Cricket – Protest the Gandhian way

How about this. Indian team goes ahead and plays the Perth test, but protests in this Gandhian style. It will work a lot better if Kumble wins the toss and bats first.

First delivery, straight and full from Lee, Jaffer lets it go and hit the off stump. Ditto, does Laxman. 2 for none, in over number one. Aussies are amused, whats happening? They sense foul play, so they stop bowling straight. Never mind, there are other ways of getting out, like hit-wicket, or spooning a catch. India all out for less than 10 – damn those wides and no balls – and could do it in the second inning as well. The end result would be what Australia try so hard for, a victory for them. Isn’t it?

What would ICC do then? Expect an accusation, India didn’t play with the spirit of the game. And then will begin the all-settling debate on what exactly is this spirit of the game.

How does that sound? Fun!?

Well whatever, the spirit is dead anyway. To hell with this “mental disintegration” theory, Allan or Border, whoever started it. What crap. If I want to see immense concentration, I can go watch a sage do some tapasya. If I want to see resilience, I can go watch a marathon. For hearing silly and abusive banter, there are programs on TV, and friends as well. Don’t give me this cocktail of skill, concentration, resilience and chatter please. I want some pure cricket, as in skill – bat, bowl and field – for god sake. Could they all not just shut up and play!?

That brings me to another possible Gandhian protest – players could play the next match with their mouths stitched or taped (like those Jain gurus) and, hang on, ear plugs.

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23 Responses

  1. Yes, leaving aside the umpire’s mistakes, the game’s getting so ugly in this series because of the players’ attitudes. Cant they play just ‘cricket’ and nothing more?

  2. Somebody please forward this to Indian cricketers. Putting tapes on mouths can be really effective ;)

  3. You know what, the whole “throwing away the match” thing just might work. Maybe the ICC will sit up and take notice of the whole issue and understand how deeply hurt we as Indians are about this whole thing then.

  4. Thanks for the comments Jayan, Surendra, Jam.

    Actually, I find flaw with this predominantly “international” flavor that Cricket has acquired. Whats the point in these long international tours, and that too so frequently?

    Give us good and ‘fun’ cricket every weekend, give me more players to follow and track. I am sick of hearing the same names again and again for a decade – so little choice. I am tired of patriotic flavors getting attached to the game – kills the fun at times, war and racism and all that.

    ICL, or IPL – I don’t care. Need a quality domestic league, and need it fast :) Domestic, tensionless and fun filled entertainment first, all international stuff later.

    And I guarantee you that such a setup will uplift the standards of our international teams as well.

  5. am not much of a gandhian…. so my method wud be to play the same way they did.. (cheat cheat cheat) when we are bowling we can appeal every time a batsman is beaten or anytime there is a batpad we can appeal for an lbw or may be for a catch when a batsman offers pad… wow the possibilities are endless!

  6. and when we are batting we can provoke Australians to speak to us and jump around saying they called us a monkey.. which we find abusive

  7. Silkboard,

    What are we protesting here? Kumble had an agreement with Ponting that the fielder would say it were clean or not. Now to whine about it is wrong. If he did not trust Ponting then he should not have agreed. Take responsibility for your own decisions.

    Then, if the Indian batsmen are incapable of lasting 2 sessions, then something is amiss. Granted Rahul got a dreadful decision, but that is hardle the Aussies’ fault. We would have appealed as well. Sachin played a poor shot, Jaffer seems to have forgotten how to bat, Yuvraj clearly needs to get his brain working, Dhoni padded up when he had a bat in hand. The Indian tail has not put up a fight when the chips are down. Remember Madras in 1999 when Saqlain ran through them and again in Calcutta?

    Harbhajan was very apologetic after the altercation. He raised his hand in apology to Hayden and also was clearly on the defensive when he was talking to Mark Benson. There was a pre-series agreement that he would not call Symonds a monkey after what happened in Bombay. Indians as a people, sadly, are as racist as anyone else even if we don’t like to be told that. I would not put it past him to have said what he has been accused of, Sachin’s defence notwithstanding. Imagine if one of the Indians was called a coolie. I am sure Kumble would have reported it. I would expect him to.

    We Indians also have a blatant disregard for the law. We abide by it only when it is convenient to do so or if there is no other option. See Bangalore traffic as a shining example. This sort of calling in the “bhai” when things dont go my way reeks of spoilt children and people who can’t take a ruling not in their favour.

    If you don’t like the way the Aussies celebrated too bad. As if our own T20 celebrations were subdued? Look at Sreesanth’s behaviour. He is an embarassment to any lover of cricket and someone who has seen people like GR Vishwanath, Walsh, Ambrose, Akram, Srinath play the game.

    Kumble (btw he was my classmate in National College) has been around for long enough to know these things. My own response would have been to keep my mouth shut and play in Perth. If we lose now, we won’t even have Steve Bucknor to blame, which is good. If we thought that Harbhajan was innocent, follow the due course of the law.

    Now we look (rightly so) as poor losers.

    Srivathsa

  8. Agree about the loser part. I wish we had managed a draw, things would have looked a lot better then.

    Unsporting behavior on the field (standing ground when a catch went to first slip, claiming ground balls as catches), coupled with really bad umpiring (which I think is a function of overly aggressive way in which they play and “manage” appeals) made this a very dirty game to watch. I don’t care who does it more now (Sreesanth, Symonds, Ponting or Nel), the fact is that its Aussies who started this talking business a few years ago. All this public ‘anger’ that you see around on the net against Aussies is not just about the Sydney test.

    As per insiders, they do it smartly – as in not talking near an umpire or microphones. Even if Harbhajan said something, there are no witnesses, just the way there used to be none when Aussies went about discussing parents and children of their opponents. Whose word do you take here – Sachin who was with Harbhajan, or the fellow abusers who are backing their mate? If Harbhajan said something, it has to be proved beyond doubt.

    Whats all this nonsense coming out from Ponting, Sutherland etc about playing “hard” and ‘tough”? Why is Symonds telling a newspaper that he “defended” his mate Lee on the field? Do they think of it all this as a game or war?

    Who doubts that they are a better team. Playing 4 full tests with them in their own den, almost knowing the result – that itself is a sporting and game enough in my opinion :)

  9. Yuvraj seems to be playing a different game ;-)

  10. Perhaps because its easy for Aussies to know what sentences are the best to welcome him to the crease :)

  11. the topic is gettin more coverage than wat is required. indeed it is an important issue . but there hardly somethin news channel can do the competition is so stiff that eyeballs have to be attracted with whatever news thats can be sensationalized

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