indian Harbhajan to pay for offending Australian Andrew Symonds, the reverse should also hold good. ICC was not seen enforcing the reverse, but instead seen looking for technical excuses to protect Offending hooliganly Aussies. Also - whenever Australia is in trouble in a critical match with India, ICC's umpires suddenly become incompetent to such an extent that on 2 occassions in the last 2 series, the umpires have chosen to give an Australian incorrectly not-out without using the benefit of the 3rd umpire, a facility that ICC have provided umpires with to prevent these errors. We see ICC protecting these inappropriately arrogant umpires, leaving us questioning the integrity of ICC. We need to know what ICC is doing of its own accord to these paid umpires - Bucknor for Symonds & Koertzen for Ponting.

  • Abhishek on November 10, 2008, 9:32 GMT

    Its not just umpiring. As an Indian cricket fan, I have serious concerns about impartiality of ICC & its officials with respect to their decisions regarding India. In the recent past, whenever India has done well and won against odds, one or more of Indian cricketers have been penalized for seemingly minor infringements. Be it India beating SA in SA for the first time, beating Eng in Eng or beating Aus in T20 Semi finals or in Mohali in current series, everytime there is a big win and some one is fined. It appears as if ICC is not comfortable with India's growth and want to teach its cricketers a lesson if they win. The same rules do not seem to apply when other countries' cricketers are on the wrong side and people have written a lot of examples above, so no point in repeating. It is simply called playing hard.

  • Matt on November 10, 2008, 7:25 GMT

    I was just listening to the commentators. It's quite poor. Indias overate of 11.1(worse then Australia and with two recognized spinners) was raises and the Indian commentator could not even criticise India. Instead he said both sides do it which is true but why wasn't this mentioned yesterday when they ripped into Australia.

    If India wants to consider itself up there with Australia on plying ability they need to be held to the same standard.

    If you listen to the commentators India can do go wrong. Listening to the stump miles now it would appear that whilst inoa are catching the Aussies in terms of on field performance they are already matching australia insledging and supprasses us in ICC charges 50 v 30 odd.

  • yogesh on November 10, 2008, 7:25 GMT

    You don’t have to go by anecdotes. After Sydney I had written a piece in which I demonstrated that statistically speaking it was highly probable that the umpiring was biased. The piece can be accessed at http://www.livemint.com/2008/01/09234735/Odds-against-honest-errors.html Again, as another reader said here I am not publicizing my piece, just stating that there is demonstrated bias.

  • Jodie on November 10, 2008, 7:20 GMT

    I think that the problem here is cultural, and will eventually change with the westernisation of India. All teams sledge about mothers/wifes etc. these comments are said in jest and not to mean any real offense, the thing is learning where the line is, you can go to the line but no further, with the increasingly aggressive attitude displayed by the Indians, there will be occasional issues that will crop up, which will be construed as unfair treatment of Indians in relation to other nations but as the Indians get better at their sledging these will be few and far between, this will be learned, what is fair, what isn't. Comments made in jest are fair, because they are jokes, comments with regards to race, not fair, and all players should wear suspensions handed down in these issues not just the few.

    As for Billy Bowden putting his finger to his lips with VVS Laxman, he has done this to numerous players worldwide, he has every right, his decision is final and not open to interpretation.

  • Raf on November 10, 2008, 7:12 GMT

    So effectively, you say based on two gestures that Willey and Bowden are racist towards Indians? That is a terrible slander.

    Australia had a terrible run from Bowden when they lost the Ashes in England a few years ago. We don't blame it on racism, he's just not a great umpire.

    I would like to see the evidence that India get a worse go from umpires generally than, say, Australia does. The current Indian team love to highlight bad decisions against them. You never hear them complain when the bad decision is in their favour. The reality is that the current generation of Indian cricketers always have an excuse when they lose, and they encourage the fans to be the same way. They are terribly poor losers, and the media should not encourage them.

  • Farce Follower on November 10, 2008, 7:10 GMT

    While the Indians may call it co-ordinated, the rest call it isolated. But one thing is for sure, no Pietersen or Ponting or Smith ever gets the stick as much as the Indians do. The ICC panel of umpires is the most over-rated, but still they are better than the most wretched group - the match refrees. The ICC is an almost comical collection of the spuriously talented.

  • Prabhu on November 10, 2008, 6:30 GMT

    I saw the Aussies tearing the leather off the ball in this match. Is it not ball tampering. Shouldn't they be given a 5 run penalty.

  • Tegger on November 10, 2008, 5:50 GMT

    I keep reading all these things about how Indian values don't tolerate cursing someones Mothers. Are these the same Indian values that tolerate a player making monkey chants at another or justify disgusting behaviour by large portions of the crowd making monkey chants as a sign of paying respect to a God. Really thats a joke. How a cricket official could seriously say that making monkey chants wasn't racist is beyond me.

    Australians are no angels far from it but what needs to be understood is that many other teams including the Indians commit the same offenses. Indians need to look in their own backyards before they keep critising others.

    If an Australian did what Singh did his career would be over.

  • Tegger on November 10, 2008, 5:44 GMT

    Indian fans are not hard done by. They are spurred on by the biased unjustified views of people like Sunil Gavaskar.

    How anyone could defend the physical contact Gambhir made in the last match is just crazy. Had he just been verbal as Watson was he would have recieved the same fine. But he crossed the line and recieved the fine.

    No other country would have had a player get off the racism charges that Singh did. If an Australian player made monkey chants he would be hung out to dry as any player deserves to be.

    Another point is umpiring decisions always equal out. The Aussies got lucky in Sydney and the Indians in Perth. Even in the current series the Aussies have copped some shockers. Yet as soon as India gets one bad decision they jump up and down. What about Indian players not walking when given out or the Indians calling the Aussies cheats and then Dhoni claims two non catches in the first two test matches.

    BTW what is Indias win-loss record. How many world cups???

  • John Berns on November 10, 2008, 5:24 GMT

    Hey guys. Life must be so hard when you carry such a large chip on your shoulders. As the worst behaved team in cricket history, India holds no moral high ground and is in no position to criticise any other team. When India stops threatening to take their bat and ball and go home whenever they don't get their way, maybe then, and only then, will they gain a modicum of respect.

  • Raja on November 10, 2008, 4:46 GMT

    What the Indian fan forgets is the fact that it is the same Bucknor who gave McGrath out lbw in the epic Kolkata test. That was a very dubious decision. Who knows whether they would lasted a couple of more overs to draw the thing ?

  • Bets on November 10, 2008, 4:03 GMT

    What about the fact that nothing is being mentioned about ball-tampering by the aussies... Its difficult for an average Indian like me to digest when such blatant double standards are being displayed by the authorities..

  • KSH on November 10, 2008, 4:01 GMT

    I completely agree with your post and its views. There has always been an "attitude" as you put it, against teams of color. Not just India, Sri Lanka Pankistan and Bangladesh too. India being the most high profile of these all, gets the most attention and is naturally also the most sensitive. Though you never use the word in your entire blog I see it screaming the word racism.

    Overall, well done.

  • Jay on November 10, 2008, 3:42 GMT

    I agree with Samir's ovservations but was perplexed by his lack of comprehensive rationale in analyzing umpires' behaviour towards Indian players. I guess this communication is a two-way street and partly 'groomed' (emboldened?) by Indian players' inherent weakness to pooh pooh, if not placate 'gora sahib'. Either by lack of linguistic communication or a differing skin color complex, the Indian players readily try to 'obey/please' white umpires and in return get holier-than-thou treatment from same umpires! If someone like Ganguly or Bhajji maintain self pride and try to speak up, they are quickly labeled as "brats" and "trouble makers" by media! Others take it meekly, bend backwards to appease them and consider it as a way of life! Unfortunately in life often what you get is exactly what you asked for!

  • Greg on November 10, 2008, 3:37 GMT

    One thing that really strikes me in the authors post is he describes himself as an 'anxious Indian fan'. I think that would probably describe most Indian fans (as well as myself, an anxious Australian fan). I really admire India's passion for cricket, I think it's wonderful and fantastic for the game. But I'm not sure picking on individual umpires mannerisms, or individual incidents or decisions is healthy for the game. In my opinion, the thoughts that have been expressed are merely a parochial expression of support for the writers team, because I feel the same way about the aussies. When things aren't going our way, sometimes the thought occurs that the team is being mistreated in some way, but really thats just the game (thoughts also expressed by Dan, and Sriram). In the game of cricket sometimes mistakes and/or poor decisions are made. Thats just the way it is. The passion of cricket fans is better spent supporting their own teams, than complaining about little unimportant things.

  • Greg on November 10, 2008, 3:26 GMT

    Some points brought up by contributors are interesting, but I strongly disagree that there is any institutional bias against India. Most countries have players who play hard, fast and aggressively including India. Sometimes these players cross the line and it is up to the ICC to deal with these incidents. Picking individual incidents to back your argument as some contributors have done is problematic, as it is possible to pick out plenty of incidents of Indian and other countries players misbehaving. Sometimes people (no matter where they are from) just do the wrong thing. And racism issues also apply equally - some of the crowd behaviour in India with Andrew Symonds was just awful, but you also get crowds like that in Australia (and other places I am sure). My point of view is that cricket is so important and people are so passionate in India that there is an incredible amount of pressure on everyone, including the Indian and opposing teams and their supporters.

  • Dave edwards on November 10, 2008, 3:26 GMT

    Look your side ( India ) are very good players but, they are the worst behaved team in the last 5 years,and its about time the bcci got its head out of its ass and sorted the team out. One more thing Why cannot the poor get into the grounds? i know why your class system!!! dont preach to us about fairness.

  • redneck on November 10, 2008, 3:22 GMT

    who ever said india are picked on have to be living in lala land! when sehwag was banned for 1 test in south africa they ignored it and played him anyway. in aus earlier in the year harbhajan makes a racial remark towards symonds after both teams were warned before the series on the back of a just concluded hostile ODI series in india where even the crowds got abusive. harbhajan gets banned then india threaten to take their bat and ball and go home mid tour!? until they got their way! then last week watson was fined for abusive language and fair enought too, gambhir went one step further after abusing watson back he elbowed him whilst running and paid for going 1 step further than watson by getting a punishment that was also 1 step further than watson, yet india cry fowl and threaten to play him regardless (as they were already at home).the indian team can act like school children sometimes so why shouldnt the umpires treat them like that when they do!? icc umpires dont cheat!!!

  • Jimmy on November 10, 2008, 2:46 GMT

    Good article but I wonder if you have also looked at the numerous times where Australians have been found be misplaced at the hands of a neutral umpire. What I want to know is why are indian fans so accusing of Australian players on the field when they have no idea what they are saying? Sure body language can tell you a lot but most indian fans I know base they're 'us vs the umpires' on hearsay situations where they have no idea what ACTUALLY happened.

    Also it is a travesty that the best umpire in the world (Taufel) is not allowed to stand in India v Australia test matches. The 2 best teams in the world don't get the best umpire....

    In saying that, I realise the neutral umpire rule. Its disappointing for both Australian and indian supporters though

  • Krish on November 10, 2008, 2:26 GMT

    The Indian cricket fan has got a long memory. In the case of Bucknor, it goes back to the first test match in which video evidence i.e. third umpire referral was introduced. Johnty Rhodes was well out of the crease and Kapil Dev took off the bails at the bowlers end. Mr. Arrogance personified (Steve Bucknor) even though out of position to properly judge the 'run out' refused to even refer it to the third umpire. Kapil Dev - one of the games' gentlemen was so irate that he had to be coaxed to bowl the next ball. Johnty Rhodes went on to score 92 and change the result of the match in their favor. Steve Bucknor's umpiring in general reminds me of a poster held by an Aussie fan in a game between Aus & W.Indies. It said: "My eyes were too bad for batting, So, I became an umpire" Hmm... that was my two cents to this discussion.

  • Craig on November 10, 2008, 1:52 GMT

    What always strikes me as strange is that the Indian players and fans are ready to perceive racism in just about any gesture or remark. However, when Harbajhan makes an extremely unpleasant, and specifically racist, remark directed towards an Australian player, which is also repeated by the crowd, the Indian board moves to defend him. If an Australian player were to make the same remark towards an Indian player, he would expect to be banned for a lengthy period - take for example the punishment handed out to Darren Lehmann for a much less offensive racist remark.

  • jonathan on November 10, 2008, 0:01 GMT

    Samir, I think you're proving the point here. Why in the world do you think Bowden and Willey wouldn't use those gestures to Australians or others? They would be perfectly normal in Australian domestic cricket. The difference is that Australians have no reason to interpret it as patronising or talking down. Maybe the cultural differences and colonial history are reasons for umpires to avoid such gestures with Indian players, but keeping in mind all the time the fact that your usual gestures might be interpreted differently is a difficult task.

  • Jaytara on November 9, 2008, 23:34 GMT

    Excellent article. Even yesterday,Nov 9, Watson was in Zaheer's face mouthing what were definitely not greetings after Zaheer had fended off repeated short balls, but how come the umpires or the match referee did not warn him or Ponting. And Chris, no thanks mate, if it's Aussie cheese you are offering we certainly don't want it, tends to be runny and smelly like your whingeing players.

  • andrew schulz on November 9, 2008, 23:18 GMT

    Two points. First the childish persecuted attitude of Indians as seen in the off-field response to the incidents in SA in 2001, Sydney in 2008, and the Gambhir suspension in this series is clearly evident in almost all the responses here. Second, any fair assessment of umpiring decisions over the years, at least since 1967/68 would show clearly that India have had much the better of decisions in India/Australia Tests. By an absolute mile. India's refusal to accept the umpire's decision in the case of the Sehwag and Harbhajan suspensions, and the general attitude of the fans to the Gambhir suspension is an absolute disgrace, and is reflective of a deluded attitude to on-field decisions which gives a wrong impression of a poor deal from the umpires.

  • Rahul on November 9, 2008, 23:11 GMT

    You are spot on in calling out the different attitude of officials while dealing with Indian players. But I am surprised your piece doesn't mention the same sort of abuse against Pakistan and Srl teams. The way Darrel Hair treated Pakistani players on field in the previous series was one of the main reasons for the mis-trust that led to the Oval fiasco. There should a need for both teams to respect and accept the umpires and match referee for a series and if any side doesn't trust a particular umpire then he should not be appointed to their matches.

  • Ishan on November 9, 2008, 22:10 GMT

    While I don't agree with the Laxman-Bowden thing being racist of anything, it is easy to see the double standards of match officials when dealing with offenses committed by Indian players. The Gambhir elbow incident would have been brushed aside as "in the heat of the moment" had it been committed by an Australian, English or Kiwi player. The Australian saying "what happens on the field stays on the field" only seems to apply when they are in a dominating position, but not when the opposition is dominating.

  • DT on November 9, 2008, 21:43 GMT

    Peter Willey is always imperious. Quite possibly he was also annoyed at the time. Billy Bowden's prone to making empty-headed gestures -- it's obvious that his career relies on it. Your article attempts to show that Indian fans' widespread sense of persecution is not paranoia and not a biased attempt to cover up for their heroes' occasional poor actions, but frankly I think you're just making it worse. From first word to last, this article is a persecution complex talking. The world isn't out to get India or Indian cricketers or Indian fans; we just don't care enough to bother.

  • Charu on November 9, 2008, 21:38 GMT

    A case in point: Day 4 of the last test being played at Nagpur: Cameron White (on camera) picking bits of leather of the ball. The umpire (Aleem Dar) merely tells him him that he (White) should have given the ball to him to remove the leather bits hanging off. Had it been an Indian/Pakistani/Sri Lankan bowler - ball tampering would have the cry of the Australian commentators and media. Where's Hair when you need him, I say.

    Even less said about the "defensive" tactics (batting, bowling, field settings, mind-set) - only ever used by Indian cricketers. Australians (I use that term deliberately as cultural superiority/inferiority is always implicit in such statements) ALWAYS play to win, the result be damned.

    Indian criketers and supporters can be called anything but we are not blind.

  • Anurag on November 9, 2008, 20:24 GMT

    calling someone motherf****r is much more offensive than calling someone monkey. That is of course from my perspective based on my culture and upbringing. You do not have to look far than the current Aus-Ind series to see the profanities used by the players. I hope they realize that what every they mouth is caught on the camera and the kids are watching. I think Indians should learn to be aggressive and not be caught. Example: Gambhir should have held his bat in front and nudged Watson with the bat while looking towards the ball(which could have been okay as Watson was in the way). Also, running headon into someone is "accident", elbowing is deliberate!!

  • Ravindra on November 9, 2008, 19:42 GMT

    Lets not forget Mr. Steve "by the sell date" Bucknor, puting his fingers to his lips and asking Parthiv Patel not to appeal.......

  • Gurudatt on November 9, 2008, 19:36 GMT

    Absolutely true, its time someone (BCCI) takes this up. Let it be called the "Power of Money".

    - No one has mentioned Cameron White fiddling with the leather and "altering the condition of the ball" which led to prodigious reverse swing on 4th day

    - Until Sachin brought Billy's attention, none of the umpire thought of reprimanding Brad Haddin for throwing the cap. It is difficult to digest that a test player doesnt know the rules

    - You are quite right, Asian umpires / referees are reluctant in reporting non Asian players. Where is Ranjan Madugalle thrived on punishing Indian players.

    - What about Brad Haddin dropping F word on Television !! Sky Sports was sensitive enough to apologise, but is this the image Australia is projecting to budding cricketers? No slap on the wrist there?

    - India was accused of slow over rate, when Dhoni actually completed about 89 overs in a day, what about Mitchy angling across all day with 7-2 field?

    It's time these hypocrites fall on face

  • Akshay on November 9, 2008, 19:24 GMT

    I can count as many umpiring goofs that have favoured India as have gone against them, if not more. Numerous times, those inept indian umpires in ODIs in India would give LBWs in India's favour even when ball clearly pitched a foot outside leg stump!! There is a reason why no Indian umpire is on the ICC panel these days. As for other incidents involving Peter Wiley and Bowden, all I can say to writer is, GROW UP!!!! I'm an indian but fed up off fellow indians not willing to take the losses on the chin.

  • Anjo on November 9, 2008, 18:29 GMT

    I have to agree with Longmemory, apart from his very last sentence, where I do believe that its usually the best and/or the richest teams that usually has everyone out to get them, so its going to get worse in the future. Regarding the condescending tone, my opinion is its only there if you want to see and be affected by it. As much as I don't like the guy, have you ever seen it affect Ganguly? Its the way you choose to react to it, whether you want to feel victimized or you can dismiss it and rise above it. There is a process in place to protest and you have to respect that. Btw Mina Anand, you need to learn the difference between a rant and a thesis. I don't understand what exactly this danger you're so worried about is, things are certainly a lot better today than they were a few decades ago and with the BCCI's rapid rise, the real danger is that things might swing to the other extreme, something we should ensure never happens especially if the motives are based on vengeance.

  • Naresha on November 9, 2008, 18:20 GMT

    I'm eagerly waiting to see what will happen to White for tearing leather from the ball yesterday. According to the commentators on TV, he did this AFTER Ponting had been warned by Aleem Dar not to do anything to the ball. Even if it was before the talking to, it is obvious that you cannot tamper with the condition of the ball. Sachin Tendulkar and Dravid have been dealt with harshly for supposedly tampering with the ball, let us see what the Australian gets. If he is not sanctioned, no one in his right mind can brush off Gavaskar's comments as "inferiority complex". Inferiority complex my foot. When someone who feels he is discriminated against tries to make a complaint, dismissing it by calling it an inferiority complex is deeply insulting. Are we to blame Symonds' complaint on his inferiority complex because of not being white?

  • Captain Swing on November 9, 2008, 17:45 GMT

    I could despair. Indian fans are determined to read a racist plot into every decision that goes against them. I had thought that we English copped this rubbish because of our history of military spankings dished out to all comers in the 18th and 19th centuries, which was very, very long ago. At least the Aussies are catching it too, and it seems that the reason is that they have been dishing out sporting spankings to all comers for a while. I wonder who the umpires favour in Ashes games? or maybe they just do their best as always.

  • Sunny on November 9, 2008, 17:11 GMT

    What is so funny is that every body and their dad seems to forget what got Bhajji so riled up to have called Symonds "Theri Maaki" (not the monkey that Oz players would have us believed)...refer to the verdict on this affair). Who started it? Did Bhajji go out of his way to start it? No, it was Symmo all the way. And they they start crying like a baby. Pathetic. The truth is that now a days this stupid childish behaviour is seen as accepted in all countries and by all teams. Case in point, the Jelly Gate, the porsche comments by English players, the racist comments by SA etc. Even the Asian teams are not angels. It is just the observation that when it comes to handing out fines etc., the asian players seem to be at the bitter end of the stick. Did Ponting get any fine so far in this series, inspite of repeated failure to maintain over rates? No. Imagine Dhone following the same and going unpunished. Let's not even talk about match refree bias's here. But clearly Asian teams are marked.

  • Suneels on November 9, 2008, 17:01 GMT

    How come the umpires let a clear-cut ball tampering violation by the Australian side on day four be quietly swept under the carpet? It was clearly seen and relayed on TV, the cat of skinning one side of the ball! This is just not cricket!

  • ankurgupta on November 9, 2008, 16:47 GMT

    even i also agree completely with each and evy word of ur aricle

  • Bob on November 9, 2008, 16:38 GMT

    Australia have been better than India, nothing to do with umpiring or everyone else "conspiring against them". I got so angry when i saw the images on cricinfo of Indians burning models of Bucknor and labelling him a donkey. Australia play to win and India moan about that mentality. Good luck with the series though, and nice to see Australia struggling! Regards, Your average Pom.

  • Anonymous on November 9, 2008, 16:30 GMT

    frank

    heaps of descisons went india's way I think your memory is lacking.Australia got most don't get me wrong but Australia got so bad ones too.

    Mina Anand Oh yeah and habjahn screaming at his players is sign of good sportmenship too.(sarcasm)

    You need to get your facts straight before you attack one players faults when I could name a list of hundred or so off the indian team.

  • Rahul on November 9, 2008, 14:29 GMT

    This is a valid and sensitive issue brought up by the writer. I guess what rankles is the "talking down" attitude. It really is a form of racism, based on perceived superiority. If anyone talks or treats me in that fashion, he is likely to get some pretty choice voculabary...and if he wants to take it further, Im happy to oblige

  • David on November 9, 2008, 14:24 GMT

    To follow up from my previous post ... Bowden is well known for being a showman (and in Australia is often criticised for it). So for him to put his finger to his lips is completely in keeping with his character and I can guarantee he has done similar things to players from all nations. We don't always like this kind of behaviour, but one thing's for sure - he doesn't reserve such gestures just for the Indians. The idea that he feels some special sense of superiority to Indians in particular is a figment of your imagination. There's a real danger that the more Indians take umbrage at the "culturally insensitive" treatment they receive from others, the more likely they'll overlook their own cultural blind spots. The result is, as you yourself have hinted, paranoia.

  • Tassie on November 9, 2008, 14:13 GMT

    Not just the Indian fan, but Sunil Gavaskar too, has this inferiority complex that Australia, and England are against them. perhaps the hangover of the British Raj still persists with Sunil Gavaskar and Indian fans,who will not bear a single thing said against Indian cricketers, EVEN IF THEY ARE IN THE WRONG. Like Harbhajan Singh's disgusting monkey antics. In the same vein as Indian politicians do, BCCI flexed its money muscles to overrule Law which had banned Harbhajan Singh, threatening to walk out of the Australian Tour -- taking the cue from Jayalalitha and other politicians who threaten to bring down governments. So if you want to know why the Indian fan is angry, it is his inferior side psyching him.

  • David on November 9, 2008, 14:13 GMT

    The answer is cultural difference. That's when two people read a radically different meaning into the same event. The incidents you relate are a perfect example. If you looked hard enough you could find equally "demeaning" gestures by umpires towards Aussies/English, etc, it's just that they were never interpreted against the background of colonialism and so no one took any notice. Remember, it's exactly this argument that many Indians have used to defend the Symonds monkey chants - they say that in India calling someone a monkey is a term of endearment, while questioning their parentage is highly insulting. So if you can accept that cultural misunderstanding is possible in one case, why not in the other? You must realise that Bowden & Willey didn't grow up under colonial rule and so don't filter their actions and words through that grid. They implied no disrespect, & to question their umpiring impartiality based on a cultural mistake such as this is both insulting & paranoid.

  • frank on November 9, 2008, 13:57 GMT

    At the sydney test both umpires played up Australia were going for 16 wins in a row alot of people stood to make money from that, the fact that every descision seemed to help the aussies is just a tad suspicious dont you think?

  • Dan on November 9, 2008, 13:41 GMT

    What you have recounted is the experience of every fan who feels wronged - regardless of the side. A bad day gets crystalised around a few key symbolic events and suddenly those events become greater than the whole regardless of their actual place in the balance of the day. Sure, officials are human and therefore flawed, but so is the viewer who sees events through the lens of their own prejudices and perspectives. The solution - to creating "fairness" - in cricket, as in real life, is not trying to enforce an impossibly perfect world view. Rather it is to try to stamp out the big crimes - overt racism, corruption - and make sure what is left is evened out by procedural fairness - rotating home series, neutral umpiring arrangements. For all the mutual enmity, India and Australia (for example) are closer today than they were 50 years ago. Proximity may equal friction, but it also means we are rubbing off on each other and in the long term, that is where the better future lies.

  • sriram on November 9, 2008, 13:25 GMT

    really!!!?.... seriously!!!?... I am die hard fan of sachin, I was never angry, yeah we complain about the wrong decisions like every common man around the world, but we let it go the next day and wait for the other game like any common man who watches any kinda sport... no one is angry, we all have better problems to be angry about, its just a game and mistakes are part and parcel of any game, but journalists make a big deal out of every such issue and write sagas about every small thing.... relax bro, just enjoy the game coz empires also make mistakes when other teams are playing....

  • Duffydack on November 9, 2008, 13:20 GMT

    Bucknor once beckoned Parthiv Patel as if he were a school boy who had failed to turn in his homework (Jan 2004, Sydney Test - Waugh's last). Parthiv Patel was a cricketer representing his country, and Bucknor had no right to behave in such a patronizing manner. What did he think of himself? Who did he think he was? He was after all an umpire who had a duty to see to it that all was well in the field of play, but scolding a player was not part of his job profile, was it? So when Bucknor can act in such a demeaning manner towards Indians, is it wrong on the fans' part to believe he had a bone to pick with the Indians? When Mike Denness found 6 Indian players guilty without any valid reason, are we to assume that he was an honest English match referee doing his good deed for the day by penalizing the Indians? My point is that Indians have always had raw deals from the game's overseers. But if we voice anger against it, it gets construed as an 'over-the top' reaction.

  • Chris on November 9, 2008, 13:03 GMT

    Would you like some cheese with that whine?

    Australians got over the whole colonialism inferiority complex by beating England at their own game. A few years of beating England (which you will) will hopefully make you realise that it's all in your head.

  • dearly on November 9, 2008, 12:55 GMT

    Why do we all try to go at the ump,he is the easiest person on the feild to blame,take a page out of the aussies book,they dont go at the ump,they just get on with the game knowing well you win some and you lose some, try doing the job as an ump yourself see what a hard and lonely job it realy is.no ump is realy out to get anyone,he know too well he is only as good as his last decision.

  • Captain Swing on November 9, 2008, 12:27 GMT

    It really is good to read a piece with such insight, But it still betrays some over-sensitivity. India did not object to Steve Bucknor when he failed to give any lbws against them on their victorious tour of England. And England did not feel that he was against them - they just felt he was having a bad match. As for Billy Bowden's finger-to-the-lips, he was smiling and reminding the still chuntering Laxman that he could be fined for dissent. It's absurd to think that umpires treat that long line of famous Indian batsmen with less respect than they would accord other players. Indians are still too thin-skinned and looking to take offence.

  • PK on November 9, 2008, 12:23 GMT

    The other thing is, having brought up on classic Indian family values where cursing someone's wife, mother, sister and so on is anathema, the Aussies really rile us up. Physical altercations are in fact seen to be less offensive than cursing someone's family member. I read somewhere that Graham Thorpe was asked questions by the Aussies about his wife when he came into bat; this is in awful, awful taste and just not on. The Aussies need to realise that words hurt; calling this "mental disintegration" and other weasel words is just not on.

    I am going to stick my neck out here and say that it seems to me that the Aussie behaviour is a reflection on society - as families crumble, behaviour gets worse.

  • Kr on November 9, 2008, 12:06 GMT

    You missed out a few more about Bucknor from the 03-04 Aus tour -- mocking as Dravid came to bat (after the sugar saliva stuff), the atrocious decision(s?) against Tendulkar. Ask audtiors, appearances matter for independence!

    Referees also have problems. Lloyd (from Guyana, with its history of racial tensions [Indian vs. African descent]) criticizing Ganguly in a paper - can you really expect him to be fair after that? The well-known (ask SL players) problems with Broad mixing with Aus players but not Asians, the Denness controversy, etc. In general, Asian (and Indians in particular) players get far more harshly penalized for the same type of offense than white players - see Wasim Akram's comments (I can give chapter and verse, but there is a character limit here in posting).

    By the way, pre-Border I always cheered Aus except when they played India. No longer, after they have trashed the game with all the verbal stuff.

  • Aditya Mookerjee on November 9, 2008, 12:02 GMT

    This is very true. It is insanity, to think that Bucknor is out to get at Team India. If he is, I would like to know the reason.

  • falseprophet on November 9, 2008, 11:40 GMT

    Bang on!! there is an underlying prejudice and more people have been noticing it, so it is not just me then! Remember bucknor's lip smacking gesture way back when dravid walked in to bat, would he have done that if ponting was walking in to face harbhajan or Ishant. Strangely, even though there is no love lost between Indian and Aussie cricketers, you have not mentioned that the umpires giving us the most grief have been English[Benson,Broad],one West Indian and that guy dennis[do not know his nationality but I know he is not australian].

  • Mina Anand on November 9, 2008, 10:53 GMT

    Notwithstanding any Laws of Cricket in force,or any other Code of Behaviour,the Aussies have a right to "play hard cricket" (read offensive behaviour)and the umpires and the match referees shall uphold this 'spirit'.

    The golden rule of interpretation of the laws of cricket:

    Strict construction-go strictly by the letter of the law when it comes to the Asians and the West Indians.For example-Definition of "Abusive behaviour" to include the slightest misdemeanour.

    Liberal or beneficent construction-give the benefit of the doubt or -abusive behaviour is dismissed as "letting off frustration"- when it comes to cricketers from the West.

    The real offenders of the 'spirit of the game' and of "bringing the game into disrepute"- have hardly ever been caught.(And ironically,they feel 'let down'- by impartial judgements).

    The Ricky Pontings,Shane Watsons and Symonds's, get off with mere apologies - or at the most a measly fine. No wonder their 'records' are almost 'spotless'.

  • Mina Anand on November 9, 2008, 10:47 GMT

    A 'level' playing field?

    Behaviour that does not bring the game into disrepute?

    * A Ricky Ponting can glower and shake his head and fists, and mouth profanities at the umpires all the way back to the pavilion . That's called "letting off frustration" not "letting the side down."

    * The same "Punter" can launch a frontal attack on the umpire - questioning the decisions arguing and gesticulating wildly - that's called "leading from the front".

    * A Shane Watson can use obscenities and threaten to elbow - but it is a Gambhir who is elbowed out.

    * A McGrath can hurl both abuse and the ball at the batsmen - that's called being an aggressive fast bowler.

    * A Michael Clarke, clearly caught in the slips, stands blatantly entrenched - that's called 'digging in there'.

    The familiar Aussie refrain: We play the game 'hard' but 'fair'! Fairly hard to swallow ! But - some match referees find this easy to digest.

  • Sharad on November 9, 2008, 8:36 GMT

    What needs to be understood is that the anger only shows up against Australia. This is because in the past and even in elbowgate - the Aussies get away easy (with the apparent connivance of the authorities?). ICC is toothless, which has been as apparent in McGrath getting away in West Indies, the constant sledging during Waugh's time. In controversies with Indian players Aussie players also seem to get away with lighter penalties.

    In elbowgate are you telling me that Watson was entirely in the clean when he stood in the way instead of at least try to get out of the way.

    Now to come courtesies and sensitivities. Australian and other players need to understand that Indian players have different sensibilities. Swearing off at one's mom with the B word and other such "sledging" is not acceptable to the Indian player. If you persist you will hear back as good as you give, in the Indian way where they may not insult your mom or wife but just as effective from the Indian point of view.

  • Judas on November 9, 2008, 8:34 GMT

    Valid point but I do wish you'd analysed this matter further; there must be a multitude of reasons for this. Deep-rooted prejudices are merely masked in multi-cultural environments such as modern sport, never erased. And even if the prejudices go, the easily digestible conclusion that they're still present doesn't.

    I'm sure you'll get a lot of Australian and Indian fans trashing each other and you in response to this article; me, I'm just going to enjoy the final test which is building up to a magnificent climax. India is 164/5 at the moment and I hope we see a thrilling finale to this with Australia chasing around 350 or so and either just falling short (which I'll be hoping for as an Indian) or just achieving.

  • Ian on November 9, 2008, 8:00 GMT

    I see wgere you're coming from, but seriously, does one really take these isolated incidents into consideration? Before the Sydney tes, in Melbourne, Yuvraj Singh was out twice before given out. In Perth, India had more dubious umpiring deceisions in their favour than Ausralia had in Sydney.If really want to see how much the on-field umpires in favour of India, look no further than the series in Sri lanka, where if it hadnt been for the referral-system, all the 'wrong deceisions' that had gone in India's favour would have stayed and India might have actually won the series. Even here in India, Australia got a few rough deceisions in the first test. In the Mohali test, Saurav Ganguly was actually stumped but the on-field umpire never referred to the third umpire. He went on to score a hundred...and India won. We didnt hear any Australians complaining about the umpiring of Asad Rauf or Aleem Daar or anyone else or suggesting that they might have been bribed. SO mate, grow up and get real

  • Ian on November 9, 2008, 8:00 GMT

    I see wgere you're coming from, but seriously, does one really take these isolated incidents into consideration? Before the Sydney tes, in Melbourne, Yuvraj Singh was out twice before given out. In Perth, India had more dubious umpiring deceisions in their favour than Ausralia had in Sydney.If really want to see how much the on-field umpires in favour of India, look no further than the series in Sri lanka, where if it hadnt been for the referral-system, all the 'wrong deceisions' that had gone in India's favour would have stayed and India might have actually won the series. Even here in India, Australia got a few rough deceisions in the first test. In the Mohali test, Saurav Ganguly was actually stumped but the on-field umpire never referred to the third umpire. He went on to score a hundred...and India won. We didnt hear any Australians complaining about the umpiring of Asad Rauf or Aleem Daar or anyone else or suggesting that they might have been bribed. SO mate, grow up and get real

  • GMD on November 9, 2008, 7:33 GMT

    So the world is not out to get the Indians. Only the non-Asian umpires are out to get them instead. And you had to go back 7 years to get one example. Come on, get real

  • Mohsin on November 9, 2008, 6:49 GMT

    Good article. But why isnt your blog reader-freindly for mobile users

  • Raghavan on November 9, 2008, 6:48 GMT

    Fully agree. The colonial rule of the POMS continue through the ICC. I am angry about the ICC and I propose that it should be abolished and we should go back to bi-laterals. Let us see the performance of ICC. Ever seen Procter, Broad, Madugalle, Lloyd pull up an English or Aussie captain over slow bowling rates? Ever seen any of the umpires pull up an Aussie for abusive and foul language? Ever seen the objective commentators like Chappell, Border, Nicholas, et.al. complain that Aussies are not punished about anything, e.g, even after the judges (Roy-gate) criticised them. In the meanwhile they demand Ganguly, Ranatunga, Harbhajan, Gambhir and now Dhoni to be banned because they perform well against Aussies.

    Shame on you ICC, the umpires and commentators. You forgot the game is televised and we see as much as you see. Hope you get a good night sleep everyday, with your guilty conscience. That is making an assumption that you do have a conscience

  • Rishi Ferrari on November 9, 2008, 6:24 GMT

    Absolutely agree with the writer. Glad someone brought it out now. I am sure it was in the back of every Indian's mind

  • Mina Anand on November 9, 2008, 6:14 GMT

    As a very keen follower of the game, and as a ‘crying myself hoarse’ (along with Sunny Gavaskar !) over the ‘two-sets-of-rules application’ prevalent in the cricketing world, I have gone to town on this topic, elsewhere. “A level playing field ?” is my thesis on the subject – and the link to this dissertation is : http://cricket.ndtv.com/cricket/ndtvcricket/ausind08/news_story.aspx?ID=COLEN20080071293&keyword=opinion Kindly note that I am not, repeat not, using this forum to publicise my piece, but to bring to readers’ notice the very real danger, of the double standards in cricket. I had actually conceived and written this article, a couple of years back !

  • Nikhil on November 9, 2008, 6:14 GMT

    Well said. Notice how Katich never got any stick for questioning Aleem Dar over his LBW. It still seems that asian umpires seem reluctant to report Aussie players. Living in Australia and reading their media makes me appreicate how one sided their own reporting is. Worst still, they mix up the Indian team with the BCCI and can't give credit where it is due. I am always amazed at the aggression and hostility the Aussies get away with on the field and then give you all the guff about how they leave it on the field. Hasn't seemed to stop Ponting, Gilly or Roy from rehashing that old story again. Justice Hansen exposed them all under his questioning. Now they won't let it go.

  • kg on November 9, 2008, 4:27 GMT

    Not a bad insight but there's more to the matter. You merely scratched the surface.

  • Longmemory on November 9, 2008, 4:26 GMT

    A very thoughtful and sensitive piece. I'm mostly in agreement with the views here, with one addition. I think some part of the over-sensitivity of the Indian fan (or his "anger" as you put it) undoubtedly comes from the infrequency with which we excel in sports. Lets face it, our ranking in the sporting world is on a par with our ranking in the UNDP economic well-being ladder. This really grates a middle class which is well-educated, articulate, and desperate for validation through sports, especially cricket. For the average Aussie or Brit or Kiwi, if cricket isn't going well, you just switch allegiance to footer or rugby or tennis or whatever. For us, too much of our sense of self-worth hinges on the performance of the cricket team. Not only does this put an enormous pressure on the cricketers, it also makes the average India fan suspect everyone's out to get them - and sometimes they are!

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  • Longmemory on November 9, 2008, 4:26 GMT

    A very thoughtful and sensitive piece. I'm mostly in agreement with the views here, with one addition. I think some part of the over-sensitivity of the Indian fan (or his "anger" as you put it) undoubtedly comes from the infrequency with which we excel in sports. Lets face it, our ranking in the sporting world is on a par with our ranking in the UNDP economic well-being ladder. This really grates a middle class which is well-educated, articulate, and desperate for validation through sports, especially cricket. For the average Aussie or Brit or Kiwi, if cricket isn't going well, you just switch allegiance to footer or rugby or tennis or whatever. For us, too much of our sense of self-worth hinges on the performance of the cricket team. Not only does this put an enormous pressure on the cricketers, it also makes the average India fan suspect everyone's out to get them - and sometimes they are!

  • kg on November 9, 2008, 4:27 GMT

    Not a bad insight but there's more to the matter. You merely scratched the surface.

  • Nikhil on November 9, 2008, 6:14 GMT

    Well said. Notice how Katich never got any stick for questioning Aleem Dar over his LBW. It still seems that asian umpires seem reluctant to report Aussie players. Living in Australia and reading their media makes me appreicate how one sided their own reporting is. Worst still, they mix up the Indian team with the BCCI and can't give credit where it is due. I am always amazed at the aggression and hostility the Aussies get away with on the field and then give you all the guff about how they leave it on the field. Hasn't seemed to stop Ponting, Gilly or Roy from rehashing that old story again. Justice Hansen exposed them all under his questioning. Now they won't let it go.

  • Mina Anand on November 9, 2008, 6:14 GMT

    As a very keen follower of the game, and as a ‘crying myself hoarse’ (along with Sunny Gavaskar !) over the ‘two-sets-of-rules application’ prevalent in the cricketing world, I have gone to town on this topic, elsewhere. “A level playing field ?” is my thesis on the subject – and the link to this dissertation is : http://cricket.ndtv.com/cricket/ndtvcricket/ausind08/news_story.aspx?ID=COLEN20080071293&keyword=opinion Kindly note that I am not, repeat not, using this forum to publicise my piece, but to bring to readers’ notice the very real danger, of the double standards in cricket. I had actually conceived and written this article, a couple of years back !

  • Rishi Ferrari on November 9, 2008, 6:24 GMT

    Absolutely agree with the writer. Glad someone brought it out now. I am sure it was in the back of every Indian's mind

  • Raghavan on November 9, 2008, 6:48 GMT

    Fully agree. The colonial rule of the POMS continue through the ICC. I am angry about the ICC and I propose that it should be abolished and we should go back to bi-laterals. Let us see the performance of ICC. Ever seen Procter, Broad, Madugalle, Lloyd pull up an English or Aussie captain over slow bowling rates? Ever seen any of the umpires pull up an Aussie for abusive and foul language? Ever seen the objective commentators like Chappell, Border, Nicholas, et.al. complain that Aussies are not punished about anything, e.g, even after the judges (Roy-gate) criticised them. In the meanwhile they demand Ganguly, Ranatunga, Harbhajan, Gambhir and now Dhoni to be banned because they perform well against Aussies.

    Shame on you ICC, the umpires and commentators. You forgot the game is televised and we see as much as you see. Hope you get a good night sleep everyday, with your guilty conscience. That is making an assumption that you do have a conscience

  • Mohsin on November 9, 2008, 6:49 GMT

    Good article. But why isnt your blog reader-freindly for mobile users

  • GMD on November 9, 2008, 7:33 GMT

    So the world is not out to get the Indians. Only the non-Asian umpires are out to get them instead. And you had to go back 7 years to get one example. Come on, get real

  • Ian on November 9, 2008, 8:00 GMT

    I see wgere you're coming from, but seriously, does one really take these isolated incidents into consideration? Before the Sydney tes, in Melbourne, Yuvraj Singh was out twice before given out. In Perth, India had more dubious umpiring deceisions in their favour than Ausralia had in Sydney.If really want to see how much the on-field umpires in favour of India, look no further than the series in Sri lanka, where if it hadnt been for the referral-system, all the 'wrong deceisions' that had gone in India's favour would have stayed and India might have actually won the series. Even here in India, Australia got a few rough deceisions in the first test. In the Mohali test, Saurav Ganguly was actually stumped but the on-field umpire never referred to the third umpire. He went on to score a hundred...and India won. We didnt hear any Australians complaining about the umpiring of Asad Rauf or Aleem Daar or anyone else or suggesting that they might have been bribed. SO mate, grow up and get real

  • Ian on November 9, 2008, 8:00 GMT

    I see wgere you're coming from, but seriously, does one really take these isolated incidents into consideration? Before the Sydney tes, in Melbourne, Yuvraj Singh was out twice before given out. In Perth, India had more dubious umpiring deceisions in their favour than Ausralia had in Sydney.If really want to see how much the on-field umpires in favour of India, look no further than the series in Sri lanka, where if it hadnt been for the referral-system, all the 'wrong deceisions' that had gone in India's favour would have stayed and India might have actually won the series. Even here in India, Australia got a few rough deceisions in the first test. In the Mohali test, Saurav Ganguly was actually stumped but the on-field umpire never referred to the third umpire. He went on to score a hundred...and India won. We didnt hear any Australians complaining about the umpiring of Asad Rauf or Aleem Daar or anyone else or suggesting that they might have been bribed. SO mate, grow up and get real