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Australia captain Michael Clarke, who many believe to be the only man in the present set-up capable of subduing the chaos surrounding his side, has not minced words while writing about the errant behavior of David Warner in his column for Australia's Telegraph.
I've always been big on celebrating success. That has always been a great part of Australia's culture. It is tough to win international cricket matches and when you do you must savour the moment to soak up what it means.
But if you haven't got a reason to celebrate you shouldn't be out at 2.30am and you shouldn't be drinking with the opposition who have just beaten you.
For many people, there are few things that matter more in life than brownie points with one's mother, and with the help of Sri Lankan comedian Jehan Ranatunga, Mahela Jayawardene has marketed a charity concert he is supporting as the ultimate way to earn Amma (mother) points. The youtube clip posted on January 31 has Jayawardene providing 10 tips on how to butter up mumsy, including comparing your mother's cooking favourably with other mothers' fare, fixing computers for your mother's friends, and dancing with your mother at weddings. Proceeds from the Ignite charity concert in Colombo on February 2 will go to the Maharagama Cancer Hospital.
Unsurprisingly, the other half of cricket's greatest bromance is doing pretty much the same thing around the same time. Kumar Sangakkara is teaming up with classical crooners The De Lanerolle brothers for a show supporting Sangakkara's Bikes for Life campaign - which provides bicycles to children in rural areas so they can attend school - as well as the Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind. Rumour is that sadly, Sangakkara won't be singing, but if a healthy donation is on the line, you never know.
Chris Gayle's uninhibited celebration dance after the World Twenty20 win, which featured moves from the global hit 'Gangnam style', has inspired a dance artist, Zinga, in Jamaica to create the 'Chris Gayle cover drive' dance. According to Zinga, who is also a former cricketer and Gayle's friend, the new dance is influenced by Gayle's original moves as well as the Gangnam video. The video will be shot when Gayle returns from the Bangladesh tour and will also feature Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Wavell Hinds and Daren Powell. Zinga has some more moves in the pipeline - 'Nah laugh wid dem' for Samuels and 'Wave dem' for Hinds.
Whats more, Gayle is also expected to sing the song for the promotion of the video before he leaves for the Bangladesh tour. Watch out Bangladesh, Gayle could dazzle you with more than just his bat.
Mark Butcher, Surrey legend and former England player, points out the impracticalities of spirit of cricket in All Out Cricket. Cricket and life, he writes, teach harsh lessons. Stupidity should be no defence in either
Cricket has always had its own sense of morality - a gentleman's code if you will. I recall the quaint practice of 'clapping in' the new batsman. Lovely on the surface of course; but the seven-year-old Michael Holding in me had thoughts of rearranging the poor unfortunate's new dental work. Cricket - like the world in which it is set - has a brutal beauty and is governed by law and order. For the most part!
I conclude that the Spirit of Cricket is a commendable notion but is not without significant flaws in its interpretation. The Laws of cricket are comprehensive and most of the recent wrangles have come about because of a lack of understanding of such Laws, as opposed to massive breaches of some unrealistic utopian code.
When a team wins as much as Steve Waugh's Australia did, you can't really question their captain's strategies. But Kieren Perkins, Australia's Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer, doesn't quite believe in Waugh's famed 'mental disintegration' tactics, and has said as much.
Waugh and Perkins, both athlete liaison officers who are involved in the mental conditioning of Australia's athletes at the Games in London, voiced their contradictory views at Australian Olympic Committee press briefing on Saturday.
"There's always a role for sledging," Waugh said. "Cricket is a bit different to most sports because you're out in the field for seven hours, but most of the sports here [at the Olympics] are a lot shorter than that. [But] I'm sure there are mind games, body language, the way you carry yourself, which can have a huge effect on your opponents."
Perkins disagreed: "The people doing the sledging aren't good enough, so they have to find other ways to slow the rest of us down. Those of us that are good enough couldn't care less, we just get on with it. There's not much sledging at all, there's no time."
Maybe that's an instance of mental disintegration for Waugh to contend with right there.
Two days after Tony Greig appealed to the BCCI to abandon self interest and "embrace the spirit of cricket”, and editorial on Cricket Couch, states that Greig’s lecture drove an additional wedge in to an already polarized cricket world.
There was a larger point to the lecture delivered but was undermined by the contradictions, sweeping generalizations, blanket statements and factual inaccuracies that formed the edifice on which a very valid point resided. The lecture did not advance the discussion on the current state of affairs within cricket but instead drove an additional wedge in to an already polarized cricket world. People who already had established views that aligned with the general theme of the lecture felt emboldened that a speaker at such a magnificent platform was taking up their cause, and those who began the day thinking that the speaker had an axe to grind would have walked away from it with their notions reaffirmed.
Vic Marks, writing in the Guardian, says that Greig’s analysis that India must put aside its self-interest for the greater good of the game, is in stark contrast to what he did in his own career, by signing for World Series Cricket to better his own self-interest.
He explained that one of his reasons for aligning himself with Packer was to secure the future for himself and his family. Clearly self-interest was a significant factor. Yet here he was beseeching India to put aside self-interest – or at least immediate financial gain – for the greater good of the game. In simple terms Greig's analysis was this: that India holds the future of the game in the palm of her hands. Everything hinged on India's willingness to apply the "spirit of cricket" and to make some financial sacrifices along the way, a simple analysis but also an alarming one.
In Dambulla, Suraj Randiv was slapped with a one-match suspension for bowling an intentional no-ball under instruction from a senior player; at Lord's, England captain Andrew Strauss hardly drew attention for standing his ground after getting a healthy edge against Wahab Riaz. Doug Saxby in cricket365.com points out that the contrasting reactions to the two incidents highlight the inconsistency in the way the spirit of cricket is perceived.
The ICC reportedly intervened to put pressure on the Sri Lankan Board to apologise after Sehwag was left stranded on 99. They have conveniently stayed mum on Strauss and England's recent abuse of the referral system. There is a thing called gamesmanship and a thing called sportsmanship. It's a fine line between the two and incidents in London and Dambulla this week have highlighted just how unclear that line is.