Not cricket

I’ve had a few people writing to ask why I’m not commenting on the disastrous second test between Australia and India. There are several reasons. I’ve not been able to follow any of the cricket as closely as I’d like. I haven’t had time.

But mostly because I’m embarrassed. And, well, I think Greg Baum and Mike Coward have expressed what I feel about it so well that i don’t really need to add anything.

I will though: I’m sick of Aussie sportsmen (and, frankly, it’s the blokes, not the women) behaving like dickheads. I’m not Indian, so the bad behaviour of the Indians doesn’t make me ashamed, and, you know what? We’re the host country here. We should be behaving like hosts. What’s wrong with a bit of graciousness? The Aussie team of 1960-61 managed it up against that fabulous West Indies team. Why can’t our current team be more like them?

Look, unlike Mike Coward, I don’t think there was ever a golden age of well-behaved cricket teams. There’s always been cheating and sledging and arrogant behaviour.1 But it didn’t used to always be us. Right now the Aussie cricket team reminds me strongly of the English under Jardine back in 1932-33. It’s not a pleasant thought.

That said, I still wish I’d been able to see it . . . And I really hope the next two tests are less horrible with much better umpiring!

  1. In fact, there’s a whole book about it: It’s Not Cricket : A History of Skulduggery, Sharp Practice and Downright Cheating in the Noble Game by Simon Rae. []


  1. steve turner on #

    I don’t know … to call the second test disastrous seems a bit much — the outcomes since the test have been disastrous, but the game itself was great.

    Maybe I’m just a one-eyed fan or something, but I still can’t see too much to complain about here … they do play tough, and uncompromising, and everything else, but it’s not all a one way street. Part of India’s reaction does seem to be just about the fact they lost a very close game, and the two things they’re most angry about (bad umpiring and the player suspension) can hardly be described as Australia’s fault anyway.

    At least you linked to Mike Coward’s story — that was balanced and fair, unlike Peter Roebuck’s ridiculous “Ponting must be fired” call on the SMH site.

    Well, back to rewriting tips I think …

  2. David S. on #

    Yep, Symonds should have walked, India got some bad ump decisions, but so did Australia and that’s always the situation. C’mon after the last tour of India *both teams* agreed to crack down on racist taunts. How come as soon as one of them complains it’s suddenly the end of the world and “monkey” is a compliment? I’m 100% behind the Indian commentator who called for *all* sledging to be banned, but it seems that only applies to others where India are concerned… Both captains need to get together and agree to ban it completely, forever. No excuses, no exceptions, no more.

    It was still the best and most exciting Test I’ve seen in many years. I was on the edge of my seat; you missed a fantastic game.

    As for Peter Roebuck’s call for Ponting to be fired… type “Peter Roebuck caning” into Google and wonder, as I have for years, why the SMH continue to employ a convicted criminal every summer.

  3. lili on #

    i just want to smack ponting in the head. he is a smarmy git. sledging aside, his totally ungracious ‘oh yeah, of course we were always going to win’ comments after the match were a) being a poor winner and b) wrong.

    he’s an amazing batsman, but being captain of the Australian cricket team is more than that, and i don’t think he realises that any more than he realises that cricket is about more than winning.

  4. emily on #

    i hate being an american. i didn’t get that whole post. and all the comments leave me scratching my head too.

    cricket sounds really cool (though i don’t understand it).

  5. Justine on #

    Yeah, I read the Roebuck piece. Dramaqueen much?

    The Oz cricket team has behaved like this before. I was cringing in 2003 when we toured the West Indies too.

    Lili: Yeah, I’ve never liked Ponting as captain. Brilliant batsman. Not so good at dealing with human beings. He should stick to the horses.

    But like I said I didn’t see any of it. My parents were at the SCG for Day 2 and had a fantastic time. I wish I’d been there too.

  6. Patrick on #

    This is interesting, but not nearly as important as American Football.

    IT’S the playoffs!!!!!!!

Comments are closed.