From the onset, the only thing that disturbed me about the Bhajji saga was the fact that Mike Proctor had weighed Clarke’s , Ponting’s and Hayden’s words heavier against that of Sachin’s. You can say that I feel this way because we all hold Sachin in such high esteem, but I wonder if it would be any different if it was the Prime Minister of India. Was it only the numbers that mattered and nothing else. What happened to the dignity and the commanding respect of the person making the statement.
I will not make judgments about Aussie Players behaviors, but I will still repeat what I said in the last post – I am a person who believes in what he sees. The fact that they are aggressive would be an understatement. Ponting claims that the general behavior has improved since 2003, after multiple charges were leveled against them, and the team did some soul searching. I don’t know if any of the Aussie players (barring Gilchrist, Lee and Hussey) would make it to my list of the most honest cricketers ever. The general impression they give is that of bullies. The fact that they have won so many matches probably makes them think that they are invincible. But there is another facet to that fact, which is, that they are the most hated cricket team in the world. All teams in the world have a couple of loud mouths, or at least out sourced journalists, who do the same job. In the current Indian team, I can think of Sreesanth as one such person, who likes to get under the skin of his opponents by his not-so-gentlemanly manners. The Pakistanis have a couple such players too, Ditto for South Africa with Nel and for England with Matt Prior. But amongst Aussie players, point to me one player (again barring Gilchrist and Lee and Hussey) who generates respect. Ponting has a history of misbehavior related incidents, McGrath lost all my respect the day he decided that sledging at Sarwan was the only way to get his wicket (WI went on to chase the World record 418 in fourth Innings, in that test match) and Steve Waugh, for all his voluntary social service in India, is the father of the so called “mental disintegration” technique , others are best not even mentioned.
I think the only thing bothering Australian Players is the fact that they have again lost to one team that they were supposed to walk over, and fart in the face of , at Perth. No one told them that some where, some one changed the script of the match and that India would show them how to shake hands and show humility, even after winning a match at ,supposedly, the fastest pitch in the world. Humility, for Aussies, definitely does not come easy.
Anyway, it was time to let bygones be bygones. All was over, except one little matter of a pending appeal of racism charges against Harbhajan Singh. I still don’t understand on what basis was the decision made by Mike Proctor. Why are the Australians so pissed off at the fact that Indians had the balls to show solidarity to their team mate , by threatening to call off the tour. Won’t Aussies do the same for their own players. Oh Yes .. I am sorry .. they won’t, because somewhere deep within, they know that a skin related jibe is something that an Australian would resort to, to “get under the skin” of opponents.
To an Indian, being called a racist, would seem hilarious at first and then may be stupid. How can a colored person utter a racist remark against another one, and that too by calling him a monkey. We all came from monkeys .. didn’t we ?
I think Australians are just bad losers. The fact that they have lost to the same team at all the wrong times has not gone down well with them. The fact that Harbhajan has gotten Ponting out multiple times in the Test Series, and oh .. celebrated that by rolling on the ground , definitely hasn’t gone down well with them. The fact that Indians had defeated them at the one place that was supposed to be a walk over for the home team .. has rubbed salt into old wounds.
Apparently CA and BCCI had brokered a deal, to reduce the charges against Harbhajan, to make sure that the tour goes on. I don’t know if it was only financial constraints that decide such things. I would assume that the Aussie Cricket Bosses know their players best and know what all they would resort to , to go one-up on the field. Its all sugar coated as “Gamesmanship” and “mental disintegration” and “chit chat” .. but when someone gives one back, that is not acceptable to the Aussies.
Symonds, after the hearing ->
“I can’t believe this is happening.”
“I am telling you the truth. That’s what I always do.”
“I know what I heard. You know I am a team player.”
I find it hard to understand, if Aussies really understood what Bhajji said. As we mentioned some time back, the utterance, in all probability, was only “Teri Maa ki” .. the Aussie equivalent of “Bastard”. If we take the Indian connotation of the word, probably Brad Hogg too should have been suspended for 3 matches, if that is what Aussies claim should have happened for Bhajji. If Indians had the decency to drop such matters, shouldn’t the Aussies also show some signs of being sensible humans and drop such matters on the field.
Plus, what I definitely do not understand is, what has a team player (Refer to Symo’s lines above) got to do with being honest. I think Steve Waugh was a great team player, but can you really call him honest.
Australians allege that money was a major factor in deciding the fate of Harbhajan Singh during the hearing. Apparently there was a charted plane waiting for the Indian team had the verdict gone against them. The Indian team has vehemently denied any such thing, Aussies insist that this was indeed the case. That very much sums up the controversies in the series for me ..
Lets just hope that once all the dust has settled on this matter, the Sydney Test would be remembered not for the glaring umpiring mistakes, or the stubbornness of Ponting in asking Ganguly to leave by signalling him out, or all the catches claimed that never really happened or all the catches not given, that actually did happen … but for the tight finish and the enthralling Centuries from Sachin and Laxman and the fact that a team had gone on to clinch its record 16th consecutive win in spite of being faced with heavy criticism and scrutiny.
Harsha Bhogle’s view on the whole issue in an Aussie news paper -> here
The last few lines are the best !!
More related news from Aussies’ media point of View -> here
Filed under: Controversies, Andrew Symonds, Harbhajan Singh, India Australia Test Series, Monkey, Racism