Tag Archives: Sledge

Adjective Watch: Gambhir is a ‘Serial Pest’ now!

In todays’ The Age, Chloe Saltau has gone on to demonstrate that the heat of India does do things to the brains of those that aren’t accustomed to it.

She starts off by calling Gautam Gambhir a “serial pest”! Gautam Gambhir can rest assured that he has made it into the annals of “great” cricketers because the author goes on to claim that Gautam Gambhir is “the new Harbhajan Singh”.

Why? Because he has been “emboldened by his success against the best team in the world and unwilling to back down.”

Isn’t that reason to celebrate a player?

Oh no! Not if you are Australian and are seeing someone who eats different food and looks different perhaps?

Heck, how dare this little man have the attitude and the ticker to not back down to the burly and muscular Australians?

Incredulously, Chloe Saltau thunders on to say, “Indeed, he is known to possess a temper as quick as the feet with which he has had the temerity to charge Australia’s bowlers.”

I read that sentence again and again and looked for typos! Nope. None around. Let’s read that again. She has a problem with Gambhir because he had the “temerity to charge Australia’s bowlers!”

Did she use the word “temerity”? Yes, she did.

And damned right too! How dare this little brown fella have the temerity, the gumption, the audacity, the boldness, the gall, the impertinence, the nerve and the chutzpah to charge these lovely, saintly, fair-skinned bowlers?

Oh shucks. He should have realised that he was playing against a bunch of tall, muscular, burly, fair-skinned men, all decent and peace-loving, tree-hugging human beings, unlike himself — short and brown skinned!

Instead of charging Australia’s bowlers, he should have gifted his wicket to these wonderful Australian men and even offered to carry their suitcases for them to the airport, just so that he could bring a smile on the authors’ face!

That is what he ought to have done! That is how his role in society ought to be defined after all, should it not?

Instead, he had the “temerity to charge Australian bowlers” and hit them for 4 and 6?

My conclusion: Gautam Gambhir has arrived.

— Mohan

Adjective watch: “Recalcitrant Gambhir”

This is not a joke!

Now, Gautam Gambhir has the honour of being termed “recalcitrant” by Chloe Saltau from the The Age!

The use of an offensive adjective like this would have been totally expected from the pen of Malcolm Conn (‘The Australian’). Indeed, I would have been surprised had Conn resorted to anything less abhorrent or ghastly. However, the use of “recalcitrant” a harsh, punitive and callous invective to describe Gautam Gambhir by Chloe Saltau is, I must say, most depressing! Moreover, I thought “recalcitrant” is an adjective that is totally reserved for describing a former Malaysian Prime Minister by Australians in high office!

Regular visitors to i3j3Cricket may know that we commenced i3j3’s “Adjective Watch” Department. This was our own response to the Australian Labour Government’s Fuel Watch, Carbon Watch, Government Watch, Price-Fixing Watch and other random “Watch” strategies!

Anyway, “Adjective Watch” confirms that in recent days one did read Chloe Saltau’s clarion calls for stiffer penalties to be imposed on Gautam Gambhir. We can confirm that ‘The Age’ and ‘The Australian’ are available online in Indian Hotels. Chris Broad probably delayed his judgment on Gambhir so that he could digest the Salt(au) and be Conned!

“Adjective Watch” also confirmed that Saltau yelped in what could be best described as “expressing extreme mortification” that Saint Watson was fined 10% of his match fee for what was a polite enquiry from a thorough gentleman of this world! Saltau said, “Watson appeared to do nothing more than express his displeasure to Gambhir and implore the umpire to look at a replay, but was charged with breaching the same clause as the Indian, albeit for a lower offence carrying only a fine.”

We at “Adjective Watch” can only sigh and conclude that the heat and dust of India does funny things to rational thinking to those people that are not used to it, especially when their beloved team is not doing that well! If these guys lived in India for longer, they would get used to both — the heat/dust as well as regular losses — and get on with life with a karma-tic shrug, rather than resorting for the need to yearn for blood.

Ps:

If Gambhir’s appeal, made by the BCCI, is accepted by the ICC, it will take at least 2 days for the ICC to appoint an appeals judge. An appeal is a right for anyone charged with a Level-2 offense. It could then take anything up to 4-7 days for the appeal to be heard. By then the 4th Test between Australia and India will have commenced. So Gambhir can play that Test match (remember that Harbhajan Singh could have played at Perth if the Indians wanted him to play). In that case, Gambhir, if found guilty in the appeals hearing could miss either 1 Test or 2 ODIs. In all likelihood, Gambhir could miss the 1st ODI against England on Nov 14 (Rajkot) and the 2nd ODI against England on Nov 17 (at Indore). If the appeal is unsuccessful, Gambhir will have to bear the cost of the appeal — loose change, I’d have thought!

— Mohan

Watson charged, Gambhir will be!

Shane Watson was found guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct and was fined 10% of his match fee. Watson was found guilty of “verbally engaging with Gambhir in a manner that was not in keeping with the spirit of cricket”.

Yesterday, we wrote here about how Gautam Gambhir was not the new-hate in Australian media circles!

Watson pleaded not guilty to the offense during his hearing but Chris Broad, the Match Referee, ruled against him and found him in breach on a Level-1 offense. There is no right of appeal for Level 1 offenses and the Match Referee’s decision is final.

Both sides, Australia and India, have been involved in escalating the seriousness of the incident.

While the two teams did not involve themselves in any scandalous behind-the-scenes maneuvers to get the charges laid (or upgraded), the Australian media team has been busy, trying to get Gautam Gambhir’s charge upgraded. Michael Brown, CA’s operations manager, denied any attempts by Cricket Australia to get Gambhir’s charge upgraded.

Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar doing commentary, tried to put the case forward for the provoker as well as the provoked to be charged and found. I have extreme sympathy with this position.

Gambhir does have a prior in this regard. Shahid Afridi and Gautam Gambhir clashed famously in an India-Pakistan ODI at Kanpur. The incident was similar to the Watson-Gambhir incident in the sense that there was niggle in the lead up between the main actors. Words were spoken before, during and after the incident and then there was the mid-pitch collision itself to contend with.

Gautam Gambhir’s hearing has been adjourned until Friday morning so that match referee Chris Broad can review the evidence. I fully expect Gambhir to be found guilty of a Level 2 offense which states that players “shall at all times conduct play within the spirit of the game as well as within the laws of cricket”. Gambhir has claimed that the reflex action on his part was an accident.

Interestingly, he has pleaded “guilty” to the charge; an act that might get him off lightly. If found guilty of the Level 2 offense, the Match Referee could impose a penalty ranging from a fine of more than half of his match fee (upto 100%) to a two-game (ODIs) suspension.

I expect Gambhir to get at least 80% of his match fee docked. Given that Chris Broad has requested additional time to review the evidence, he may even receive a suspension. Either way, he must cop it on the chin and learn to deal with it.

— Mohan

Tendulkar rubbishes Gilchrist’s “loose statements”

In an interview with a TV Channel, Sachin Tendulkar put Adam Gilchrist’s comments comments in the pale and said he had made “loose statements”, thereby implying that this was nothing more than a ploy by Gilchrist to peddle his upcoming book!

To be perfectly honest, I personally would have expected better from Gilchrist!

Not surprisingly, while Adam Gilchrist’s comments surrounding his soon-to-be-released biography were immediately picked up by the Malcolm Conns of the world, as is to be expected by such objective journalists, Tendulkar’s response has not rated on their Richter scale yet! They will, in all probability, be ignored — after all, that is what objective and balanced journalists do!

Last night, the greatest cricketer in India spoke quietly about his reactions to the Gilchrist allegations.

He said, “I was surprised. I didn’t know how to react. (What he alleged) is something that I can’t even think of in my wildest dreams. I love the game so much and those remarks came from someone who doesn’t know me enough. I think he made loose statements”

Tendulkar said he reminded Gilchrist in no uncertain terms of the spirit and manner in which the Indians took even the hard defeat in Sydney. He said, “So many times he mentioned that you and Harbhajan (Singh) are not traceable to shake hands. I reminded him that I was the first person to shake hands after the Sydney defeat. It was a tough game that we lost and it was difficult for us. But we all in the team would shake hands. We have that sportsman spirit. We won’t shy away from challenges.”

When asked about Gilchrist’s opinion on his honesty during the Harbhajan Singh Monkeygate trial, Tendulkar said, “That’s his opinion but as far as I am concerned the chapter is closed.”

And finally, he said, “I am the kind of person who would leave things behind.”

Gosh! Everyone is into leaving things behind these days. This must be the new leave-behind that’s the rage! Gilchrist left it behind too, apparently!

And for those that didn’t see this yet, wind to about 2.31 mins into this video to see Sachin Tendulkar standing in a queue of Indians after the Sydney loss.

— Mohan

Should Sourav Ganguly be censured?

Did Ganguly take aim at Dhoni or Sehwag?

In a strange and bitter interview, Sourav Ganguly has taken careful aim at a few people, including Dilip Vengsarkar, the previous chairman of the selection committee.

In an interview to a Bengali newspaper, Ganguly said he was very frustrated at being “the sacrificial goat all the time”.

While talking about his own frustrations is ok, it is when he trained his gun at his own dressing room that I think he crossed the line between mildly-acceptable and totally-unacceptable in my book! After all, it is not a crime to air your frustrations in the press.

And surely, the man has had to deal with many a frustration in his career. When he came into the national side, scuttlebutt was that he got in because of considerations other than his class, ability and form. When he was dropped without even having the opportunity to carry the drinks tray, people ridiculed him. He then had to endure more sniggers when he got selected for the tour of England in 1996 where he made his debut. His place in the team has always been under the microscope — even when he backed himself as leader to transform India from a bunch of sometimes-talented individuals to a team that could play against some of the very best. And then, through the Greg Chappell episode and, later, through his return to the Indian cricket playing fraternity, the microscope has always been trained on him.

So, his frustrations are perhaps understandable. He has had to, perhaps, endure more scrutiny than most in the Indian middle order.

Ganguly said, that the turning point was when he was dropped for the Irani trophy. “It was difficult to accept,” he said. “If a gun is held at your head, how far can you bear it. That too after playing 450 matches. I played badly in only one series. But others are not dropped. I have scored the highest number of runs after comeback,” he said.

All of that is not really a crime, even if it contained factual inaccuracies. After all, he is only expressing his opinions openly. Perhaps he wasn’t the most diplomatic. But acceptable? Most certainly, in my book.

He then went on to say that although he could have perhaps played on until 2009, he was not “prepared to take any more humiliation,”. Again, he was only expressing his own bitterness and frustrations. He was perhaps entitled to both!

He then made the two most personal and telling comments that, in my view, ought to earn him a strong censure and perhaps even a suspension from the BCCI.

The first statement was against a former player and the next, against a current player.

First he said, “Everything happens in Indian cricket. When Greg Chappell dropped me, he chose Tejinder Pal Singh to replace me. Where is he now?”

And then came the real bombshell: “Some have not scored any runs in the last three series, some have not scored any run during the last one year. Some have changed their hair style more number of times than the number of runs they have scored. I was dropped despite scoring the highest number of runs following my comeback.”

Now that is a total no-no in my books. While it is perfectly ok for a current contracted player to express his own frustrations and opinions on his own abilities, it just cannot be right to take aim at an ex player in the dressing room or indeed, a current player in the dressing room.

Apart from Dhoni and Sehwag, there aren’t too many Indian players who have changed their hair-styles in the last year. It is most likely that Ganguly trained his sights on Dhoni when he issued this latest unprovoked and totally irresponsible verbal volley! After all, it was Dhoni that insisted on younger-fitter players in the ODI team — an insistence that led to Sourav Ganguly being axed from the ODI side. So, was this Ganguly’s way of getting even with Dhoni? If it wasn’t Dhoni, who was it that he aimed that barb at?

Surely, such speculation cannot be good for dressing room harmony.

The senior players in the side — sans Ganguly — ought to get together with the BCCI and issue Ganguly with a serious warning and perhaps even drop him for the next Test. It is important that team members do not take pot-shots at other team members through the press.

Shane Warne, a player who got away with near-murder several times in his career, was able to find a friendly cameraman to attribute the “Can’t bowl, can’t throw” own-team-player sledge against Scott Muller. Ganguly should not be that lucky. He should be made an example of by his own team members. If not, what would stop a Rohit Sharma or a Suresh Raina questioning the ability of a Rahul Dravid via an irresponsible press interview?

As I write this piece, there is news filtering in that Ganguly has denied making these comments. But if he has made these comments, he should be made to sit out the next game!

Ganguly has been an exceptional cricketer. But in this case — and by washing dressing-room dirty linen in public in Zimbabwe — he has stepped over the lines of decency and responsible behaviour. He should suffer for it.

— Mohan

Cultural misunderstandings…

It now transpires that Harbhajan Singh said, in his native Hindi/Punjabi, “abey teri maan ki ”.

At least, that’s what he and his team are saying.

And, as reader 10YearsLate says in the comments section of this Blogsite, for the uninitiated and the linguistically unaware, the Hindi/Punjabi swear phrase above roughly translates to: “ Hey, your mother’s …”.

“maan ki” is commonly (and unfortunately) heard in India — particularly North India — and sounds like “monkey”. Symmonds, no doubt, drew the monkey conclusion.

Well, that’s the case of the Indians anyway!

As 10YearsLate says, “Given that demeaning references to mothers, sisters and wives are kosher in the Australian sledging lexicon, this may be considered legit.”

I think it is worse than that.

[Tongue-in-cheek mode ON]

I actually think that Harbhajan Singh may have wanted to get closer to the Australians! His pre-tour cultural-briefings may have told him that there are three sure-fire ways to achieve this objective:
(a) tap someone’s bottom — a sure sign of mateship,
(b) say something nasty about someone’s mother or sister — only mates have sledge-rights on mothers and sisters,
(c) wait for the post-day drink-frenzy to make friends over glasses of beer.

Such sharing of beer and war-stories, visiting teams are told, are to be compulsorily had after the “what’s said on the field is left on the field” type “hard but fair” Australian way of playing!

He was a bit tired of all the beer that had been consumed in the tour up until then. Every word that was said up until then on the field had been drowned with these glasses of beer that just had to be consumed as war-stories were exchanged. Moreover, the drunken haze left him with not much money, a lot of friends — that he actually did not want — and not much memory of what was actually said the previous day! It was working well, in one sense, but for someone with not that much money and for someone not used to consuming as much beer as he was now forced to consume, it was all getting a bit too much!

So, he wanted to try another tack… He was batting well at this stage and had pulled his team out of trouble. He was willing to risk option (a) of patting someone’s backside. After surveying the field, his eyes focussed on Brett Lee’s well-appointed hind!

Rather than wait for the post-match drink-frenzy, he proceeded to tap Brett Lee on the bowlers’ well-appointed bottom. He may have chosen the right bottom to pat, but did not realise that Andrew Symonds had his eyes on that piece of real estate!

When Andrew Symonds saw this, he saw red! He proceeded to claim exclusive, perpetual and royalty-free rights for performing said task on Brett Lee’s bottom! He threw a sledge in Harbhajan Singh’s direction. Quite miffed at being reprimanded for his bum-tap and quite annoyed at having to now wait for the post-day what’s-said-on-the-field-is-left-on-the-field-drink-frenzy to make friends with this hard-but-fair bunch of muscular Australians, he proceeded to hurl the words “abey tere maan ki …” towards Andrew Symonds.

His pre-tour cultural briefings may have told him that if a bottom-pat didn’t work, an abuse would. After all, play “hard but fair” is the national way of playing!

So, it is likely that Harbhajan Singh may have wanted to start proceedings early in an anxious bid to not wait for the post-day “what’s said on the field is left on the field” drunken stupor!

Unfortunately, Andrew Symonds heard “maan ki” as “monkey” and, the rest, as we say is history.

It was Harbhajan Singh’s fault. He should have chosen Brad Hogg’s bum to pat. I doubt anyone in the Australian team would have been as protective of his backside real estate as they would be of Brett Lee’s.

[Tongue-in-cheek mode OFF]

Meanwhile, it also transpires that the two teams exchanged lists of offensive words prior to the series. And “bast**d” did not make the cut! So, Australia’s case will be that, it was perfectly kosher for Brad Hogg to utter that word in any statement flung in the direction of the Indians!

Section 3.3 of the ICC Code of Conduct says:

Players and teams are barred from Using language or gestures that offends, insults, humiliates, intimidates, threatens, disparages or vilifies another person on the basis of that person’s race, religion, gender, colour, descent, or national or ethic origin.

The Indians will argue that the term “bast**d” is insulting because “it questions a person’s descent and is highly sensitive in the Indian cultural context”. Hence, they will argue that 3.3 is an appropriate level of offence to slap on Brad Hogg. This may not wash with the Australians. Read this, for example! Moreover, the Australians will say, if it was as big as the Indians are now making it out to be, it ought to have been on the pre-tour banned-words-list!

There is only one way out of all of this.

“The teams should tear up that catch agreement and should plonk the entire Oxford English dictionary, Cappeller’s Digital Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Websters Online Hindi Dictionary, etc into such pre-tour off-limits words-lists!”

That way, nothing will be said out there and the umpire will make alll calls on catches!

— Mohan