Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When Ponting talks about 'Spirit of the Game'!

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

How would it sound when if staunch capitalist talks about labour reforms or a drug dealer talks about humanity. The words which can describe such an event would be SURPRISING, STRANGE, SHOCKING etc. The cricketing world was surprised when Ricky Ponting spoke about believe it or not 'Spirit of the Game'. Of all the cricketers in the world now it was the Aussie captain to preach 'Spirit of the Game'.

A frustrated Ponting said this at a press conference after England denied them a victory at Cardiff using some negative tactics. The Englishman took too many drinks break and charged the gloves too often in the crucial last hour of the final day to delay the game. In the end it worked for England and James Anderson along with Monty Panesar held the match for almost an hour. Their 11 over partnership denied the Aussie the crucial last wicket and chance to go one up in the series.

True what the England team did in the last hour looked absurd to a cricket fan but who is Ricky Ponting to talk about 'Spirit of the Game'? Has he forgotten the numerous number on dropped catches that he and his team-mates have claimed? Doesn't he recall incidents where he has argued with the umpire over decisions? Has he forgotten the art of sledging which has been Australia's biggest gift to cricket since the days of Sir Donald Bradman?

If the Australian team can term sledging and abusing as a tactic for 'mental disintegration' why do they scream when their opponent uses a time delaying tactics. The problem with the Aussies is they cannot take back the medicine they so happily distribute around the globe. Ricky Ponting might have a short memory but it was not too long ago that famous Aussie columnist Peter Roebuck had said “Ponting had turned a group of professional cricketers into a pack of wild dogs”

Ricky Ponting's desperation to win the Ashes can be understood, after all he is the first Aussie captain to loose a Ashes series in the last two decades. He had to bite dust in the last Ashes tour in England and wants to win at any cost this time. He should concentrate more on managing his own boys rather than preach 'Spirit of the Game' to others. He should realise one hard fact and that is cricket is no longer a 'Gentleman's Game' and a lot of credit for it surely goes to the Aussies.


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