Skip to main content

From all of us Fans to Players & Officials: Please don't treat us with kid gloves

As any fan will tell you, we not just love, but understand the sport and our teams like no one else. And that’s also why they keep bankrolling the big fat salaries of the players, the profits of the clubs and the boondoggle of officials. The recently concluded test match raised, in my mind, three instances where the thought process seems to be – it is OK for us to handle it, but it is too hot for fans.

Common, now, please don’t treat us with kid gloves.

One:

The first one, inevitably, is about the DRS and taking the dugouts inputs in it. The rules are clear – the decision to ask for a decision review stays with the players on the field. Within a few seconds of the umpires’ decision, the batting team can dispute an out decision or the bowling team can dispute a not-out decision, without consulting with anyone outside the playing field. The controversy of Smith’s ‘brain-fade’ and Kohli’s allegations have played out ad nauseam on TV and cyberspace, so I will spare you that.

What irked me was the BCCI/CA decision to suddenly let bygones be bygones, spirit of the game is larger, we don’t want to mar a great series with this, yada yada, after, very clearly, one of the two captains lied in their post-match press conference.

Steven Smith said he had a ‘brain fade’ when he checked with the pavilion to see if he should go for DRS when given out, and in effect apologized for that. Virat Kohli said clearly that he didn’t buy that line for a second, saying he observed that happening a couple of times when he was batting and informed the umpires. Now which version is true? All anyone needs to do is ask either Nigel Llong or Richard Illingworth if Kohli did indeed mention it when batting. If he did, Smith’s the liar. If he didn’t, Kohli is the liar.

Case opened.

Now I understand we must move on. There is no point in dwelling upon that, drag it out messily and vitiate the atmosphere further. But let the FANS be the judge of that. Not BCCI after a tête-à-tête with CA. Not some official.

Air the dirty linen in public, I say. Because, trust me, we can handle it. And we understand the game.

Two:

The second one is about Steven Smith’s other confession, that when Shaun Marsh was given LBW for padding up to a Yadav swinger that might have hit the stumps, he said ‘go’ – meaning go for a review, but Marsh misunderstood that as go back to the pavilion and walked off. Common, now, who are you kidding? You couldn’t say ‘wait mate, I want to go for DRS’? You couldn’t show that T-sign yourself, being Captain and all? Your player ‘disregarded’ your, the Captain’s, input, and you let it go?

What actually happened, as any self-respecting fan will tell you, is that you were unsure. You knew you were down a review with the one for Warner going against you, you were on the crease and could potentially take Australia to a victory, and wanted that for a howler against you later on, what with Ashwin and Jadeja and the close-in cordon and edges and misses and everything. And for you to say later on that you native English speakers of the same team differed on the meaning of the word ‘go’ – I wouldn’t say disingenuous since you had nothing to gain by that, but not really cleaver either.

And to me, the fan, it feels like you felt we will lap it all up. Common, didn’t you, now?

I am an India fan for sure, but I think I speak for the true Aussie fan here as well. 

We all understand the game. And we can handle your brain fades.

Three:

The last of my rants for this post is with this whole package of sledging itself. It’s been around for a while, for sure. Some were real gems that has added to the game’s allure. And anyone that’s not been in a cave for the last 20 years know the Aussies literally wrote the playbook for modern sledging. It was so much a part of their game they practically were coached how to sledge. But then, they come up with an associated rule – sledging should stay on the field and never off it.

Why, I ask. Sledging is really the vile act in this story, but wait mate, it comes with strings attached.

Who are the Aussies to come up with the unwritten rule that it must stay on the field? Now they might be all cold and business like and do it for the result, nothing personal, but others, certainly the Asians, are not like that. We wear our emotions on our sleeves (sidebar: as English expressions go, this is one of the sillier ones) and don’t separate on-field from off-field.

We will talk about it to the press and elsewhere. Why should we not? Why should we, or anyone for that matter, follow that unwritten rule? If someone comes up with ‘it is so the young fans’ mind is not corrupted by such behavior by their idols’, they ought to get their head whacked by a pan. Fans follow what you do on-field, and today’s close up TV leaves nothing to imagination, really. And you don’t need to be a lip reading expert to mistake what comes from the bowler’s mouth when sending off the batsman as a verse from the Bible.

We fans are interested not just how you bat or bowl, but how you sledge, how you cry, how you hurt and how you handle everything thrown at you. Because we know cricket, or any high-pressure sport today, is more than just athletic skills.

Because we understand the game.


We are fans.

PSST: Did you know you can play Fantasy Cricket, for FREE, on the Fantain app and win prizes worth more than Rs. 10 Lakhs. Prizes for everybody. And did we say FREE?... Download the app on Android Play Store today.

Comments

  1. Following up, the pre-third-test press conferences seem to indicate Virat might have 'extended' the truth a bit ... again, why is no one just asking the Umps if the couple of incidents did happen, and update all of us fans?

    OK, I can hear you clearly ... 'boo, move on, there is cricket to be played'. Sure, I am moving on.

    This probably will be the end of it till one of the characters involved retires and writes a tell-all book, and makes good money, again from the fans. Sigh!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love it. Especially the 3rd point about sledging is okay but it needs to stay within the boundary rope. So silly, and its amazing how the Aussies have not only created something as vile as sledging, but also tried to put a moral spin on it. Strange that the rest of the world should somehow follow that framework. As in most issues, he who frames the problem/solution/question...wins.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Editor's Pick (t20): India - South Africa

Whoever said ‘don’t make a habit out of it’ was not referring to winning. I do love writing ‘India won’ blogs and it is a pleasure to make a habit out of it as well. The Indian cricket team is most definitely making sure that the habit sticks. We are more than just on a roll in South Africa. We have found what clicks for us and we are making use of it. The best part is that almost all the players are performing. So we are actually open to experimenting and bringing in fresh faces. This way, not only do all the boys get the taste of playing, team South Africa is unable to get used to any one player long enough to figure out the style and a way to defeat it. Way to go Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli. Talking about team selection. How is your selection going? Are you also listening to our audio podcast and getting that added advantage?
Let's get back to the matches. We lost the test matches. But we have won the ODI series in a landslide way. And are one up in the T20 series. We are repla…

Editor’s Pick(CPL): Trinbago Knight Riders vs Barbados Tridents

The previous match, Trinbago Knight Riders vs Guyana Amazon Warriors, saw the Knight Riders win by seven wickets. Played at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad, Chasing a target of 158, TKR scored 162 in 19 overs. Colin Munro, their highest scorer, hit 70 runs. It was a fairly one-sided match with TKR staying on top for most parts.
The Knight Riders are right on top of the table, with three wins and one loss from four matches played. Their run rate of +1.680 will matter, for sure. DLS has been applied in this tournament and can be applied again. Barbados Tridents come second on the table with two wins from three matches. They earlier beat St Lucas Stars by 21 runs (DLS Method). This will be a close match, considering that both teams are in good form.
Barbados Tridents (From): Dwayne Smith, Kane Williamson, Shoaib Malik, Kieron Pollard(c), Nicholas Pooran(w), Christopher Barnwell, Akeal Hosein, Wayne Parnell, Imran Khan, Ravi Rampaul, Wahab Riaz, Raymon Reifer, Damion Jacobs…

TNPL - A Brief Rundown

Based on the stupendously successful Indian Premier League is the Tamil Nadu Premier League. This Indian T20 cricket league has been established by the Tamil Nadu State Cricket Association to bring out more and more Natarajans and Washingtons who otherwise do not get a chance to showcase their skill and talent in the world of Cricket. The inaugural edition of the TNPL took place in 2016 and received unexpected and unprecedented success and love. There was a brilliant batch of young men who came forward and made an event out of the first season of TNPL.

Venues 

India Cements Ground, Thirunelveli
NPR College Ground, Dindigul 
MA Chitambaram Stadium, Chennai 


Changes
The purpose of every organization is to make it bigger and better. TNPL is no exception. At the inaugural TNPL 2016, there were the traditional two semifinals and one final. This year will see a format similar to IPL. The finalists are decided by two qualifiers along with one eliminator. This format has proven to be more exciting.…