Saturday, July 24, 2004

Baum's stinky bomb

(Picture Courtesy - The Week, Feb 23, 2003)

It has become blindingly apparent that there has only ever been one man worthy of holding the record. He's had none of the advantages of his forerunners. He's taken his wickets exclusively against top opposition, on pitches prepared to blunt his powers. He has done nothing to sully the game's good name but instead has been an ambassador. When the tail comes in, he cheerfully hands the ball over to lesser teammates so that the spoils are shared. He's in all ways a champion.  - extracted from Obviously the whole thing was a sham before Warnie,  by Greg Baum, from online edition of the Sydney Morning Herald, July 17, 2004 (link, courtesy Jagadish).

Are these the words of a dumb and deluded Aussie ("He (Warne) has done nothing to sully the game's good name but instead has been an ambassador." YEAH RIGHT!), or a joke by standards Down Under? You decide! I have in the past been a fan of Warne and his bowling, but unlike other great cricketers, this man seems to have the propensity for getting into trouble (click on picture above) and trying to bullshit his way out of it rather than facing up to his mistakes. And to top it all, his recent comments on Murali are not the words of a sporting champ! So to read these cloying words being used to describe Warne, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Well, this article is not totally about Warne. Some of the comments about other cricketers from the past are good enough to incense any discerning fan of cricket (and its players) and ergo this one too!

Sample this:
(Lance) Gibbs was really an amiable old duffer who got his wickets because the pitches suited him and because he came on after Hall and Griffiths. Tailenders were especially careless against him.
 
But in retrospect plainly shows that he (Hadlee) had no skill other than to put the ball on the spot, that he was selfish in bowling twice as much as any teammate, and that although he made the ball talk, it was with a New Zealand accent. Moreover, he insisted on his right to bowl at Nos 9-11. Australian fans had it right: Hadlee was a wanker.

Wanker? Isn't that a euphimism for someone who is not the "master of his domain"? Wait there is more...

He (Kapil) had Indian umpires wrapped around his little finger. He did suspicious things with the old ball. And he bullied tailenders.

He (Walsh) got his wickets because he had Curtly Ambrose at the other end and because there was something odd about his bouncer that really should have been brought to the attention of authorities.

This however takes the cake!

Fortunately, we here in Australia call a spade a bloody shovel. He (Murali) obviously gets all his wickets on favourable pitches at home, against weak opposition, with the connivance of timid officials. He ducks strong opponents but goes to town on tailenders. It is just as Warnie said. What Warnie didn't say - because he's a good sport - is that Muralitharan breaks not just records but the rules. He is a chucker. His wickets should be expunged from the record books for the good of the game, and that this would leave Warnie alone at the top of the world has got nothing to do with it. Did not enter into our thinking even for a doosra of a second.

Unfortunately, in recent years, Aussie cricketers and writers have taken to calling the hoe a bloddy shovel too. And as for George Baum, his Aussie bias is pretty obvious. Lillie does recieve the kindest words in this peice (other than the homage paid to Warne).

Dennis Lillee broke Gibbs's record. In our flawed memories, it was quite a moment at the MCG when he found the edge of Larry Gomes's bat, Greg Chappell pouched the catch and the crowd sang Waltzing Matilda. For a long time, Lillee was actually regarded by some as the greatest bowler of all. But in the clear light of hindsight it is obvious that pitches, balls and rules were all in his favour, that he intimidated batsmen and terrorised umpires. Besides, he picked on the tail.

So what? Since when did the SMH start paying for such bs? Previously, I had thought SMH was a respected Aussie rag, going from the articles from the time of the Indian tour in the early days of this year, but I seemed to have formed a erronous opinion too soon.



1 comment:

Ramanand said...

I left a couple of comments on your haloscan box which seems to have gone off air right now - hope u get to read them!