August 25, 2006
by Amit Goyal
There is no cure for stupidity, and it was not just Mr. Hair (refer to the two Murali controversies and the Inzy run out fiasco) who required treatment during the now
infamous forfeited Test match.
26 cameras. That is the number of on field cameras which missed the act of someone from the Pakistan team modifying the condition of the cricket ball. That must have been quite a Houdini act to pull off.
15 minutes. That is the time between the last inspection of the ball by Mr. Hair (and according to the replays he did not seem concerned then) and when Mr. Doctrove had his doubts. The Mr. Hair, supremely confident that his word is the last one, pronounces that the ball has been tampered with, without consulting Inzamam, considering the boundary and concrete, or asking for some video evidence, and awards England 5 penalty runs.
Now, its Inzamam’s time to join the party. He decides he wants to protest and delays the coming on to the field after tea for 5 minutes. I mean as far as I know there are other ways of registering a protest!! And if you are protesting please do not com on to the field at all. I wish there was a Durrani in the dressing room there to send the team on to the field.
Then what Mr. Hair should have done ideally is talked to Inzy bhai and persuaded him to play and thought about disciplinary action later. But nooo, how could Mr. Hair let this chance to stamp his authority on the match and the cricketing world let go. He decides he has had enough nonsense for one afternoon and awards England the match.
And then Mr. Sharyar Khan comes out and explains how the Pak wanted to play but the umpires wouldn’t let them play. And how Pak players had been deeply hurt by the conduct of the on-field umpires. Brilliant!!
Hang on, its not over yet. Instead of coming out with some information for the helpless stranded viewers of the game about the status of the match, the
inefficient ICC lets the matter hang in limbo and announces that it will hold meetings. Meetings. Yes, that is what I go to watch cricket matches for.
The ICC, after the meetings, decides the next day to stand by Mr. Hair and declares the match to be forfeited and England as winners. Pakistan on the other hand vaguely accuse Mr. Hair of being a racist and many feel that with the Lankans backing them and India expected to follow suit the ICC is on the brink of a split.
Meanwhile, Mr. Shane Warne, the pillar of cricketing spirit, when not cheating on his wife, or being accused of match fixing, (ok!! I am not a big believer of the Aussie spirit of the game) expresses his support for Mr. Hair and condemns Inzy. So does Steve Waugh, who during his hey days had instructed his bowlers to bowl wide to prevent NZ from winning a test match.
The situation now is interestingly poised with Mr. Malcolm Speed expected to hammer out some sort of a agreement.
Update: Mr. Rajeev Shukla has come out in the support of Pakistan which might indicate that India may side with Pakistan finally.
PS: The last month and a half has been extremely hectic for the contributor’s of the blog and they sincerely hope to be able to post more frequently in the future.