Athletes should care about the line in the field
If the four-day test advocates get their way, it is unlikely that there will be too many reprisals of the classic that was developed in Newlands in Cape Town last week. On the same day that Cricket South Africa made an unequivocal commitment to a thundering rejig of the DNA test, its players fought with nails and teeth on the fifth day of the second test against England, and finally fell short in their attempt to escape with a tie.
Much has been said and written in the immediacy of the proposal to reduce the number of days in a Test match by 20 percent, a suggestion that will be discussed by the ICC Cricket Committee chaired by Anil Kumble at the end of March. The four-day tests have been the main headlines; Almost in its sliding flow, the deplorable behavior of the players has slipped, from Melbourne to Mohali to Cape Town and involving international players in the T20, first-class and trial formats.
Marcus Stoinis, the all-terrain, received a fine of Aus $ 7,500 for a homophobic insult addressed to his Australian international compatriot Kane Richardson during a Big bash league I play in Melbourne. In Mohali, rising star Shubman gill , who will be the captain of India A during the limited leg of his tour of New Zealand at the end of this week, received payment of his entire party fee for refusing to leave the ground when he was declared caught by a debuting referee in a Ranji Trophy game against Delhi. & Jos Buttler , the wicketkeeper-batsman of England, was fined 15 percent of his match rate after an improper rant on Vernon Philander while the Newlands test rushed towards a tense and dramatic end of the last day.
Everyone should have known better, of course, and behaved better, there is little doubt about that. In any case, maybe they were lucky enough to leave as lightly as they did. Cricket has long ceased to be the men's game, but even despite the pressures of crowded calendars and high stakes, there are still clearly defined lines, crosses that are little less than inexcusable.
Stoinis is not greenhorn, new to arc lights and high profile cricket. The 30-year-old is in his eleventh year of senior representative cricket and has 60 international limits of limited limits. He is a veteran of BBL and IPL, and should not have ignored that just six weeks earlier, Australia's pacemaker James Pattinson was expelled by a match for another homophobic insult, the amount of the latter's punishment reflects his third violation of the code of conduct. In the last 18 months Stoinis' contrition, his immediate apologies and the prompt acceptance of the sanction are not necessarily virtues that deserve praise. Hopefully, he and others who launch cowardly personal abuse in the heat of the moment will take the lessons on board.
Buttler's is an interesting case. His outrage at being exhausted, backing down, at the end of the bowler by
R Ashwin during an IPL 2019 game is still too fresh in everyone's memory to need detailed elaboration. He didn't seem to care that he was wrong within the laws of the game, since he sought refuge in his spirit. It was sought that Ashwin be painted as the villain even though he was legally within his rights to instinctively remove the bonds after having noticed that the batter was leaving his fold early, either by accident or intentionally.
According to his own defined standards of how cricket should be played, his speech full of words, with the head of little edifying knob thrown in good measure, in Newlands should have filled him with shame. The amount of shameful behavior was not only magnified because it occurred during a Test match and was immediately captured by the unsuspecting mute microphone that allowed all who watched the game on television to listen and understand the scope of the `` passion '' from Buttler.
Buttler has been an international cricket player for eight years. His curriculum includes 39 tests, 142 ODI and 66 T20I from a total of 566 senior representative parties for clubs, counties, countries and franchises. Like Stoinis, he was also caught at the time, which is the modern standard explanation of any unpleasant act that may or may not attract the scrutiny of the match referee. But Buttler sure didn't serve a treat this time.
Which brings us to Gill, with 20 years, the youngest and least experienced offensive troika. Punjab's right is clearly a budding star, and he will soon significantly increase his two appearances in ODI, but he must know that he really has no excuses for how he behaved in the Mohali game. His pranks must have been particularly difficult to digest for Rahul Dravid , the current head of cricket at the National Cricket Academy and an influential figure in Gill's cricket trip as a former coach of India U19 and India A. Dravid did not always address technical or even cricket problems; He places great emphasis on behavior and behavior, and was both a life coach and cricket coach. Seeing one of its most promising and celebrated neighborhoods openly challenging an arbitrary decision must have saddened rather than enraged the former captain of endless India.
How Gill managed to convince referee Mohammed Rafi to revoke his decision and allow him to move forward is equally surprising. By itself, an arbitrator who changes his decision is not unknown, but reports emanating from Mohali have indicated that the batter 'abused' the official. That sends wrong signals, suggesting that prima donna's attitudes will be worth it, no matter that Gill has done very little to even begin to believe that she has reached that state. It is also poorly reflected in the referee; Other players may feel emboldened to adopt a similar strategy in the future, which could have an additional impact not only on the authority but also on the confidence of the white coat man.
There is a school of thought that advocates letting off steam in the heat of battle as a natural phenomenon, and insists that there is too much vigilance. It is not a point of view without merit, because eventually, these are young human beings who practice a high pressure sport. They are subject to higher moral and behavioral standards than even elected representatives who think nothing of the blows in state legislatures. Like it or not, athletes from all disciplines are anointed models that are expected to be at the top of their behavior game even under extreme provocation, which may seem unfair but that is a reality from which no one can escape.
There was a time when Dravid's furious gestures toward the box of commentators after scoring a test century (Kolkata 2001) made headlines because it was extremely unusual for Karnataka's batter to lose his temper. A decade and a half later, when virat Kohli began to celebrate hundreds without letting go of a chain of bad words, that began to deserve a mention!
Changing times and changed perceptions have led to greater acceptance of athletes who express themselves aggressively as long as that aggression has not spread to offensive or personal attacks. There are subjective parameters to decide how much is too much, therefore, the responsibility lies with the men in charge of transporting the criminals to ensure that censorship is proportional to the crime.
It is not just cricketers who straddle the thin, invisible line between being themselves and crossing into unacceptable territory. The next generation of tennis has barely covered itself with glory at the beginning of the New Year, with both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev suffering crisis on the court. The first accidentally injured his father-coach while hitting his racket on the court, the second hit the referee's chair in frustration twice with his weapon of destruction, forcing the opponent Diego Schwartzman Call him an idiot. Soccer players think nothing of hitting their opponents in the face/throat or hitting them 'accidentally', and even the serene golf sport sometimes unleashes an incredible anger on the part of some of its protagonists.
Are we becoming an angry world? Do we think it is okay to rave and rant and tantrums and abuse people if things do not go our way? Or is scrutiny much more intense and intrusive than before it makes the dissection of each tic of the eye, each tic of each muscle, a simple task even for the chair critic located distantly?
Sport, no matter at what level, is essentially an expression of one's ability, an exciting amalgam of magical entertainment and exceptional ability. It is meant to be a cheerful company; Winning is paramount, as it should be, but it cannot be achieved by cutting corners. The sport molds character and personality, infuses steel but also a feeling of fair play and kindness, empathy and understanding. Regardless of the bets, that should not change. Great sportsman and good human being have never mutually excluded each other.
(R Kaushik is a cricket writer with three decades of experience)