February 2, 2010

Australia must get its house in order

Cricket Australia ought to consider banning alcohol at matches. It has gone well beyond a joke
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Australia needs to start addressing the real issues. Indian students killed in Melbourne, Pakistanis assaulted on the field in Perth, blazing headlines around the world, a nation's reputation dragged into the mud, and never mind that the PM is fluent in Cantonese and that many settlers from Africa and the Punjab and elsewhere are as happy as mankind can be. It cannot continue, in cricket or outside.

Cricket is no better or worse than the world it inhabits. Australia has many fine people and fine things, not least the ability to get on with life come hell or high water and look every man in the eye. However, our country also has a dark side that includes a racism that cannot be denied and a fondness for grog that goes beyond taste. A lot of people drink not for pleasure but for the stories told next day. Indeed, drunkenness is glorified. What else is Schoolies Week?

Cricket inhabits a fraught and fractured world, and every nation needs to be on guard. Australia is not alone in its dubious elements but it has a powerful voice and a strong team, and so tends to attract both high praise and harsh censure. Moreover, it is a predominantly Anglo-Saxon nation, and needs to be mindful that other countries spent hundreds of years under the yoke and have emerged with acute sensitivities. And every nation has its pride, especially those whose spirit was long suppressed. Cricket is not played by Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

All the more reason for Australian cricket to put its house in order. Even the attacks on the Indians in Melbourne required a response. After all, India is a close friend, war ally, trading partner and respected cricketing rival. For that matter, it is Australia's best-loved opponent. Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid are often greeted hereabouts with sustained ovations that take them by surprise and tell of a country friendlier than it seems.

It's no use Australians pointing out that the Indian students have been attacked by small gangs of malcontents or that they are also assaulted in Durban, or that Indians themselves are far from perfect, or that most Australians are hospitable. The attacks happen, make headlines, reinforce a caricature and need to be confronted. Shane Warne had the right idea. Australians cricketers ought to become messengers of peace and harmony. And the same applies to Indian cricketers. They cannot sit back and watch the game implode.

Strong action needs to be taken against all racism. Recently, a Canadian school banned its own team for the rest of the season after racist remarks were made by its players. Australia needs to avoid defensive thinking and make tolerance a national asset. Cricket Australia has taken steps in that direction at home and abroad, and the game is becoming more diverse. But for an injury Usman Khawaja might have been taken to New Zealand next month - he is an excellent batsman and popular young man. However, CA remains a bastion of old white males, and that needs to change.

CA ought not to tiptoe around the issue. Many of us have complained about the fuss made about minor matters such as beach balls. Behind the wheel and in sporting crowds, hot-headed young males are the problem.

As far as the immediate incident in Perth is concerned, the issues are both national and local. Night matches invite drinking and its aftermath. Everyone knows it's not safe to drink and drive. The truth is, though, it's not safe to drink and do anything. CA ought to consider banning alcohol at matches. It has gone well beyond a joke.

Nor can the WACA escape retribution. By all accounts, it omits to apply the safety codes advised by CA. In that case, it does not deserve to stage any matches under CA's auspices. Plain and simple, the attack on the Pakistanis was dangerous, and insufficient steps were taken to prevent it. Heads rolled when Delhi provided a rotten pitch. Heads ought to roll after incidents of this sort.

By the same token, Pakistan or India cannot complain too long about these matters. At such times it is wise to ignore the stirrers on television, radio or in politics, and every nation has them as well. Better to chart a path forwards than to pour oil on troubled waters. Cricketers do not go to Pakistan because a team was attacked and players were almost killed. A few drunks in Perth are bad but not to be compared to terrorists.

As the strongest cricket nation in the world, with a sturdy structure and a large pool of superb players, Australia has a wonderful chance to lead the way towards the respect between races and religions that has long been the primary aim of the broad-minded. To that end, Australia needs to confront not the event but the cause, not other nations but itself. As far as drink and race are concerned, CA ought to be pro-active not reactive. Meanwhile Pakistan can be given an apology, a warm welcome in Melbourne and a promise that the authorities in Perth will be called to account.

This article has been reproduced with permission from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Peter Roebuck is a former captain of Somerset and the author, most recently, of In It to Win It

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • NAP73 on February 3, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    Typical Roebuck rubbish. Exaggeration with no substance. There are problems in all countries, including racism. About time the tall poppy syndrome went on to India as well, regardless of the centre of cricket power and PR being there. If you start fencing people in here, spectators will no longer attend and cricket will start losing out on its current position of strong interest. We have a different heritage here. Just introduce higher fines first and thereaten state cricket authorities (WA for one) with not seeing any further games held there if they won't cooperate.

  • ankush_246 on February 3, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    The issue about this article is that do not compare Drunk australians to Terrorists, What would be the case if tommorrow someone brings in a knife and stab someone.. or even this tackle could have caused him to die. There is no streaking in India or Pakistan during international matched as they do not allow alcohol during games and and to tackle the issues in past, Indians have already done well enough to put nets so people can't throw stuff. So don't blame Indians of being same as these drunk people

  • Browndog1968 on February 3, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    No doubt the goodie two shoes running this nanny country will eventually ban grog at cricket venues, footy venues and the like, just like our parks and beaches and once again an extremely small minority will have spoiled it for the vast majority. Most people are reasonable with their drinking and the the only result is a huge increase in the 'atmosphere' of the place. No Peter, Australia, contrary to what the rest of the cricket world thinks, does not carry the burden of all that is good and right about the game, it is a joint responsibility. Other countries have for too long lambasted Aussie cricket and its cricketers and condoned their own for similar conduct offences. I wonder what the cricket world would have made of it if Ponting had of taken a bite out of a cricket ball?

  • VicDoc on February 3, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    Boooooooooring. Roebuck has sunk lower than before. I read a couple of lines and knew where the rest of article was headed. It's almost become a norm to pander to the Indian cricket team, anything remotely related to it and the gargantuan system that feeds off it. I doubt whether Roebuck really cares about the Pakistani cricketers. He has just used that link to weave together unrelated facts and sensationalize an article. I am an Indian and find such articles amusing.

  • TamperedBalls on February 3, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    I hope the person responsible is caned on the buttocks.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on February 3, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    What's with all these Aussies attacking PR? Let's read beyond the words and get a grip of what he's actually saying. Security is a concern today more than before, so if it's going to be perimeter fencing and/or alcohol ban, so be it. More importantly, as the stage and stakes are bigger and when there's more money into showing support, hooliganism is bound to set in and one need not look beyond soccer to see the trend in mass popular sports. There's tons of truth on Aussie racism and their 'living in denial'. All one that has to do is to look at the sheer number of crimes against Indians in Australia and the way it has shot up from the previous years. Does anybody here care to put up the numbers and get a reality check? How is a Aussie pitch invader a clown, while a few Indian fans (of the several tens of thousands) caricaturing a monkey not clowninsh? In fact it was the Aussie media that made an issue of it! And before you guys say "oh those Indians", hold a mirror and look at it!

  • crickethistory on February 3, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    A reasonably well-balanced article. However, this incident in Perth was probably driven by alcohol rather than racism. Like Ricky Ponting I was sickened by this incident. Fortunately this field invader was nothing more than a drunken clown. And fortunately he was not armed with any weapon such as knife. What annoyed me was that the security failed by letting this drunk get to the player. I realise that most people drink responsibly, however I do agree with Mr Roebuck that CA should consider banning alcohol at matches. Yes, this is a big statement and yes it may reduce crowd numbers. However, it will only take one serious act of drunken stupidity to tarnish Australias cricketing reputation. In Perth nothing serious eventuated out of the tackle, but had the player been injured then the cricketing world would have concerns about safety at Australian grounds. I had been going to games at the Gabba for over 25 years. Now I no longer go because I am sick of people spilling beer all over me.

  • Thump on February 3, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    So well informed. The PM speaks Mandarin (Putonghua) not Cantonese. Perhaps to Mr. Roebuck "they all sound alike".

  • raghavaussiecombine on February 3, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    Really, Mr. Roebuck? I am not sure what you have against Aussie cricket. Anything they do seems to be wrong. I cannot understand how this pitch invasion by one person has become an 'attack on pak. player'. I am not sure if the invader had a enmity towards Latif, and Latif did not have a great day. It was simply the case of first-player-in-the-path. Now don't go and tie up this to racism. Have you forgotten the Eden gardens WC semi-final '96? I dont think the spectators were drunk then.

  • Smithie on February 3, 2010, 4:22 GMT

    Spanky's (look up Roebuck and his brush with the English law at Taunton ) pious, and long standing anti Australian rhetoric in cricketing matters is legend. When are you going to condemn Afridi's attempted dental disintegration, support Daryl Hair for upholding the Laws of Cricket and comment on Bedi's evaluation that Harbhajan is a CHUKKER ? (Times of India article of today) and that the doorsra cannot be delivered within the law. How about just for once you fall on the side of the laws of cricket and write an article that actually analyses the pattern of sustained Sub Continental attempts to bend the rules.

  • NAP73 on February 3, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    Typical Roebuck rubbish. Exaggeration with no substance. There are problems in all countries, including racism. About time the tall poppy syndrome went on to India as well, regardless of the centre of cricket power and PR being there. If you start fencing people in here, spectators will no longer attend and cricket will start losing out on its current position of strong interest. We have a different heritage here. Just introduce higher fines first and thereaten state cricket authorities (WA for one) with not seeing any further games held there if they won't cooperate.

  • ankush_246 on February 3, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    The issue about this article is that do not compare Drunk australians to Terrorists, What would be the case if tommorrow someone brings in a knife and stab someone.. or even this tackle could have caused him to die. There is no streaking in India or Pakistan during international matched as they do not allow alcohol during games and and to tackle the issues in past, Indians have already done well enough to put nets so people can't throw stuff. So don't blame Indians of being same as these drunk people

  • Browndog1968 on February 3, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    No doubt the goodie two shoes running this nanny country will eventually ban grog at cricket venues, footy venues and the like, just like our parks and beaches and once again an extremely small minority will have spoiled it for the vast majority. Most people are reasonable with their drinking and the the only result is a huge increase in the 'atmosphere' of the place. No Peter, Australia, contrary to what the rest of the cricket world thinks, does not carry the burden of all that is good and right about the game, it is a joint responsibility. Other countries have for too long lambasted Aussie cricket and its cricketers and condoned their own for similar conduct offences. I wonder what the cricket world would have made of it if Ponting had of taken a bite out of a cricket ball?

  • VicDoc on February 3, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    Boooooooooring. Roebuck has sunk lower than before. I read a couple of lines and knew where the rest of article was headed. It's almost become a norm to pander to the Indian cricket team, anything remotely related to it and the gargantuan system that feeds off it. I doubt whether Roebuck really cares about the Pakistani cricketers. He has just used that link to weave together unrelated facts and sensationalize an article. I am an Indian and find such articles amusing.

  • TamperedBalls on February 3, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    I hope the person responsible is caned on the buttocks.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on February 3, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    What's with all these Aussies attacking PR? Let's read beyond the words and get a grip of what he's actually saying. Security is a concern today more than before, so if it's going to be perimeter fencing and/or alcohol ban, so be it. More importantly, as the stage and stakes are bigger and when there's more money into showing support, hooliganism is bound to set in and one need not look beyond soccer to see the trend in mass popular sports. There's tons of truth on Aussie racism and their 'living in denial'. All one that has to do is to look at the sheer number of crimes against Indians in Australia and the way it has shot up from the previous years. Does anybody here care to put up the numbers and get a reality check? How is a Aussie pitch invader a clown, while a few Indian fans (of the several tens of thousands) caricaturing a monkey not clowninsh? In fact it was the Aussie media that made an issue of it! And before you guys say "oh those Indians", hold a mirror and look at it!

  • crickethistory on February 3, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    A reasonably well-balanced article. However, this incident in Perth was probably driven by alcohol rather than racism. Like Ricky Ponting I was sickened by this incident. Fortunately this field invader was nothing more than a drunken clown. And fortunately he was not armed with any weapon such as knife. What annoyed me was that the security failed by letting this drunk get to the player. I realise that most people drink responsibly, however I do agree with Mr Roebuck that CA should consider banning alcohol at matches. Yes, this is a big statement and yes it may reduce crowd numbers. However, it will only take one serious act of drunken stupidity to tarnish Australias cricketing reputation. In Perth nothing serious eventuated out of the tackle, but had the player been injured then the cricketing world would have concerns about safety at Australian grounds. I had been going to games at the Gabba for over 25 years. Now I no longer go because I am sick of people spilling beer all over me.

  • Thump on February 3, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    So well informed. The PM speaks Mandarin (Putonghua) not Cantonese. Perhaps to Mr. Roebuck "they all sound alike".

  • raghavaussiecombine on February 3, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    Really, Mr. Roebuck? I am not sure what you have against Aussie cricket. Anything they do seems to be wrong. I cannot understand how this pitch invasion by one person has become an 'attack on pak. player'. I am not sure if the invader had a enmity towards Latif, and Latif did not have a great day. It was simply the case of first-player-in-the-path. Now don't go and tie up this to racism. Have you forgotten the Eden gardens WC semi-final '96? I dont think the spectators were drunk then.

  • Smithie on February 3, 2010, 4:22 GMT

    Spanky's (look up Roebuck and his brush with the English law at Taunton ) pious, and long standing anti Australian rhetoric in cricketing matters is legend. When are you going to condemn Afridi's attempted dental disintegration, support Daryl Hair for upholding the Laws of Cricket and comment on Bedi's evaluation that Harbhajan is a CHUKKER ? (Times of India article of today) and that the doorsra cannot be delivered within the law. How about just for once you fall on the side of the laws of cricket and write an article that actually analyses the pattern of sustained Sub Continental attempts to bend the rules.

  • hornet18 on February 3, 2010, 4:21 GMT

    Here we go again Peter Roebuck building mountains from molehills - no one does it better. This is more a bitter rant than an "article". Try as you might Mr Roebuck the attacks on Indians have no relationship to that guy running onto the WACA. You are a cricket writer not a philosopher or social commentator. This almost beats (but not quite) the mind boggling rant you had at Ricky Ponting a couple of years ago. I honestly wonder why you chose to live here!

  • knowledge_eater on February 3, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    Well, it is very hard to explain that we (humans) are 99% genetically similar, and try to eliminate Racism from world. However, it is very hard to accept that our few great^n grandparents have poison their few grandchildren, and people are passing on successfully. Generation by generation. Not only by uneducated family by very high educated family as well. However, I always thought it can be eliminated by only two authorities one is gov't (which is tied by lot of factors so can do less) and another Media. Well, gov't can do by educating their people like hey look these people have helped our country by coming here (by showing immigration GDP booster) and by Media like you have(Mr.Peter) sharing ideas, truth, approach to point out problems. By far this was the boldest of your article. Even after reading your article there is whole bunch of group trying to defend what their great grandparents have told them. I know its difficult to eliminate ignorance, but hey aren't we in the 2010 !!

  • Copernicus on February 3, 2010, 2:30 GMT

    Hmm....a rather disappointing article, Mr. Roebuck. Other than your hyperbole and medieval archer-like longbow, it seems you never bothered with any form of research. Not only does Denmark have quite a decent cricketing tradition (and as has been mentioned I'm sure you yourself were dismissed by the wonderful Ole Mortensen), but Prime Minister Rudd is actually fluent in Mandarin. That staggering oversight rather sums up your lazy approach to this article.

  • fairdinkum on February 3, 2010, 2:10 GMT

    More grandstanding by Peter Roebuck seeking succour with his international audience. Ban alcohol, put up barbed wire fences, perhaps even neuter those pesky young males that are the problem, then link this incident with racism, terrorism and every other social or political evil and you have stuff to suit all readers. Really, Peter, your waist belt is up under your armpits.

  • finncam on February 3, 2010, 1:44 GMT

    Another histrionic Roebuck piece. Writes like a 15 year old schoolgirl, panders to his own inflated ego (and the Indian media) at the expense of truth or moderation. He knows who is buttering his bread, alright! As he well knows, Pakistani cricketers are very popular in Australia and have a good relationship with both fans and players. This unusual incident was booze-driven but had no malicious intent - and the Pakistani team understood that, which is why they made no fuss. Trust Roebuck to start grandstanding for attention! Recent attacks on Indians in Melbourne have absolutely nothing to do with it, nor Norway. As for "blazing headlines" - I suggest Peter gets out of his own little box a bit more and read the real news, and broaden his own perspective. And by the way, three of the past four attacks of Indians, including two murders and a pretense at being set on fire, have been by their own race - something Roebuck and the Indian media prefer to turn a blind eye to.a

  • eminem on February 3, 2010, 1:39 GMT

    This is an excellent article. Peter keeps coming with articles that no normal journalist would everr venture into, let alone getting the idea. He always hits the nail on the head, and doesnt sugarcoat words. He calls a spade a spade and thats gr8. Now coming back to the issue of drunkiness; we are I believe in the process of testing out balls (pun intended) for day night test cricket. I wonder whats going to happen to the drunkards out on a test night. Would they be drinking more than usual, sleep back at the stadium, or drive back home killing some innocent night worker on the road? I see common sense doesnt prevail in some major decisions in this country, and I fail to understand why.Is somebody listening?

  • Ozbuck on February 3, 2010, 0:54 GMT

    Mr. Roebuck. It was ONE Pakistani not "Pakistanis". Please, as a journalist writing Emglish, check your tenses. Now, Mr. Perfect who left England, how does one incident at cricket be so significant that I and tens of thousands cannot sit in a grandstand enjoying the low alcohol beer that is so watery that my garden plants would reject its fertilizer attributes (yeast, etc.) and enjoying the action in the middle such as Mr. Afridi eating an apple and the bowling of Mr. Asif. Mr. Roebuck, I listen to your 'commentary' on ABC radio and sometimes I am at a loss as to the point of your railings. Cricinfo, why do you pay Mr. Roebuck for his driveling comments. Get a cricket writer who has an agenda based on cricket not on quasi social justice pap. LenRog.

  • mercurial79 on February 3, 2010, 0:49 GMT

    This article made me cringe. Once again Mr Roebuck you have chosen to plumb the depths with another alarmist approach to a subject, with no semblance of an argument save for your obvious desire to appear to be tackling what you believe to be the roots of all evil in the game. You lost some of my respect when you called for Ponting to resign after Sydney 07/08, and haven't really gone any ways to regaining it. Stick to commentating my good man, and don't let your mind wander too much.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on February 3, 2010, 0:16 GMT

    Sigh....just raise the fences and fine the fools please. Yes racism is a problem in Aus and many other countries in the world. No I am not Anglo-anything but even I have to say that there is a bit of over-reaction here. There is enough politics and social issues to deal with in cricket already, no need to stress it everywhere necessary. Yes something needs to be done about the attacks on the Indian students, no-1 deserves such treatment. It's backward and childish but please...keep the cricket out of it. Bringing politics into sport should be an absolute last ditch solution to such things. Again, just please raise the fences, then you can think about closing off some1's tab if you think they've had too much to drink...like at the common bar.

  • Woody111 on February 3, 2010, 0:07 GMT

    It appears that the sale of liquor to thos already intoxicated never gets a mention in these circumstances. We seem to focus on individual responsibility and behaviour change which is an inefficient and unlikely mode to enact positive change. Those dispensing liquor have a responsibility - both under their license and morally speaking - to ensure intoxicated patrons are refused service. To imply that those of us who like to drink at the cricket, and would never consider invading the pitch, punching anyone or ruining someone elses' good time this is offensive.

  • Pakistralian on February 3, 2010, 0:07 GMT

    Excellent article - very balanced view and very well written.

    "Australia is not alone in its dubious elements but it has a powerful voice and a strong team, and so tends to attract both high praise and harsh censure. Moreover, it is a predominantly Anglo-Saxon nation, and needs to be mindful that other countries spent hundreds of years under the yoke and have emerged with acute sensitivities. And every nation has its pride, especially those whose spirit was long suppressed."

    Couldn't agree more. Thanks for this.

  • rustyj on February 3, 2010, 0:05 GMT

    Classic Roebuck. People who life in glass houses shouldn't throw stones mate. There is great irony in the headline alone. The hypocrisy of the guy!

  • Rooboy on February 3, 2010, 0:03 GMT

    The assault was disgraceful and, as an Australian, extremely embarrassing . Guests in our country should not be treated in such a way and, for what it is worth, the Pakistani team and fans deserve a huge apology. They should also be commended for their mature response, especially Latif himself. But I am sick of this rubbish about 'racist' attacks on Indians in Australia. Yes indian students have been assaulted and even killed in Aus. But so have many other people of all races! Of course, it is shocking that anyone of any race would be attacked, but it's insulting that when it's anyone else, it's just an assault, but when it happens to an indian, it's racism. Given that Indians make a certain percentage of the population, it follows that they will be victims to a certain percentage of attacks. I do not understand how racism can even be bought into it unless there is some analysis to indicate Indians are overrepresented in such attacks Australians have been murdered in india too

  • meursault on February 2, 2010, 23:51 GMT

    Yes, Peter, it's all linked together... now I understand: The Indian fruit picker, Ranjodh Singh, was obviously murdered by some colleagues inebriated after a big day-nighter played in where, Griffith? while this poor chap who set himself alight for a car insurance payout obviously just wanted to be able to afford some overpriced beer at the MCG. You should give up this cricket journalism: the police clearly need your sophisticated observations on criminal psychology and causation to piece together all investigations for the other tragic incidents, including the tragic and still unsolved murder of Nitin Garg. Are the guys at Cricket Australia even a suspect? Maybe that guy who ran on to the pitch in Perth should be questioned. Suffice to say there are more complex issues at play here which, as much as you might not want to admit it, don't actually relate to cricket or, for that matter, alcohol. Leave the sensationalist, non-cricket journalism to those more qualified.

  • baz_ooka on February 2, 2010, 23:37 GMT

    Peter.. Normally I am in agreement with your comments.. But I guess you have missed the whole point of going to watch a cricket match Test or One day. Have a drink and take in the proceedings.. I doubt you would get many takers for one without the other.. Guess you have been watching too many of the matches on your telly mate..

  • oz_boma on February 2, 2010, 23:35 GMT

    Typical complete overreaction again by Peter Roebuck. It's easy to sit behind a fence and just critisize isnt it?

    You are a complete tabloid journalist, pandering to the "Indian Mob".

    I note your silence on the IPL Pakistan players exclusion issue?

    Dont want to offend the BCCI / IPL ?

  • livinproof on February 2, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    Is Roebuck suggesting the assault on the Pakistani cricketer in Perth was racially motivated? Drawing parallels to an isolated instance of drunken stupidity by a fan at a cricket match, and the tragic attacks on Indian students is offensive on many levels. So is casting a damning judgement over Australia's racial tolerance on a cricket website following a drunken pitch invasion at one of their grounds. Racists often justify their prejudices (show their stupity) by using the distasteful/criminal actions of the very small minority to negatively stereotype the vast majority. As does Peter Roebuck.

  • Blownoutofproportion on February 2, 2010, 23:20 GMT

    Highly opinionated, poorly researched and self indulgent writing from Mr Roebuck again. There is still a chip on his shoulder that he has been unable to remove for a long time, and Australlia bashing seems to ease his pain somewhat. The people have spoken Mr Roebuck. The bell tolls for thee.

  • slugger1969 on February 2, 2010, 23:13 GMT

    Good God Roebuck!!!! What on earth is this rubbish!!! You really come up with some stuff don't you? How on earth are we talking about assaults on Indian students and racism from one drunken lout running onto a cricket field!! Mind-boggling!! You really do want your name in lights don't you? Alcohol bans? Perimeter fencing? Dear me. When some clown ran on the field and was barrelled over by Andrew Symonds (good job Simmo) why did you not write an article then about alcohol bans, perimeter fencing, etc. Why was that any different? Are you the racist? Are you saying that it's OK to run out and possibly assault an Australian but don't ever think of touching a Pakistani?? This is the most ridiculous piece of journalism since your rant about removing Ponting from captaincy over the Sydney test. All you have done is give the people that are happy to whinge about Australia a chance to jump on board with you and spray some condemnation. Please stop this sort of rot.

  • khan_man on February 2, 2010, 23:12 GMT

    nice article.. the point of the matter is that there is no progress or plans to stem these acts out.... I think that's what Peter is on about..

  • redneck on February 2, 2010, 23:06 GMT

    come off it peter! what happend to the aussie team in pakistan in the 80's? something about the team hiding in the dressing room while pakistan fans were throwing rocks! that is why they have fences in the sub continent! that bloke on sunday night was no doubt stupid and should get everything thats dished out to him, but he put a loose aussie rules tackle around the player. that was hardly going to cause him injury, and the pcb saying he could have easily had a knife??? well he didnt!!! if he did that would be a cause for alarm but there is a huge difference in jumping a fence drunk and stupidly tackling a player and trying to stab them! a massive difference!!! and the racism sterotype for austrlalia? its a bit rich, ive never seen a aussie crowd all join in together to make monkey chants or other racist remarks dirrected at one opposition player before but have seen in other nations! say what you want pakistani players a still safer on the field here in oz than anywhere back home!

  • Hodra99 on February 2, 2010, 23:04 GMT

    Roebuck you are a joke...any excuse you get to have a crack at the Commonwealh of Australia, you take it....and everybody else who has written a comment about this article mentioning 'attacks' on Indian students etc is way way off the mark. I do hope you are now aware one of these alleged attacks has now resulted in the Indian 'student' in question being charged for making a false police report as it is now alleged he set himself on fire trying to pull off an insurance scam? Be very very careful Mr Roebuck and others that you are SURE of your facts before attempting to discredit the friendly and fine nation of Australia. Shame on you.

  • trenta01 on February 2, 2010, 22:59 GMT

    When Andrew Symonds was clearly racially abused in India the response of CA was clearly weak and little was done to help or support Symonds perhaps leading more to his downfall than most of us will ever know. Yet here one fool does the wrong thing and the whole country gets attacked and CA must be seen kiss the PCB and BCCI on the feet. Marvellous thing to have money and power within the organistaion of cricket and leading to dual standards.

  • TamperedBalls on February 2, 2010, 22:56 GMT

    Typical hysterical response from Roebuck.

    You label it an 'attack' - when it was clearly just a drunken idiot clumsily trying to hug the Pakistani player; but, again, you overstate the situation to try and make your point.

    The problem is that CA have cracked down so heavily on what the crowd can do, that they can no longer amuse themselves during lapses in play.

    As for the rest of the article, it's basically irrelevant.

    And as for India being our 'best loved' opponent - you must be joking? They might have been a favourite a while ago, until one of their players repeatedly racially vilified one of ours and they threaten to abandon the Tour if he was sanctioned. Oh, and they also had an Umpire sacked and threatened to abandon the Tour if he wasn't as well.

    You remember that Series, right? It's the one where you basically wanted the entire Australian XI sacked.

    By the way, I would've thought as a CRICKET commentator, the ball tampering would have been more of an issue.

  • Zhdar on February 2, 2010, 22:54 GMT

    Aussies love taking the moral high ground around the world on many subjects: human rights, drugs in sport, corruption in sport etc etc However, the sanctimonious Aussie moralising only applies to others; an American athlete is found to be a drugs cheat? Ban him for life! A good old Aussie cricketing hero is found to have done something similar? Must be a mistake...12 month ban and a slap on the wrist. Aussie cricketers accused of corruption....let's not co-operate with the enquiries...it can't POSSIBLY true. Only little brown chaps do that sort of thing! This is the country that would rather let boats full of asylum seekers rot in their territorial waters than let them in. And what about the appalling treatment of Austraila's own original inhabitants? The replies to Peter's article are oh so predictable. Take a close look at yourself Austraila...you remain in complete denial.

  • ygkd on February 2, 2010, 22:50 GMT

    Roebuck's articles may not be perfect but at least he has the guts to tackle the serious issues. Personally, I detect a distinctly defensive tone to it all. He knows he's going to attract a hell of a lot of criticism for even bothering to broach the subject and that must make it difficult.

  • pipsonian on February 2, 2010, 22:30 GMT

    That has been the problem with whites over the centuries. Although he admitted the mistake partially, the writer just had to throw in the word "terrorism" just to make the whole incident as a minor accident in comparative terms. Whatever happened to Sri Lanka in lahore, was because Pakistan never took a pre emptive action to prevent all that. I think its time for Australia to learn the lesson from Pakistan's ordeal instead of just comparing the two situations. And btw how do you define Terrorism. For me the definition is very simple, "anybody who endangers life of an innocent person, is a terrorist" and that makes the WACA incident no less than a terrorism related issue.

  • Tompo on February 2, 2010, 22:28 GMT

    I'm sorry but can someone please point out the relevance of Norway, Sweden and Denmark in this article? Leaving aside the fact that they obviously DO play cricket to some degree, are these supposed to be countries whose "spirit was long suppressed"? Or does Roebuck mistakenly think they are somehow Anglo-Saxon countries? I can't for the life of me think why he would even mention them - I see no relevance whatsoever! Also, Kevin Rudd our PM is fluent in Mandarin, NOT Cantonese! Go get your basic facts straight before you publish something mate.

  • Woody111 on February 2, 2010, 22:26 GMT

    What I've never understood is the behaviour approach always adopted with regards to alcohol use. By behaviour approach I mean the individual consumer. Those serving alcohol have a duty under their license to refuse service to those intoxicated. For some reason the sale of alcohol is never brought into question in terms of ensuring those off their face do not continue to purchase. For those of us who like to drink at the cricket and would never consider jumping the fence, punching someone or ruining another cricket watcher's good time, it is offensive to take a privilege away from the majority to deal with a minority of morons.

  • Playfairly on February 2, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    I think the situation is even worse for the spectators. I took my family to SCG for the one dayer and that was the first and last time. Young Australians men and women seemed to be there only to drink and only interested in playing games in the crowd and hardly watched any cricket. By the second innnings they were totally drunk and spilling bear everwhere and on other spectators, standing up all the time and making snakes out of the bear glasses, the crowd control people were helpless. Every time a Pakistani got up and walked up the isle he or she was booed. Many fans had to be ejected for racial remarks. I even saw many Aussie parents with kids leaving or moving to the back of the stand away from the mob. it was not a plesant experience. Grog and sport do not mix period, as Australian crowd is aggressive enough without it .

  • gung-ho on February 2, 2010, 21:57 GMT

    @henrystephen - stop being an ass - the issues that Roebuch talk about are genuine and have to be addressed.

  • peacemakerSri on February 2, 2010, 21:38 GMT

    I think WACA should be banned for one month during Australian summer.

  • Anneeq on February 2, 2010, 21:36 GMT

    Although this was a disgraceful incident, lets not go over the top. Its not crisis time for Australia, compared to what has gone on in Pakistan and India its nothing!! As a Pakistani i was deeply saddened by the terrorist attacks against our brother's the Sri Lankans, they were trying to do us a favour and people from our nation repayed them with bullets to promote their own political agenda. Our nation will always be grateful to the Sri Lankans because they came when everyone else in the world abandoned us!!

    There has been a number of incidents like this however, Australia is starting to get a reputation for this sort of thing. First the streaker, then a guy in the Windies series and now this. Again tho lets not go over the top like the guy said and have like a steel barrier around the ground, we do want fans to be engaged with the cricketers because at the end of the day they are cricketers, not big time politicians that they need presidential style security measures!!!

  • leggetinoz on February 2, 2010, 21:21 GMT

    meshed fencing and barricades are not the answer. Hillsborough has shown this can be just as dangerous. The increase of fines to a significant amount and the increase of police and security staff especially around the problem areas (like the hilll) are the best way to cmbat this whilstalso making it still enjoyable for the rest of the crowd.

  • edward_smythe on February 2, 2010, 21:08 GMT

    Not another, pop sociology crap fest, Peter! Give it a rest. And the so-called 'students' getting bashed in Australia are actually semi-literate low-lifes trying to find a loophole around immigration laws, and would likely be treated similarly in the more cilivized parts in Delhi or Mumbai. the legitimate immigrants (like you?) are doing just fine, thank you very much... and there are no shortages of one-way flights back to wherever if Oz is so unbearable. Give it a rest.

  • deucelow on February 2, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    I don't think anybody consistently writes such long witted pseudo intellectual pap as Peter Roebuck.

  • PolysyllabicNerd on February 2, 2010, 19:57 GMT

    I can't believe I had to read this article from Peter Roebuck. I like to keep an open mind and generally enjoy hearing or reading about other people's views, but this article is sensationalist and completely non-sensical.

    I'm bewildered by Peter could possibly make the conclusions and assumptions about politics and racial issues based on the action of a few drunken people.

    I don't deny there's plenty of racism, in fact I'm aware of its nasty existence and have experienced some of it first hand, I also feel that something needs to be done, but what do drunken idiots have to do with it all?

    Also PM Rudd speaks MANDARIN, not Cantonese.

  • badal on February 2, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    I agree with Roebuck. Atleast he is not making axcusses, as some of the writers are in this blog. Yes, I agree, incidents like these can happen in any country, but we have to try to prevent such incidents. After watching recently ended "Test and ODI's Series", I am really impressed by Aussies, as how good they are, both mentally and talent wise. They are the examples to other countries as how, cricket should be played. It was a delight to watch avery Australian player in action, full of life and zest. I wish my country(Pakistan) players one day, can play cricket like that (They used to, about fifteen years ago). Good job CA, in keep on producing the raw talent. Aqil Siddiqi (Canada)

  • Geraldine on February 2, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    Peter Roebuck please don't mix politics and cricket!

    Usman Khawaja has potential in the future, but it is a asinine and a purely political position that he could have toured New Zealand. In the one-day competition, he in 44th position in terms of runs accumulated having amassed 82 runs at a strike rate just above 50! His Sheffield Shield stats are better, but Klinger, Hodge, D. Hussey, S. Smith, and Marsh and a dozen others are far more accomplished batsmen and have all achieved far more than him.

    As far as Australia's reputation over the attacks, I find it quite staggering that Roebuck believes that a frenzy created by Indian newspapers - none of whom for example pointed out that the brutal murder of an Indian was allegedly perpetrated by an Indian couple - and who are guilty of gross confirmation bias by not reporting the actual per capita crime rate for non-Indians, is something Australia should or even could fix

  • henrystephen on February 2, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    Oh my goodness, I think this article demonstrates why cricket writers should stick to writing about cricket. Here we have probably the best cricket writer in the world writing probably the dumbest article on international relations/racism/administration/alcohol-abuse that I've ever read.

  • KTiwari on February 2, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    Good article Peter. Right to the heart of the issues. Though it is mixes cricket with wider topic but again you are right that cricket does not exists in insolation. It is part of whole not a standalone thing.

  • AB99 on February 2, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    This guy does not understand a thing - would Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies played the match if the same had happened in India or Pakistan. And can he explain where does terrorism get into this article ... he needs to do clear thinking with a clear mind or stop writing these articles.

  • Shrini on February 2, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    With the recent attacks on Indian students, and the spate of streakers and pitch intruders, Australia's image as a hospitable nation is taking a beating. And CA must take efforts to make sure that the junkies are put in place, so as to avoid such complications in the future. Else, players will be more skeptical to play in Australia in the long run.

  • Billyhill2220 on February 2, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    These incidents have all but been irradicated at the SCG and MCG by having fines that are extremely severe and no matter how much grog you have you would need to be a millionaire to even consider it.

    It is unfortunate that it also involved the assault of a player, and the guys needs to be punished in accordance with the law, but the behaviour at most cricket grounds has been good for a long time and I do nor know why people are getting up in arms because hack writers like Roebuck say they should.

    Roebuck, there have been worse incidents for crowds misbehaving in other nations, so whay pick on an isolated incident by one Australian, when crowd violence in other countries, such as bottle throwing and racial abuse, is en mas.

    CA is not responsible for the crowds, the local stadium and law enforcement are. Pull your head in Roebuck, and let's keep things in proportion, this is an isolated incident, things are better through heavier fines at other grounds, and other crowds are bad.

  • rajmore on February 2, 2010, 14:28 GMT

    Sales of Alcohol is how the ground makes much more money than it ever does in ticket sales. Raise the level of security (automatic tasers, anyone?) and the height of the fences.

  • thenightwatchman on February 2, 2010, 14:06 GMT

    Take a good look at the new wembley stadium it has barbed wire that is paralell to the ground between row A of the seats and the pitch, prevents any pitch invasion and doesnt intrude the spectators view. It's a perfect and subtle way to prevent invasions. Roebuck, as for all your allegations of Aussies being racist this is just grandstanding and making sure your article gets picked up and blown all out of proportion in the subcontinent. This was not a racially motivated attack even an attack in anger. The invader is smiling throughout he is not really malicious or motivated to harm and even Latif to his great credit and the Pakistani team took it very well. They would be in their rights to walk off, but they didnt, they stayed out there playing. So lets get on with life. The invader is just a idiot who thought that doing some thing stupid would be funny and it wasnt. Raise the fines put something up like wembley has. No need to stoke diplomatic fires.

  • D.V.C. on February 2, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    "Cricket is not played by Norway, Sweden and Denmark." Ahem! I actually don't see Mr Roebuck's point in making that statement but it is actually wrong. Norway: http://www.cricinfo.com/ci/content/team/124.html Sweden: http://www.cricinfo.com/ci/content/team/153.html Denmark: http://www.cricinfo.com/ci/content/team/13.html Denmark in particular is an Associate nation!

  • dunksy01 on February 2, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    The last thing they need to do is ban alchohol. Between Overpriced tickets, overpriced food, overpriced drinks, overzealous security staff, too many security staff.

    The following has been banned at the SCG because of CA: beach balls, Mexican waves, standing up and cheering for too long, flag waving for too long, yelling for too long, flags that are too big, beer cup snakes, instruments, sign hanging, anything that creates atmosphere is BANNED.

    For your information Peter, going to the cricket is meant to be about the experience, not just what is going on to in the middle. If i was just interested in what was going on in the middle, i would sit in my aircondidtioned home and watch it in my 62 inch high def tv, eating and drinking what i wanted without being harrassed by goons who treat me like a six year old.

    If you want to see crowd levels drop to near zero then go ahead and ban alchohol.

  • 0413 on February 2, 2010, 13:27 GMT

    Usually rambling scatter-gun approach by Roebuck. Racism in Australia - yes, no doubt. That Australia should be embarrassed by attacks on Indians - yes, I agree. Alcohol-abuse - yes, long-term. Need for "Australian cricket to put its house in order" - what is he on about? To pluck one incident out of how many international cricket games played in Australia, and then wrap it up into some social crusade is just typical Roebuck. He likes the look of his own written word far too much. If he wants to be a social commentator, he should go see his editors about a career change. If he wants to be a cricket writer, he should get off his soapbox. I shall be skipping his articles from here on.

  • forgottencricketers on February 2, 2010, 13:17 GMT

    Of course Peter Roebuck *is* aware that cricket is played in Denmark; like every other batsman in England in the late 1980s he struggled to hit the ball off the square when facing the fantasticly accurate Ole Mortensen - possibly the best bowler ever to emerge from a non-test playing nation.

  • on February 2, 2010, 12:29 GMT

    Well said as usual, Peter. But I would go further in saying that the way all countries demand security plans when touring India, for example, the same way all countries should ask CA for security measures, especially at grounds, for these kind of incidents happen way too often in Aus. If the grounds cannot provide adequate security (which in my mind includes banning of alcohol PLUS putting up fenced/meshed barricades like in the subcontinent), then visiting teams should threaten to boycott. Players have never been man-handled by the public in India, but still security is always under the maximum scrutiny there. It's high time the racial stigmas regarding security were called to rest as well.

  • skdreams on February 2, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    I was at WACA in both one-day games.The number of ppl drunk & roaming around was in hundreds & may be even in thousands.In the second innings, almost every stand(except non-alcoholic stand) had evictions happening every 2-3 overs. Groups of teenagers were fighting & abusing eachother.Being a Pakistani supporter, me & my friends experienced the worst & the most racist behaviour from a group of drunkards. I was hit with a full water bottle from behind & a couple of my friends were showered with beer as we complained to the security guards. Security did try to help, even Police came around but mostly they were just spectators, waiting for things to happen rather than preventing them.It could've gone worse. I completely agree that alcohol has to be banned at cricket because people here come to the matches to drink rather than enjoy a good day & let others do the same. Please ban alcohol during the games & deploy police for each stand in addition to the security guards.

  • Kentaro on February 2, 2010, 11:04 GMT

    Sensationalistic garbage as usual from Roebuck. Dragging the 'indian attacks' into this just shows your only interest is being in the spotlight. The fact that you used race as relevant to a pitch invasion boggles the mind. Stop trying to pander to the whiners, and just report what happened without veering off into a rant about how racist Australia is. It's quite pathetic.

    The WACA needs to enforce fines like the eastern states does for pitch invaders and the guy is being charged with assault. What more do you want?

  • localdada on February 2, 2010, 10:43 GMT

    This article - being reprinted from the local Newspaper - covers a lot more than just cricket; attack on the Indian students; racism (!). However, I do not see how these are relevant to the inebriated spectator's attack on the Khalid Latif.

    The incident was indeed deplorable and CA should take appropriate actions to prevent such incidents in the future. But what's the rationale to call for banning alcohol at matches? Why should the vast majority of the spectators who enjoy the game, peacefully, with a pint or two (or five) suffer? What next... fastening clothes to ensure they can't be taken off, next time some drunk idiot decides to moon a player?

  • CricFan78 on February 2, 2010, 10:03 GMT

    Good article Peter. The denial from Australia is laughable at times.

  • Longlivetests12 on February 2, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    Honestly Roebuck you seriously jump on any bandwagon you can. Being from Perth who frequents the WACA I can say that although there was an incident security is usually quite good. Unless you want to ring the entire ground in 6 ft high fences ie: India, then these things will happen. Yes banning booze might be the way to go but you jump on the "racist - drunken - yobbo" stereotype as a way to be heard. And to say that CA is run by old white men is pathetic. Do you assume that just because someone is "old and white" that they somehow have their head in the sand? You bleated that Ponting should step down as captain after the Indian farce in Sydney and now you're bleating again. I enjoy you on the radio, you sound like a smart bloke who knows his stuff and I own your books which I thought were great but come on mate. You have lived here long enough to know that beside the "isolated" incidents things are pretty good here.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on February 2, 2010, 9:58 GMT

    The article is well written and with a lot of balance, but it goes beyond cricket into the realm of politics when it advises what nations ought to do. There's no harm in providing that advice per se, but for the fact that it allows the political commentators and politicians to get entangled with cricket, a very dangerous precedent. As it is there are so many politicians, who would want to get back and remain in the public eye, by making comments on affairs cricket or even by working themselves into cricket administration. The politicization of the non-selection of the Pakistani players by the IPL frachisees, marginal Indian political parties digging up cricket pitches and an erstwhile Aussie PM supporting sledging come to mind. I think ICC needs to function with more teeth and take responsibility of cricket overall, instead of allowing the Boards to laisez faire in their own fiefdoms. For this, ICC needs to get their act first, fairly and squarely, on policy and implementation.

  • mmatahaere on February 2, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    It is articles like this that put Peter Roebuck above most in cricket circles. Journalism at its best. Right to the heart of the issue, never one to tip-toe around sensitive issues. Straight up the guts. Well done Peter.

  • popcorn on February 2, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    An excellent article,Peter. Australia are due to travel to India in October this year, just before the Ashes. Do we want a prized cricketer to be injured by an Indian spectator? Ricky Ponting said he would have led his players off the field at WACA, match result be damned,had the Aussies been fielding. He would have set the right example.And it would have been a noble deed, because it would been against his own countrymen. I don't hear anything from Graeme Wood and Dennis Lillee,sacking the Security Team. Are they impotent? Like they asked the Curator to doctor the pitch to make it passive,against India ,so that they could earn gate money for 5 days,rather than the bouncy pitch that WACA is known for? Shane Warne,Ricky Ponting,Glenn McGrath,Steve Waugh are well -respected in India.As they are in Australia.Their voice to plead for sanity amongst Melbournians would carry a lot more weight than the Premier of Victoria, or the Victorian police.

  • itsjustnot on February 2, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    Small note: cricket *is* played in Denmark. The larger area around Copenhagen has 3 divisions. The standard is not high, but the game lives here.

  • sudzz71 on February 2, 2010, 8:29 GMT

    What the situation calls for is some sane thinking and some calm reflection. From all accounts being published all around Australia seems to be similar to any other nation when it comes to racism. Majority are ok but there are a significant number of the minority that create this nuisance.

    Has Australia done enough to stamp it out, I for one don't believe so and the problem is with acknowledgment more than with finding solutions to right away.

    That being said I don't think the WACA incident was racist but all the same, WACA should be punished by banning it as a venue at least for 6 months to a year if not longer because this sort of lapse should not be tolerated by CA. This incident has put CA's reputation at stake.

  • cook on February 2, 2010, 8:19 GMT

    Nice article. I couldn't agree with this sentence more "A lot of people drink not for pleasure but for the stories told next day. Indeed, drunkenness is glorified. What else is Schoolies Week? " Unfortunately there is a drinking culture here, and it spills over into incidents such as what happened at the WACA. The problem is, these drunken idiots then go and brag to their mates about how drunk they were. I don't know if they think it's tough or if it's to impress their friends, but all they do is make themselves look like idiots. The other thing is security here in Australia isn't very good. Take the Australian Open tennis, with some guy running on to the court. Didn't we learn anything from the Monica Seles incident. It will take a stabbing in cricket for authourites here to finally take this serious. And also having severe penalties is fine, but then it has to be enforced. It's no good saying that pitch invaders could get anything up to a $10 000 and then only cop a $500.

  • grandclipper on February 2, 2010, 8:10 GMT

    The on-field attack at WACA can not be compared to the killings in Melbourne or a terrorist attacks around the world but still should not be let off so easily. CA and the Aussie government should take tough stands and arrange for full security for any visiting player and their own national team. Since ages, we have been watching various streaker episodes in Aus-Eng-NZ but they still continue. That speaks volumes of the kind of security arrangements that is normally present in these countries. Pitch invasions by spectators should be prevented and better still, they should start erecting fences the way they do it in the sub-continent. Looks ugly but is effective. Breach of security of any kind is not acceptable in any part of the world let alone on the play field. As for the Melbourne killings, Australia as a nation is going to suffer due to this racial inkling of its fraction of the population.

  • Viru_superstar on February 2, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    I completely agree with what Peter says. As usual, his message is plain, simple and forthright.

  • Zat. on February 2, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    Congratulations Spanky, you are now in the running to win the 'long bow' award for 2010. Connecting a few drunken idiots in WA who decide to do something stupid at a cricket match with a much more serious problem on the streets of some cities on the other side of the continent is just ludicrous. Your columns over the past two years have become increasingly tabloid and seemingly designed to create invective and further mask any real problems. As for the crowd trouble being caused by alcohol, why do they need huge fences to keep the crowd back at matches in some countries where alcohol isn't served. Please, do us a favour, get on a plane to one of teh non-cricketing nations you mentioned in your diatribe, and leave the true cricket fans in Australia to watch the game they love.

  • profrm on February 2, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    Extremely sensible article. It is time administrators of the game whichever country they are in, get out of ostrich mode.It is time also they draw the line between sheer, greedy money-mindedness and comfort & safety for the paying public and players.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • profrm on February 2, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    Extremely sensible article. It is time administrators of the game whichever country they are in, get out of ostrich mode.It is time also they draw the line between sheer, greedy money-mindedness and comfort & safety for the paying public and players.

  • Zat. on February 2, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    Congratulations Spanky, you are now in the running to win the 'long bow' award for 2010. Connecting a few drunken idiots in WA who decide to do something stupid at a cricket match with a much more serious problem on the streets of some cities on the other side of the continent is just ludicrous. Your columns over the past two years have become increasingly tabloid and seemingly designed to create invective and further mask any real problems. As for the crowd trouble being caused by alcohol, why do they need huge fences to keep the crowd back at matches in some countries where alcohol isn't served. Please, do us a favour, get on a plane to one of teh non-cricketing nations you mentioned in your diatribe, and leave the true cricket fans in Australia to watch the game they love.

  • Viru_superstar on February 2, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    I completely agree with what Peter says. As usual, his message is plain, simple and forthright.

  • grandclipper on February 2, 2010, 8:10 GMT

    The on-field attack at WACA can not be compared to the killings in Melbourne or a terrorist attacks around the world but still should not be let off so easily. CA and the Aussie government should take tough stands and arrange for full security for any visiting player and their own national team. Since ages, we have been watching various streaker episodes in Aus-Eng-NZ but they still continue. That speaks volumes of the kind of security arrangements that is normally present in these countries. Pitch invasions by spectators should be prevented and better still, they should start erecting fences the way they do it in the sub-continent. Looks ugly but is effective. Breach of security of any kind is not acceptable in any part of the world let alone on the play field. As for the Melbourne killings, Australia as a nation is going to suffer due to this racial inkling of its fraction of the population.

  • cook on February 2, 2010, 8:19 GMT

    Nice article. I couldn't agree with this sentence more "A lot of people drink not for pleasure but for the stories told next day. Indeed, drunkenness is glorified. What else is Schoolies Week? " Unfortunately there is a drinking culture here, and it spills over into incidents such as what happened at the WACA. The problem is, these drunken idiots then go and brag to their mates about how drunk they were. I don't know if they think it's tough or if it's to impress their friends, but all they do is make themselves look like idiots. The other thing is security here in Australia isn't very good. Take the Australian Open tennis, with some guy running on to the court. Didn't we learn anything from the Monica Seles incident. It will take a stabbing in cricket for authourites here to finally take this serious. And also having severe penalties is fine, but then it has to be enforced. It's no good saying that pitch invaders could get anything up to a $10 000 and then only cop a $500.

  • sudzz71 on February 2, 2010, 8:29 GMT

    What the situation calls for is some sane thinking and some calm reflection. From all accounts being published all around Australia seems to be similar to any other nation when it comes to racism. Majority are ok but there are a significant number of the minority that create this nuisance.

    Has Australia done enough to stamp it out, I for one don't believe so and the problem is with acknowledgment more than with finding solutions to right away.

    That being said I don't think the WACA incident was racist but all the same, WACA should be punished by banning it as a venue at least for 6 months to a year if not longer because this sort of lapse should not be tolerated by CA. This incident has put CA's reputation at stake.

  • itsjustnot on February 2, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    Small note: cricket *is* played in Denmark. The larger area around Copenhagen has 3 divisions. The standard is not high, but the game lives here.

  • popcorn on February 2, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    An excellent article,Peter. Australia are due to travel to India in October this year, just before the Ashes. Do we want a prized cricketer to be injured by an Indian spectator? Ricky Ponting said he would have led his players off the field at WACA, match result be damned,had the Aussies been fielding. He would have set the right example.And it would have been a noble deed, because it would been against his own countrymen. I don't hear anything from Graeme Wood and Dennis Lillee,sacking the Security Team. Are they impotent? Like they asked the Curator to doctor the pitch to make it passive,against India ,so that they could earn gate money for 5 days,rather than the bouncy pitch that WACA is known for? Shane Warne,Ricky Ponting,Glenn McGrath,Steve Waugh are well -respected in India.As they are in Australia.Their voice to plead for sanity amongst Melbournians would carry a lot more weight than the Premier of Victoria, or the Victorian police.

  • mmatahaere on February 2, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    It is articles like this that put Peter Roebuck above most in cricket circles. Journalism at its best. Right to the heart of the issue, never one to tip-toe around sensitive issues. Straight up the guts. Well done Peter.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on February 2, 2010, 9:58 GMT

    The article is well written and with a lot of balance, but it goes beyond cricket into the realm of politics when it advises what nations ought to do. There's no harm in providing that advice per se, but for the fact that it allows the political commentators and politicians to get entangled with cricket, a very dangerous precedent. As it is there are so many politicians, who would want to get back and remain in the public eye, by making comments on affairs cricket or even by working themselves into cricket administration. The politicization of the non-selection of the Pakistani players by the IPL frachisees, marginal Indian political parties digging up cricket pitches and an erstwhile Aussie PM supporting sledging come to mind. I think ICC needs to function with more teeth and take responsibility of cricket overall, instead of allowing the Boards to laisez faire in their own fiefdoms. For this, ICC needs to get their act first, fairly and squarely, on policy and implementation.