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.
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!
- 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. [↩]