Thursday, March 15, 2007


There's a raging topic of discussion these days: Ponting vs. SunnyG. I am not sure I want to add to it. But today I am on a forced holiday with India's cup opener nowhere in sight, so here I go:

Ponting knows that perhaps Sunny is right to an extent. Every single cricket follower on this planet carries , like his own fingerprint, an individual interpretation of "this far and no further" on the sledging issue. And yet most outside Australia agree that some of their players carry on mouthing obsceneties involving certain issues that are (rightly) considered taboo in the civilised world. Beyond a point The doctrine of "doing everything to win" takes an ugly turn and these Australian players perhaps need someone to point that out.

But Sunny, by repeating his oft-repeated criticism of Australian players' behaviour one time too many at an inappropriate time, left Ponting no option but to speak out in defence. In making the first comment in the midst of a World Cup Sunny resembled a school teacher, also a school senior, who hires a loudspeaker just outside the school gate and blares out harsh words against the roguish behaviour of students of a particular standard of that school while those students are appearing for their board exams inside.

The class representative of those students had to try and shut him up. This teacher, IMO, should have first complained to the
parents, then to the school's principal before resorting to the option he chose. In any case he should not have chosen this delicate moment to enforce a long standing decision on something he has little control over. Sadly, it is an issue that the principal could have easily solved a long time before the exams had he not turned a blind eye to it.

Besides, we now suspect that the main issue, i.e. poor conduct by that particular standard, is perhaps overhyped. The class representative of the
teacher's own class has made a subdued admission that they all do it.

C'mon Sunny and Punter, it doesn't look nice for record holders of the highest run aggregate and most tons in Tests - Past & Gonna-be - to lock horns instead of exchanging niceties.

Update: We thought only P&G were confusing issues. Boof jumps in the bandwagon:

"I came into the international arena a few years after he had retired," Lehmann said. "He was a player I admired. Not any more."

Yeah? And Boof I just stopped respecting your batting prowess coz' you, besides being a quintal too heavy, have been caught abusing some Sri Lankans over colour .

On second thoughts I forgive him the first offence. It is one of the two counts in which he is second only to Arjuna Ranatunga in the history of cricket. Click here for the second.

The only plausible upside of this proliferating fracas is that for once an India-Australia World Cup match will get to challenge the Indo-Pak one on viewership!

Update 2: Our Australian friend John Cook agrees with Sunny on on-field behaviour of the Aussies and the idiocy of relating it to aggressive play. John says of Ponting's first reaction to Sunny:

"...In other words, Australia might be carrying on like petulant prats but at least they win more games than India. Ponting is one of Australia's greatest batsman and has a great captaincy record. But the Australian captain's job is not just to win matches but to represent his country. With regular dummy spits, the dreaded Pawar shoving incident and now the way he handles criticism, Ponting is showing all the diplomacy and statesmanship of a George Bush."

Methinks the offending players would do well to have a chat with their own 'Mark Tubby' Taylor who was unassuming in manner without being un-aggressive in captaincy.

But Sunny is effortlessly succeeding in
turning away John and other Oz supporters of his point by raising the 'bar'.

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