Symonds v. Sharma, The Verdict

I don’t want to make a big deal about this, because in the end, 15% of anyone’s match fees is a piddling amount (well, compared to the million dollars Sharma just earned). But it seems pretty clear from these two videos that Symonds started the fight. Sharma has his finger in the air as he looks at Symonds, but he doesn’t say anything until Symonds gets the suntan moving.

Watch as Ravi Shashtri, mostly fair and judicious, notes that since the match referee acted strictly by the books, he could have saved Sharma with a similarly technical interpretation of the rule as well. He says that Sharma’s fingers were not pointing towards the pavilion per se, but to the President’s box (which goes unmentioned in the ICC’s voluminous Code of Conduct). So, technicality for technicality, Sharma should have been let off. Yes, here we have it: cricket and lawyerly parsing — the British Commonwealth at its greatest.

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6 thoughts on “Symonds v. Sharma, The Verdict

  1. andrew says:

    Symonds says he said “well bowled champ”, looks like he might have based on that replay. If he did, that doesnt seem too provocative…

  2. Neeraj says:

    Symonds did not say “well bowled champ”, the guy loves to pick fights with Indian bowlers and get them into trouble (Sreesanth, Bhaji, Pathan, and now Sharma)
    Anyway, in the court hearing for Bhaji’s slur, Symonds said “There is no room for friendship between opposing players of cricket”
    What are the odds that the man who said that, picks fights with Indian bowlers said “well bowled champ” after getting out like that?

  3. andrew says:

    If he didnt say “well bowled champ”, what did he say?
    Has Sharma said what he thought Symonds said?

    A lot of people say Symonds provoked Sharma and as evidence point to the fact that Symonds spoke before Sharma pointed. I guess my point is that you have to look a bit further than that. You have to also consider what Symonds said. Nobody seems to be doing that.

  4. duckingbeamers says:

    Andrew —

    I’m really not sure what your point is. I’m not saying Symonds said anything inappropriate — as in, racial — but he clearly doesn’t look like he’s saying “well-bowled champ,” for God’s sake. He’s clearly angry here, no? I mean — he’s not smiling and saying, “Thanks for a great ball,” surely?

    So you’re asking me to accept this scenario: Symonds gets bowled, turns around and says what a lovely ball that was and Sharma, in return — Sharma, by the way, a guy who has never done anything aggressive in his small career — Sharma gets angry in return?

    Seriously? The reason nobody’s doing what you’re asking is because it’s seriously implausible. Of course, you’re correct; this is all circumstantial evidence, but my word: it’s fairly good circumstances.

  5. andrew says:

    Just playing devil’s advocate – possibly the lawyer in me – no one seems to be concerned about what was said (or what Sharma heard).

    Sharma’s reaction could be explained by him not having heard what Symonds had said (he was celebrating at the time) and assuming it was insulting or negative (a fair assumption to make in the circumstances).

    I see you would have convicted Bhajji on similar circumstancial evidence (The Case of Bhajji v. Symonds) so at least you are consistent…

    Great blog by the way, just discovered it a few days ago and am trawling through the archives(better than working)

  6. duckingbeamers says:

    Well, glad to have you around.

    You know, as long as we’re parsing, Ravi Shastri’s point also stands: apparently, Sharma wasn’t pointing at the pavilion, but — if you follow the angle — to the President’s Box.

    Moreover, the rule only states that no player can point or gesture in “an aggressive manner.” But Sharma’s pointing is hardly aggressive — he actually claps before he puts a nearly vertical arm in the air.

    And to think, I almost went to law school.

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