Category Archives: Andrew Symonds

Andrew Symonds, Human Character

I don’t really like Andrew Symonds, or rather, I didn’t: I found him too aggressive, and too willing to unfairly get into another side’s face. (I also don’t like really good lower-order batsmen; they have a tendency to play spoiler, either preventing batting collapses from fully culminating, or putting the screws in already tired bowling attacks.)

But I think I’m changing my mind on this guy. Continue reading


Australian Cricket Writings

It’s a genre of its own, steadily expanding: first, there was Adam Gilchrist, and all the revelations of an un-sportsmanlike Tendulkar. Then, there was Ricky Ponting, offering another account of the Sydney crisis. And now, the main man himself, Andrew Symonds, picks up the plume and begins to write himself. Where does this all leave us?

First: Gilchrist, I think, is an idiot. Continue reading

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Another Australian Book, Another Media Storm

I swear, these Australians have way too much time on their hands. I can understand a little newspaper column here and there, but can these guys please stop putting out books every other week? Don’t they make enough money that they don’t need to put out more gossipy drivel for the sake of a quick buck? 

Maybe I should go easier on Ponting’s latest literary effort, Captain’s Diaries. He seems very careful — much more than idiot-of-the-year, Adam Gilchrist (why would you even think about attacking Sachin Tendulkar? Does he not realize how powerful the Indian market is? Does he still want to play in the IPL?). He merely says that an Indian senior player hoped that the process would not get too bogged down after the Symonds-Harbhajan affair. Fair enough.

And there is some good stuff here: Continue reading

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Andrew Symonds Discovers His Softer Side?

What on earth is going on in Australian cricket? Perhaps there’s a drawback to holding the champion position so long, when their best cricketers appear to suffer all sorts of mental breakdowns. First it was Shaun Tait, though that was not as big news because, deep down, we all know fast bowlers — especially ridiculously fast ones like Tait — are inherently crazy. 

But now, Symonds? And what’s this about a fishing trip? And him possibly not wanting to come back to cricket? Uncle J Rod, on one of his hi-tech podcasts, spent about 3 minutes repeating the “F” word, and then dwelling in some deep conspiracy theories (he smells an arrest). But it seems that, despite enjoying massive support from the public, Symonds does not have a similar status inside his own dressing room, from where all sorts of bad names have come out in the last week about him.

Not to take too much fun in another man’s misfortune, but this is a bit of fun for me. Continue reading

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Letting The West Win: Ganguly/Warne (3)

Recently, I’ve found it difficult to make even the most basic points to my friends — the importance of empirical evidence in rational debate, for instance — but I want to take on a much complicated topic, involving post-colonialism, sledging, and media coverage. Stay with me.

The Shane Warne/Sourav Ganguly crisis folded just as quickly as it began, with each player handed out the requisite fee and slap on the wrist. The window was open long enough, however, for the 24-hour news channels in India to get their word out. Watch Times Now dissect the “scandal” in clear, India v. Australia terms:

There are a few problems here. Continue reading

Mickey Arthur Can Cry Too

South Africa’s coach just joined the Harbhajan-Sreesanth controversy, but adds fewer than the entry fee’s required two cents. First, he notes that his team had several issues with both players, especially after Sreesanth abused De Villiers and Harbhajan went after that meekest of batsmen, Ashwell Prince. (The latter point is particularly distressing, since Prince is black, revealing a distressing pattern with Harbhajan.)

But Arthur should have uttered his points and left it at that. Instead, he has to go on about not being a “squealer,” and why he didn’t say anything before:

“At the end of the day, we are not squealers,” Arthur said. “We strongly believe that what happens on the field stays on it. Besides, we were very happy with the general spirit in which the series was played in, and we left with very pleasant memories of the tour, especially the cricket that was played.”

Well, let’s put aside the obvious contradiction here: Arthur says he’s not a squealer, just as he complains about the two players’ behavior. But that’s not what’s distressing: I don’t understand exactly why players should be treated as squealers for having a difficult time with another player’s on-field behavior. Continue reading

IPL Roundups

I’m just about to go on a weekend break in the city, but I wouldn’t leave without first giving out a few hat-tips. In case you’re, say, not in India and haven’t subscribed to some ridiculously expensive cable package deal and can’t find news because of the news agency boycott — whew! — don’t sweat! Ducking Beamers can tell you where to go (other than here, of course) to get the latest: Continue reading

Merging Identities

The most interesting element of the IPL remains its attempt to settle cricketers from different backgrounds and characters into one team. The idea is not completely new, and even international country teams offer a wide variety of cultural and racial characters within their ranks. Still, after the recent ugly spats between India and Australia (monkey talk, bastards, etc.), nothing was more heartening than to see Ricky Ponting embrace his Indian teammates during the opening match between Kolkata and Bangalore.

The first wicket was the pick of the lot. Watch below, at 4:04, when Ishant Sharma dislodges Rahul Dravid’s stumps with a nice yorker. The strangeness is nicely set up: Sharma has just dismissed the former Indian captain, and, while celebrating, Ricky Ponting — the same man whom Sharma ruined at Perth — jumps up and ruffles the tall boy’s hair. All ancient history, I suppose?

Macho, Macho Men: Australians Reveal Their Masculine Side

The sun never set on the British Empire, but the same cannot be said of the cricketing world, its chief colonial legacy (apart from, you know, the rule of law and all that). Already a fairly small coterie of 10 or 11 countries (depending on Zimbabwe’s mood), it doesn’t help that several members suffer from regular terror attacks and general instability, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and even mother country, England.

It’s a sad state of affairs — so much for cricket’s civilizing mission — because international cricketers must regularly choose on the one hand between their safety and political ideas (especially with regards to Robert Mugabe) and playing the sport that they’re paid for on the other.

But while I don’t want to burden cricket with any more political baggage than it already has, Andrew Symonds has forced my hand. Although many on the Australian team have expressed reluctance to tour Pakistan in its current state, Symonds has been the most outspoken, joking last year about the number of bombs that form a part of daily life in that country. Even if the tour itinerary is shortened; even if security is beefed up; Symonds says he doesn’t want to go. Full Stop.

Obviously, I don’t wish harm on anybody, least of all cricketers, but Symonds — and the Australian team in general — cannot walk out of this corner without at least admitting to hypocrisy and, at the most, cowardice (Yeah! I’m calling ’em yella’, you hear!). Continue reading

A Bit Too Earnest, Symonds

Second-to-last post on Symonds. I’ve noticed a pattern with our dear Andrew. In the final slog overs, Symonds naturally wants to hit, hit, hit. Successful bowlers have realized, however, that he gets a bit ahead of himself. Watch these three videos, all of which show Indian bowlers — Sreesanth, Pathan, Sharma — out Symonds with slower balls in overs at the death. Looks like Symonds might want to keep his bat in his hands just a bit longer before he swings all that frustration in the open.

Pathan bowls Symonds here with a slightly quicker ball, but gentle medium pace overall:

And of course, the infamous Sharma off-cutter: