What is said on the field stays on the field?


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.

— Mohan

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2 responses to “What is said on the field stays on the field?

  1. Pingback: Australia v India :: Test 2 :: Day 4 « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  2. Let’s be clear about this. IF the word “monkey” was used and if it can be proved that that word was used, it has to be stamped out and in my view, Harbhajan Singh has to sit out a game or two. The problem with this is that proving it could be extremely hard. It will be Harbhajan Singhs’ word against Andrew Symonds’ word with Ponting and Tendulkar as character and material witnesses.

    Either way, this is going to be non-trivial and messy.

    I think Ponting screwed up here. IF indeed, Harbhajan did say something racial out there and if the assessment was that it could not be proven, a one-on-one chat with Anil Kumble would have been the way to kick Harbhajan Singhs’ head in — IF indeed, the sikh was “guilty” but could not be proven beyond doubt.

    By adopting the “dobbing in” approach, the Australian captain has (a) adopted the high moral ground, (b) played it wrongly. In the end, it could well be “proven” that nothing was said. In a sledge-fest there is NO moral ground AT ALL!

    As I said, all very messy.

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