हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

It's no longer a gentleman's game

Published: Sunday, October 26, 2003, 21:55 [IST]
 
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Bangalore: A few days back ICC match referee and former West Indian skipper Clive Lloyd bemoaned the death of decorum in the game of cricket. He called it the death of a myth. Lloyd was upset over the way players conducted themselves in the Pakistan's home series against South Africa, where sledging, physical assault and subsequent bans have dominated the bat and ball. The conduct of the players in this series has caused a dent to the image of the game. CaptaiBangalore: A few days back ICC match referee and former West Indian skipper Clive Lloyd bemoaned the death of decorum in the game of cricket. He called it the death of a myth.

Lloyd was upset over the way players conducted themselves in the Pakistan's home series against South Africa, where sledging, physical assault and subsequent bans have dominated the bat and ball. The conduct of the players in this series has caused a dent to the image of the game.

Captains are supposed to be role models. But in the modern day games, they are not setting the right precedent, as was proved by Graeme Smith. When the Youhana-Hall spat occurred, instead of keeping things calm, he gave vent to his feelings thereby making the situation worse. The series has been one of the worst from the cricketer's behaviour point of view. After Hall, Shoaib Akhtar followed suit and earned a ban.

In the matter of dealing with punishments too, the International Cricket Council has been seen wanting in some fronts. The apex body has also been accused of being harsh on players from the subcontinent while being very lenient with others, letting them scot-free after having committed major offences.

Sledging has changed the face of the gentleman's game. Now what is it all about? The Aussies are a talking lot. They want to let know the opposition what they think of them. It was part of their strategy to unsettle the opposition by trying to disturb their concentration. Thus the word sledging was coined as a euphemism for the more in-your-face sledgehammer.

Sunil Gavaskar opened a great debate by saying what he felt right and that too at the Mecca of cricket. He doesn't mind a gentle banter, but what is being practised right now is nothing less than intimidation that doesn't suit the gentleman tag associated with the game from time immemorial.

Cricket is going the soccer way, what with the game getting more physical and verbal abuses being reported on a daily basis. At a time when the game is on the road to recovery from the shady dealings of bookmakers and punters, the body language of players is gradually becoming a blot on sanctity of the game.

A lot of former players who played the game in the right spirit in their heydays have lamented the present state of game. With each passing day the number of sledgers and bullies are increasing. It may not be far away when red cards and yellow cards are introduced in this 'once' gentleman's game.ns are supposed to be role models. But in the modern day games, they are not setting the right precedent, as was proved by Graeme Smith. When the Youhana-Hall spat occurred, instead of keeping things calm, he gave vent to his feelings thereby making the situation worse. The series has been one of the worst from the cricketer's behaviour point of view. After Hall, Shoaib Akhtar followed suit and earned a ban. In the matter of dealing with punishments too, the International Cricket Council has been seen wanting in some fronts. The apex body has also been accused of being harsh on players from the subcontinent while being very lenient with others, letting them scot-free after having committed major offences. Sledging has changed the face of the gentleman's game. Now what is it all about? The Aussies are a talking lot. They want to let know the opposition what they think of them. It was part of their strategy to unsettle the opposition by trying to disturb their concentration. Thus the word sledging was coined as a euphemism for the more in-your-face sledgehammer. Sunil Gavaskar opened a great debate by saying what he felt right and that too at the Mecca of cricket. He doesn't mind a gentle banter, but what is being practised right now is nothing less than intimidation that doesn't suit the gentleman tag associated with the game from time immemorial. Cricket is going the soccer way, what with the game getting more physical and verbal abuses being reported on a daily basis. At a time when the game is on the road to recovery from the shady dealings of bookmakers and punters, the body language of players is gradually becoming a blot on sanctity of the game. A lot of former players who played the game in the right spirit in their heydays have lamented the present state of game. With each passing day the number of sledgers and bullies are increasing. It may not be far away when red cards and yellow cards are introduced in this 'once' gentleman's game.

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