September 23, 2011

The spirit of cricket lives still

It's been a good week for the old-fashioned virtues
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Sometimes, quite out of the blue, sport will throw up a tender moment, when hostility ceases and an opponent is acknowledged. Sadly these are rare, for more often you will see bowlers asking for a wicket they know they haven't earned, footballers asking for a throw-in for a ball they have kicked out, and players abusing each other in the mistaken belief that it makes them look macho.

But in Cardiff last week something else happened. Soon after the need for quick runs, and a clever ball from Graeme Swann, had ended his last innings in one-day cricket, Rahul Dravid found his hand vigorously shaken by each of the England players. Swann cut short a celebration to jog across to the man whose wicket he had just taken, fielders trooped in from the boundary rope, and Jonathan Trott provided a moment that will stay with me for a very long time.

As Dravid walked towards the pavilion, Trott wandered towards him and then took his cap off before shaking hands. With that simple gesture Trott elevated sport to another plane. He showed respect to an adversary on a field of play.

It is the best way to play sport. You try to get someone out, you try to hit him for a boundary, but you still find time to acknowledge greatness. In a series that had many memorable moments - more provided by the English than the Indians, it must be said - Trott produced another one.

A couple of years ago, in Johannesburg, when, too, he had been recalled to limited-overs cricket, Dravid spoke to me about why he plays cricket and how he measures success. Beyond everything else, he said, beyond numbers and wins, you see if you have respect in your dressing room. And in that of your opponent. Dravid has always had both, and in Cardiff it was there for us to see. We became spectators to a bond that exists even between opponents. If it was a movie, there would have been a soundtrack playing.

And then in Hyderabad I saw another. It didn't quite tug at the heart like the Dravid moment did, but it showed why there is another way to play the sport. Batting for the Kolkata Knight Riders, Jacques Kallis lofted a ball to midwicket, where the fielder stumbled in an attempt to take the catch. You couldn't tell straightaway if the catch had been taken, but even as the umpire asked for a replay, Kallis asked the fielder if the catch was clean, and when he heard "Yes", he walked off. It wasn't the first time he had trusted an opponent with his wicket, and as the replay came up I found myself wishing the catch was indeed clean. For there is no sadder sight than to see trust asked for and the request spurned.

In an ideal world everyone will play the game like Kallis did, life will become easier for the umpires, and youngsters making their way into sport will realise that using abuse and cheating is a rather lowly form of existence. But the desire to win tests not only your skill but your approach, and I greatly fear that Kallis will walk alone. The romantics will suggest a way out, will call for making an example of people who claim a catch when they haven't held it, but romantics tend to write books. Honesty and sport have long been estranged.

But commitment and success haven't. Australia showed it in Sri Lanka, where they battled hard and overcame the conditions and their opponents. A team seemingly in decline returned to their DNA and, though without the match-winners of yore, played tough, combative cricket.

And Somerset showed it in the early rounds of the Champions League. Like with Australia, they were defined by who they didn't have rather than who they did, but they showed what spirit and resilience can achieve. A third-choice wicketkeeper was Man of the Match, a little-known legspinner turned in a fine spell, and a batsman who wasn't threatening higher honours played a match-winning innings.

It doesn't always happen but it was a week that showcased the nice side of cricket.

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. His Twitter feed is here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jay57870 on September 26, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    (Cont) The spirit of cricket captured a great moment in Dhoni's sporting gesture to reverse Ian Bell's run-out call - at Sachin's & Rahul's urging. Both teams stood tall by playing the Edgbaston Test, even while Birmingham & London were rioting. Just like when the English team agreed to resume its tour in Chennai in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Topping the match-winning 4 was Sachin's high moment to dedicate the bitter-sweet victory to his hometown victims. These class acts of reciprocity embody the Golden Rule of Sports: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. Interestingly, this universal Rule appeals to all world cultures & religions. Another gentleman who stood tall was the great Tiger Pataudi as he awaited his turn patiently (delayed by the sponsors) to present the Pataudi Trophy to the English team at the Oval. Sadly a month later he passed away. A true cricket legend: His legacy of sportsmanship & bold leadership will live on forever.

  • jay57870 on September 26, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    (Cont) Now on-field conduct has generally improved in international contests. Even the Aussies have curbed their "natural instincts" of sledging to play "hard but fair cricket." Maybe T20 has something to do with it, especially IPL. Good money apart, it's brought players from diverse nations/cultures together (incl. many Aussies) instilling camaraderie & cooperation. The Aussie-SL Test teams each had at least 5 decent IPL players, incl. the Man-of-the-Series: Michael Hussey: "Mr Cricket" is a popular CSK player, and possesses the same "old-fashioned virtues" as Kallis, Dravid & Tendulkar. The IPL culture is visibly unique: One sees "touchy-feely" gestures - high fives, chest bumps, head pats & hugs. "Soft" bonding vs. "Macho" sledging! Former foes Symonds & Harbhajan play (amid hugs) on the same MI team. Sharing the same dressing-room fosters positive relationships that rub off when players face off in international contests. It's healthy competition, not "combative cricket." (TBC)

  • jay57870 on September 26, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    Harsha -- You were doing OK with the "spirit of cricket" topic - until you strayed off into "commitment and success." The Australia in Sri Lanka story is incomplete. Yes, they play hard cricket but often use questionable tactics. Steve Waugh boasted of "mental disintegration": Using sledging as a tactic to abuse, intimidate & beat the opposition. Call it "sledging and success": Ponting escalated it with his own quirky confrontational behaviour (vs. umpires too). Funny you should mention "a team seemingly in decline returned to their DNA." Paul Marsh (head of Australian Cricketers' Assoc.) admitted the team's form has deteriorated because of players' fear of public & official backlash against sledging. The warning actually came from CA to "change on-field behaviour" after the infamous SCG Test. Your "match-winners of yore" were some of the worst offenders - eg, McGrath, Warne, Hayden & Symonds. Once the competitive advantage was lost, Australia became a victim of its own success. (TBC)

  • sud_vm on September 26, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    trott's gesture was a classic .... i saw it the first time.... awesome to see such scenes... kallis's was another amazing example too ... good to see such players in the game ... \RESPECT/

  • on September 25, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    Loved reading it ... I too was touched by this moment and wished I could see more of such moments but I do see such kind respect for the players who have earned it ... Player like Steve Waugh, Sachin, Dravid, Murali, Kallis, Voucher, Kollingwood etc have earned this position ....

  • CricketCrazyCheri on September 25, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    I really like the way harsha explains and makes a common spectator realize how great such moments are...i have always been a fan of harsha's commentary and his writings.Very beautiful piece.

  • m_ilind on September 25, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    We need more Trotts, Dravids and Kaliises in the game today. After all, cricket is just another sport, as long as the players realise that.

  • on September 25, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Excellent article. A real feel-good story.

  • shanib007 on September 25, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    U are absolutely right Harsha..... Every young players watching out there should understand the respect that should given to the opponents.. Trott did a very small gesture,, according to u harsha trott elevated the game to other plane which will remain in our hearts for ever.. A very well deserved honor given to the great man..!! And the Kallis incident as well, was a great example of spirit of the game.. Very nice to read ur articles Harsha.. U picked it up very well...!!!!

  • on September 25, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    Trott proved CRICKET IS A GENTLEMAN'S GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  • jay57870 on September 26, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    (Cont) The spirit of cricket captured a great moment in Dhoni's sporting gesture to reverse Ian Bell's run-out call - at Sachin's & Rahul's urging. Both teams stood tall by playing the Edgbaston Test, even while Birmingham & London were rioting. Just like when the English team agreed to resume its tour in Chennai in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Topping the match-winning 4 was Sachin's high moment to dedicate the bitter-sweet victory to his hometown victims. These class acts of reciprocity embody the Golden Rule of Sports: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. Interestingly, this universal Rule appeals to all world cultures & religions. Another gentleman who stood tall was the great Tiger Pataudi as he awaited his turn patiently (delayed by the sponsors) to present the Pataudi Trophy to the English team at the Oval. Sadly a month later he passed away. A true cricket legend: His legacy of sportsmanship & bold leadership will live on forever.

  • jay57870 on September 26, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    (Cont) Now on-field conduct has generally improved in international contests. Even the Aussies have curbed their "natural instincts" of sledging to play "hard but fair cricket." Maybe T20 has something to do with it, especially IPL. Good money apart, it's brought players from diverse nations/cultures together (incl. many Aussies) instilling camaraderie & cooperation. The Aussie-SL Test teams each had at least 5 decent IPL players, incl. the Man-of-the-Series: Michael Hussey: "Mr Cricket" is a popular CSK player, and possesses the same "old-fashioned virtues" as Kallis, Dravid & Tendulkar. The IPL culture is visibly unique: One sees "touchy-feely" gestures - high fives, chest bumps, head pats & hugs. "Soft" bonding vs. "Macho" sledging! Former foes Symonds & Harbhajan play (amid hugs) on the same MI team. Sharing the same dressing-room fosters positive relationships that rub off when players face off in international contests. It's healthy competition, not "combative cricket." (TBC)

  • jay57870 on September 26, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    Harsha -- You were doing OK with the "spirit of cricket" topic - until you strayed off into "commitment and success." The Australia in Sri Lanka story is incomplete. Yes, they play hard cricket but often use questionable tactics. Steve Waugh boasted of "mental disintegration": Using sledging as a tactic to abuse, intimidate & beat the opposition. Call it "sledging and success": Ponting escalated it with his own quirky confrontational behaviour (vs. umpires too). Funny you should mention "a team seemingly in decline returned to their DNA." Paul Marsh (head of Australian Cricketers' Assoc.) admitted the team's form has deteriorated because of players' fear of public & official backlash against sledging. The warning actually came from CA to "change on-field behaviour" after the infamous SCG Test. Your "match-winners of yore" were some of the worst offenders - eg, McGrath, Warne, Hayden & Symonds. Once the competitive advantage was lost, Australia became a victim of its own success. (TBC)

  • sud_vm on September 26, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    trott's gesture was a classic .... i saw it the first time.... awesome to see such scenes... kallis's was another amazing example too ... good to see such players in the game ... \RESPECT/

  • on September 25, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    Loved reading it ... I too was touched by this moment and wished I could see more of such moments but I do see such kind respect for the players who have earned it ... Player like Steve Waugh, Sachin, Dravid, Murali, Kallis, Voucher, Kollingwood etc have earned this position ....

  • CricketCrazyCheri on September 25, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    I really like the way harsha explains and makes a common spectator realize how great such moments are...i have always been a fan of harsha's commentary and his writings.Very beautiful piece.

  • m_ilind on September 25, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    We need more Trotts, Dravids and Kaliises in the game today. After all, cricket is just another sport, as long as the players realise that.

  • on September 25, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Excellent article. A real feel-good story.

  • shanib007 on September 25, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    U are absolutely right Harsha..... Every young players watching out there should understand the respect that should given to the opponents.. Trott did a very small gesture,, according to u harsha trott elevated the game to other plane which will remain in our hearts for ever.. A very well deserved honor given to the great man..!! And the Kallis incident as well, was a great example of spirit of the game.. Very nice to read ur articles Harsha.. U picked it up very well...!!!!

  • on September 25, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    Trott proved CRICKET IS A GENTLEMAN'S GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  • on September 25, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Dravid deserved this respect. If u look back, Dravid has always been the first one to run to a batsman to shake hands after a great innings whether it was jayasuriya after a triple or bell in this series after a double or giving respect to Steve Waugh after his retirement. Dravid would never leave an opportunity go to pay respect to a retiring WTO or a deserving performer. So he deserved the respect he got. Drvid is a true ambassador of the gentlemen's game. A breed that is so rare nowadays.

  • on September 25, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Nice one, Mr. Bhogle! This is true greatness: beyond runs, wickets and statistics!

  • on September 24, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    These gestures take the sportsmen to a different level altogether.Gilchrist , for that matter, cannot be forgotten for showing sportsmanship throughout his career. But still, you need character in the game like Sreesanth, Bhajji, Andre Nel, Shoiab Akhtar to add spice

  • KosalaDeSilva on September 24, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    Yes thats good if every one can try what fielder says..But some times even fielder don't know, feel ball hits before collect it.there are few examples like that.So thats why better ask for 3Rd umpire as we all like correct call. Also we seen before very few players tried to claim catches which hits ground...so it's not that easy..

  • on September 24, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    Great article by Harsha! This was such a disappointing tour for cricket fans in general and Indians in particular. There wasn't any contest till the one-dauyers. The one Indian batsman who stood out in this England series was Dravid. And its nice to know that even if the Indians return home empty-handed and in defeat - they did win 'respect' ! I am a big fan of Trott's batting - and its good to know hes an ambassador of the game. Its also good to see any cricket contest being played in the good spirit! This time the bad stuff was courtesy the commentators!

  • on September 24, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    Harsha,good gesture and bad gesture are part of this great game and and we have seen players sporting them on several occasions,be it past or present.But the gesture shown by English players for Dravid stands apart because it reflected respect, so spontaneous,genuine, pure and uncontroversial for a player who himself has risen way above the game on his cricketing merit and other priceless human virtues,very few players attain during their career.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on September 24, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    Trott is going to be the torch bearer and heir for Dravid and Kallis. It shouldn't surprise anybody that a classic player like Trott humbly acknowledged another classic player. I was left in awe of Trott when he took his cap off. I thought I shouldn't watch Dravid's farewell match but I couldn't resist. I'm very glad that we have somebody like Trott (and Bell as well) who can play like or even better than Dravid and Kallis. May Trott and Bell keep doing justice to their cricket and be on par or ahead of Dravid and Kallis by the time they retire in all forms of the game. Trott in particular is so much in the classic mould of Dravid and Kallis. I'm very glad that we still have players like Trott and Bell who understand and respect not only the players in the classic mould but also the classic form of the game. Well done Trott. Hats off to you too. You made your fans that much prouder; and cricket, that much richer.

  • zico123 on September 23, 2011, 21:19 GMT

    good catch harsha! Dravid, kallis are excellent ambassador of the game of cricket, true sportmen, true champions

  • on September 23, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    Cricket is built around "The spirit of the game"! Without it, its "Not cricket". We can never lose sight of that.

  • on September 23, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    Its another good article harsha! regret missing you in Hyderabad. Wonder, nothing out goes out of your eye and thought. It looks you are so sensitive/insensitive and its really great. many more great article ahead. cheers!

  • Shams on September 23, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    There is renewed interest in the true spirit of cricket. Dhoni magnanimously called back Bell. It was wrong of the England management to request so. Gilchrist got lot of praise when he started walking when he knew he was out. Lara too used to walk when he was out. All these players deserve special mention.

  • IlMagnifico on September 23, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    Mr. Bhogle, Allow me to share a personal and very recent story along similar lines.

    I play in a league. Club Level, but very competitive. Three weeks ago, with the championship on the line, I'm batting with my #11, chasing down a mammoth score. 4 runs to go, 1 wicket down, fielder retrieves the balls from boundary. The batting team is certain from the pavillion that it's a four. The fielder vehemently denies. My partner asks the fielder square - "Was it a four?" Fielder repeats his denial. We get on. Two runs to get. Next ball, my partner is run-out.

    Never once did it come up in our post-match discussions, besides a rueful remark that my partner should have hit it harder, to cast doubt upon the fielder or to blame the umpire for a championship lost.

    The spirit of cricket is still alive at the grass-roots level. Until that so, I have not one concern for the sport. The millionaire-players' shenanigans notwithstanding.

  • cenitin on September 23, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    @tiger11....if you don't know something that doesn't mean that did never happened..I still remember even in 1998 Sachin was used to walk ..in famous sharjah match he hooked one ball from Fleming but nicked it...umpire didn't give him out but he just checked with leg umpire whether it's a no ball for height and walked....even upmpire was amused... he did same in world cup 2011 against WI....go and watch it...these are two more famous matches and everybody can recollect what I mentioned. apart from that I have seen many matchs where he just walked...

  • bumsonseats on September 23, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    cricket as in golf is played with a great deal of honesty and curtesy, you can see it in village green cricket and guys playing of large handicaps. pity about posters can not see the green for the trees, and forget trotts place of birth and his choice to play for his adopted country. sport in the 21st century has moved on people trying to better their lot. maybe when india opened their door to more of this they also could find bowlers and get back to #1. there is not many team sports in the modern world were people of other countries are playing for their adopted country. cricket is one of those sports.once is funny, same thing posted every time the guys name crops up. i think they may need treatment. dpk

  • din7 on September 23, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    @karthick Raja where the hell did u see sachin walking off if he had nicked! He walked off just once and there where 100s of occasion when he nicked and waited for umpires signal as always. He has never walked. sachin might be a great player, but sorry to say he is not honest and ya as everybody knows he's selfish too.

  • on September 23, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    I am surprised there is no reference to what Dhoni did in England recalling Bell...not good enough so say the spirit of cricket is still alive?

  • sriramsv81 on September 23, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    why don't you show some respect to God inside you.Instead of hating him and India.

  • natmastak_so-called on September 23, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    calling the act of England not allowing panesar to bowl to Sachin in nets as professionalism and asking Dhoni to recall Bell (when he's out by his own silly mistake ) ,for so called spirit of cricket also shows typical English double standards.

  • natmastak_so-called on September 23, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    @ bagman : I cant believe,you are defending a player,who refused to walk after being given out by third umpire,smashed the tv set in dressing room after being out cheaply,and is famous for making Sydney test unfamous.that's typically punter.

  • santanuXI on September 23, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    While Trott's gesture is truly admirable, behaviour of another English batsman in the Sommerset-KKR match was an example of the moral degradation of some of the players. Nick Compton so balatantly obstructed the ball with his bat when he was going to be run out and then justified himself by saying that it looked bad but his intention was not that. Really! If you have some more Comptons in the field then it is guaranteed that there would not be anything like 'sportsman spirit'.

  • Clive_Dunn on September 23, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    Dravid has been absolute class all summer, both on and off the pitch. I've thoroughly enjoyed watching his batting, especially against Swann - he picks up the length more quickly than any other batsmen in world cricket with the possible exception of Mike Hussey.

  • magic_torch_jamie on September 23, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    Definitely one of the articles that's generated the best discussion. Is there any such thing as a spirit of football or ice hockey? Cricket does need some players who are a bit meaner, though some do cross the line on occasion. Cricket is a sport for grown-ups. Time was that sides would go at it hell-for-leather and then go for a beer as mates together after stumps. There are a lot of impressionable followers who will imitate sporting heroes. If we see Indian and Pakistani players able to take the cricket field, play a fantastic Test to the limit of their abilities and be sporting and magnanimous to their opponents, it does say something for being able to set aside animosity: we shared something exciting here.

  • uday_trivedi on September 23, 2011, 10:31 GMT

    @ johnathonjosephs : The match you are referring to was against Pakistan in Multan when Sehwag hit 309. Sachin was on 194, not on 180. And he did not get any message from dressing room that they are planning to declare. Otherwise he would have taken this 6 runs in an over. Even Dravid admitted later that it was wrong on his side to declare without giving any indication to them. I think Yuvraj got out and in the heat of moment, Dravid declared. Needless to say, India won by an innings with a day to spare. AB was on 278 when SA declared. That will give you more context on your point.

  • on September 23, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    I sometimes wonder if a team's magnanimity on the retirement of a great player is not coloured by the feeling of relief at not having to contend with him again! But on the other hand, Gavaskar retires and Tendulkar emerges...

  • venky2010 on September 23, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    Irrespective of cricket,or in any area of work or sport, it boils down to individual characters. The likes of Murali, Srinath, Kumble, Lara, Bret lee, younis khan, Hashim Amla, Kallis, Trott, Mike Hussey, Andy flower, Mark Taylor, John wright to name a few who played hard respecting the game and getting the respect of fellow and opponent players.

    And there will be always some like ponting, sreesanth, miandad,micheal slater, dominick cork, harbhajan, damien fleming from australia played hard...to do they have the respect of oppponents....not sure.

    I Still believe technology can be used to aid the umpire to clarify his doubts, but prefer genteleman's game played in the spirit on the field of play than in the monitors of 3rd umpires and match refree's.

  • demon_bowler on September 23, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    Dravid himself, followed by the rest of the Indian team, also showed great sportsmanship in the same match by immediately rushing to shake the debutant Bairstow's hand after his fantastic innings. It was a nice touch.

  • TheDurbanTrundler on September 23, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    It is worth noting that here in SA (from where Trott hails), schoolkids are all taught to remove their cap when shaking hands with anybody else. Indeed I find that many adults I meet in normal everyday situations and who are wearing caps will take them off if we shake hands. Just good old fashion manners/respect and, thankfully, SA is a country where, despite it's faults, good manners are still valued.

  • on September 23, 2011, 9:47 GMT

    @johnathanjosephs.. whn u appreciate SAfricans - Trott,Kallis r De Villiers r any one for that matter, thr is absolutely no necessity to pull down d legs of a gr8 cricketer.. Sachin is always famous for WALKING if he knows he nicks it.. If you donno abt him, better dont comment abt him.. And, Sachin was 194 whn Dravid declared.. Any human will be dissapointed in dat case.. De Villiers will also be.. May b he didnt say dat.. And, I find no wrong in getting disappointed abt dis.. If you find, thn plz keep it wid urself.. Lets focus on hailing those SAfricans for the sprit they hv shown and not on luking 4 every opportunity to pull Sachin down..

  • anurag_choudhary on September 23, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    I think spirit of cricket thing is overblown and is invoked selectively.Often we as Indians end up making overtures.Classic example of our magnanimous overture was Ian Bell run out.Playing by rules and taking advantage of opponent's silly mistake is part of playing competitive sport.Contrast this Indian magnanimity with England's decision to stop Monty Panesar from bowling Sachin at nets.Was it in the spirit of game?Another example is Sydney test when we went by Australian fielder's words and in the process jeopardized match result.In the long run people will remember Australia won that test match and the series, Indian magnanimity will not go in record books.

  • ProteaMan on September 23, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    Yes, honest cricketers are unfortunately a minority. But you do get your Kalis's, Trott's( South African born and cultured!) and you can add another South African here too, namely Hashim Amla.

  • Nduru on September 23, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    Sorry to say this, but I can only ever associate Ricky Ponting with bad sportsmanship and ill-tempered childish behaviour (eg: smashing TVs when getting out and his silly aggression on the field), unlike the likes of Kallis, Trott and Dravid. If there is one Aussie who I do think embodies the highest in good sportmanship though, it must be Michael Hussey, who inspires great respect.

  • A.Ak on September 23, 2011, 9:23 GMT

    Its so hard to show your human qualities on the cricket or any sporting field. Dravid, Sachin, Kallis... thats why these names are most recognizable in the game of cricket. Now its very obvious who are watching English cricket over the past couple of years, all know who changed the English cricket in that time, it was Trott. Record will remain only in the book, but the character will live on the field, every time you watch cricket.

  • sculpture1 on September 23, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    Sportsmanship is an admirable quality and one that should be upheld at all times. I do think though that some of the sentiments on here people claiming to be against the spirit of the game are a bit far fetched. For example, not walking when you've edged a ball. There are umpires there for a reason. If you nick it, and not given out and you don't walk. That's not bad sportsmanship....however personal attacks on opponents, showing disgust in your team mates etc is.

    Imagine if it was the World Cup final and Gilly was in, with Australia needing 1 run to run. Gilly edges it, everyone thinks it's out, but Gilchrist just on this one occasion where the whole nation's glory is riding on it, decides not to walk. The umpire is then is in a compromising situation, where if he gives it out he would be chastised as Gilchrist is not a walker.

    Not walking for an edge isn't bad sportsmanship. Cricket isn't an ethics class. It's meant to be played hard and fair within the rules.

  • on September 23, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs- i guess you misinterpreted the facts. Sachin was on strike batting at 194 n.o. against arch rival Pakistan. Each time a new fact comes to conclude what Sachin has missed since he has achieved everything as cricketer. He all have to face single delivery may be when more than 15 overs were still left in the day.Also not single time any would have seen Sachin disapoointed even if he gets out on duck.

  • taniap on September 23, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Good spotting Harsha! Having said that I think cricket commentators must take partial blame for rude behavior that is currently so often see on international matches. May times I have witnessed commentators dismissing incidents saying it is just "healthy banter" or "all a part of the game". Sorry, but I don't see Mitchell Johnson verbally abusing Algelo Mathewes after every ball just because he cannot get Mathews out, as "all part of the game". I believe we all have a part to critisise such antics so that they become outlawed from the game we love so much.

  • sweetspot on September 23, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    This is the wonderful, overt stuff. There are others who won't give an inch on the field, and do whatever it takes to win, but we come to know later - that is just the character of the player. That doesn't mean there is any less respect they have for the opposition. It is like Javed Miandad scrapping. It irritated Indian fans, but we came to know as we saw more of him - that is Javed, and then we started enjoying it, even with cursing. We came to understand that is how Javed played on the field. Look at how he came out in defence of Sunny Bhai against Shah Rukh Khan's statement during the IPL season. There are many ways to show respect, and not all examples have the poster boy moments. All kinds of characters make up the sport, and I'm grateful to many. But it is always nice to see the game rise above the contest.

  • on September 23, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    Given how much England fans like myself have loved and appreciated Dravid this summer the gesture by the team, and in particular Trott, seemed exactly right.

  • on September 23, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    Respect seems to be the key word in both the instances...Trott & his English compatriots acknowledging Dravid's immense contribution to cricket while Kallis ,not for the first time , respecting his opponents claim......Respect of one's peers is probably the toughest achivement and possibly Dravid & Quiney on that day earned it......... (loved a slogan on a placard 4 Dravid in his final ODI...It read "Sachin is God ....But when the gates of the temple close even god rests behind 'The Wall'"......how true is that considering Tendulkar bats behind Dravid in test matches.....God is safe behind the wall)......l

  • on September 23, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    I know I am on a cricket website, but I see such an attitude in the Barcelona football team as well. Messi, Xavi, Iniesta are such humble down to earth people, who don't run to the corner flag in celebration. Instead they head to the player who made the pass and congratulate him on setting up a beautiful goal. Like they say, this separates the great from the good. Which is why we all love Tendulkar, Gilchrist, Mark Taylor (I will never forget the time when he was in the slips and the entire slip cordon went up for an edge, but Taylor stood there with his arms folded when he saw that the catch was not taken cleanly). They play hard, but they play fair. Just like Barcelona. Like Harsha said, this elevates the game to a higher purer level. The better team wins, not the wilier one.

  • CricketingStargazer on September 23, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    Harsha, cap off to you. A great piece on an element of the game that is now usually ignored.

  • Bagman on September 23, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    In an attempt to restore some honesty & integrity in world cricket, Ponting has previously proposed to opposing captains that they accept fielders word but unfortunately had the notion rejected. Sad ,it is a small step worth more than it seems ! The fallback excuse of technology is flawed as we know. The rejection is a sad reflection of the way of the world ... , too much $motivation, self-serving & not enough decent principles in the right place.

  • itzvinay on September 23, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    Kallis, Dravid and Trott..they actually are of the same breed of cricketers..on field and off field...I have always had the impression is Trott is going to do what Dravid and Kallis have done for India and SA respectively...

  • johnathonjosephs on September 23, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    South Africans always know how to play the game professionally and politely. They surely have the spirit of the game. When De Villiers was on some 270-280* not out against Pakistan in some test match last year, Smith declared (at that point De Villiers was going 10-12 an over on his own) while if he would have waited just 1 or 2 overs, De Villiers most likely would have gotten his triple and being the 1st South African to do so (again he was going 10-12 an over). I expected De Villiers to be disappointed, sad that Smith declared so early, but guess what. The man was the happiest man of the team. He had genuine joy in his face (he had/has the highest South African score). To relate, I remember in some Test Match when Dravid was captain and he declared when Tendulkar was on 180 and there was clear disgust on Tendulkar's face. He also showed his disgust at the decision when the media was interviewing him about the decision. Sometimes spirit>>> talent

  • Romanticstud on September 23, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Kallis also did the same thing in the world cup ... I think it was against England ... He hit the ball to slip and asked the fielder if he had caught it ... The fielder said he had ... Kallis walked off ... Another incident I saw was when Ntini was bowling to Gilchrist ... He hit the ball behind saw it go to the fielder and walked ... Sport would be so much better if the people were honest ... How many "catches" were taken when the ball has ctually made contact with the ground and the batsman has been given out? I've also seen other incidents where the batsman was not out and walked ... Just for the replay to come on and they have been called back to play on.

  • on September 23, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    Harsha, how I wish every player had played cricket like Kallis and trott do. I am a die-hard romantic but often find my notions getting chellenged these days. May characters like Trott and Kallis flourish.

  • Kumar_dude on September 23, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Hats off Trott.Though..I did not have the chance to witness the scene...u deserve accolades mate.

  • landl47 on September 23, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Dravid, Kallis and Trott do have one thing in common- they are all cricketers who have worked very hard to make the best of their talents. Of course, they are all gifted, but there are those who have more natural ability that have achieved far less. All of them, for example, have made themselves into world class ODI players even though that type of game does not come naturally to them. People who work hard tend to respect the achievements of others. That's the true spirit of cricket.

  • on September 23, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    @ McGrath-Dravid-Flintoff ....Correction ..one thing is common.....both Trott and Kallis are born in Cape Town, Cape Province , SA .....

  • on September 23, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    Mcgrath-Dravud-Flintoff,

    Afterall they both are South Africans... ;)

  • on September 23, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    @ McGrath-Dravid-Flintoff ....Two things are common between Trott and Kallis....both South Africans and Born in Cape Town, Cape Province , SA.....

  • on September 23, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Ahh.. a nice one. Really, what would the sport of Cricket look like if it would be full of such scenes and gestures. Mere imagination gives me a sheer pleasure!

  • jijops on September 23, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    The other day, I was telling my roommate about how humble Jonathan Trott is when he took his cap off to shake hands with Dravid. Today, I just read an article written by none other than Harsha Bhogle about the same. It feels great to know that, a great guy like Harsha and I have our thoughts heading in the same direction. Made my day.. :)

  • on September 23, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    the positive side of sports..... sports for making friendships not enimies.

  • Mcgrath-Dravid-Flintoff on September 23, 2011, 3:41 GMT

    its funny because i always thought that kallis and trott look alike. dont they?

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  • Mcgrath-Dravid-Flintoff on September 23, 2011, 3:41 GMT

    its funny because i always thought that kallis and trott look alike. dont they?

  • on September 23, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    the positive side of sports..... sports for making friendships not enimies.

  • jijops on September 23, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    The other day, I was telling my roommate about how humble Jonathan Trott is when he took his cap off to shake hands with Dravid. Today, I just read an article written by none other than Harsha Bhogle about the same. It feels great to know that, a great guy like Harsha and I have our thoughts heading in the same direction. Made my day.. :)

  • on September 23, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Ahh.. a nice one. Really, what would the sport of Cricket look like if it would be full of such scenes and gestures. Mere imagination gives me a sheer pleasure!

  • on September 23, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    @ McGrath-Dravid-Flintoff ....Two things are common between Trott and Kallis....both South Africans and Born in Cape Town, Cape Province , SA.....

  • on September 23, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    Mcgrath-Dravud-Flintoff,

    Afterall they both are South Africans... ;)

  • on September 23, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    @ McGrath-Dravid-Flintoff ....Correction ..one thing is common.....both Trott and Kallis are born in Cape Town, Cape Province , SA .....

  • landl47 on September 23, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Dravid, Kallis and Trott do have one thing in common- they are all cricketers who have worked very hard to make the best of their talents. Of course, they are all gifted, but there are those who have more natural ability that have achieved far less. All of them, for example, have made themselves into world class ODI players even though that type of game does not come naturally to them. People who work hard tend to respect the achievements of others. That's the true spirit of cricket.

  • Kumar_dude on September 23, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Hats off Trott.Though..I did not have the chance to witness the scene...u deserve accolades mate.

  • on September 23, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    Harsha, how I wish every player had played cricket like Kallis and trott do. I am a die-hard romantic but often find my notions getting chellenged these days. May characters like Trott and Kallis flourish.