Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hair-Raising Issue : Balls to it!

"Oh My God! This is hard-work! I cant seem to bend without getting my trousers torn! Here they go - I have managed to SCREW the Pakis! Hell! They are clickin photos! Lemme pose for the cameras! I am gonna be FAMOUS!" - Darrell Hair

Darrell Hair seems to be in the midst of a raging controversy. Some have christened it as the "saddest and most serious" stand-off in Test cricket (Seriously? Oh No! I am gonna start crying!). Some have questioned Hair's hair-raising antics and have questioned the impartiality of his judgement. Others have laid the blame on Inzy's boyz. Things have gotten to a stage where the issue at hand seems to be completely lost amid layers of mud-slinging, accusations and counter-accusations. Its rightly said that when SHIT hits the fan, it rains more shit.

I, for once, question the sanity of all this mud-slinging. Who's to blame? Till yesterday, it was thought that Inzy and his boyz were right in taking offense of the 5-run penalty decision. They seemed well within their rights to protest by coming out a few minutes late. So, it seemed Mr. Hair was losing the argument, atleast in media columns.

However, in true Ekta Kapoor Isshtyle, Shahid Afridi played Komolika and added a sinister twist to the whole proceedings. He said to an interview to Times Now (that channel which survives solely because it lives off the TOI) that ball tampering should be permitted. He claimed that any and all Reverse Swing can ONLY be brought if ball tampering is permitted. He went onto say that it was a norm to keep players in the infield with long finger-nails for this very same purpose. He maintains that Pakistan wasnt the only team and accuses England of also indulging freely in this practice.

Now, who's to blame? The Umpire, who has got a dubious record of being a Anti-Asian racist? The Pakis whom, as far as we know, have never played fair (be it Cricket or Terrorism)? The ICC - because it chooses to blindly support the Umpires without having an open mind to Umpire criticisms? Or the Media - who as usual bloats up issues and makes it far more important than it actually is. I can already visualize Mr. Siddhu with his scathing criticisms and witless wisecracks on Darrell Hair, the ICC and the PCB on NDTV's cricket controversy. Mr. Sidhu, somehow feels that his wit is unmatched and his humour is unparalled. However, as we all will agree, those who agree with Mr. Siddhu are far and few. Namely, Mr. Siddhu himself! By the way, the program is another indicator of how bad NDTV has actually become!

But, coming back to the issue, I feel the blame is with the game itself. Somehow, I believe Afridi. I mean, if the guy is candid enough to admit to Ball Tampering, then surely he is speaking the Truth when he says that Reverse Swing just aint possible without some manipulation to Ball Dynamics. Mebbe, the ICC has to start revising archaic rules and make the game more flexible. I am not saying allow Ball tampering - You see I am not as naive and as tactless as Afridi to think that the world will allow cheating because it favours Pakistan. What I am suggesting is let us have a ball that ALLOWS Reverse Swing. Get the folks at Adidas to make us a heck of a ball. They did it for Futball with Microchip-embedded balls and hi-tech stuff. Now, mebbe its time Cricket should have a futuristic ball for its own.

In the end, you kind of understand why the Pakis are so sore over the entire thing. Its a case of Damned if you do and damned if you dont.

The ICC must wake up from its slumber and rise over petty politics (In times like this, one is reminded of that Stalwart called Jagmohan Dalmiya. hehe.) and make the necessary changes that lift the game from obscurity to popular appeal. Not that I care one bit - Cricket is a 19th Century sport for me and I cant figure how it manages to get 1Billion people all worked up. Right now, I am just soaking up all the drama thats happening. Its one great Opera to watch! At the cost of an archaic, silly game ofcourse! :-)


nandu said...

hey,cricket controversies got the award for best cricket programme last year.

nandu said...

ya, i agree cnn is doin better buti dont think that ndtv will perish so easily...they have some good journalists ...u c,year after year we c "BIG FIGHT" and "WE THE PEOPLE" winning awards.