Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's Supposed to be a Gentleman's Game


The recent controversy created by Harbhajan Singh has once again got me wondering whether cricket is still a gentleman’s game. The modern day game is plagued by far too many scandals which were hitherto never associated with the sport. Controversies created by the match fixing issues that were exposed in the April of 2000 sent the cricketing world into a state of deep shock. The doping scandals surrounding Shane Warne and later Shoaib Akthar once again brought forth several doubts with respect to terming cricket as a gentleman’s game. Off the field problems during the recently concluded series between Australia and India only accentuated my doubts. And now we have this issue of one player physically assaulting another on the playing field. This to me is quite simply inexcusable.

There is no place for such forms of disorderly conduct in the game of cricket or in any other sport for that matter. Harbhajan Singh for my money should be dealt with in the strictest possible manner. Merely banning him for a small number of games and fining him a few quid is going to be of no use. It is indisputable that Harbhajan has been on the wrong side of the law on far too many occasions. Harbhajan’s disciplinary track record must be kept in mind while determining his guilt and subsequent punishment. He is someone who simply never seems to learn from his mistakes. Singh who will be charged under Level 4 of the ICC’s Code of Conduct, can if found guilty be punished with a ban of between 5 test matches or 10 ODI Matches up to a life ban. Lalit Modi, the IPL Commissioner was quoted as saying that Harbhajan could be banned for up to 10 matches. In my opinion such meagre punishment would serve no purpose. Lesser offences in other sports have brought forth greater punishments. Rio Ferdinand was banned for a period of 8 months by the English FA for having missed a drugs test. Shane Warne was banned for a period of one year for having tested positive for a forbidden diuretic. I see assault on the playing field as an offence as severe in nature as cheating in the form of consuming drugs is or in the form of fixing matches is. Harbhajan in my opinion must be expelled from the game for a period of no less than a year and not doing so will only further dilute the reputation of cricket as a gentleman’s game.

4 comments:

THE AKNOMIST said...

Strangely quiet about the conflicting fortunes your teams faced yesterday?

A Couch-side View said...

i couldn't see too much of the ipl game because of the massive football match and i figured i dont have enough words to abuse the referee and his assistant, so i decided against writing anything.

A Couch-side View said...

Did manage to see the kolkata innings though and it was a pretty meek surrender by them. But i must say i was pleasantly surprised by the Super Kings bowling performance.

Rahul Saha said...

Its never really been a gentelman's game. In fact I have a book with the title "Cricket's Greatest Controversies". Its rather large.