Tag Archives: Sledging

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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Trial And Testimony: Gambhir, Sachs, And Cricket

I meant to blog about this when it came out — clearly, I can’t keep up with the Internet’s fast pace — but Albie Sachs’s opinion on the Gambhir-Watson merits some reading from cricket fans. I don’t know what kind of reaction “Gambhir-gate” attracted in India, but if I knew any better, I’m sure it echoed the hysteria that the BCCI displayed when the ban was decided. 

Let’s review: Gambhir and Watson get into each other’s faces during the 3rd Test Match. Then, when returning for a second run, Gambhir coyly puts his elbow out and lets Watson — reportedly, a very, very big man — have a little touch. A one-match ban takes effect for one; a fine for the other. 

Now, this is clearly a violation (or two) of those much talked-of but rarely-seen principles of cricket, and Gambhir admitted as much when he pleaded guilty. Chris Broad, however, felt that the physical contact went too far and could not be ignored, and so settled for the penalty he chose (apparently, he originally wanted a two-match ban, because of Gambhir’s run-in with Afridi, but he compromised after the umpires told him just how mean and nasty Watson and Co. were). 

Gambhir appealed, but Albie Sachs deferred. The BCCI gets angry, and cry upon cry is raised about the hypocrisy of the whole system. I think both sides have some merit, and I want to offer that kind of nuance into the debate: Continue reading

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Gambhir’s Battles

When Gautam Gambhir first came onto the scene, I didn’t want anything to do with him. He was forever frustrating, always slashing outside his off-stump and losing his wicket in a way that suggested he was more a dolt than an intelligent team player. 

Of course, that was then. The man has changed. But he’s still quite fiery; out of all the new generation cricketers — Raina, Uthappa, Gambhir — he’s known for his on-field hot temper. If you want to see all the sledging antics on Day at Kotla, please head over to: http://cricketsbestvideos.blogspot.com/

(Watch in particular as Katich stands literally in front of Gambhir and prevents him from trying to take a run. Of course, you can also watch as Gambhir fairly gratuitously knocks Watson with his left elbow, and then fails to apologize. I don’t like either Watson or Katich, so I’ll forgive him this time.)

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Regulating Spirit Fairly

I’ve written before about changing the framework that currently regulates on-field behavior in the gentleman’s game. There are a few problems in the present system: complexity, ambiguity, lack of enforcement. But it’s also very ineffective. If authorities are serious about wanting players to play nice, they can’t be happy with the last few years, as every India-Australia series will attest. The underlying strutucal factors — namely, an exploding television audience — demand more friction and drama, and players will be only too happy to oblige.

What can be done about it? Continue reading

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Only Connect: Desmond Tutu Takes The Spirit

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the legendary anti-apartheid leader from South Africa, delivered a moving and perceptive speech this week at Lord’s, as part of the annual Cowdrey Lecture series. So far, Tutu’s address has earned most attention for its call to boycott Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe’s “pariah” regime. That is as it should be, but a listen to the entire lecture yields many interesting points about the game’s “spirit,” and its face and role in society. I want to talk about a few tidbits, but be sure to listen to the full version (and Andrew Strauss’s reaction) here.

Continue reading

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