Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dismissing a Batsman for 199 is Against the Spirit of Cricket

It was a foregone conclusion that once Suraj Randiv deliberately overstepped the line to deny Virender Sehwag a hundred the media would use it to mint money. Anyone who thinks those reporters and newspersons kept harping on it did so out of their commitment to upholding sportsmanship probably believes that Stuart Broad is a man.

So while most media outlets were busy criticising the actions of Randiv, NDTV 24x7 decided to play Devil's Advocate. They called on Chandu Borde to make the whole "Anything goes on a cricket field" argument. That's perfectly fine, but how exactly are you making your case by saying "We ran out Sobers when he was on 199"? The Spirit of Cricket is a pretty vague concept, but surely dismissing a batsman by fair means cannot be against it. No one would have criticised Randiv had he dismissed Sehwag for 99, if anything he would, or atleast should have been applauded for going after the batsman even though the match was all but over. And that really is the essence of being an aggressive cricketer - You are always looking to score runs or taking wickets.

A lot of players seem to think being petty and abusive is the same as being aggressive. Stuart Broad, Harbhajan Singh, Sulieman Benn and Shane Watson are the torchbearers of this group. It's pretty sad that Benn is the only one whose behaviour has resulted in censure from the inside, with Chris Gayle sending him off the field when the bowler wasn't ready to implement his captain's plans.

I am glad SLC took it upon themselves to nip such behaviour in the bud by banning Randiv for a game. Sure the Indian media went overboard with its criticism, but that doesn't change the fact that Randiv did deliberately bowl a no ball. He's still young and maybe he'll be wiser after this incident. Just a few days ago he got the same batsman out stumped on 99. If he focuses on denying batsmen milestones that way he'll have a long and successful career ahead of him. I hope the other boards follow suit when one of their players indulges in an act of petulance, and you can be sure the next incident isn't too far away.


  1. yeah, didn't quite get what was wrong with running sobers out on 199.
    You can always place a tight field,can't you?

  2. Yep, but then do we ever get the point anyone on these news channels is trying to make? :)

  3. If you think, NDTV was stupid, you should have read Anand Vasu's piece on HT ( I think).. He tried to make sense of drink driving, the Chandu Borde * non incident* and the Randiv incident. Was stupid beyond belief..

    For once ( at least when I checked yesterday), most of the folks there asked the right questions unlike normal abusive comments :D.

    It's true that SLC did the right thing by punishing Randiv, but at the same time shot themselves in the foot by not doing the same or a more stringent punishment for Dilshan.

    Sets the wrong example IMO. If I were Randiv, I'd wonder - the senior bloke who is supposed to be giving the right advice gave me wrong advice, and I get the can for it ! WTF

  4. The other side of it of course is what I've been questioning.

    Why did VS feel the need to change his * I don't care attitude* to * I'm miffed* . Seemed a bit daft to me.

    It would have been interesting to see if SLC would have punished Randiv IF VS didn't raise a big stink about it.

  5. TG, yeah I came across the bit about Chandu Borde in HT at first. SP & I talked about it a couple of days ago and he said maybe Vasu had misquoted Borde. However, there isn't any ambiguity now that he's been heard saying it on a national news channel.

    SLC definitely let off Dilshan and threw Randiv under the bus. But maybe it's justified in that Randiv had the option of not doing what Dilshan suggested. Afterall, it's not like Dilshan was holding his family hostage :D

    I don't know why Sehwag went on the offensive during the press conference. Maybe he got pissed off after seeing the replay and someone must have reminded him of the Tendulkar incident last year. Who knows? For what it's worth, he tweeted about Randiv apologising to him so maybe the matter was over as far as he was concerned.

    We'll never know if SLC would have punished Randiv if Sehwag hadn't taken it lying down. But if this move prevents Randiv from going the way of Stuart Broad or Harbhajan Singh then international cricket is better for it. That is why I ended the post by calling for other boards to follow SLC's lead the next time one of their players did a Stuart Broad.

  6. I think as long as a player tries to get a batsmen out in a fair and square way,its perfectly fine,even if he is nearing a personal milestone.But,to purposely make sure that the batsmen doesn't reach a milestone,that too at a situation when the team can't win is just pathetic.