In The Name Of Sportsmanship

Posted: Thursday, August 19, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , ,

England's young aggressive fast bowler Stuart Broad sparked controversy by throwing a ball at Pakistan's wicketkeeper Haider. Why so much havoc? I'm not a fan of his bowling in Tests but I like his aggression. He was fined 50% of match fee and some argued that the punishment should have been more severe. How wrong was he? There have been times when bowlers throw the ball after a delivery and the batsmen gets aside and the ball reaches the wicketkeeper. Would it spark a controversy had Haider ducked?
Here is what England's fast bowling coach David Saker had to say on the matter:

He's tall and he hits the wicket hard so he needs to be aggressive, and I like it. He had some things building up - there was a caught-behind [off Haider] that most of our guys thought was out, and he didn't get the rewards he wanted for a very good spell - but he knows there's a fine line that you have to tread, and he'd be the first to admit that he went over it a little bit the other day.
But there's no way I'll take that aggression out of his game. It's just about focusing it and making sure it works for the team and not against us.
On the other hand, during the match played between India and Sri Lanka on Monday, an issue was blown out of proportion. Sri Lanka's Randiv bowled a no ball when India needed 1 run to win and Virender Sehwag needed one run to complete his ton. When Sehwag got the MOM award, he said "It happens in cricket." but later suggested that the no ball was delberate and that it has "no place in good cricket". Now, after all the fuss, Randiv has been banned for one match and Dilshan and Randiv have lost their match fees. Oh come on, it wasn't illegal and hence ICC did not indulge in the matter, it was the Sri Lankan Board which initiated the move because of all the hue and cry by Indians. Funny, how much do personal achievements mean to Indians? The headlines on websites and in newspapers were not about India winning the game but only about the no ball.
 There’s nothing special to say to Sehwag. He said one thing at the match presentation and there was a marked contrast in the press conference with regard to that no-ball. I have spoken to Mahi and Gary Kirsten. Sehwag has tweeted that there have been other such approaches made to him (Randiv also went up and apologized). I think if you all talk of the spirit, once you set things in motion it’s the responsibility of all players to be within that spirit. We can’t expect just one side to keep making the advances and holding out the hand while it has been sensationalized by other players. I think everyone’s got the responsibility to move on from this incident. We have regretted it. We have addressed it. It was in the heat of the moment. It’s India and we have to understand the repercussions as well. The board has done everything to make sure there’s transparency. That’s their prerogative. As players, our prerogative is to play. We should be able to have a mentality to rise above. India is a big country, the media there is one of the strongest and they always try to take advantage whenever something happens.
It’s a grey area. But I don’t think it’s going to affect the relationship. I regret what happened overall. There’s been some damage done to the reputation.

Kumar Sangakkara is not too impressed by India's tactics


  1. Gifting an extra run thru a no-ball intentionally seems to be like match fixing to me. The only difference I could see here is that Randiv didn't do it for money. I don't think that act can be taken for granted. Moreover, Randiv had been really impressive with his line & length right thru the series & I even thought he could get Sehwag out. Wouldn't that have been awesome if he did that when Sehwag was on 99? I always enjoy watching good cricket(not giving a damn about who wins).

    "Kumar Sangakkara is not too impressed by India's tactics"

    Come on...He is probably the least gentleman I have ever seen in cricket by far. I can give in-numerous examples to second that. His concern is not at all a concern.

  1. Regarding the no ball, it shouldn't be compared with match fixing. There have been times when some captains declared when a batsman was in 90s or even 190s but those captains were not banned or fined. Why? Because it's legal. True, we cannot do everything that's legal. Sometimes captains declare because they really need to, they need time to get the opposition out but they can still wait for 2 overs, can't they? Some of those captains, for some reason, don't want their teammate to score a ton and that's what Randiv wanted. And yeah, even I thought that if teams don't want an opposition player to hit a century against them, they should try and get that player out. But still, why so much fuss? How much does a century matters? It's all for the team, isn't it? Are Indians happy now that Randiv has been banned?
    About Sangakkara, someone's past comments can make you understand the person better but if they are wrong mostly, doesn't mean that they are always wrong. You can't judge him solely based on past comments. I know he is a media fanatic and he has given lots and lots of useless comments but I'm with him on this one.

  1. Firstly, there is no doubt that the issue has been blown way out of proportions. But lets look into the reasons for it.

    Being an Indian, I have been quite embarrassed by the Indian Media's take on this entire issue (actually, I am getting used to their idiosyncrasies now). But I do know for sure that had I been a Sri Lankan, even then I would have been embarrassed by the behaviour of the Cricket Board.

    The SLC's decision to ban Randiv looks like a sad step to please BCCI. If it's true, I feel sorry for Randiv as well as SLC!

    Secondly, amidst all this, one cannot deny that Randiv did a foolish act. In the second Test, Randiv had taken Sehwag's wicket for 99... when the latter attempted a wild slog for a 6 to bring up his century. Both Randiv and Sehwag knew that another attempt for a 6 will be coming... But I would have thought that Randiv would have fancied his chances against another attempted big shot... rather than succumb under the pressure!

    And lastly, I would also like to point out that the law which states that only the no-ball shall be counted and the six runs will not be awarded to the batsman is utterly foolish. I have stated my reasons on my blog: