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Friday, May 1, 2020

Aussie sledging ! . ....... Clarke says players wary of IPL contracts !!!

In Tamil comedy film ‘Kalakalappu’, directed by Sundar C ~ Santhanam will show a portrait of a man attacking a cheetah with sickle. Vimal would remark having seen it elsewhere… Santhanam retorts saying that it was his grandfather attacking the tiger – the photo which they later gave to matchbox manufacturer….. to Vimal’s remark that it does not sound believable – Santhanam would say that his grandfather told him that food would be provided only if he believes and would ask Vimal whether he would like to dine !!! 

England could field two different teams on the same day at separate venues if the COVID-19 pandemic leads to a compressed home season, wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler says. England have suspended all professional cricket until at least May 28 due to the global health crisis, which also looms over their home series against West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Ireland later in the year. In an effort to squeeze as much cricket as possible into a shortened season, the prospect of England playing a Test match and a T20 on the same day at different venues has been floated as a possibility worth exploring.

This is no post on Covid-19 .. ..but on Cricket and Aussie’s way of playing the game – ‘sledging’ ! .. ..bullying is not uncommon in other sports, yet !

Merv Hughes was all over Gooch in one test and proceeded to say: "Would you like me to bowl a piano and see if you can play that".  In another instance, he asked Robin Smith whether he would read the back of the bat for instructions to hit the ball ! .. .. … For years, Australia made winning a habit. Annihilating the opposition with savage blows and leaving it to pick up the pieces. Most teams would be beaten between the ears much ahead of the completion of a series. Having delivered body blows at will at the hapless rival, the Aussies would then enjoy a day away from the cricket field.

They will claim that they play the game hardway ! ~ would claim that they will do all that is required for winning !! ~ the cuss word is ‘Sledging’ .. those olden days, when Aussies were all powerful – when Thommo, Lillee, Walker, Hughes and somebody ran in hard, hurled at pace, batsman were continuously harassed by comments from the close-in cordon ! verbal harangue aimed at distracting, diverting and demonising opponents .. ..  Aussies specialised in that, England too were not far behind .. ..

England allrounder Moeen Ali has hit out at the sledging and abuse by Australia’s cricketers, saying he was called “Osama” by one player in the 2015 Ashes series. Moeen has made the claim in his autobiography, Moeen, saying he was racially vilified during the first Test at Cardiff in 2015, where he made 77 in the first innings and took five wickets for the match in England’s 169-run win.

When he was sledging players, Aussie media hailed that Merv Hughes’ sense of humour and on-pitch persona were a large part of his success as a fast bowler. He was extremely aggressive, making use of a fearsome stare to unnerve batsmen, as well as regular chat, threats and jokes. His sledges (as also of his teammates) ranged from the crude to the genuinely witty—from blunt swearing to advising.  Australians are known for sledging ….and  David Warner was another pushy advocate. Once he went far on an on-field spar with Rohit Sharma, instructing him to speak English !  New Zealand cricket great Martin Crowe  slammed 'childish' David Warner for his 'thuggish behaviour' after the Australian opener got engaged in a slanging match with Rohit Sharma.

There are friendly banters too – in  1999 World Cup Australia needed to beat South Africa to keep their tournament hopes alive. Steve Waugh was on 56* gifted Gibbs a simple catch. Gibbs took the catch, went to celebrate the catch, ended up dropping,  leaving Waugh to retort: "You've just dropped the World Cup- mate". During a One-dayer between Australia and Sri Lanka Ranatunga decided he needed a runner. The stump microphone then picked up  sledge from Healy: "You don't get a runner for being an overweight, fat ____ ".  During the Big Bash - Shane Warne was  suspended for a match and fined $4,500 after being found guilty of three of the four misconduct charges arising from his Twenty20 Big Bash clash with West Indies allrounder Marlon Samuels. Shanee was found guilty of making “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact” but was cleared of deliberately throwing the ball at Samuels in an inappropriate or dangerous manner.

Michael Clarke's verbal barrage at England's last man standing James Anderson was in usual bad taste. Clarke was heard through the stump microphone on the field telling Anderson that he should "get ready for a broken f----ing arm."

There were times when Asian teams were ridiculed on the field for their colour too – Arjuna Ranatunga perhaps was one who took the gauntlet and defended his players and tried giving something in retort too. The way he defended Muthaiah Muralitharan who was no-balled is admirable.  Now read this interesting newsitem in TOI of date.   In a sensational revelation, former Australia captain Michael Clarke has said his country’s top cricketers were at one point loath to sledge Indian captain Virat Kohli and other top Team India players for fear for losing their lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) contracts.

“Everybody knows how powerful India are in regards to the financial part of the game, internationally or domestically with the IPL,” Clarke told Big Sports Breakfast. “Australian cricket, and probably every other team over a little period, went the opposite and actually sucked up to India. They were too scared to sledge Kohli or the other Indian players because they had to play with them in April,” Clarke said. Clarke said the situation arose because a number of Indian superstars like Kohli and Rohit Sharma were also captains of IPL franchises and therefore part of the bidding process.

“Name a list of 10 (Indian) players and they are bidding for these Australian players to get into their IPL teams,” Clarke said. “The players were like: ‘I’m not going to sledge Kohli, I want him to pick me for Bangalore so I can make my US $1 million for six weeks.” Clarke’s disclosure has stirred debate and raised issues of propriety and conflict of interest in Australian cricket, which in some ways is still trying to recover from the ‘SandpaperGate’ ball-tampering scandal which led to bans on then-captain Steve Smith and opener David Warner.

Clarke also went a step further, blaming the IPL situation for a general weakening of Australia’s usual hard-as-nails approach on the field. “That’s where Australia went through a phase where our cricket became a little softer and not as hard as we’re accustomed to seeing,” he said. This was around the time Australian cricket was going through a huge crisis of confidence regarding their manner of play. Post-SanderpaperGate, the administrators even moved to ensure the cricketers played more fair and within the rules and displayed more sportsman spirit.

Interesting view point that cannot be overlooked !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
8th Apr 2020.

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