Are Indian Cricketers Jerks?

I’ve asked this question before, and Churimuri offers a good answer:

In the obnoxious way they carry themselves—the testosterone-rich swagger, the arrogant chewing of gum—you would think that by some divine right, India is destined to win always, no matter what, and the other team is only there to help them do that. But if there is anything worse than their body language, it surely must be their awful bawdy language?

Bad puns aside, the blog post also includes examples from the India-South Africa match, when all the Indian bowlers apparently called their South African scalps a variant of “sister/motherfucker.” While I place a high premium on the “spirit” discourse of the game, I do not mind particularly boisterous celebrations after a batsman’s dismissal. Alas,  alas, this concession does not include accusing opponents of incest.

That said, the English team has been particularly awful this tournament — not against their opponents, but against each other. On several occasions, Graeme Swann has looked ready to brutally stab his teammates (though Jimmy Anderson and Kevin Pietersen deserved some physical punishment for their ridiculous non-catch against Ireland). Andrew Strauss has thrown daggers all around, and Matt Prior must think Jimmy Anderson is a complete idiot for the legside filth he has thrown this series. (Not to mention the ridiculously prolonged tantrums Swann threw during the game against Bangladesh.) 

It’s funny to watch, and it’s certainly unexpected — given all the teamwork cliches we have been fed over the decades — but I really like it. It reminds me of playing on streets in Bombay (and in pick-up games in school), where teams are thrown together based on factors other than merit (convenience, numbers, relationships) and a little screaming and a few tempers are par for the course (rarely, at least in my experience, are they permanently damaging to friendships). Once, during a practice game (a match very much thrown together at the last minute), one of my “teammates” also acted as the wicketkeeper because we didn’t have enough players. As the bowler (from the other team) delivered the ball, this guy — again, my teammate — chirped in my ear, “Four ball! Four ball!” and then tsk-tsked when I merely paddled it away for a dot. (It didn’t help that this guy came from Cathedral School, a bastion of indulgent elitism and entitlement. ((I went to Campion for a brief period. I’m fully objective on this point.))

During a different game, I did drop a sitter off the best batsman in the opposition. In response, my team’s selectors promptly dropped me for the rest of my term in school. Bitterness ensued. Grame, I know what it’s like to have to deal with mere mortals.

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One thought on “Are Indian Cricketers Jerks?

  1. […] last post on cricketers’ behavior ended up on another topic — the fun and challenges of pick-up cricket games.  Cricket […]

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