Watershed moment mocks cricket

What is it with the English weather that doing the moonlight spray in public view is considered a passable offence, either in expressing dissent as in the real Monty Panesar, at the nightclub or celebration as with the Ashes-winning team at The Oval?

Unless this is some convoluted statement on the complex times we live in, it does appear sportsmen-celebrities have some way to go before they realise what damage they are doing to their public image.
For all the pontification done on the lack of toilets in the subcontinent, the English, who once ruled these lands for centuries on end, seem to be in desperate need of getting their men to use zip-lock up and desist from showing such wasteful prowess in the open. Curiously, it was the pitch, which cricketers should normally consider their spiritual home because it is where their life force is, on which the sacrilege took place.
Considering all the fuss they made of curators and ground staff drinking on the pitch at the WACA in Perth before a Test match, this England act seems to be a far worse offence against the spirit of the game. Sub-continentals and other visitors would be well advised to consider wearing masks over their noses under the helmet before they go out to bat in England. That would be one way to get back at all the jokes English cartoonists whipped up about Indian batting and how the toilet break could lead to missing the entire innings back in the ’70s.
Wonder what the great disciplinarian Chris Broad would think of all this? He is the dad of Stuart who became the central figure of a controversy when he refused to walk after being caught at slip via the wicket-keeper’s body. While his son behaves thus, Broad Sr is the one known to go around teaching us poor sub-continentals how to behave on the cricket pitch. Even so much as an optimistic appeal is considered taboo enough to fine fielders for being ‘cheats’, a nomenclature Darren Lehmann did not hesitate to use against Stuart in a strange broadside.
We know what they think of his son Chris Down Under. Not that the Aussies should complain because the second most famous non-walker of all time after the good Dr W.G. Grace — remember him saying “they have come to see me bat” — was Sir Donald Bradman who stood his ground in the first post war Ashes series in Australia when he was caught in the slips off Ikin, if memory serves me right. So to hear the Aussies complain about not walking is funny. In any case, not all of them are in the Adam Gilchrist category of being a dedicated walker even if he stretched that somewhat by making it a moral crusade. Even so, Lehmann egging the Aussie crowd on against Stuart before the next Ashes series comes up in the southern summer amounted to inciting a response that is not at all for the good of the game. You can’t have a team coach going around in this undiplomatic manner while hiding under the excuse that there is no malice in what ‘Boof’ does, as Shane Warne puts it.
The legendary leggie writes, “He (Lehmann) is a knockabout guy who talks straight. We really like that and we have to be careful. If we censor people or jump on top of them for having a bit of banter with the media then they are going to change and you will get the stock, robotic answers. But what Boof also has to remember is he now the coach of the Australian cricket team and has to be a bit careful in what he says — even if it is in jest.”
Come on mate, it is a nice try at defending an Aussie when he does the inciting, much as it is a bit of a lark if England cricketers unzip on the cricket pitch. But if an Asian cricketer so much as appeals for a wicket, they tend to hit him with warnings, fines, bans. England and Australia have not learnt a thing in cricket admin even though they lost their veto power over the ICC ages ago. No wonder they get it in the neck when they propose reforms that are these days vetoed by the BCCI. An eye for an eye is not good policy, but the colonial masters must understand times have changed and the least they can do is keep their zippers in the locked mode in public.

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