Lost to cricket: a fan’s lament

As cricket again looms on the seasonal calendar at 37.8o South, for the first time in my living memory I don’t care a jot about the Australian men’s cricket team. This is a very personal anecdote. And I wonder how transferable or relatable it is. I am not connected in any way to office-holders nor players. I only ever played local park cricket (https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/a-search-and-a-small-revelation-on-21-january/). I write this in October 2018.

 

Cricket has lost me.

 

The act of writing this is a search to understand why this has happened. I don’t know why. I don’t know much. But I wonder. Maybe some members of the Australian men’s cricket team lost their sense of perspective. Maybe some Cricket Australia staff did likewise. Maybe they lost respect for the game. Maybe bosses need to be careful of what they ask of their staff. Maybe coaches need to be careful of what they ask of their players. Maybe selectors need to be careful of what they are rewarding.

 

Cricket Australia looks increasingly like a sheltered workshop; peddling outdated methods and employing insiders to do so. Compare the quiet revolution in the approach to coaching Australian football teams (a revolution built on education practice) with the outmoded approach of Cricket Australia.

The Sydney Swans famously publicised a “no dickheads” policy. This was an extreme example of the importance of team over the individual. The Western Bulldogs embraced coach Luke Beveridge, who advocated for individuals to find their place; to find their story; within the larger story of club. Richmond and Collingwood both have worked on resilience, stories and place – helping to shift the mindsets of players away from being victims (of circumstance); towards ownership (of themselves, their situations). West Coast similarly. And Hawthorn. Probably the rest of the clubs, too, given the shallow gene pool of that code. And yet, the Australian men’s cricket team has for many years exuded the 1970s era pall of toxic masculinity. A kind of kill-or-be killed bravado. A clique of swagger and boorishness; backslapping and guffaws. With an absence of insight.

 

A lot of commentary is sunk in the topic of “sledging.” I raise it here as attitudes to sledging are an interesting barometer of culture; of acceptable standards of behaviour. On-field talk is part of cricket. The fielding team often try to talk up a wicket; try to distract the batsmen; try to affect their behaviour. Conjecture arises around exactly what sort of talk is appropriate. Sledging has re-surfaced now as the Australian men’s team looks to re-position itself as somehow likeable.

Everyone’s tolerance for on-field chat fits somewhere on a spectrum of acceptability. Distraction is one thing:
“This one’s letting their teammates down. Too slow. Can’t score”.
“There’s no one at deep mid wicket, mate. Have a go.”
“Which one will this be, Macca? The off-cutter? The outswinger?”

Sledging, however, is a more personal attack. Compare the above with:
“We’re going to break your f@#king arm.”
And consider the sort of unimaginative, Neanderthal management that endorses such attitudes. Or even celebrates them. [eye-rolling emoji]

==

I will not miss Cricket Australia.

Cricket Australia made an artform of excuses and double speak.
Cricket Australia fought its own players over payment.
Cricket Australia employs people in roles such as “Manager High Performance” and offers no clarity around their role.
Cricket Australia partitions off the juicy part of its season to a domestic T20 competition and yet claims to be interested in first class cricket.
Cricket Australia orders players not to play for their District clubs citing the need to rest; undermining the game itself.
Cricket Australia insisted upon Day-Night Tests played with a pink ball at Adelaide and Brisbane against the wishes of its players; and yet drops them when India does not want to play them.
Cricket Australia selectors routinely make baffling decisions affecting players’ lives and supporters’ goodwill.
Cricket Australia sold part of the TV rights to its game to a PayTV enterprise, limiting the viewing audience (and thus failing to learn from the England experience).
Cricket Australia spews atrocious noise pollution at Test matches throughout the country; hugely lessening the experience for the paying fan.
Cricket Australia failed to adequately support some players who were very clearly struggling in South Africa (as Almanac writers noted at the time).
Cricket Australia fails to schedule a summer that tells a story. Where is the story? Why should I be interested?

I feel very annoyed with decision-makers at Cricket Australia.
I feel that they have stuffed up something that stood well for more than 100 years.

Yes, many fine, fine individuals who behave in exemplary ways are involved in cricket.
And it does feel a shame to have been lost to the game.

I will miss the cricket.

==

Cricket is 0/100 at lunch.
Cricket is 3/186 at tea.
Cricket is 3/5 after seven overs.
Cricket is a sunny blue sky.
Cricket is gloomy cloud cover.
Cricket is mopping the pitch.
Cricket is five overs til the new ball can be taken.
Cricket is the part-timer before drinks (“Right arm over”).
Cricket is a leg-spinner dropping into rough outside the right hander’s leg stump.
Cricket is using your feet.
Cricket is “tails never fails.”
Cricket is being sent in on a green one.
Cricket is opening the innings at 5:30pm after a day in the field.
Cricket is taking the new ball, top of your mark.
Cricket is 36 degrees in the shade.
Cricket is shaking your opponents’ hand.
Cricket is talking up a wicket.
Cricket is a light breeze from leg to off.
Cricket is a persistent fly.
Cricket is successfully negotiating a maiden against a swinging ball.
Cricket is a cover drive that never leaves the grass.
Cricket is not knowing whether to bat or bowl.
Cricket is following the bowled ball from ‘keepers gloves, to second slip, to cover, to mid-off and back to the bowler.
Cricket is hope.
Cricket is thought.
Cricket is sustained hope and thought.
Cricket is the edge that falls short.
Cricket is the quick single to a deepish point.
Cricket is backing up at the bowler’s end.
Cricket is holding a slips catch.
Cricket is dropping a slips catch.
Cricket is a round of applause as the opposition captain takes guard (“Here’s the captain”).
Cricket is walking to the wicket with the opposition cock-a-hoop.
Cricket is the leg-cutter fizzing past your outside edge.
Cricket is the flock of birds flying in formation over the leg side field.
Cricket is a one-handed diving catch at backward square leg.
Cricket is bowling in partnerships.
Cricket is chance.
Cricket is skill and application and learned behaviour.
Cricket is luck.
Cricket is asking the umpire “how was that?”
Cricket is accepting the umpire’s answer.
Cricket is striving to land the ball such that the batsman has to fall across their feet.
Cricket is balance.
Cricket is noticing when the ball has stopped swinging.
Cricket is rolling your finger across the seam.
Cricket is centre to leg.
Cricket is waiting for the change bowlers.
Cricket is applauding the opponent’s fifty.
Cricket is setting the trap.
Cricket is going slightly wider on the crease.
Cricket is urgency.
Cricket is patience.
Cricket is bigger than us.

 

==

In writing here I am reminded of John Arlott’s poem, “Cricket at Worcester: 1938”
Of course the world has changed in 80 years.
But I read J Arlott’s poem and I consider Cricket Australia.
I read this poem and am alarmed at how much has been lost; how much has been sold.
It didn’t have to be this way.

And while my interest may return, indeed I hope it does; for now this is “goodbye cricket.”

 

==

Cricket at Worcester: 1938
John Arlott

Dozing in deckchair’s gentle curve,
Through half-closed eyes I watched the cricket,
Knowing the sporting press would say
‘Perks bowled well on a perfect wicket.’

Fierce midday sun upon the ground;
Through heat haze came the hollow sound
Of wary bat on ball, to pound
The devil out of it, quell its bound.

Sunburned fieldsmen, flannelled cream,
Seemed though urgent, scarce alive,
Swooped, like swallows of a dream,
On skimming fly, the hard-hit drive.

Beyond the score-box, through the trees
Gleamed Severn, blue and wide,
Where oarsmen ‘feathered’ with polished ease
And passed in gentle glide.

The back-cloth, setting off the setting,
Peter’s cathedral soared,
Rich of shade and fine of fretting
Like cut and painted board.

To the cathedral, close for shelter
Huddled houses, bent and slim,
Some tall, some short, all helter-skelter,
Like a sky-line drawn for Grimm.

This the fanciful engraver might
In his creative dream have seen,
Here, framed by summer’s glaring light,
Grey stone, majestic over green.

Closer, the bowler’s arm swept down,
The ball swung, swerved and darted,
Stump and bail flashed and flew;
The batsman pensively departed.

Like rattle of dry seeds in pods
The warm crowd faintly clapped,
The boys who came to watch their gods,
The tired old men who napped.

The members sat in their strong deck chairs
And sometimes glanced at the play,
They smoked, and talked of stocks and shares,
And the bar stayed open all day.

About David Wilson

Hit for a towering 6 by Mike Gatting at the Banyule Cricket Club, December 2002, theatrically attempting to reproduce the SK Warne delivery. The ball is yet to land. @e_regnans

Comments

  1. I too found myself watching fewer and fewer games over the last few summers though it was the on field behaviour and outward demeanour of the players that was the catalyst for my disinterest. I found the players hard to cheer for. I tend to fall on the side of personal responsibility rather than to look for cultural aspects behind the individual’s actions but I do see that CA had a part to play in how the team behaved, perhaps more but what they didn’t do rather than by what they did.

    That said, I feel that the biggest problem that cricket has in this country as far as watching the game goes are the pitches that our Tests are played on. They lack enough variety to give each venue it’s own character. They’re too the same, and for the most part they are too flat. While I have no issue with the odd game of attrition based cricket I don’t want it to be all I see. An obsession with batsmen making big hundreds over a batsman triumphing against very trying conditions and bowlers to get to three figures has diluted the enjoyment for me.

    I have no interest in T20 – though I admit it helps to get kids interested in the game. I don’t enjoy 50 over cricket all that much unless it’s part of the World Cup so I’m a bit stuck. I’ve found I’ve migrated into Shield cricket again which thankfully CA now broadcast via their website.

    Anyway, thanks for the article.

  2. Les Everett says:

    Excellent

    My drift started 40 years ago with the behaviour of Lillee & RMarsh.

    Cricket is walking in with the bowler…

  3. Dave Brown says:

    Yeah, I won’t be making a point of going to the Adelaide Test this year. I ‘invest’ far too much energy and money at five days of cricket to be able to support an organization such as Cricket Australia in its current incarnation. I’ll take those hundreds of dollars and that time and do something more worthwhile with it. However, I do think that looking just at the culture of CA is far too narrow. The reality seems to be that elite men’s cricket from first grade on up has been hostilely masculine for some time. At other levels it is mimicked to some extent or other. I’m not sure this review changes much of that.

  4. David, it’s hard to disagree with you, much as it goes against the grain of all that I have loved about cricket for well over 50 years. I was brought up on the spirit of, ‘There’s a breathless hush in the Close tonight…’ and all that. What we get nowadays is almost the opposite to that. It’s not some romanticised yearning for mythical old days but a grieving for the loss of the heart and spirit of the game in the interests of crass, boorish commercialism and some would-be ‘progressive’ notion of ‘providing entertainment’ for a preconceived target audience that might make a buck but which, at the same time, diminishes the game itself.

    I’m not lost to the game – yet. I’m severely disinterested. I’ll watch a lot less on TV than I ever have. I certainly won’t go if this is what I have to pay for. Merchandise? Forget it! I’m withholding my favours.

    Thankfully, it’s not all gloom and doom. A couple of examples from first hand: the Shield final from earlier this year was a great game played in the very best of spirit – hard and tight but also congenial and mutually respectful, little to no evidence of sledging (also known by that egregious euphemism ‘mental disintegration’), both teams committed to the search for an outright result. Then just a couple of weeks ago, the fighting debut of Queensland’s young McSweeney which I wrote about at the time – a talented lad forced to display his mettle from his very first ball at the crease against a surging, comparatively experienced attack – coming in at 3/19, 30-odd balls to get off the mark, almost four hours of grit to make about 40 runs. These are what cricket is all about. (Unfortunately, there were only about 50 of us there to witness it.)

    So I’m hanging on by my fingernails for now. Maybe I’m just trying to follow my usual ‘glass half full’ mindset; maybe I just want my game back and am not prepared to give up just yet; perhaps ‘the review’ might achieve something – wishful thinking, I know. I live in hope.

    Just don’t take too long.

  5. Just as with our essential services, electricity, water and gas, the corporatization of our major sports does not make them better. Frankly, I started to lose interest in cricket when the West Indies went into decline and the brilliance and character of players of that era began to disappear. Today’s super bats and dead drop-in pitches to enhance scoring rates merely turns bowlers into fodder. A 50 or 100 scored against Clive Lloyd’s/Viv Richards’ team or Imran Khan’s team or Gower’s England team were more hard-earned than now. The last time I followed our Test team closely and with enthusiasm was when Warne provided the brilliance.

  6. I didn’t leave cricket. Cricket left me.
    Money. Noise. Length of games. Meaningless games. Confused multiple formats. Name a Sheffield Shield captain – ummmm? Lifeless flat batsmen’s tracks. Manipulated wickets for home teams. Greed. Self absorption. Narrow base of only Empire nation’s participation.
    Other than that the game is in grand health. Some is inevitable and no-one’s fault. A leisurely 19th century game would always struggle for relevance in the frantic 21st century with all the opportunities for our time.
    The compelling format has no commercial relevance. The commercial format has no competitive relevance.

  7. Colin Ritchie says:

    “Dozing in deckchair’s gentle curve,through half-closed eyes I watched the cricket….” For me, Arlott’s words provide the quintessential essence of what cricket was all about in those golden times. I grew up listening to ABC/BBC broadcasts of Test matches in the 50s & 60s and what a joy it was to listen to the words of those brilliant broadcasters reflecting that essence, painting a picture for my mind to envisage. And it was brilliant. To me, that’s what cricket was all about; it was the game of cricket, its history, the spirit in which it was played, and the players who played the game, who played not for themselves but for their teams and the greater good of cricket.
    Unfortunately, those days are gone, and like David, and many other lovers of the game, that joy the game of cricket once provided has been lost. Undoubtably, the commercialisation of the game, the big money on offer and demanded, the culture involved in the win at all costs, and the rise of the individual as the “star” have all had a detrimental affect upon the game. I still love the game, but rarely watch it on TV or attend the game anymore, and occassionally I tune into ABC Radio broadcast of a Test Match while driving. I still do enjoy reading books of cricket particularly of the times that Arlott so wonderfully wrote about. Hopefully the culture of the game will begin to improve in the forthcoming years.

  8. E.regnans says:
  9. Well played, e.r. Well played.
    A most thoughtful piece.

    Will you, will I, will we ever love cricket again as we did in the past?
    From this vantage point it is difficult to imagine that we will.

  10. From Baum’s article:
    “And yet still presiding is the man who sat atop the previous dispensation, the one that neglected the spirit of cricket, for which he says he accepts full responsbility while everyone else cleans out their lockers and desks. Even if only as a figurehead, it is an uncomfortable position for him, incongruous in the eyes of the cricket world; in a word, untenable.”

  11. Thanks e.r. Wonderfully written once again. I take a different view. Earlier this year I was angry with our players and the board. That we’d lowered ourselves into the cesspit of other nations questionable actions. I thought we set the example of fair play. That is why SA and others have taken so much delight in our fall. We are now like them!

    But I now look forward to us making amends, weaving our way through new behaviours until we set a new, better standard. I’ll listen, watch, attend, discuss, argue and pontificate on all forms of cricket. I can’t stop, it is in my DNA. I recall a similar feeling when we lost so many cricketers to the world series in the 70’s. Maybe that’s why I feel this way again. To witness us be better at the game and in the game. They can ditch that wanky slogan tho. Cheers MD

  12. ER – a mighty fine gentle rant.

    This is a story of disconnect, and sadly I suspect (I know I’m putting words in your mouth here), is probably one disconnect of many. Cricket is perhaps the canary in the coal mine? I’m struggling to connect with the Test team but find myself interested in how they haul themselves out of their current malaise. I have a lot of time for Tim Paine. I really hope he succeeds.

    The recent Tests against Pakistan grabbed my attention because I watched the Aussies struggle and lose – but with dignity.

    My mother is always reminding me to ignore the messenger (when I struggle with things like the debacle in the churches for example), but to pay attention to the message. Perhaps Cricket Australia is the messenger? Ignore it but love the game.

    A thought from a book I am reading (again):

    “Romano Guardini, surveying the moral and intellectual ruin that was Europe after the Second World War, wrote that we had entered the era of “mass man,” that the individual was being submerged beneath phenomena of the masses, which did not rise to the status of a true culture. Mass man has no culture, no real home, no transcendent object of devotion, no aim but what is given to him in and through mass education, mass entertainment, and mass politics. He floats on the seas willy-nilly, like a jellyfish, without a mind and a North Star to guide him. He gives in, he goes along. He lives, easily and uneventfully, Life Under Compulsion. Submerged”

  13. Barry Nicholls says:

    Live cricket lost me when they corporatised it to the extent of favouring T- 20 over the domestic first class game. By the way Thommo said he and Lillee’s approach to England batsmen was’
    ‘ We wanted to kill the pricks.’ Win at all costs? Anyone?

  14. Australian cricket has become like the ugly Australian abroad. We all know him. And we all wish he would go back to his suburban bubble and leave travelling to those who actually want to learn something about the world.
    Thankfully, Australian women are showing these knobs how cricket should be played.

    I share your pain ER.

  15. E.regnans says:

    Thanks all for taking the time and chance to comment.
    Since I wrote the above, the independent review findings have been released.

    Fairly staggering conduct from D Peever since then.
    By word he says he “accepts responsibility” for cultural and leadership failures at Cricket Australia that led to a cultural degradation. By action, he orchestrates a new term for himself as Chairman and indicates that he will not step aside. Words and actions quite different.
    Wilful blindness is one thing; ignoring explicit advice from an independent review is probably another.

    Interesting to note a low response rate among current players to the review.
    Does that indicate fear of speaking out? Apathy?

    Also interesting to note some of the names choosing to minimise the review’s findings: Brad Haddin that I’m aware of. No surprise that those who spent time inside the so-called gilded cage, who furthered themselves while inside, would speak ill of it (or even recognise it).
    “When asked whether words like arrogant and bullying were fair descriptions of Australian cricket of the past, Haddin replied: “No, I don’t think it is. The independent review got done, everyone gets to have their say openly and honestly, and that’s what you want.
    From our point of view, we’re moving forward. It’s been six months since South Africa. A lot of water has gone under the bridge.
    We’ve got start rebuilding the cricket team to start winning games for Australia and get a cricket team that Australia can be proud of.”
    Insight and awareness in short supply.
    And he is the current assistant coach to J Langer.

    Interesting to note Kevin Pietersen’s quite different appraisal:
    “Australian Cricket’s culture review.
    Having played in that system for the last 4 seasons & with Lehmann carrying on like he did, I’m afraid an explosion was ALWAYS going to happen!
    Is he still employed by CA?!?!”

    I expect that the whole saga will be swamped by vested interests; diluted, papered over. And that the good ol’ boys will continue to ride high on their commercial contracts into the future.

    ==
    As I said elsewhere: Each year I would attend one day of Test cricket; watch Tests on free-to-air TV; soak it up via radio, written stories. Write many words myself. But I’m done for a while. I wonder if there are others feeling this way.
    Thanks again. Go well.

  16. DBalassone says:

    I share your frustration with the way the game is being run – it’s ludicrous to have three forms of the game. I think the key is to find a balance between Tests and T20 (it’s here to stay folks). The 50 over game is total rubbish and has to make way – but this ain’t going to happen because the game is controlled from India and there’s still heaps of money in tv rights/betting in this format.

    Re the behaviour of Australians – it’s an interesting one. We’re all getting stuck into the Warner and the ruthless culture of the Australian cricket team…

    But the funny thing is that Lillee and Thommo were heroes for this sort of stuff.
    And so were Ian Chappell and Rod Marsh.
    And Merv.
    And Warne and Pigeon.
    And don’t forget Hayden chirping away in the gully.

    “If you are questioning my integrity, then probably you shouldn’t be sitting here.”

    Mixed up confusion.

  17. Peter Crossing says:

    David Peever’s statements on ABC TV last night were totally inadequate. The question, “Why shouldn’t CA Board and the Senior Executive resign?” was ignored.
    According to Peever, what happened in South Africa was merely a “hiccup” and, as he stated, the “completely independent, voluntary review” and the publishing of its findings (apparently somewhat redacted) amounts to an acceptance of responsibility by CA. Surely he jests. Peever’s response, and his stage-managed re-election in the days leading up to the release of the review, signify that it is business as usual for CA. Peever should resign. So should Roberts.
    Predictably, the Cricketer’s Association has called for the suspensions of Smith, Warner and Bancroft to be lifted immediately. So have Lehmann, Haddin et al. They were part of the problem. They just don’t get it. Any of them.

  18. Well. I’ve already bought tickets for the first three days of the Boxing Day Test, and if it goes further, I’ll still be there at the G. on day 5. And maybe in Sydney too.

    I just love test cricket, despite the the upheavals, so am I forgiven?

  19. It’s interesting, isn’t it DBalassone?
    The change in societal expectations around behaviour from the I Chappell days.
    (From some parts of society (not all)).

    I see the change happening in Australian footy, too.
    No doubt society has changed.
    The rise of the individual, social dislocation…
    This is a big topic.

    ==
    PCrossing – agree. These characters can’t see the mess as they are too deep within it.

    ==
    J Courtin – we each make up our own lives, for whatever reasons. Enjoy.

  20. It was good seeing Chappelli on Channel 2 lat night.

    Ian was what he’s always been, blunt and to the point. I know people may not want to hear his master-servant relationship terminology; C’est la vie.

    When he speaks about why does the governing body twice need outsiders reviewing its function, firstly with the Argus Report, now this most recent case,it makes you wonder. If this is the peak body for Australian cricket why can’t it get its act together,why have an outside body investigate?

    Ditto when he talks about the relationship between Peever and Roberts, with the players following the messy MOU proceedings , you don’t get filled with hope about the direction of the Australian game.

    The severe penalties Australian cricket meted out the offenders in South Africa stands well above the actions of any other international cricketing team. Unlike the rest of the cricketing world Australia did something,but that’s not the end of it. If we’re to suspend 3 cricketers including the best batsmen in the world who was our captain, why don’t those who oversaw the game also incur a penalty? A fish rots from the head down.

    Glen!

  21. Add my name to the list, E.r – there are innumerable pleasures to be found in a game of park/beach/backyard cricket, but I’ve drifted from the big time shows. Never warmed to “Southern Fried Humungous Smash!!” and the entrenched culture of CA’s top blokes leaves a horrid taste in the mouth (I saw Rod Marsh twice on the ABC yesterday, once in an interview pleading the case of bring back the troublesome trio post haste, penance and constructive growth be damned; another time advocating for free piss at matches as the panacea to all of test cricket’s troubles…good grief).

  22. John Butler says:

    E Reg, parts of this I completely understand, and other parts I take issue with.

    Disillusionment with CA is perfectly understandable. But this isn’t a recent phenomenon. Those who administer cricket have always had the tendency to act as if the game was their property. This goes back to the 19th century in this country. Peever is just an updated version of Ernie Bean and his ilk.

    Re the aggression of the 70’s/Chappell era: I think we need to take care and distinguish player behavior in this era from certain behaviors that followed. The context and nature of the Chappell/Lillee/Marsh era is very different from more recent times. Much of that aggression was a product of a growing conflict with and questioning of authority. Players were increasingly asking why they couldn’t share in the growing riches of the game. This is the environment that created World Series Cricket.

    I think Ian Chappell gets a bad wrap in this respect. Most accounts of those he played with suggests he personally had no time for personal abuse on the field. He could, of course, be as aggressive as anyone in the heat of battle, And to this day he has little time for diplomacy. But most of his real anger was directed at authority which he felt was short changing the players.

    This example of aggression later transformed into something very different. “Mental disintegration” has an entirely different purpose. I think this is an important distinction to recognise.

    Perhaps I retain a sentimental attachment beyond logic, but I still see great value in the game, even if those who administer it can only see value in dollars.

    Thought provoking, as always.

    Cheers

  23. Good points John,especially re the comparison with the 70’s. Ian’s team played it hard, but there didn’t seem to be the high level of sledging there is now.

    Ian said the same when on Channel 2 the other night. He alluded to the concerns he had some one might get hit with a cricket bat in the current climate.

    It’s be good if people could view his interview from the 7-30 report last Tuesday, 30/10/18.

    Glen!

  24. It’s ironic that Ian Chappell said that because Miandad almost did hit Lillee with a bat in ’81 (after Lillee had kicked him). I reckon they were more ruthless in the 70s and 80s. e.g. the Chappell/Botham feud, Dessie Haynes folding his hands and praying at silly mid-on that the next delivery would kill Border, Viv Richards threatening to beat up Steve Rixon behinds the stands after play, etc. And no one was worse than Warne & McGrath in the 90s (mind you, those two were the biggest sooks in World cricket masquerading as bullies). This stuff has always gone on and if anything I think sledging is much more sanitised now – particularly after the Andrew Symonds affair in 2007/08.

  25. G’day Damian.

    How did you view the alleged racial abuse Symonds copped from Harbrajahan? If it’s true it was certainly worse than the overwhelming majority of things Australian cricketers are accused of.

    Glen!

  26. I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure what Harbhajan Singh actually said to Symonds – whether it was the alleged racial abuse or a similar sounding Indian word as testified by Sachin. If Harbhajan did indeed utter the insult, then I agree with you.
    I think the worst thing I’ve ever seen in cricket was the way the Indian crowds treated Symonds a few months prior in those ODI’s. This was the backdrop to that Sydney test in 2007/08 that is often forgotten.

  27. Ta DB.

    True we’ll probably never know the actual term that Harbhajan used.What i do know is that the ACB went to water when the BCCI supported their team. Weak effort.

    Glen!

  28. E.regnans says:

    Thanks all.

    As I say, the above is a personal anecdote.
    Usually I would be anticipating/ enjoying a new cricket season about now.
    But instead I’m pretty worn out with all this.

    I’ll finish by wishing Tim Paine and his Test team all the best.

  29. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Terrific piece ER.
    I often wonder why I’ve lost interest in watching cricket. Can barely do more than a handful of overs these days.
    Part of it is that I have many other, more pleasurable pursuits to distract me unlike pre-internet days.
    White noise and filthy lucre associated with the game hasn’t helped. Last series I watched closely was the 2005 Ashes in England. Then Broadband came along. Bye bye cricket…

  30. E.regnans says:

    Cricket Australia Chairman D Peever has resigned.
    It’s been a big week.

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