In the Harbhajan Singh v Andrew Symonds incident that has marred the ongoing Sydney Test match, it has been confirmed by Match Referee Mike Proctor, that the on-field umpires heard nothing. It was Ricky Ponting that reported what was said.
It is all going to be very very interesting from here.
Not least because, in doing so, Ricky Ponting has threatened to break down a long-held Australian tradition of “What is said on the field is left on the field and forgotten after a glass of beer at the end of days’ play.”
This was Sunil Gavaskar’s summing on Channel-9. Well said, Gavaskar.
It is likely that Harbhajan Singh did use the “monkey” word against Andrew Symonds. We will not know that until the hearing is completed and, I for one, will not be passing judgement on either player yet.
However, even assuming that something was said, what has happened to that great Aussie tradition? Or should that be re-written as “What is said on the field by an Australian ought to be left on the field and forgotten after a glass of beer at the end of days’ play?”
I am not condoning slurs of any sort. I think racism should have no place in cricket, regardless of the provocation. My point is stronger than that. I think the ICC should stamp out sledging. Period.