Sir, May I Scratch My Armpits?
New addition to the previously mentioned new rules on sledging:
If a non-Australian cricketer scratches his armpits, though he might have a good reason to do so like, say, hot weaher, it’ll be considered as a racist gesture. If he wishes to scratch his armpits, he shall do so only after a permission from the on field umpire.
The Sydney Morning Herald has set a new benchmark in cricket reporting in its desperate attempt at salvaging something out of the lost first final. Hatsoff to them. Jeff Crowe, the match referee, has quite rightly cleared Bhajji of those charges.
It’s worth noting here that the spectators who were constantly abusing and showing Harbhajan ‘the finger’ were not noticed by the SMH reporters. But the TV cameras caught them. The question then is, if the spectators were caught by the camera, why wasn’t Harbhajan? My guess is, it’s all a handy work of the BCCI. It managed to pressurise the Aussie TV channels and ESPN Star to delete the footage. What do you think?
On another note…
Let’s face it, the Australians are not playing their best cricket in a long long time. They haven’t batted so poorly ever, their captain is out of form, the team morale has taken a beating. When was the last time you heard Ponting speak words like these?
“I think really for us it’s just about getting our heads right,” he said.
“I think even a couple of guys today would be disappointed with the shots they got out on at pretty vital times, so we just have to get our thinking right.
“I’m pretty happy with where our skills are at, it’s just making sure that we’re mentally right in the right moments.”
For a non-Aussie, I must admit, this is music to my ears.
I am in no way suggesting that the Aussies are losing it. But it’ll take a lot more than a series victory (assuming that they’ll win the next two games) to restore the team’s confidence and high-morale.
Related reading: Greg Baum’s excellent piece in The Age Crowd carry-on over Harbhajan