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Sight Screen

Friday, May 27, 2005

Surrey penalized for ball-tampering

Remember the headlines when Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis first unleashed reverse swing on England? One mainline paper put it very simple: 'CHEATS', the headline read.
A couple of years back, when Michigan Cricket Association held its annual prize-giving bash, I bumped into Wasim who was one of the guests of honor, and we were chatting of this and that when the subject of reverse swing came up. I brought up that episode, and Akram laughed. 'Arre yaar,' he said then, 'when their bowlers couldn't do it, they called it cheating. Now when Darren Gough does it, they talk endlessly about how well he bowls reverse swing.'
It's been that way almost all the time. When match-fixing first hit the headlines, the tendency was to treat it as a sub-continental problem -- until the Aussie 'weathermen', and the late lamented Hansie Cronje, hit the spotlight. Ball tampering, ditto.
In both cases, the problem is the same -- until you admit the problem is not of color or race or geography, until you acknowledge that it is widespread, and spreading, you will never begin to find solutions.
Imran once famously set the cat among the pigeons when he said ball tampering was widely prevalent in county cricket; the news stories of Surrey being penalized merely seem to confirm that it happens more often than the authorities think.


  • There wasn't much hue and cry when Michael Atherton took out dirt from his pocket and rubbed it on the ball, was there? It's much the same with 'chucking', I think.

    By Blogger Nikhil Pahwa, at 13:12  

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