The ‘Gentlemen’s game’

       Hello folks, it is quite a time this blog had a post on cricket. But now, when the entire cricketing world talks about it,i felt that this blog too should. The recent India vs Australia is most controversial test in my recent memory. It had all that a true cricket fan would be ashamed of. Poor umpiring decisions, racial abuses and all that. And as the Indian skipper Kumble rightly pointed out, only one team played the game in its true spirit. This test has made us analyse the entire game itself.

Quoting from the great sports writer Nirmal Shekar’s article in the sportstar at the close of the twentieth century, “Cricket is a game which is  18th century in the outlook, 19th century in its  approach, waiting to enter the 20th century”. Ofcourse it is true that it did not reflect much of the technical developments around the world in it. But still, even untill mid 1980’s the game was given the great respect that always had. The players were really gentlemen who gave the greatest happiness to the cricket following crowd.

But then it all happened. There was media explosion, and cricket started to become more and more commercial. Over the past two or three decades, cricket is no more what it used to be – “The gentlemen’s game”. First came the kerry packer controversy and with that ODIs became more popular and Test matches – the true cricket started losing its popularity. Following that more and more controversies. Cricket’s dignity reached new lows when it got caught in a match-fixing net which saw the fall from grace of a few great players.

And now, this time the umpires and match refrees are causing trouble. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the game can say that the umpires favoured the Australians on many many occasions. And we have a captain who does not walk out even after clearly nicking the ball to the keeper and a vice captain who very very clearly edged the ball to the slips and then waits for the umpire’s decision. Does that mean the team had paid the umpires and expects a few decisions to go in its favour. And there again, the same captain, for the first time in his lifetime(probably) admitted that he had not taken a catch that other thought he took. But to the onlookers it was all clear as a crystal that he hadn’t taken it. And with claim alone in his favor, and uncountably many against him, he frowns anyone who questions his integrity.

When television replays across the world shows that he had grounded the catch from Dhoni, he foolishly argues that he hadn’t grounded it. And his vice captain says that he was sure that he took a clean catch when the whole world was sure that it both taken in a half-volley and again in the act of catching it he grounded it. When such liars and cheats play the game how ever can it be a “Gentlemen’s game”.

As a way of adding insult to injury, cricket suffered a further setback, when Harbajan Singh was accused of racially abusing  Symonds. Insipte of absence of any solid proof, the match refree Mr. Mike Procter (He needs no respect though) gave him a three match ban. When he believed the words of the drunkards (Aussie players), why does he refuse to believe the world’s greatest player (Sachin). Though many will not agree, i wish to ask this question – “Does the behaviour of Mike Proctor not seem like racial discrimination. He believed the words of the australians (Whites) but not the words of Indias. (Well, if australians call Harbhajan as to have racially abused symonds, this question is justified. )

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