Monday, October 11, 2004

What Happened To Sportsmanship?

I remember how I played the game of cricket. If I was bowling and thought that the batsman was out LBW I would appeal. If not, while the rest of the team was appealing I would turn around and return to my mark. I expected the same from my combatants.

Take a look at the first Test between India and Australia in Bangalore. So much appealing going on and Virender Sehwag was fined 65% on his match fee for showing serious dissent.

Frankly, I don't blame the poor bastard.

He got a thick edge, almost thick enough to think that he was guiding the ball down to fine leg or attempting a french cut. How on earth the Australians thought to appeal is beyond me. Sickens me in fact.

When I was a youngster and still playing the game, ok, I was about 20, I copped a crook decision. I defended forwards to a ball and missed it. It wasn't like it was "the ball of the century" (read about it here) or anything but it had a similar pitch. Next thing I new the umpire was giving me out. Out for what? Bowled. But the ball went so wide there was no way that it could have hit the stumps. I didn't want to go. The square leg umpire told me on the way back to the pavillion, or shack as it was at Wandilo, told me that the wicket-keeper had reached forward, grabbed the ball, and broken the stumps. I should therefore have been not out. Can't for the life of me remember which way the stumps were pointing.

A little bit of protest entered the equeation and the captain of the other team invited me back to the crease. I took up that offer. But then the umpire insisted that I was out.

No one at North Gambier C-Grade could tell me what had happened. I consider that to be a stab in the back. Something happened and nobody could tell me. I never allowed Dave Whatshisface to umpire again whilst I was batting. So, I guess I understand how Sehwag felt. Even if it did look a bit Gatting-like in dismissal.

At least I didn't lose 65% of my match fee. Which was nothing by the way.

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