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Sight Screen

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Being Freddie

Nice -- was hoping the Indian authorities wouldn't leave Freddie Flintoff's suggestion that he was shot at uncontested. The DDCA has apparently decided to front the response -- and it's pulled no punches in suggesting Freddie is merely drumming up some hype for his book.
Good job -- and I hope like hell the BCCI doesn't let this die down, but takes it up big time with the ECB and makes sure they prove the incident happened, or force Freddie Flintoff to apologise.
I mean, what's with this thing of visiting cricketers trashing India? Some come visiting and enjoy the experience; a few others come over, do their job and go home -- but there is this third category that enjoy the hospitality (and you know how hospitable Indians can be to visiting cricketers), then go back home and write pure bilge. An earlier instance in point is the one relating to Gary Kirsten, who in his diary wrote about how difficult it was to find mineral water in India (which formed the peg for one of my earlier columns).
I mean, come on! Never mind India's metros -- these days, even the paan-beedi shop in most villages stock mineral water. Always gets my goat, this India-bashing business -- not suggesting we don't have our problems, but surely you don't have to invent ludicrous reasons to tee off?
'They shot me' indeed!


  • Prem...it is in such matters that I would like to see the Indian media take the issue up big time. I would eagerly wait and see how many columns and analysis/opinion (and not just reporting of who said what) of this issue are written in the Indian media. Because we write so much trash...so much negativity about team India and its players....I mean for an example...your earlier post about the match-fixing thing....lets see this issue is taken up that much or not....lets see our media is equally vehement in its support of the 'cause' of Indian cricket as you are.

    By Blogger worma, at 17:06  

  • Not to be crass or anything, but I think Freddie was shitting in his pants and mistook the poop to pellets

    By Blogger Dementor, at 17:06  

  • Prem, just read through that earlier column of yours mentioned in the blog. Reminds me of something my wife keeps telling me. She says that I should treat people the way I want them to treat me. And I maintain (though I know she is right there) that I give back ten times what I get :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:16  

  • Or maybe it's an excuse not to play in Delhi again....for some reason...maybe unpaid bar bills.:-)

    By Blogger hjrsingh, at 17:23  

  • I remember my dad once taking me aside after an incident -- I got somewhat, ah, pissed at what was said to me and clouted the person doing the saying. And dad was, like, that is stupid behavior, so I go, hey, listen, you know what he said?
    Dad's response was classic dad: 'Pigs by nature live in gutters; does that mean you should change your own nature and jump in too?'
    I think that is one reason I've learnt to be unfailingly polite -- even when I sometimes have to grit my teeth to do it; but then there are certain lines, and I reckon if you cross it you are fair game.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 17:23  

  • Prem, good to see you are back in business [of posting on the blog !!].

    By Blogger Geoffrey George, at 17:25  

  • geoffrey: :-) For a while there, forgot this is what I originally set out to do. Regular service resumes, starting tomorrow -- more of this, instead of hanging out in the comments field fielding endless questions about SG no one really wants the answers to.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 17:30  

  • I am pretty sure Sambit Bal or Anand Vasu is gonna write an article praising Fredie's conduct in this case and offering the apology on Cricinfo pretty soon.

    By Blogger Vick, at 17:31  

  • Wasnt it Ted Dexter who complainedin 1993 about the smog in Kolkota as the reason for the pommies losing.. We whitewashed them then in the test series :))

    By Blogger SHRI, at 17:32  

  • prem, awesome article!!! great piece of writing. very fluid as i was reading for the first time!!

    prem, this is one good quality of SG. he had (past tense) that aggressive attitude to give it back to them. no kidding, sachin wud have apologised right at the toss to S Waugh if he was late. SG on the other hand went late for the next test too. thats one of the biggest advantages with SG over anyone in this team (besides bhajji) that he really brings that attitude to the indian game. i just wish he had scored more runs to cement his place and take india to greater heights.

    if u have any stories about SG, please go share!

    By Blogger Mayur, at 17:32  

  • 'Pigs by nature live in gutters; does that mean you should change your own nature and jump in too?'

    >>No but you sure need to herd them back by hitting them with yard long stick. if you dont they will come after you with their gutters.

    By Blogger Vick, at 17:35  

  • I second worma here. Even a lot of indian commentators keep quiet when fellow commentators from other countries trash india. One guy, who does give it right back is Ravi Shastri.

    By Blogger blueboy, at 17:36  

  • vick, the mentality of foreigners is generally to look down upon the so called 3rd world. I remember my otherwise genial boss make a very innocent remark which pricked me. Some of us were talking abt the rise of Xian fundamentalism in the Bible belt in the US which is when he remarked that he could associate this with the "poorer" countries but couldnt understand why this situation should occur in the "superior Western cultures".
    In the interest of my career, I zipped my mouth though my opinion of him fell several notches.

    Note: the words in quotes are his, not mine

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:37  

  • We arent doing much to correct that perception are we Toney.. I read a Robert Craddock article ( he of the Australian/Advertiser/some Murdoch newspaper) wherein he claimed that Indian selections get so heated that Indian selectors have spat at and punched each other..

    Where he got that info from.. only he knows..

    But most foriegn media, and I talk of cricket only, tend to be either spiteful ( "Lord Snooty", "Jagmohan Dalmiya") or condensending.

    And our media toes the line.

    By Blogger SHRI, at 17:40  

  • blueboy, Gavaskar gives it back too, though he doesnt do it the way Shastri does. I remember a VB series (or was it one in SA) where the floodlights failed for a moment. There was a ring of lights around the ground which was the only visible thing on the ground. While his co-commentator commented on the excitement with which camera flashes tried to record the event, Gavaskar immediately started attacking the organizers. He talked abt how this never happens in the under developed countries while it happened in these "advanced countries".

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:43  

  • shri, when people talk abt superior western cultures, words fail me. And total ignorance is a very difficult thing to correct

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:45  

  • The best of Gavaskar was in 1992 when India toured Down Under and Gavaskar was a part of the Channel Nine commentary setup.. His syndicated column after the first days play said something about the Aussies playing with 13 mention.. I think it was captioned "Aussie Cheats".. Of course, that did not go down well with Packer and his gang.. But that was impressive..

    By Blogger SHRI, at 17:46  

  • Toney.. thats why "When ignorance is bliss.. It is folly to be wise" :)

    By Blogger SHRI, at 17:48  

  • toney, I have a similar experience to yours, mine is in fact even more ridiculuos.
    I went to a party given by one of my clients and while we were having drinks and generally chatting, one of her friends asked me how people commute in india and IF THERE ARE ANY CARS IN INDIA?

    I was dumb founded...

    By Blogger blueboy, at 17:48  

  • Flintoff seems to be a Man of Steel. The air gun pellets bounced off him and fell to the ground, where his super vison picked it up.

    Somebody smuggled in an Air Gun into the stadium!! Please Freddie, you are at the peak of your popularity, your book will do well without such farce.

    By Blogger nish_the_dish, at 17:48  

  • It is all to do with our bloody mentality that the GORA is always right. We stoop to please everyone, why the fuck we bother I dont know.

    You listen to Indian commentators and when describing cricketing greats the Indians will always list X number of Gora's in every comparative article or commentary, You find me one GORA commentator ever name a Asian player in comparision to Gora Players when a GORA series such as Ashes is being played.

    WE have a series of IND PAK going on and on some inane point our commentators will go ga ga over the McGraths and Harmisons etc. All through the Ashes not once did I hear Kumble or Murli ever being mentioned in the same sentence as Warne. Even lists of top wicket takers were flashed each time Warne crossed a landmark they would refuse to read Kumble or Kapil names appearing in top 10.

    By Blogger Bedoon_Esam, at 17:51  

  • blueboy, thats where shri's last comment would prove useful :)
    I am sure we could all write lots more on these experiences

    By Blogger Toney, at 17:52  

  • Well Toney i think what he really meant that THE Educated Western world shouldnt have this kinda stuff. People(specially libral) a lot of times think that education makes a person open minded. Well it does in some cases. but in most it actually hardens our stance on some issues. Oh BTW the bible belt isnt too far away from third world in lots of things:)

    By Blogger Vick, at 17:57  

  • Toney.. I can understand ignorance.. What irks me is that there is no effort made to correct the mistake.. I have seen and read, on innumerable occassions, factuals errors and innuendos in cricket writing.. But have any of the newspapers and/or magazines ( all of them Indian) put in an editors note saying that line x is factually incorrect and we do not bear any responsibility for this?

    And then there is the TOIlet paper of India.. :)

    By Blogger SHRI, at 17:58  

  • shri...your last line made me laugh. Yes, that particular paper creates a lot of shit...not clean it.

    By Blogger blueboy, at 17:59  

  • We can vent and rage and go blue in the face.. but this is how it is.. I remember having heated discussions in chatrooms about article x and how it was way off target.. Next thing u know.. some Indian journalist has picked up the thread and is off and running with it...

    By Blogger SHRI, at 18:02  

  • shri made a comment on another thread he seems to have the last word on the last 4 threads on this blog.

    Not anymore ;-)

    By Blogger blueboy, at 18:11  

  • Prem,

    I totally agree with Mayur's comment..SG is good at what you call *an eye for an eye*..Will a classy Dravid do such a thing, when it comes to that ? I doubt it.

    I've been reading this blog regularly and have sort of entered into this herd mentality seen here i.e SG bashing..

    So it's nice to read abt how indifferently past captains/board reacted to such things and compare it with how a confident SG handled the same..

    IMO, when Saurav keeps his place in the team by virtue of the runs he scores, he is still the best available option for captaincy..

    Not trying to support Dalmiya here..But inspite of all the dirty politics he is doing,he backed the team to the hilt
    in Mike Denness incident..Anyone else would've acted in a toothless & spineless way, when put under similar pressure..


    By Blogger vish, at 19:13  

  • Prem - read the article related to the Kristen dairy.

    Your argument on Indians being too defensive and bending backwards was the team's bane prior to Ganguly taking over as captain. Ganguly had a totally different attitude - he did see eye to eye (as you have suggested) on many occasions with opposing captains - Steve Waugh and Nasser Hussain know this better. He was termed Lord Snooty and what not - but he cared less and took the world on to ensure that the Indian team was at its aggressive best.

    Off late however, he has lost this tendency. He seems to be a touch unsure about how to react. He seems to be in two minds when talking to the press. The aggressive streak is gone. And this has also translated into the team's performance. I am sure Ganguly never talked about losing in finals before WC2003 finals. Since then, the Indian captain and the team are focussed on finals and how they should break the jinx. They are also not very aggressive on the field.

    The Aussies the last time they toured India had learnt their lessons. Instead of confrontation (which seemed to make the Indians perform at a very high level) they were talking on more friendly terms. They said they were wary of their past record in India, of VVS' Eden innings, of Harbhajan Singh, of Tendulkar (with out without injury), etc. As a result, the Indian team was more focussed on internal issues (esp at Nagpur).

    Ganguly has to recapture that aggressive streak or someone who can be equally aggressive and with a no-bones attitude. I doubt if Rahul would fit the bill. He, just as Sachin Tendulkar, is a little too 'porpah'. I also get the feeling that Ganguly would recapture his touch and attitude if he is assured of a longish streak. It may be the uncertainity that is keeping his concentration away from matters that are more important at hand. (this comment I am sure would surprise many here who are only too aware of how much I have criticized Ganguly on this forum. But I still maintain that he does not belong to this team as a batsman. He would if he can compensate for that as a captain. Currently he is doing neither and the team is appearing rudderless).

    By Blogger vshan, at 23:08  

  • By the way I remember reading something once about the Indian team touring Australia a few years ago. On one of the grounds, it was reported that Indian fans were harassed by the local crowds with racial slurs like "coolies".

    Maybe one of our cricketers should exploit that incident to publicize his biography.

    By Blogger Sidhant, at 23:49  

  • Why are we all so convinced that this did not happen? It is entierly possible that someone could have smuggled in a pellet gun.

    If it is true though, I find it strange that this has taken so long to come out. Also pellets can cause injury but it is unlikely to to fatal from that distance.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 01:17  

  • jiet...sure someone could have got in a pellet gun....risked being arrested and tortured by our cops (for being a terrorist) in a stadium where Advani and Sonia were watching the game? And all this for..what?...shooting harmless pellets are Freddie??.. But I do agree, ashamedly so, that when the tourists come here, they must be coming mentally prepared to face a bottle or two!...Indian cricket watching crowd does have tendency to behave badly. I am not generalising and I am not comparing with other countries...just what I observe from watching he game on tv in diff corners of the world

    By Blogger worma, at 03:07  

  • Ok I checked the ball-by-ball commenatary for that match and Flintoff was hit by something.

    28.4 Collingwood to Kaif, no run, plays a very loose shot outside the off, beaten
    Play has been held up as the crowd has got a bit too excited and thrown some junk into the ground, apprently Flintoff has been hit by something.

    Now whether that was a pellet or something else...we'll never know for sure. But his claim isn't completely baseless either.

    By Blogger ClannZĂș, at 03:27  

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