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Sight Screen

Monday, November 21, 2005

This ain't cricket(-worma)

Afridi is apparently(news heard on BBC, not yet confirmed) banned for a test and two ODIs. Those of you watching pretty much know why. Those who didn't....well....he, sort of, tried to dig a hole in the middle of the pitch to help *his* bowling...and, sort of, in the middle of the match...with all cameras focused on him. Not smart of him, right? Its a pity, because it could have been his match *without* this..uhh..act.

And on the other hand, Jonathan Agnew is not happy with the English bowler's habit of throwing down the batsman instead of stumps.
It is also time that the authorities acted to stamp out the practice of fielders intimidating the batsmen by throwing the ball at them.

It is not in the spirit of the game - it is open hostility, and it is only a matter of time before a batsman is seriously injured.

Ten years ago, a bowler in a similar situation to Harmison would make to throw the ball at the stumps, but would not actually let it go.

Now it seems to be open season.

I think Indian team management should take note. And be prepared when English come touring. Maybe a pre-agreement on the code of conduct on this aspect would be a good idea?

update: Ok Afridi's ban confirmed...for 'scratching' the surface (if you scratch your skin like that you'd be in jail for attempted suicide ;-)


  • Very good, fair comments by Agnew

    It is quite different if in a critical stage a bowler uses smart fielding to run out a batsman

    So let's say if Inzy was trying to get a head start in case the ball is going towards mid- on or mid- off and the bowler intercepts, throws and runs out a batsman. But just to throw the ball (often in frustration when the bowler is not getting any wickets) is not rigt.

    On the other hand I do agree that a non-strike batsman needs to watch out when backing up. Few yrs ago Walsh missed a run-out when he pointed to the non-strike batsman (I think Abdul Qadir) instead of taking off the bails. Pak went on to win the match and then fecilitated Walsh for fair play. In this case , it is defintely fair game to try and run out the batsman because he is trying to steal a run.

    As for Afridi... shame shame

    What was he thinking??

    By Blogger suraj, at 13:52  

  • Worma: It's confirmed now!


    By Blogger Ranjit Nair, at 13:54  

  • anyone seen PICS ?
    please post if you do :)

    By Blogger zinkpig, at 13:59  

  • Any one has the video for Afridi stuff ? Pls upload in Google Video and post it.

    It is confirmed now of 3 match ban

    By Blogger gangulysucks, at 14:03  

  • Afridi just gave a perfect excuse to the British whiners for al their losses

    After the series loss British media will come out screaming "subcontinent cheaters" (they do lump Ind-Pak-SL all in same category

    What a foolish move. I f I ws Bob Woolmer, I would impose a stiffer penalty on Afridi

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:04  

  • sorry abt the mis-types

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:05  

  • Afridi, Afridi!!

    Well...the pathans are not exactly well known for using their head. On the bright side he can play with his hair all day now.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 14:11  

  • British media is fickle to the bone. They attack anything and everything that can be attacked simply because they have nothing else to add to the picture. Just stop paying attention to these croaks.

    The point made by worma at the end that India should take care is extremely important. They have been snubbed by the BCCI already with the venues and if things heat up on the pitch it could get worse.

    As for Afridi, he just blew it. I mean Pakistan have given you a chance of a lifetime to play in a test and this is how you blow it. Stupid jerk, you got what you deserved. He could have made a huge difference in the test. So, what happens now? Is he going to continue in the test match or does Pakistan have to substitute someone?

    By Blogger Buster, at 14:13  

  • worma,
    The intimidation from fielders who throw at the batsmen didnt start with the Enlgishmen. The Aussies started it. I vividly remember their unsettling tactics against INdia, 3rd test, Chennai, 2001. Of course, it didnt work.
    I am sure all this is within the spirit of the game which Ponting talks about all the time.

    As for Englishmen, they are renowned for copying their idols, the Aussies. So, anything they do is fair too.

    Afridi: do you have any brains? (Its just a rhetorical Q, I know the answer).

    Dont worry, we Indians wont give them a chance to cry like that. I want our curators to prepare pitches which give turn and more importantly bounce. A study on the facial expressions of those Englishmen will be good material for stand up comedies.

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:14  

  • abhishek: he's banned from next test onwards....so he can continue to play this match. Although, with such blatant violations, it would be a good idea to extend the punishment to the same match also....atleast let the team feel the pinch.

    By Blogger worma, at 14:15  

  • toney, yeah I also don't think the Brits invented that intimidation. But they're using it now on a more regular basis it seems. Remember Hayden complained about exactly the same issue, and we dismissed it as a case of sour grapes (or sour losers or whatever). But now they've 'created' a wicket with that tactic...and I think it would be good for us to take note and definitely discuss it with the Eng team when they come.

    By Blogger worma, at 14:18  

  • Hey, if Afridi is guilty of this, shouldnt the match be abandoned :)?
    And I thought Pak would take a controversy free 2-0 lead, perfect for us to face both these teams. Pak is best to play when they are complacent and England are the biggest whiners, so guys like Harmison will already be missing cold and wet England

    By Blogger Toney, at 14:18  

  • Exactly my take Toney.
    The pitch is digged in middle of this match .. and the impact shown in other match ..
    dosen't seem right .

    By Blogger Pankaj Tripathi, at 14:30  

  • Someone said stiffer penalty than what is given but that can not be Woolmer. It has to be the Pak selection/Board. Unlikely.

    Talking about Harmison ( and some others) behaviour. What about Nel in the last match? Straight smile, wicked smile. pure anger, manifested anger all that..Harmison or Nel, isn't all this to creat some sort disturbance to break the concentration? Not sure what Gambhit said, but that was hypocracy of high level of Nel to then go to the umpire and complain.

    Nel was smiling in face of Pathan after he played and missed the ball. Next ball went for 4 in a hurry at mid off. Pathan ran half way to the pitch - wished he had returned the smile to Nel right there!

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 14:40  

  • toney,

    not sure whether match will be abandoned or not

    but Afridi should defintely not bowl if not miss the match altogether

    still don't understand the need for this- they are already up 1-0, had a good first innings score, what was the need?

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:42  

  • My take on Nel- either he is a little psycho or he just tries to be funny and goes overboard

    Even when ielding he was trying to play to the crowd but unlike Ian Botham who was liked by the crowd Nel is percieved more of a bully.

    GG did give a few fitting replies

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:45  

  • interesting times. I think both Eng & Pak are playing it hard and trying their best to strech the rules. Eng do their usual whining,complaining etc and Pak is doing their usual cheating, now that they can no longer use the home umpires.

    It is very unlikely that BCCI will be proactive in talking to Eng team about these ball throwing etc. I hope GC & RD takes the initiative and fights fire with fire. Does any one know who is going to be umpires for the Ind-Eng series? Hope it is not going to be Stve Bucknor.

    By Blogger flute, at 14:46  

  • and here is the joke

    "Afridi apologised for his conduct and said he was very disappointed with himself for acting in that way"

    ..now who is he kidding...

    By Blogger Realms, at 14:47  

  • flute,

    If it is stve bucknor i hope Harminson throws the ball at the non-striker end this time

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:48  

  • disappointed at getting caught, eh??

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:48  

  • Pretty sure this kind of stuff was very common few yrs ago. SMG had often mentioned in his columns of many players, including Allan Border the great, of trying to manipulate the ball and pitch to their favor

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:50  

  • no surprises about Afridi. He is just a loose cannon.

    About GG, Nel episode, I always wonder why Indian players prefer to stick to diplomatic 'all in a days play' standard statement after the match. I remember Gilcrist imploring Indian batsman to walk and our batsmen not responding. He tried the same thing against NZ, and they responded on field and also after the match, stuff like 'not everyone is walking Gilly etc'. Not sure why Indian players keep mum? does any one know more info on this?

    By Blogger flute, at 14:52  

  • From the bbc article..

    Hair and fellow umpire Simon Taufel reported
    that the logos on the wristbands of the
    paceman's batting gloves breached rules.

    Funny how all this is remembered while the basic laws of the game are forgotten....

    By Blogger cartan, at 14:52  

  • BTW, which offense is more serious-slow over rate or destroying the pitch??

    how come SG got more matched than Afridi
    (Not that I was complaining)

    By Blogger suraj, at 14:53  

  • Ooops...sorry that was about shoaib akthar in case u were wondering...

    By Blogger cartan, at 14:53  

  • of course I know in GG-Nel episode, GG did respond in a fitting manner. What about complaining to umpire? If Bajji is banned for pointing fingers, why not Nel? or Am I being too biased towards India? I din't see the match, I wouldn't know.

    By Blogger flute, at 14:55  

  • Suraj, I think Gangs got more punishment because his was a serial offense. He did that so many times, it just became a mockery. I mean , he went to arbitration and got it removed, came back and did the same thing again.

    By Blogger flute, at 14:57  

  • flute,

    that's true abt serial offense- SG at that point didn't care abt over rate

    I did see the match and GG-Nel episode. Nel was being aggressive but we don't know wht he was saying - again to me it looks like he just tries to be animated and funny but comes across really really agressive. It looked like GG was responding (after the shot)in a more negative way and din't like Nel's banter

    Anyway, if he wants to dish it out Nel ahould also be able to take it like a man

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:02  

  • I guess another Eng Pak series gets its share of controversies. But I think the players dont have any problems with each other personally, which is good.
    IMHO, if Afridi is found guilty, the match should be abandoned.
    Pankaj, exactly. Now he can make use of the pitch he doctored.

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:03  

  • suraj,
    Remember this incident (was it in SA?) when our openers were SG and SRT. Nel, after each delivery to SG kept walking upto him and giving him a piece of his mind. Whereas to SRT, he didnt utter a word. The commentators likened it to cowardice but IMO, SG handled himself beautifully. He kept smiling at NEl (I think gave the odd piece of advice too) which must have really irritated the big bully

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:05  

  • IMO- and I know many purisits won't like it- a little more agression won't hurt cricket

    When I watch American sports, there is a lot more talking going on in football, basketball (ice hockey is no talk- all fights) and it does give a more interesting facet to the game.

    If u have 22 emotionally charged men in the field trying their best no harm in a little talk. Perfect example is that of bowlers. If someone is in the team purely based on bowling, on a good day they might get 4-5 wickets which really means 4-5 chances to show some emotion after gettin whipped for 4s and 6s all day.

    Why can't the bowler show the batsman the pavilion or say something. Of course there can be a code of conduct but not the British "gentlemen's game" baloney that is dished out.

    As a spectator I vote for more leeway.

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:08  

  • the best cricketer in Indian team is captain Rahul Dravid who has never reacted to any provocation . whether from bowlers , fielders, captains , umpires or media. he has won most matches for Indian team, both in test and one day’s. Won matches, not made centuries for himself or records. guys learn from him.

    By Blogger team, at 15:09  

  • Hair is famous for his bias against subconttinet players.

    Isn't he the umpire who gave Tendulkar out Leg before or Head Before.. when SRT ducked a Mcgrath delivery that hit him on the helmet ? Five/ Six years ago.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 15:10  

  • That's my point toney- let the players handle the situation except for certain circumstances (eg someone getting physical) in which case player should be warned/ejected.

    All this fine/suspension crap- I don't agree with it.

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:11  

  • team,
    what abt RD's famous reactions during tests 2 and 3 of 2001 against Aus? In Prem's words, the gentleman in RD gave back in kind. I am not criticizing him, he was within his right to do so, especially after SLater got away scot free after the Mumbai test. But appearences are very deceptive :)

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:12  

  • Nel comes across a s a big bully . Am glad that GG put him in his place with both the bat and the talk.
    Afridi is a colorful character and is probably one of the most foul mouthed sledgers in the game today. What he did yesterday to the ptch was downright cheating . He deserves the penalty .. when will these guys learn ?

    By Blogger Jinendra, at 15:13  

  • team,

    RD is the man!!! No doubt.

    But he is one personality type- surely we don't want ll cricketers to be robot-like one personality. It is better for the game to have a mix of persona and make it more exciting.

    ICC code of conduct sometimes seems too far stretched and opiniated- kind of still has the Victorian hangover

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:13  

  • Gambhir / Nel reaches the similar proporton to that of Sarwan / Mcgrath.

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 15:15  

  • My all-time favorite episode is still the Sohail-prasad incident!!!

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:15  

  • i think the way the match refree sees it is u you smile and talk to the the batsman, its not sledging but then worma had posted about pathan getting pulled up by the ref for smiling. i guess thats coz indians are allowed to do it

    nel was a dump sob. he kept walking up to the batsman only if he beat him and kept on giggling like a girl. very manly that for a fast bowler :)

    By Blogger JD, at 15:17  

  • suraj, absolutely. The thought of the Venky responds gives me the goose pimples

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:19  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:19  

  • I meant response

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:20  

  • I remember Prem's earlier post about how the whole Indian team came prapared with info on each Aussie player to get under their skins for the 2001 series. I hope GC/RD do something like that for the Eng, Pak series. Things need not be ugly, just smart needling to put them off balance.

    One other issue I remember is that Nasser Hussain openly blaming ODI umpiring in his columns after each match, stuff like 'that is how umpiring is in this part of the world' etc. I thought that is breach of ICC code and puts pressure on the umpires. Don't know why JW/SG did not make any noises about it.

    By Blogger flute, at 15:25  

  • jd,

    Pathan actually went and clapped at the batsman whe he was out in a mocking way.

    But again my point is if the batsman gets umpteen chances to smack a bowler around, specially with the rules tilted in favor of batting the bowler should be able to show some emotion in few moments of glory.

    Only down side of IP's mockery was that he was getting whipped and india lost badly in the one-sided match- it was more of a venting of frustration by him

    By Blogger suraj, at 15:27  

  • Good information on the "Protected area "


    By Blogger Poondu, at 15:27  

  • Toney

    i meant learn to react like him .
    [But appearances are very deceptive] . i know how deceptive Rahul is. i have seen him live in challenger series of Feb 2005 when Dravid captain India A and won the title. [ a great series which due to BCCI laziness wasn’t shown on TV , infact the series didn’t have third umpire . only news channels have some footage] he doesn’t react to provocation himself when batting but who said he doesn’t try to unsettle players of opposition himself or in a plan with his team mates , infact he is very good at it. the treatment he gave Ganguly and Sehwag the captain of India senior and India b when they batted and the reaction when Ganguly got run out was thrilling and breath taking . and the way he supported Murli Kartik against umpire decision was inspiring. Dravid always supports his bowlers and fielders but when batting he tells his team mates not to fall in same trap that Indian wants other to fall into. When Dheeraj Jadhav his opener well on his way to make a hundred in the final fell into the trap of fans ragging Ganguly the bowler , Dheeraj trying to show how easy it was to play Ganguly got stumped. Dravid was disappointed and he moved his gloves asking Dheeraj what did he do.

    By Blogger team, at 15:36  

  • If the batsman's stance is outside the crease or if he is attempting a run than the bowler has every right to throw the ball. But with Inzy neither was the case and Harmison had no business throwing the ball. Poor umpiring all-around...especially by the on-field umpires.
    Regarding Afridi - plain stupidity and he deserves the ban.
    Now about sledging in general...I think its fine as long it doesn't get abusive like the Slater episode or McGrath-Sarwan incident. I think what Andre Nel does is just try to get under the skin of the batsmen and Gambhir did the right thing by not backing away and putting Nel in his place by smashing him all over the park.

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 15:42  

  • team, totally agree with what you said

    By Blogger Toney, at 15:52  

  • I have come with a fresh perspective on this. Bear with the cynicism in my theory...

    The ICC code of conduct says that Afridi commited a level one offence. This does not carry a ban with it technically. Perhaps the referee can issue a ban if he has "brought the game into disrepute", the legal technicalities here are not clear.

    Now if Pakistan felt less than impressed by England trying to stretch the rules they may have found a wait to retaliate here with a "sacrifice play". Afridi gets in there and does a little dance on the pitch and gleefully accepts a ban for the next Test.

    Meanwhile, he and his buddy Kaneria is free to make hay as the sun beats down on this dry and crumbling pitch that has been given a little bit of the Afridi treatment.

    Pakistan have not really lost much...people get pulled up for "bringing the game into disrepute" all the time"...few notice or care after six months. On the other hand Afridi's actions put them in an even better postion of winnning here and they could care less about the third test.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 15:55  

  • clannzu,

    Harmy was perfectly within his right to throw. Inzi's back foot was partially on the line and Harmy could not have been certain that he was inside the crease. This debate is pointless. There is clear evidence the umpiring in field was not upto standard. This is nothing new...

    By Blogger Jiet, at 15:59  

  • I guess Afridi was just trying to brighten his own chances. Afterall he isnt a regular in the team and a decent performence with bowl will go a long way in securing his place for next few games.

    By Blogger Vick, at 16:15  

  • clanzzu,

    I agree with u on sledging

    A little psychological warfare makes it more interesting

    By Blogger suraj, at 16:19  

  • vick,

    Afridi really secured his place as the drinks carrier for the next few games

    I also feel Afridi wanted to fully exploit the situation and since he is not really a specialist spinner he needs some help from the pitch

    By Blogger suraj, at 16:21  

  • suraj,

    so how was the outing with the SA chick ?

    By Blogger Poondu, at 16:24  

  • Suraj, IMHO, in all fairness to Afridi, I don't think these things happen because a player wants to secure his place. In this case, the player anyway ended up getting banned. I think it has more to do with winning at any cost rather than personal place in team thing. Of course it is impossible to know for sure.

    By Blogger flute, at 16:25  

  • Flute but i think Paki were already in drivers seat here. Team wasnt in a desperate situation where it needed such help.

    By Blogger Vick, at 16:35  

  • vick, Pak is in drivers seat in terms of , not losing. With reports of pitch not turning much etc, I think Pak really needs the pitch to turn a fair bit to force the issue here. If there is very little turn, I don't think Pak can get Eng twice.

    On another note, I really want the Pakis to win this test and just shut up the whiners. I am just pissed with all the 'autobiographies' and 'itenary' complaints emanating from the tiny island(if a state can be called impoverished, a island can be tiny, I think).

    The icing on the cake will be Eng loosing both the series in the subcontinent. Go pakistan go.

    By Blogger flute, at 16:46  

  • poondu,

    Well, all my trash talking held up with the big victory

    and as for the chick let's just say I missed a portion of the match and didn't really "miss" the action

    By Blogger suraj, at 17:19  

  • flute,

    my thinking is there was not much thought put into the action

    it was sheer stupidity with motivation unknown

    By Blogger suraj, at 17:22  

  • Suraj,
    good for u . So what about today's match ? Getting to watch with her again ?

    By Blogger Poondu, at 17:41  

  • Does anyone know exactly what was said between GG and Nel? And what did Nel say to the umpire?

    I wish the stump microphone had picked it up.

    By Blogger Ranjit Nair, at 18:03  

  • I found this link with some interesting on-field conversations. Some of them had me in splits.


    By Blogger Ranjit Nair, at 18:23  

  • ranjit - those are some very funny conversations...nice to see Shastri give back to that player.

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 19:14  

  • Not sure if anybody else posted a video already, but here's a video of the Afridi pitch tampering incident:

    By Blogger achinb, at 23:17  

  • Video of Afridi scuffing up the pitch - http://upload3.putfile.com/videos/32411584969.wmv

    migh not be available for long..

    By Blogger Ilayaraja Fan, at 23:34  

  • oops.. didnt see the earlier post :)

    By Blogger Ilayaraja Fan, at 23:35  

  • Thanks for the video post.
    Is it true that Afridi can play the rest of the match?
    Even a bowler is not allowed to bowl any further in the game if he steps on the danger area after 2 warnings. What Afridi did was blatant violation of the rules. He should not be allowed to play anymore in this match.

    By Blogger siddhu, at 00:34  

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