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November 4, 2008 / lazybug

The problem with Gambhir…

Chris Broad responded by stating that at the pre-series meeting with the captains he had stressed the importance of mutual respect between the teams, given the incidents in the previous test series in Australia.

That’s an excerpt from the sentence handed over by justice Albie Sachs in dismissing the appeal of Gautam Gambhir. To know what mutual respect is, please read the new rules on sledging.

Another excerpt:

The problem with Gautam Gambhir was that during the 2nd Test and again during this innings he was seen on TV swearing back at the Australian bowlers, which was confirmed by the on-field umpires, so Chris Broad concluded that if one doesn’t want to be sworn at, then one shouldn’t swear in retaliation.

Please note, swearing back is an offence, but swearing in the first place isn’t. As for the second highlighted portion, the conclusion is this:  Aussies like hurling personal abuses at opposition players, but they are approved by law not to accept anything similar in return. They like raising elbows towards opposition players, but the punishment will be more severe for the person who retaliates. Provocation is a lesser offence. “Look sir, I only raised my arm to ‘obstruct’ him while running, but he raised his elbow and hit me”. As a result, Gambhir’s out for one match for retaliating, and Watson walks away after paying a 10 per cent fine for provoking.

The best part in the judgement:

Umpire Billy Bowden had been very insistent that players should never take the law into their own hands, and that if Gautam Gambhir had been finding the chat from the Australians too much then he should have approached them and they would have spoken to the Aussie captain to get his players to lessen it or stop it all together.

Of course, Billy will have to turn a deaf ear to the abuses thrown by the Aussies. Did someone say justice is blind? No sir, it’s deaf too, especially when the Aussies abuse.

The big question, though, is why was the sentencing so hurried up when even the aussies were expecting it to be heard after the Nagpur test started?



Leave a Comment
  1. Liju Philip / Nov 5 2008 2:39 am

    Think its time for the crowd to start the maa ki chants cos the aussies never gonna learn anyway 😉

  2. Chirag / Nov 5 2008 5:13 am

    This is obviously ridiculous, we(Indian) are generally more prone to this kind of bullshit, I am glad people are now standing up to it.

  3. rksadhu / Nov 5 2008 6:05 am

    Gambhir has shown our players how to thrash the Aussie sledging; I feel sorry for his one-test ban though.

  4. JD / Nov 6 2008 4:11 am

    “Please note, swearing back is an offence, but swearing in the first place isn’t. As for the second highlighted portion, the conclusion is this: Aussies like hurling personal abuses at opposition players, but they are approved by law not to accept anything similar in return.”

    Um, no… read it again. Noone said swearing back is an offence, that swearing first isn’t, or that the Aussies don’t have to accept anything similar in return. What Broad said was basically that it is hard to believe that Gambhir is more upset by swearing than the Australians are, when he does it himself. No more, no less.

  5. Karthick / Nov 6 2008 12:49 pm

    Gautam Gambir shed few words with the Australian players. If its a mistake means why don’t Watson be punished for tempting Indian batsman? Is it fair on ICC to take action on Gambir because Australians made complaint on him. Sharne Watson has been insulting Indian players from the 2nd test onwards. When he was unable to take the Gambir wicket he only started the fight with Gambir. If Gambir is banned in the fourth test match why Watson left with just 10% match fee fine. Either he should also be banned in the fourth test or Gambir should not be banned.


    Blaze Infotech

  6. lazybug / Nov 6 2008 4:54 pm


    Aussies have historically showed that they are bad taking back what they give. Gambhir has done just that. My point is: If the umpires can allow aussies to abuse, then why be upset about Gambhir retaliating?

    I find the statement by Bowden baffling to say the least. How does he not hear the aussie abuse but does not miss the retaliation from Gambhir? Seriously, if all the batsmen started complaining to the umpires when the Aussies hurled abuses, the match would slow down like a snail.

  7. JD / Nov 6 2008 11:09 pm


    However well some Aussies have taken sledging in the past, it isn’t the issue here. Noone (players or umpires) said they were upset by Gambhir retaliating by swearing. Gambhir argued that his physical reaction to the swearing was more understandable because it’s more offensive to him, so he should be treated more leniently. Broad basically said that he swears just as much, so this argument is rubbish and he shouldn’t be treated any differently from an Aussie who stuck his elbow into someone in response to swearing. Remember that when Aussie overreact, they usually get told off by the ACB, not defended. (Of course, that might be deliberate – I sometimes wonder whether the referees would be more lenient on the Indians if the BCCI took the same approach, but that’s another matter…)

    As for Bowden, the fact is that the code of conduct and its historical implementation have treated physical contact as fairly black and white. In contrast, drawing the line on verbal exchanges is a greyer area in word and practice, partly because what is offensive is such a subjective question so feedback from those offended is necessary. It would be good to see clearer guidelines for action from umpires and referees, but that needs to be sorted out at the ICC level when the rules are written. The BCCI have a fair bit of influence there, and could achieve much more if they didn’t wait till after an incident to start complaining. I doubt Bowden thinks it make sense that sending a batsman off is treated more seriously than swearing in the normal course of play, but that’s the way the rules are written. It’s hardly his fault.

  8. arvind / Nov 8 2008 9:44 am

    Chris Broad concluded that if one doesn’t want to be sworn at, then one shouldn’t swear in retaliation.
    some how i feel that whenever it comes to Australians the umpires do turn blind deaf and what not. .
    i am happy that gambhir did retaliate..

    PS : I wonder when Australians will leave the monkey gate issue,
    now ponting has come up with his book 😛 ..
    i guess all Australians should thank bhaji for giving them publicity ..

  9. lazybug / Nov 9 2008 5:07 pm


    This is not the first time India is playing the aussies. Indians have complained about sledging in the past as well. Can you tell me one instance where the aussies have been taken to task by either the ICC or the ACB?

    What Broad does not say is that most of the times the sledging is in response to what has been thrown at him. That’s understandable. Obviously Broad does not mind sledging from the aussies.

  10. JD / Nov 10 2008 6:00 am

    I think it’s pretty clear that Broad doesn’t mind the sledging too much (from the Aussies or anyone else), or at least doesn’t think it is his job to deal with it. He wasn’t saying anything for or against sledging, he didn’t say they can’t swear in response. He just says that if you do swear in response, don’t then say that you’re against swearing, let alone try to use that claim to justify physical contact.

    I agree that noone has done anything about the complaints about sledging. (It’s not just the Australians who do it, and definitely not just the Indians who complain.) Noone in power seems to want to take sledging out of the game. However, as I said, when Aussies overreact to the sledging (eg. McGrath and Sarwan), Sutherland spoke out against them (not that that changed anything). If they had actually hit anyone, I’m sure the referee would have had something to say as well. Apart from that, Australians have copped penalties for racism, dissent, slow over rates, send-offs, etc. just like any other team. And if, one day, the ICC starts actually penalising anyone for general sledging, I’m sure the Aussies will be in trouble.

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