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Sight Screen

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Wanted, a cricketing lexicon

Don't they speak English in Australia? Or at least, the same 'English' that is spoken in the rest of the cricketing world?
Recent incidents indicate they don't -- which is fine; a sovereign nation has a right to chose its own language. But maybe someone needs to compile a translation. Here, to help things along, are a few early entries:
Over-appealing: Theatre
Dissent: Drama
Questioning umpires: Asking questions
There's been a lot of obfuscation from the Aussie camp over the question, in recent times; my personal favorites are these gems from Justin Langer
In the past we've been critical of over-appealing on the subcontinent but if you look at it, that's almost the nature of the game in those circumstances.

(Which, translated, means when it happens in the subcontinent to us that is over-appealing, when we do it that is the nature of the game, and John Buchanan
"What we're trying to do out there is gain an umpire's approval when the players think there's a wicket," he said.

Sheesh! And you thought Oz was over-appealing!
Suggest that Oz cheat at home, and typically, the ad hominem response is the opposition is whingeing. Which is why it is interesting to see cricket correspondents like Chloe Saltau and Greg Baum raise eyebrows at what is going on out there.
Australia was not virtuous in all its endeavours. It persisted with a style of appealing that offends the game's new sensibilities and its laws. Bowler runs at slips, slips run at bowler, keeper joins the fray, with minimal reference to the umpire, intimating that his decision is a formality. It is not so much an appeal as a challenge to the umpire to defy them at his peril.
Moreover, it draws the crowd into the challenge, until the stadium is consumed by the certainty that the batsman is out. A crowd is not constrained by an obligation to be fair, and so the screw is turned. Nicky Boje and Steve Bucknor were assailed in this way after a ball from Lee blurred past the batsman. Replays indicated it was probable that the ball had flicked Boje's shirt.
Australia has been warned previously this summer, referee Mike Procter saying they were walking a fine line in Adelaide, and sometimes scuffing it. Fortunately, the standing umpires in this match have maintained the strength of their own convictions. Overwhelmingly, they have been right.


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