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.
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