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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Why is Gilchrist being allowed to go scot-free?

The 2nd India-Australia ODI is being much talked about for the many verbal duels that rocked the match that day - Sreesanth has been painted as the biggest villain, probably rightly so. Harbhajan Singh's confrontation with the Aussie huddle after his dismissal has been the other talked about issue - with fingers also being pointed at some of the Aussies for instigating the Indian spinner. Michael Clarke and Matthew Hayden are being accused of being 'regular chirpers'. But what about Adam Gilchrist?
During the middle of the India innings, the Indian umpire Suresh Shastri had erred in calling a no-ball, as the TV replays clearly showed that a good part of the bowler's front foot was well behind the front crease. The resultant free hit was duly dispatched for a six by Yuvraj Singh, and Gilchrist who hadn't reacted earlier suddenly erupted. Dashing down the pitch, he gave Shastri quite a dose of words, his non-verbal gestures clearly pointing out what he was talking about. The poor umpire looked intimitated and embarassed.
Now Shastri may not be the brightest umpire around, but he is definitely not the first umpire in the world to have made a wrong no-ball decision. Would Gilchrist have had the guts to do the same if the same mistake had been made by the other umpire in the match, Steve Bucknor? Wasn't that a clear case of dissent?
The ICC Playing Conditions are actually pretty harsh on this - even if the match referee had thought it was a simple case of dissent, it is a Level 1 offence. ( pointed out at 1.3) Gilchrist should have been fined anything upto 50% of his match fee, and more importantly given an official reprimand.
Now running down the pitch (22 yards) and intimidating the umpire verbally and with non-verbal gestures is not a 'simple case of dissent'. According to the ICC rule-book, it is a Level 3 offence - the fine for which is a ban for 4 to 8 one-days. But forget a ban, no one is even accusing Gilchrist of having done any wrong.
To top up the ridiculousness of it all, Mr. Gilchrist even has the balls to now accuse some of the Indians of indulging in wrong behaviour. And in another part of the world, one of Gilchrist's country-mates is accusing the Indian & Pakistan Cricket boards of being racists. Is amnesia a common disease down under?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cronje stands up for Cronje

Francois Rautenbach, who will play the role of Hansie CronjeIn the last week of this month if you happen to be in India, you might see Hansie Cronje in action once again, though this time action will be preceded by 'Lights' and 'Camera'.
The former South African cricket captain's brother, Frans Cronje is producing a film that will focus on 'Hansie's inner journey'. Francois Rautenbach will play the role of Hansie Cronje in the movie to be directed in assistance with Regardt van den Bergh. The film crew will land in India in the last week of October, and amongst other things will capture Hansie's meeting with Mother Teresa. Though some cricket action will be shot, no real life cricketers will be involved in the movie.
The movie is loosely based on the ex-cricketer's biography, "The Hansie Cronje Story: An Authorised Biography".
While Cronje confessed to his involvement in the match fixing scandal, he had the courage to admit to his mistakes, unlike many other cricketers who still try to portray themselves as victims. In his statements, Cronje had pointed out former India captain Mohammad Azharudding as the person who had introduced him to the bookie Mukesh Gupta. Azhar, who was banned for life by the BCCI never confessed. Instead, he alleged that he was being victimised because he belonged to the minority Muslim community - a statement for which he apologised later after coming under scathing attack in the media.