Just for a moment, if I were to ask you to play a game of guess who, will ya? Pretty please, with sugar on top? Excellent. A particular cricket team from the sub-continent is playing a certain team from the Southern hemisphere. A precocious bowling talent from the Asian team just outsmarted and outwitted the other team’s captain and took his wicket through brilliant bowling and even better field placing. He is ecstatic that his plan came through and is running down the pitch to celebrate with his team mates. In doing so, he realizes he has come too close to the departing player and tries to avoid him. But then, the opposing captain extends his elbow to jab the bowler and mouths a few things as well, as parting favor.This sort of behavior, as we know, is a big no-no in cricket. Average cricket fan watching the game thinks: The captain is in some shit. He is gonna be pulled up by the match referee at the end of the day. Perhaps, a 50% match fees penalty is on his way.
Yep. The match referee hauls up both the players involved but absolves the captain of any and all wrongdoing and instead admonishes the young bowler. Where the fuck is the justice in that?
If you haven’t seen the incident, here it is for your viewing. The long and short of it.
Now that you have seen the incident and if you are least bit rational and reasonable, you would, like me, think that the captain is the one that committed anything wrong and hence, if there is gonna be any penalty or “talking to”, he should be the one receiving it. Of course, the match referee thought otherwise. Can you guess the name of the referee?
Chris-Effin-Broad. Yes, the same asshole who has come down invariably harsher on Asian and Caribbean players while letting Australian and English players get away with murder.
This just another chapter in the long list of Broad’s inexplicable punishment which scream of a bias. Favorable towards lighter skinned brethren and unfavorable towards the others. Case in point: The two ODIs ban handed to Suliemann Benn while the other participant and the instigator, Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin, respectively, getting away with a percentage of their match fees docked. Tony Cozier, the eminent cricket journalist writes so:
But the International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Chris Broad, the former England opening batsman, needs to explain why he chose to hand Benn a more stringent penalty under the code of conduct, suspending him for the next two one-day internationals, than Australians Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson, who were fined for their on-field altercation during the third Test in Perth but can continue playing.
Here is another incident where the difference in punishment given out by Chris Broad, indicate a clear case of preferential treatment, especially of the Aussies. And they tell you and me that racism and such despicable practices have no place in cricket. How, then, do you explain Chris Broad’s actions?
If the Aussies get ultra aggressive on the field, the usual reasoning bandied about is, “That’s how they play the game. Hard.” and if the Asian or Caribbean players were to dish it back to them, “Oh no! That’s against the spirit of the game. Can’t have it.”.
The elbow swung by Ricky Ponting at Mohammed Aamer may seem like an isolated incident, which shows the pug faced Tasmanian in poor light. Ponting is a bad sport. But we all knew that already. This goes way beyond that. It once again brings the ugly, deep seated bias held by some of the guardians of the game to the forefront. This needs to be addressed right away. Else, it will eat away at the fundamental credibility of the game of cricket itself, the notion that it is fair and just.