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Australia’s sporting disgrace

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Cricket has been the one enduring sporting love of my life. Today many Australians are celebrating the series victory over our traditional rivals, England.

Some of us are not.

‘Test cricket’ matches have been played between our two countries for 130 years. Cricket is more than just a game requiring technical skills and physical endurance. As each game is played over five consecutive days, complex and subtle tactical manoeuvres are required to deal with the vagaries of changing pitch and weather conditions.  But most of all, cricket has always demanded of it’s players an exemplary level of sportsmanship both on and off the field, including respect for opponents, and winning or losing with grace and dignity.

This year, players from both teams have violated the proud traditions of the game.  Australia, as the host nation needs to take most responsibility. The on-field behaviour of our players has been utterly disgraceful.  Verbal abuse, intimidation and threats of physical violence to opponents might belong with other sports, but not cricket.

We have witnessed these highly-paid sporting heroes of today, who are the role models for our young cricketers of the future, behaving like loudmouthed thugs and disrespectful uncouth showponies.

Cricket deserves better than this.

Much, much better.

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Update;  30th December 2013;

Following this verbal dressing down I am delighted to announce that all players behaved themselves admirably during the subsequent Fourth Test Match.  Accordingly, I am expecting a cheque in the mail from the Australian Cricket Board this week.  Other financial donations from traditional cricket lovers  may be lodged online at the usual place:

About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

19 responses »

  1. Couldn’t agree more GOF. One can be aggressive on the sporting field, but still compete with grace. I think that sort of class isn’t taught sadly amongst our younger generation these days. I do wonder what happens in some households.

    • These blokes have the cricketing talent but they need to be mentored by someone like Adam Gilchrist on how to behave according to the traditions of the game. Umpires and administrators and coaches (and parents) all need to step up or the game as we knew it is doomed.

  2. Between income inequality worldwide and loss of simple sportsmanship and manners the world seems a worse place.
    Although I did see on Fareed Zakaria’s show on Sunday that 80% of the world’s adults are literate, 80% of the world’s children are vaccinated for measles and the world’s average lifespan is 70 years, so he pointed out that worldwide things are getting better. I needed to hear that. 🙂

    • It is so easy to be overwhelmed by all that is bad in the world and not see what is good. The sportsmanship problem is largely fueled by financial greed both by players and the television networks who encourage over-the-top behaviour because it improves their ratings.

      Same with world ‘news’……bombings and murders take priority over all the quiet achievers who are doing wonderful things in the world with little publicity or financial support.

  3. I know little of cricket, apart from watching some 101 level instructions and that film (can’t recall title) that took place in India about cricket.

    I typically don’t like sports and that’s mostly from the idiotic level of patronage that I’ve grown up seeing. That said, you really don’t want to see me watching a boxing match because I become a Velociraptor. I also go batty over football (world, ‘futbol’ not the American style) but shrink at most of its fans, too. I limit myself to one month of World Cup every four years because being a sport follower takes too much time and energy — and you can get killed for it.

    • I’m not fanatical about any sport but I do appreciate watching the best performers in any sport. I also worry about the soccer fans….so often the games end up in crowd riots. Cricket spectators are much more genteel…… England’s Barmy Army are a group of loyal cricket supporters who come to Australia and attend every game over a 2 month tour …they sing rousing choral pieces which entertain everybody. In the West Indies cricket matches just turn into one big party.

      Oh, and I need to see video of you at a boxing match. 😉

      • Actually, I’m quiet (relatively) AT a boxing match but on tv? You can hear me the valley over.

        I was invited to some yuppie house party with the invitation that it was for a big boxing event (pay per view) on TV.

        I tried to make nice when we got there but when the match was coming on, to my shock (and couldn’t give a rip) none of the many women went to watch. There’s me, hanging with the boys again.

        But then without thinking, I got so into it, yelling about points and disputing coaching, I looked around some rounds into it to see the men staring at me in a not so appreciative manner.

        Like: who invited this mad woman and are our wives safe? Are WE safe?

        One even said something about my being excessively loud. I told him that as an invitee to a BOXING party, I was surprised there were no boxing FANS but me.

        I think that scared them a bit as they softened. Another one said something like, ‘that’s true none of us actually understand the sport.’

        Of course I was guilty of being the obnoxious, low bred creature that I am! Last time I watched boxing with strangers!

        • I still need a video Lily. 😉

          When I was younger my Dad was a great fan of World Championship Wrestling……Hulk Hogan and all the rest of ’em used to do tours of Australia and the bouts were televised….. I used to enjoy all the fake thuggery, but these days not so much. Today I see the women wrestlers doing the same thing……maybe I’m just an old fuddy duddy but I don’t see any entertainment value in women wrestling and boxing.

          • I’ve been to a live women boxing match (a friend’s niece who happened to marry into a boxing family whom I grew up with — though I didn’t know her…it was the older generations). It was uncomfortable.

            I don’t like the fake stuff but I also, for some reason, don’t like the MMA (mixed martial arts) fighting. I don’t know why. It’s ridiculous for me to say, ‘Ooo, that’s so violent’ when I grew up with boxing BUT maybe it’s because in this case, I don’t understand scoring/ points and even the moves. It’s just flashes of violence to my eyes. And I’m not judging them! I’m saying I don’t get it.

            • On principle I don’t follow any ‘sport’ such as boxing whose primary objective is to knock someone unconscious…….but I quite enjoy watching the roller derby with women thumping the bejaysus out of each other…..maybe I need to re-examine my principles. 🙂

              • It’s true, I can’t take roller derby and while I know they’re doing more than ploughing into one another, I just don’t care of it, either.

                Boxing truly is amazing — but that’s if you were raised understanding the ‘insides’ of it. Not only were my parents fans but as I say, my uncle’s family were Olympic boxers, so I grew up with it being a bit of the family business.

  4. Very well said GOF. I’m slightly familiar with Cricket from living for a summer in England. But I had no idea the sport had such good moral standards. As you know from experience, I (and another very cool young lady) prefer sports where people help each other out, and don’t whine. 😉

    I am very sick and tired of the pettiness, violence and the whining in team sports these days. We watch American football, and some hockey. The whole reason it’s called a SPORT is because it’s supposed to be a pantheon of fairness and where everyone abides by the rules.

    We’ve always loved the Olympics though, the X Games and general skiing or winter sports; because they’re fun to watch, plus individual athletes are somewhat less likely to have someone else to blame besides themselves.

    • I’m not sure that cricketers ever had higher moral standards, but certainly the thing that was drummed into me as a young cricketer was onfield respect for the opposition… when the captain of the opposing team came out to bat we would all acknowledge his ‘esteemed’ status with a short round of applause…….similarly if an opposition player achieved 100 runs……a rare achievement.

      Today it has become win-at-all -costs. True sportsmanship has gone out the window. That’s also why I regularly poke my poison pen at the screaming female tennis players who do it to deliberately distract their opponents.

    • ‘HOWZAT?!?’

      You win the prize for the most unexpected and amusing response for the month Kim… on earth does an American find out about our trade secrets. 😉

  5. I’m not much of cricket follower, so I had no idea. It’s not exactly the sport you expect that kind of behaviour from. “It’s just not cricket,” as they once would say. But perhaps for not much longer…

    • Unfortunately most young players are now aiming for the 1 day ‘big bash’ format of cricket (that’s where the big bucks are to be found) and the exquisite subtleties of the 5 day test match will eventually be lost…..along with all the traditional standards of sportsmanship.

  6. Once money enters the arena the game changes…..
    I hope you enjoyed a Christmas day match – and perhaps today the Sydney to Hobart start.

    • You’re right about the money aspect Emjay. but there’s still no reason why the game can’t be played in a civil manner. The Boxing Day Test Match was wonderful entertainment for the entire 4 days and I suspect officials must have had a few words in players ears to not repeat the disgraceful onfield antics that occurred in the previous match. They all behaved ’emselves good mate. 🙂


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