News and Views…

There have been a few things happening. So I thought I’d blog a “News and Views” type post.

  • India beat Sri Lanka to enter the finals of the CB Tri-Series. Praveen Kumar broke the back of the Sri Lankan innings through some incisive pace bowling. Sri Lanka never really recovered from there. I have been saying this for quite some time now… and I will say it again! I am not sure why Praveen Kumar should not be a part of every game that India plays. In fact, I’d even say that he is not a bad #3 option too! He has a reputation of hitting big sixes in domestic cricket.
  • After playing the last dead-game in Melbourne, the Australians will take on India at the SCG on Sunday March 2.
  • The latest round of reprimands and fines in cricket in Sydney in the CB series match between Australia and India has received due coverage in Australia. Contrast the approach of The Age (Jamie Pandaram) and The Australian (Peter Lalor). The latter opinion piece does not even mention that Ricky Ponting was fined in the same match for slow over rates!
  • Peter Lalor goes one step further today by suggesting that Ishant Sharma gave Saint Andrew Symonds a “foul mouthed spray”. Ishant Sharma copped a fine and in my view, that was fair enough. Did poor Saint Andrew Symonds deserve a spray for saying “Well bowled champ”? Oh no way!
  • Unfortunately, instead of saying that the Indians will not indulge in sledging and instead of saying that the Indians will work hard on learning how not to be affected by foul-mouthed hoons, its ODI captain has instead said, “It’s an art and [the Australians] are good at it, but the Indians will learn soon.” Pray why?
  • The BCCI, it seems, has had enough of all this nonsense and wants to empower on-field umpires to come down hard on sledging. It is not often that I agree with anything that the BCCI mandarins say, but on this one, I am on their side! I reckon on-field umpires should be given a yellow, green and red card. A Yellow Card is a first warning to a player in the match. A Green Card would mean that the player is out of the game for half hour. A Red Card would mean that the player sits out the rest of the match! The umpires decision is final. Period. That’s one way to stamp out all this on-field nonsense.
  • In his match report on the India v Sri Lanka match in Hobart, Peter Lalor says, “No, it was all very pleasant when India played Sri Lanka. More a neighbourhood social than an international match.” Wonder why? The team of All Saints was busy dressing up for the Allan Border Medal night. And when they were not busy dressing up, they were busy frothing on Radio!
  • Yes, just when you thought things were going along swimmingly, Saint Matthew Hayden jumped in, head, foot and arms flailing and called Harbhajan Singh an “obnoxious weed”. How nice now! I would be surprised if Cricket Australia do not tape the big Queenslander’s mouth. If he worked in my organisation, I know what I would do. I do not know what sort of weed the big Queenslander has been smoking lately, but it is clearly having an effect on him!
  • The Indians think Matthew Hayden called Harbhajan Singh a “mad boy” in the Sydney match. So what if he did? But the big opening batsman from Queensland said, he called him a “bad boy”. Ooooh ooooh! Baddy Baddy Bad Boy! Phew, that makes it alright then! The “bad boy” tag — rather than the “mad boy” yelp — becomes even more acceptable to Hayden because he thought in his own simple mind that Harbhajan Singh should be flattered. But of course! Duh! “Bad Doy” is “a clothing range is it not? What the…..?
  • Did these guys go to school at all? Not that they have to, mind you. Clearly, some of them haven’t left the school yard where most people leave all of this puerile nonsense.
  • Read a transcript of Saint Matthew Hayden’s eloquent interview here. I am shocked that Cricket Australia are sitting on their fingers after this blatantly disrespectful interview. I thought the Australian way was to leave all the verbal nonsense on the field!
  • The Australians apparently got really upset with Harbhajan Singh after the Indian spinner reportedly subjected Australian skipper Ricky Ponting “to non-stop abuse” in the Adelaide match. Oh poor thing! That’s not fair, is it mommy? Get him a nappy… quick! Talking of nappies, Ricky Ponting is expecting one… Not a nappy… a baby!
  • Meanwhile Saint Pontiff Matthew Hayden has taken it upon himself to provide advise to young Ishant Sharma on on-field behaviour! Saint Pontiff Matthew Hayden said, “He is just young. I have said to him many times, you are 19, take it easy. At the end of the day you are 19, why don’t you just worry about your bowling for a while.”! Wonder why, at 37, Hayden does not follow his own advice? Things that make you go WTF…
  • So now Ishant Sharma needs advice too. Hmmm! Let’s not forget that this was the young lad that shook Andrew Symonds’ hand in Sydney in that infamous Test match. What advice is he going to receive from Saint Matthew Hayden — halo and all — on appropriate on-field behaviour?
  • India take on New Zealand in the U19 semi-final game in Malaysia.
  • Gary Kirsten has arrived in India to take up his responsibilities as Team India Coach. Anil Kumble and he met with BCCI officials. This is in preparation for India’s Test series against South Africa, who will play three Tests against India in India, at Chennai (March 26-30), Ahmedabad (April 3-7) and Kanpur (April 11-15).
  • One of Gary Kirsten’s immediate tasks will be the appointment of a team physio — John Gloster will quit his position at the end of the ongoing CB Series. Kirsten also appears keen to recruit his long-term business associate and mental skills coach Paddy Upton on a permanent basis! Perhaps Upton could teach the team to learn how to ignore (rather than retaliate well to) the Saints from the opposition team.

— Mohan

38 responses to “News and Views…

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  3. chris hutchinson


    You are generally balanced with your blogging, albeit parochial but there’s nothing wrong with that. Ask Peter Lalor!

    But how long can you go on thinking Harbhajan is someone he’s not.

    Matthew Hayden’s comments in the last 24 hours pretty much sum him up. He is honest as the day is long. He can be abusive on the field but if I could get you to understand that the Australians know their forum (the line an when it is crossed) I would try.

    We are not angels but stop trying to tell us that Indian are the victims and always are when they come here. Let me take you back to pre-neutral umpires. Oh! Please dont start on telling me that Australia always seem to get the rub of the green.

    Indian are the most prolific transgressors n world cricket.

    They have more money now and have the talent to become the SUCCESS juggernaut that Australia have been for sometime.

    But can India reach the summit? Can they stay there?

    No! Unless they lose the chips on both shoulders and get on with being better prepared, consistent and focused.


  4. @Chris:

    Thanks for your comments. I have never claimed that the Indians are either saints or victims! I see red when Lalors claim that Hayden and Symonds are saints. There are no saints on the cricket field unless their name is Sachin Tendulkar — and I am not being one-eyed when I say this!

    I do not like the carry on that Harbhajan and Sree Santh do. It is un-Indian. But in their defense (not that I am ready to provide it) they say that they have been taking it for far too long and are now giving it back. They don’t know how to give it back as “cleverly” (Sigh!) as the Aussies do. Hence their long list of wrist-slaps.

    Empower the umpires and stop this nonsense. Enough is enough, I say.

    Yes, Matthew Hayden’s comments sum him up. You see him as “honest as the day is long”. I see him as a dweeb who needs his mouth surgically stitched. You won’t go around calling your neighbour a “stinking weed” even when you were angry would you? Then again, Harbhajan Singh is not Hayden’s neighbour and so, can take a xenophobic spray! Is this what you want Australia to be known as in the name of honesty?

    At some level, we are both right! Hayden doesn’t care for Harbhajan Singh. Harbhajan Singh does not care for Hayden. They can continue to bring the tone of their invectives down thereby leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth… Yours, mine and everyone else’s around the world.

    I personally do not believe that young India has a chip on its shoulder. It has a new-found confidence and a willingness for a fight that is born from that confidence. So, it has lost that chip and replaced that with sword in hand. And when cornered by bullies, instead of shrinking away (like their elders used to) they fight fire with fire. I am not a fan of this, but then I am neither “young” nor “Indian”.

    Both teams need a mental adjustment. Australia can’t carry on like it used to. India needs to put the sword away.

    This will make the cricket more compelling to watch, in my view…

    — Mohan

  5. chris hutchinson


    Your words make it hard for me to respond. I take it all on board and I dont want us vs them as everything remains clouded.

    But to use a phrase of un-Indian is a gross generalisation that fits in the un-Australian basket. A phrase widely used by Australian people judging Symonds, Hayden etc. when they dont do things the way THEY think they should.

    Gees! You would think we dont have robbers in our own countries.

    The card system is the answer. I think cricket has a problem with this because of the potential for someone to be ejected from a test etc.

    Isnt that the point!

    Isnt it funny though that bowlers never run down the wicket a third time.

    Anyway! Refering to anyone who is not a saint as a saint e.g. Sachin is close to blasphemy.

    But I really dont mind. He can bat though.

    With regard to Hayden and the word honest, probably FRANK is a better word.

    p.s. do you really think that Australia is largely to blame for what has gone on this summer?


  6. Chris,

    The problem is that after everything that has happened this summer, not one Australian has had a fine slapped at him for on-field behaviour while 2 Indians have. Do you see an inequity in this at all? And talking about pre-neutral umpires, I don’t think anyone other than the English can take the high road on this issue. Every team had to play against 13 players on the field when away from home.

  7. chris hutchinson


    I think you answered your own question there!

    We must be completely inaudible if we have said something wrong. I just dont believe that we have broken the rules.

    As for inequity! Do you think that Australian cricket has every foreign umpire, match referee etc on the take?

    Indians seem to embrace the NZ HIGH COURT JUDGES lambasting of Andrew Symonds, but dont seem to identify that even he could find nothing more wrong with what had gone on, other than he provoked the situation and that he hoped that not everyone else saw cricket the way he did.

    Many of us still dont know what on-field behaviour you’re talking about.

    Perhaps if an Australian had carried on like Dinsh Karthik in Adelaide I might agree.


  8. @Prabu: Spot on re: the moral high ground on neutral umpires. Let us not forget that Pakistan had to fight England and Australia to have the current system of “neutral” umpires in place. And when the ICC did not give Pakistan the permission to have “neutral” umpires, they went ahead and did it anyway!

    Read “Sport and Postcolonialism” by John Bale and Mike Cronin.

    Pakistan’s calls for 3rd country umpires in ODIs was once again rejected by the ICC in 2005!

    — Mohan

  9. “Before you remove the speck on your own eye first remove the mote on your own eye”

    Indian players have been fined 45 times Australian 25 . This is almost a 2 to 1 ratio.

    Could it be that all referres etc are racist or anti Indian? That is an interesting concept.

    Perhaps the latest match between India & SL was so pleasant because India won so easily so they had no need to resort to tantrums

    I also repaet a previous post & await an explanation ot perhaps it is an inconvenient truth.

    • Regarding the Ishant Sharma Fine
    Below are two quotes. The first from the Express India reporting the Indian teams manager complaint about the Australian team and the second from the Mid day Express.
    They are totally contradictory either:-
    The manager is misrepresenting his player
    or the player lied to the manager
    or the manager is trying to mislead the public & the ICC
    or the manager doesn’t know what is going on
    or the player lied to the match referee.
    Of course there is one other option. The reporter got it wrong, no doubt they will seek a retraction.
    When I first saw the replay I saw Symonds head snap back as if in reaction to words, he then replied (wrongly I believe) then Sharma gave the big send off. This is what Ponting said and in light of the quotes I know who I choose to believe
    The manager
    “Our plea was Symonds provoked Ishant and that’s why he did what he did,” said Soni. “The match referee has promised he would have a word with the Australian captain on the matter.” Ishant was called up for hearing by Crowe this morning in Sydney after the two umpires lodged a complaint about the Indian’s gesture towards Symonds, who was bowled for 59 in the 45th over of the Australian innings in Sunday’s match at the SCG.
    The Player
    Quote from Mid Day Express reporter Debasish Datta
    “For the last few Tests, I have been learning to bowl the slower delivery from Venkatesh (Prasad). And the moment I deceived Symonds with one, I wanted to thank him. That is why I was pointing towards the dressing room,” Sharma apparently told Crowe.

  10. chris hutchinson


    That was knocked back for all the right reasons. Again you guys answer your own questions.
    Neutral umpires didnt work

    It’s got nothing to do with moral high ground.

    If it’s now umpiring and officialdom holding Asia back my friends, you are going to rip yourselves apart.

    Look within to find out why you dont travel well.


  11. Why is Sachin Tendulkar a saint? I read that he has been fined in the past for ball tampering?

    Loved Haydens comments. Harbhajan is the biggest tosser (spinner pun intended) in world cricket.

  12. @Chris

    I don’t believe that Australia was singularly responsible for everything that went on this summer. Both teams must take responsibility.

    It takes two hands to clap.

    Having said that I believe that Anil Kumble’s pronouncement at the conclusion of the Sydney Test was right.

    But the suit-and-tie brigade has failed cricket. Their judgements and pronouncements have been inconsistent and bizarre. I wish Yuvraj Singh was reprimanded for his dissent in Melbourne. I also wish Ponting was fined for his dissent in Sydney (1st innings). I wish Australia was fined for its slow (“despicable” was the word Richie Benaud used, if I am not mistaken) over-rate in Sydney. There are several others that could be listed here.

    The suit-and-tie brigade has failed cricket with Proctor being the worst! My view is that they have no place in cricket. If the umpires can’t do what the suit-and-tie does, let a camera umpire games.

    I agree that “un Indian” and “un Australian” are grossly misused (and abused) cliches. But these are, unfortunately, used. I hope, however, that it conveyed the essence of my message.

    And the problem with having someone ejected from a Test match because of the 3-card system is?……

    You have your view about the saintliness of Sachin. I am not fussed if he is or is not labelled a saint. It just goes to prove my original point. There ain’t no saints on the cricket field!

    And frankly, forgive the directness, but Tendulkar does not need a certificate from you or me on whether or not he can bat. I think his bat has done enough of the talking 🙂

    — Mohan

  13. @JB. Yes, by Mike Denness who, in the same match, fined 6 Indian players — and banned Virender Sehwag for a Test — for excessive appealing. It was commonly accepted that in the first innings of the very same match, Shaun Pollock showed more dissent than all six Indians put together! Denness did not referee any match from then on in. ‘Nuff said!

    As I said earlier, there are no saints on the cricket pitch, unless if your name is Sachin Tendulkar!

  14. @Mohankaus,

    Has there ever been a decision made against an Indian player which either wasn’t;

    1) a bad decision;
    2) Provoked and therefore unfair;
    3) Somehow racist;
    4) Someone has done worse and therefore the decision is unfair.
    5) Some sort of conspiracy?

    Do you subscribe to the theory of “accept the umpires decision”?

  15. @JB

    I am not going to answer that question fully. Instead, I suggest you read my posts here more carefully. But if you insist on one — just one — example, I said on this site even before the ref handed down his verdict that Ishant Sharma should be prepared to cop a fine on his chin! I have said similar things when Australian players have given similar send-offs — Brad Williams to Ganguly at the MCG in 2003 springs to mind immediately — and have had to deal with patronising and insulting platitudes like “It is wrong to curb on-field aggression”.

  16. @Mohankaus,

    Thankyou for the advice.

    You are still young. I have said to you many times, you are still young, take it easy. At the end of the day you are young, why don’t you just worry about your bloging for a while!

  17. @ Mohankaus,

    Its difficult to respond when you amend your posts.

  18. @JB: Point taken… I just don’t wish to be rude. Direct maybe… but not rude. Hence the amend.

    And no, I am not young 🙂

  19. @Mokankaus,

    No problem at all.

    I agree with what you have said, in that there are no innocent parties here.

    The Indians simply need to learn how to respond in a way which doesn’t constantly get them into trouble with the match referee.

  20. @JB

    Won’t it be far better for all parties to just tape their mouths and play good cricket instead?

  21. Well, there is a lot of ill feeling between the teams. So there is no immediate solution. Indeed it appears that it will be worse in the final series, judging from

    You will most likely disagree with me on this, but this all started when the Aussies toured India and India wanted to prove themselves so went out to be vocal against the Aussies.

    If you look back at some of the posts at the time, there was wide support for the Indians to come to Australia and “give it” to the Aussies.

    The Aussie team doesn’t really respect the Indian team, for whatever reason. Perhaps arrogence? But that seems to be driving the Indian team nuts.

    There is only one way to solve the issue, which is for the next tour of India by Australia to be played in better spirits by both teams. But it will most likely continue because neither teams have the maturity to deal with it.

  22. @JB

    You are partly right about it all starting in October last year.

    As far as I am concerned, personally, I think the Australians lost it with the Indians the moment Andrew Symonds talked about “appropriate forms of celebration” after India’s Twwenty20 win. The Aussies had just landed in India. There was “sour grapes” tinge in that comment from Andrew Symonds and that’s fair enough! But more than that, it was downright insensitive. Most Indians would have thought that it was also insulting. As an honoured guest in a land that has welcomed you with folded hands (reserved for Gods), garlands and salutations, that was so damned culturally naive. From then on, things have gone downhill with Andrew Symonds and the Australian team — even though anecdotal evidence from the IPL auction would suggest otherwise!

    Lets face it. India is currently the only team in World Cricket that is capable of stretching the Aussies. This rankles the Aussies. They played well in India, but slipped (in my view) in Sydney and things have just gotten worse and worse in terms of relations between the teams.

  23. now that is a good analysis!

  24. @JB

    Thanks. The Australians have been at it for years. Yet, few of them — if any — have been booed and insulted in India. A guest in India is equivalent to a God — hence the garlands and the folded palm salute.

    But then there is a protocol at play for the guest too! You can’t just waltz in there in an arrogant manner and criticize the cleanliness of your hosts’ home! Even if you have those views, you keep it to yourself or state it to others after you’ve departed!

    Symonds chose a different path and was treated badly by his hosts, who had, up until then, looked on him as a ‘God’! This is a very simplistic explanation of a complex anthropology. But it is too cute to ignore.

    This doesn’t pardon the “monkey” stuff. Just explains it.

  25. Although I agree Harbhajan is an offender , Hayden should never have voiced his feelings on radio, what happens on the field should stay there and the umpires should rule.

  26. It is a very fair point. Australians are very isolated in the world, so most people don’t understand these sort of cultural issues.

    Both sides need to move on. Hopefully the IPL stuff will help with that. Still not happy with Harbhajan Singh though.

  27. @JB

    If pain persists, see a doctor 🙂

  28. Ah international advertising. It unites us all.

  29. just want to say that Sachin has shown everyone this tour why he is the best,

    pity that cant be said for Harbhajan Singh or even Murali for that matter

  30. On the Andrew Symonds comment last time in india i feel that australians are pissed that indians are getting so much money when they are best team in the world.
    with so many aussie willing to pay in IPL/ICL is money the bad blood between them?

  31. I wouldn’t have thought so.

  32. Well..Hayden is a magnificent cricketer and intimidating by his sheer prescence.

    The last thing he need ed to do was give looose-lipped interview to a radio station.somebody mentioned cultural isolation of a wired world that is obsolete as a Model T.

    what will happen is that indians will perfect what aussies have..give passing barbs off camera, cover stump mikes and let it rip, and generally reduce the game to a backyard brawl.

    So much for John Buchanan and Sun Tzu.

    But really, it ought to stop.and now.i wonder what will happen if India beat Oz in the CB finals…

  33. I think the answer is simple. Before cricket was supposed to be played between gentlemen and titled men who had nothing to lose except maybe a little pride. Language, etiquette, manners, sportsmanship was considered more important than the blasted result.

    Football was for the hoi-polloi. Nobody cared when some one called into question your parentage or your mother’s reputation.

    Cricket is now played by all sections of society and rightly so.

  34. Sorry, I posted the previous comment before finishing it.

    Today’s cricket is reflection of the times and people who play it. The best way to deal with it just accept it and carry on.

    When Zidane reacted with a head-butt to Materazzi’s comments after the last World Cup, it was Zidane who was sent off the field not Materazzi. All that talk is an accepted part of football and no one cries foul that this guy is sledging me or that footballer is provoking me. They blame themselves for getting provoked. Yeah, in turn they do it when they are down. But that’s part of the game too.

    I know cricket prides itself on being a gentleman’s game and all that. But I guess they just need to grow up and accept it.

    When a dog barks at you on the road and you react by throwing a stone at it and then it comes back and bites you. Who is to blame?

  35. Cricket Magazine,

    Agreed that Zidane was sent off during the match. But post match review of the incident resulted in Materazzi getting a ban for tw o matches. This has not happened in cricket.

    Post match reviews in cricket have been more or less a farce

  36. Pingback: Cricket Australia to reprimand Matthew Hayden? « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  37. Pingback: Hayden unrepentant but cops wrist slap… « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

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