Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My name is Andrew Symonds. Please help me pull my head out of my ass.

We're about a day away from the Perth test match. Like all Indian cricket fans, I sincerely hope India can come back strong after being denied a draw in the Sydney test, by the umpires. Unacceptable as the decisions were on that fateful day, what angers me a lot more is the Australian cricket team's conduct after the match. And by the Australian cricket team, I mean Andrew Symonds.

If you've been a supporter of Mr.Symonds through the Bhajji-Symonds controversy, this post is not for you. This link, however, may be more to your liking.

In order to conform to the theme of this post, Mr.Symonds will be referred to as Mr.Numbnuts for the remainder of the post.

Now, racism, in any form, is a very serious issue. But Mr.Numbnuts' take on racial taunts from other players isn't just stupid, it's downright hilarious. According to Mr.Numbnuts, racial slurs towards him are alright when they come from his own teammates or from opposition players who he knows well.

So, if you're a friend of Mr.Numbnuts and happen to call him the 'M' word, there's absolutely no need to sweat it because Mr.Numbnuts likes you, inspite of the fact that you're a bigot. But, if you're someone like Bhajji, who has been tremendously fortunate not to run in the same circles as Mr.Numbnuts, then you had better watch out. Therefore, my advice to Bhajji would be that the next time he wants to call Mr.Numbnuts a "monkey", he should buy him a beer and get to know him before doing so.

I am in no way implying that Bhajji said the things that Mr.Numbnuts claims he did. But even if he did call Mr.Numbnuts a "monkey", I don't think he meant it as a racial slur. I think he just meant to call Mr.Numbnuts a dread-locked troglodyte who has an I.Q. and personality to match that of a primate.

Congratulations, Mr.Numbnuts. You just made the top spot on my shit-list. Just above Steve "Dipshit" Bucknor.


smale said...

A fair resolution: 1) declare the second test between Australia and India played at Sydney during January 2 – 6, 2008 to be NULL and VOID on legal grounds, 2) cancel the ban on Harbhajan Singh, but punish him along with Andrew Symonds, Michael Clark and Brad Hogg for conduct unbecoming of players of test cricket, and of representatives of their countries.

Explanation: The umpires officiating for the test match (Mark Benson and Steve Bucknor) and the captains (Ricky Ponting and Anil Kumble) of the two playing sides have some legal grounds to enter into an oral agreement about umpiring decisions that AUGMENTS the ICC rules which provide for the umpires’ current decision making capabilities. However, under no circumstances do they have the jurisdiction to enter into an agreement between themselves that SUBVERTS the current rules of the ICC. To make this point clear, consider the incident involving Saurav Ganguly’s dismissal in his second innings. Ganguly (a left-hander) had nicked a ball, and the ball was supposedly caught by Michael Clarke in the slip position. Under normal circumstances, if the fielder (Clarke) was not in the direct line of sight of the umpire (Benson), or if the umpire was not sure if the catch was clean, he would consult the square leg umpire (Bucknor). If the square leg umpire also could not deliver a clear verdict, then the third umpire, who has the benefit of the TV replays, is referred to. This is the procedure for determining the dismissal of the batsman, as provided by the rules of the ICC.

Now, there is definitely the possibility that, when the third umpire is called in, the TV replays also could not determine the verdict clearly. This might be the case, for example, if the TV cameras could not provide the complete information on the position and the movement of the ball and the fielder during the catch. Currently, in international cricket, the batsman is usually given the benefit of the doubt, if the third umpire also could not reach a clear verdict. In this second test match, if the captains and the umpires, in this particular situation (where the third umpire is inconclusive), had agreed that to resolve the ambiguity in a more transparent manner, they would take the word of the fielder who caught the ball (to be conveyed to the umpires through the captain of the fielding side), then they are on a relatively strong legal ground. However, in the case of Ganguly’s dismissal, the umpire, Benson, decided to directly ask the captain of the fielding side, rather than first ask the square leg umpire and the third umpire. Thus his action amounts to subverting the decision process provided by the ICC rules. At this point, perhaps it is worth interjecting that there is no need to ascribe any sinister motives to the umpire. He must have simply gone by the earlier ‘Gentlemen’s agreement’, and possibly, he might not have understood the legal implications of his actions. Also, it is worth explaining the seriousness of this issue with an example here. In a game of cricket, if the umpires and the captains, on their own, could make agreements that subvert the ICC rules, then there is no guarantee that what is played at the venue is cricket. Just imagine, years later, the record books would specify a certain result, but what happened on the field, might be a game of gilli-danda, or football, for that matter! Thus it is very important to understand that the umpires and captains can only augment the decision making procedure provided by the ICC rules for the purpose of transparency, but they can never subvert the ICC rules. If they do, it could not be considered a game of cricket. Thus, the second test match between Australia and India played at Sydney, Australia during January 2 – 6, 2008 is NULL and VOID on legal grounds.

Note that this legal implication is also a happy consequence for all fair-minded followers of the game. Australia would still have the chance to go for their 17 straight test wins if they won the remaining test matches at Perth and Adelaide. Moreover, this would nullify the accusations of cheating that the Australian team has been hearing from many of their own countrymen. On the other hand, for India, they could still win the Border-Gavaskar trophy if they won the remaining two tests. Moreover, for Cricket Australia, BCCI, ICC and the media, the fact that the series is still undecided and kicking, would mean more revenue, and hence a welcome resolution. Thus this is the best outcomes for all parties involved.

(The grounds for my conclusions on the Harbhajan Singh ban, and punishing Singh, Symonds, Clarke, and Hogg will be explained later, in a subsequent article).

Taylor said...

Let it go, smale. Stop putting up your absurd resolution in blogs all over the internet.