Sydney: The 'Golden Boy' of cricket Sachin Tendulkar has only been "slightly tarnished" by charges of ball tampering, an Australian newspaper commented on Wednesday.Tendulkar has a "saint-like standing" in Indian cricket, cricket writer Robert Craddock said in an article in 'The Daily Telegraph', adding that "even though ball tampering is an offence which sounds more dramatic than it is, Tendulkar was considered above such conduct". "During the darkest days of the match-fixing scandal never once was his name muddied. In fact, he was one of the few players to emerge with his standing enhanced," Craddock wrote. Craddock expressed surprise over the unevenness of the penalties awarded to the Indian players. "While Tendulkar's one-match ban for ball tampering has been suspended, teammate Virender Sehwag had no such joy with the one-match ban he received for excessive appealing. "Are we supposed to deduce from this that excessive appealing is more of a crime than tampering with the ball? Ridiculous," Craddock said. The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) declined to comment on the controversy saying it was a matter for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to decide on, while the media here gave a subdued coverage to the incident. 'The Daily Telegraph' published its main story under the headline 'Sachin caught red-handed' with a sub-head 'Say it isn't so, Sachin'. The report said the punishment to Tendulkar had "shocked the cricketing world". Sydney's leading newspaper, the 'Sydney Morning Herald', had a box item with the headline 'Tumultous Test: Tendulkar banned for seam work as Ganguly loses control' while the Melbourne's 'The Age' merely said 'Tendulkar fined for ball tampering'. One media report chose the occasion to advocate legalisation of ball tampering and reproduced an article former New Zealand great Sir Richard Hadlee had written in Auckland's 'Sunday Star Times' to support its views. "It is time to legalise ball tampering in cricket," the paper quoted Hadlee as having said. "I can already hear the gasps from the game's conservatives, but I am dead serious. "As long as bowlers or fielders use whatever means they have on their persons, I don't see anything wrong with it. I am talking about the use of a finger nail to scratch the ball, not bottle tops or those sort of things," Hadlee was reported to have said.
| Copyright AFP 2001 |