Sledging: The Mafia Seeks Police Protection!

I have a simple view on sledging and more so on high-moral grounds that people suddenly seem to want to adopt when it comes to sledging.

My question is simple: If someone is crass enough to say something crude, vulgar and distasteful to me about a people that I adore and worship and respect (say, my mother, my sister, my child, my wife or even my best friend) through a sequence of expletives, pray how would I deem that that person was worthy of my respect and observe a line in the sand? How does that person automatically wear nappies and point to lines in the sand? Where is the sand when that person himself has questioned my lineage and parentage? Why should I not question that person’s lineage in any way I know?

In saying this, I am not condoning Harbhajan Singh who is reported to have called Andrew Symonds a “monkey”. Not many people walk up to another person and call them randomly hurtful names. There is no doubt in my mind that Harbhajan Singh was provoked, if indeed he did call Symonds a “monkey”. If he was provoked, and if that provocation brought into focus and question a class of people that Harbhajan Singh respected/adored/admired/worshipped, then why should he not be allowed to issue an no-holds-barred spray of his own to the perpetrator? Why should he not brandish his sword and get stuck into the perpetrator? I am not absolving Harbhajan Singh. But it is a legitimate question to ask. Is it not?

There are no “lines in the sand”. If McGrath asks Sarawan what Lara’s tool tastes like, he should expect that he would be requested to ask that question of his wife. There are no lines in the sand. Pray why is McGrath’s wife the only one for whom a “line in the sand” applies? Is that only because she was not playing the game? Are Sarawan and Lara any less human than McGrath’s wife just because they were playing at the time? If Andrew Symonds had questioned Harbhajan Singh’s lineage, he should expect that his own lineage could be questioned too. Surely!

There is only one way to stop all of this nonsense. On a cricket field, the only objects that can be allowed to talk are the bat and the ball. Cricket is not played with the mouth, for heavens sake! A cricket ball whacked into the mouth hurts! That is why helmets were invented. Hello!

Australians invented sledging. They practice it and perfect it. Now, every team in the world carries on. Any team that sledges should accept whatever comes with that territory and stop donning nappies to worry about lines in the sand. There ain’t none. If sledging continues on unabated, we will see more “monkeying” and “rabbiting on”, not less.

The ICC has to step in, in my view and ban any talk on the field.

And for Australia to complain about “appropriate sledging” is a bit rich. If you throw a stone in the gutter you ought to expect a splash-back to soil your own clothes. The mafia cannot ask for a rule book on proper methods of killing.

— Mohan

10 responses to “Sledging: The Mafia Seeks Police Protection!

  1. Right on Mohan. Why is Andrew Symonds’ sensibilities more important than Harbhajan’s? This is a question that Peter Lalor or most Australian journalist never asks – for him somehow an Australian’s sensibility (racism) is more important than an Indian’s sensibility (pride of one’s lineage). If the point of sledging is to rile another person, how does it matter if it is about race or clan?

    Michael Clarke yelled out a “fu*k off” to Ganguly when he took the alleged “catch” – isn’t that demeaning as well? To insult an opposition player, a legend of the game no less, who had been for fighting his team’s cause is in my book as bad as anything else. But the indirect outcome of Ponting head in his ass (not sand) attitude is going to boomerang on him. ICC and Mike Procter will now have to define where this line lies – is it based on the sensibilities of all cultures that play the game or is it based only on the sensibilities of the western world. The Indians have to be applauded for the attitude on display and the fact that they have counter-filed charges against Brad Hogg. The issue is out to the fore and a decision has to be taken.

  2. Legal Disclaimer – Whatever I say is not meant to hurt any person, place or thing and I am just making a general statement.
    Brothel Owners cannot be spokespersons for Women’s rights. In some sense, certain societies vigorously brandish their enthusiasm for equality to hide and whitewash their guilt with their past.
    Some societies have so diverse a culture of people, race, ethnicity, language, food, music, dressing etc that they dont realize that such things need brandishing and marketing to be heard and seen by others.
    Some people say their prayers on loud speakers so that others know they are religious, Whilst the monk meditates in silence in the abodes of the himalayas.

  3. c’mon Mohan… You seem to be on some sort of ANTI Australian mission here. Every team sledges, the Aussies are not the only criminals here.

    We should concentrate on teaching our kids not to be affected by what is said.

    To paraphrase a Jewish man from, 2000 years ago, ‘If a man slaps you on the right cheek, do not retaliate, present him with you left.’

    Hang on, have i lost track of my own argument…

    Andrew Kumar

  4. @ Andrew

    I think I said “Now, every team in the world carries on.”

    — Mohan

  5. Mohan, our friend Lalor at it again:,25197,23014716-5001505,00.html

    Lalor doesn’t bother to ask one Indian player if Bhajji did what he did. He has taken Symonds word on it – the same guy who says he had a go at Bhajji becos he “hit” Lee’s rear, without ever mentioning what “have a go” meant.

  6. Pingback: Not quite the start, eh? - Scribbler on the Net

  7. Guys,

    Don’t give Lalor any more credibility by talking about him—he won’t change

    it will be easier to squeeze the tooth paste back into its tube or straighten a dog’s tail

    He is lioke the paid funeral band members in Indian villages that will beat their chest for a few rupess—because that is all they are capable of!!

  8. The question still remains unanswered (take the McGrath incident)… how come the Aussies never get punished for sledging.. is that because they do it better? … even when the Match referee is Ranjan Madugale…

  9. who is ready for the narco analysis test ? Harbhajan or Symonds.As this has turned out to be a MY word against HIS word the only solution is to go through the lie dectector test and also the narco test.If Sachin’s words cant be taken at face value WHY should the words of the Aussies carry more weight.Now if Harbhajan is exonerated DOES it mean THEY ALL lied and if so what action can be initiated ??

  10. I am an australian cricket supporter that enjoys most of our persistent victories, but i was very dissapointed with the second test.

    This game could/should and wouls have been a fantastic struggle yet it was completely ruined by the umpires, and perhaps moreso by Symonds failure to walk. Watching him collect the man of the match award was highly ridiculous. I don’t understand how he was given not out, it’s not like a batsman watches every ball fly through to the keeper. Everyone, bar Bucknor (not watching?), knew he hit it, and at 7/193 the aussies would have quite rightfully had a struggle on their hands. They have come back from worse positions than that though, and it would have been great to see them ‘earn’ the victory/games record fairly.

    To then see Symonds pile on another hundred or so and the boys notch 463 was a bit pathetic, but what better retort for india than fighting back with 2 great centuries and 500 plus!. The 3rd day batting from Harbajan and Sachin was brilliant, and i remember thinking that this was a game to remember at the time. I love watching India play, even if i prefer it when they lose, and it’s always great to see cricket played at that level of concentration / determination. It’s what the game is all about if you ask me.

    The rain delay spoilt it somewhat on the 4th day, in that it took the pressure off the aussies by limiting the time for india to get in a winning position. In a sense this was a shame, but you can’t help the weather, and the aussies rightfully took advantage…even if hussey should also have been given out.

    With all of that done and dusted, Ponting set the Indians a target of sorts, which set the scene for yet another test of Indian patience. 333 was gettable, but it was never really going to happen, and maybe that’s what Kumble is getting at aswell?- i mean, is it that bad to lose a game of cricket? the target didn’t really reflect the contest itself, it just took advantage of how little time was left.

    Once you can’t win a game of cricket, or indeed any game, it becomes a struggle to survive, to not lose, and i for one felt this was a little unfair on the indian performance across the first 4 days.

    With all that in mind, to see Dravid given out the way he was ( by Bucknor!), not to mention the ‘catches’ and the woeful lbw paid against Singh, was an absolute disgrace and a disaster for the game.

    Talk about a hollow victory! there was no joy in that for me, none at all. I was amazed at what had happened, yes, but there’s no point winning if it’s totally unfair. It was almost as if ‘we’ played with 13 men and an extra 250 runs and the indians played with 9 men and -100.

    It was quite embarassing really, and the games record will end up smelling worse than Murali’s action.

    i’m not sure who would have won if none of this had happened, but i do think that India and Australia are two very even, equally brilliant teams and it’s a real travesty that the contest was ruined in this way.

    As for the sledging, i think everyone should get over it and Harbajan should definately NOT be banned for 3 games. I don’t know what gets said on the field and i don’t want to either. I play 10th grade cricket ( the lowest grade!) and i’ve had all kinds of abuse yelled at me.

    I’ve yelled some too, and i will again i’m sure, and if i was sticking it up the aussies like Harby was at the time, i’d probably let them know about, on the off chance that it might put them off their game.

    Sledging doesn’t bother me too much and i don’t think it should bother the real players either.

    But if yr out, yr out, yr innings is done and you should walk, and if the ball misses yr bat by a foot no-one should be appealing either.

    Thanks for yr time, stay strong indian cricket lovers!!

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