Thursday, November 09, 2006

A 'Pawar'ful Push

Of all the senseless blabbering that one is subjected to in the name of breaking news, a news item on the behavior of the Aussies after the ICC Champions Trophy final caught my attention. There has been a lot of discussion and action on this subsequently. The most amusing one was a donkey painted in yellow and green (representing the aussie jersey) with Damien Martyn written on him. Apparently it was forced to bleat and the NCP activists felt avenged with this version of the ace batsman. Sharad Pawar played down the entire episode and blamed it squarely on media sensationalisation. Ricky Ponting has subsequently offered to apologize (If Cricket Australia feels the need for it!)

I do not think that Ponting’s offer is enough. Anyone who has seen the footage of the nudge would vouch for the fact that it has to be a strong push. Pawar was made to turn unwillingly by 90○ and move by 6-12 inches. After all, Pawar is a heavy man and almost as tall as Martyn. And Ponting gesturing before the trophy was handed over was also in bad taste. Why would an Australian player push the BCCI president and a minister in the Indian government is beyond me! I cannot even start to imagine the furore if Ganguly were to do this in Australia (I doubt anyone else can do it). Few years back there were reports of a pitch drunk Shane Warne urinating in the swimming pool of the Taj Mahal Hotel in Bombay. Aussies have been accused of racist behavior in the past. Perhaps, the racist bent of cricket in Australia is the reason why we are yet to see a single aboriginal or a player of non-Australian origins in the Australian team. This incident is just a continuation of the racist spite that the Australians have brought to the cricketing world. Is it a surprise that Umpire Hair is also an Australian? Few years back, Shane Warne had launched an attack on Ranatunga. Ranatunga referred to Australia being the place where English criminals were exiled to. He alluded that this is at the roots of the Australian culture.

Anyway, whether the Australians like it or not, the sub-continent is the future of cricket. Plain economics, cricket in the sub-continent means serious money. Why else would you have Michael Vaughn, Flintoff (Both Kingfisher), Lara (MRF), Sarwan, Ponting, Chanderpaul (Seagram) and Bret Lee (Timex) mouthing inanities in the name of commercial endorsements? Or why else would cric-info move its corporate headquarters from London to Bangalore? It would be a good idea for the Aussies to do away with the racial garb while there is time. After all they might pay with lost advertising contracts. Money matters! And Messers Ponting and Co. are smart enough to be aware of that!

Just after I published this, I got an update from Fox news. Money does matter!

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