Monday, January 7, 2008


NOW PAY ATTENTION...This is a little difficult to follow.

Because we are a bit provisional and narrow minded about such things, we Americans think we are the most passionate sports fans on the planet. We get a lesson in the fallacy of this each time we check in on World Cup Soccer, the European premier leagues etc.

Of late, cricket seems to have ignited (no pun intended) some serious emotions world wide.

Evidently the Indian cricket team is touring Austrailia and over the weekend they lost a match/game/set/test to the Aussies amid some controversy.

Australian media on Monday urged captains Ricky Ponting and Anil Kumble to pull their teams into line after bitter rows over racism and sportsmanship overshadowed the second Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test. Ah, test, that's it...

Tensions boiled over in the aftermath of the hard-fought Sydney match with Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh banned by the ICC for three Tests for racially abusing Andrew Symonds, while Kumble accused Australia of "unsporting behaviour."

Indian team management said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) would also lodge a formal complaint with the International Cricket Council over what they described as the "incompetent" umpiring of the Sydney Test. "The Board will appeal to the International Cricket Council to review the decision of the Match Referee and suspend its operation till the appeal is disposed of," the BCCI said."The Indian Board realises the game of cricket is paramount but so too is the honour of the Indian team and for that matter every Indian."

Yes, they take their sport seriously.

According to Australian media outlets, the match will be a match remembered in infamy rather than for Australia's sensational 122-run win courtesy of three wickets in the penultimate over of the final day, equalling their record of 16 consecutive Test wins. Capiche?
Australia's cricket writers Monday condemned the conduct of the players and the performance of umpires Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson for tainting what they said was an engrossing contest.

"It is shameful this splendid Test match, won in such a remarkable fashion by the indomitable Australians, has left such a bitter taste," The Australian's cricket columnist Mike Coward wrote.

"The standard of play often was outstanding and occasionally exceptional but the standard of player behaviour was questionable and, at times, unacceptable. And the standard of umpiring was poor."

(Above) Cricket fans place effigies of cricket umpires Steve Bucknor, left, and Mark Benson on donkeys and hold placards at a protest in reaction to the results of the second cricket test match between India and Australia. Banners in background translates as "It's not Bucknor, but a Bukasoor (a mythological evil character). For Indians he is cruel'. (AP Photo)

(Other photos by AP Photo/Mahesh kumar A and AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)

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