Friday, September 01, 2006

Reverse swing: The white side of cricket

Well, well, well, Darrell Hair is at it again; and again it's the 'brown bastards' (also known as Asians from the sub-continent in the civilised world) who are at the receiving end. What happened during the final test at the Oval was nothing short of a disgrace to this great game that most members of the commonwealth love. Let's be honest, both parties involved were wrong - one for taking matters too far too soon (Pak team) and the other for being too stubborn and acting out of pride (Hair).

Darrell Hair seems to be a magnet for controversy - be it because of his literal interpretation of the law and lack of common sense or the fact that he's an Aussie and we all know that Aussies are a bunch of stubborn bastards (no offence meant). The Pakistani team was guilty of not coming out to the field when they were expected to. Staying in the dressing rooms to register their protest - they could have gone to field and not started bowling, which would have been a far more effective option! Hair on the other hand, suspecting the ball to have been tampered with, should have produced proof. No proof, no charge, it's that simple, be it cricket or in society. In the end, the affair boiled down to who was involved, and unfortunately, both parties involved weren't the ones who could think rationally at the given moment.

During the 1979-80 tour of New Zealand, the West Indies team under Clive Lloyd were recipients of terrible umpiring decisions, and in the second test, they chose to register their protest by staying in the dressing room. When asked by the NZ cricket board chairman, Llloyd is said to have replied "We came here to play cricket; what's happeneing out there is not cricket!". The matter was resolved and the game continued inspite of the delay caused by the Windies team. Different people, different actions, different outcome.

Remember Mike Denness handing over suspended sentences to half the Indian team during the tour of South Africa? When Shaun Pollock appealed and kicked the turf out of anger, that didn't matter to him. When Kallis was seen running his fingers to remove the mud stuck on the seam, he wasn't pulled up. However, the Denness' and Hairs of the cricketing world are on the decline and hopefully their breed would soon be part of folklore, but a folklore that would be best forgotten.

The ICC, in a statement following the Oval fiasco and the Pakistani team's statement that they don't want Hair officiating in any test matches they play in, said that no team has the right to decide who they want or don't want to be standing as umpires in their games. Fair enough, they think that would be placing a team above the game. In that case, I'd like the ICC to explain to me why the yallow Darrell Hair to exempt himself from going and officiating in games played in Zimbabwe. Surely, if a team cannot be above the game, can an individual? White world hegemony or 'brown bastard' paranoia?

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