Thursday, January 07, 2010

Cricket cheats?

Cricket fans are celebrating another amazingly successful rearguard action by the England cricket team in Cape Town tonight. And I can understand why. Its the second test match in three where England have been comprehensively outplayed, and yet avoided what looked like certain defeat. Two draws that felt like victories. Justification for celebrations. And yet, there is a nasty taste in the mouth, following a pretty clear attempt by two England players to cheat.

Listening to snatched commentary on the car radio, the actions of Stuart Broad and James Anderson in attempting to alter the ball improperly was not being taken very seriously. Geoff Boycott thought it not a particularly serious issue - and he's a knowledgeable fellow. But Michael Vaughan's article in today's Telegraph changes things. Vaughan is a much respected recent England captain who knows what's going on. Here are a few quotes;

"They were lucky to get away without an official reprimand - even a ban"

"Stuart Broad has been stopping the ball with his boot all the way through the series."

"If this had been a game involving Pakistan, and Shoaib Akhtar or Mohammad Asif had been....there would have been an uproar."

"As it is Anderson is a lucky man".

These are very serious charges. Its just not cricket. If it had been South Africa, can you just imagine what our sports pages would be proclaiming. Personally, I think all this takes 'the shine' off what would otherwise have been a great result.


Savonarola said...

Fair comment. Were an Asian team involved our press would have had a lot more to say.

Broad is still a pup.

I suppose they broke the Eleventh Commandment : "Thou shalt not be caught" The camera's eye is everywhere, no more so than on the golf courses. Ask Monty.

Nevertheless an outstanding five days cricket.

Qwertyman said...

The cricket was fantastic and not just over the last 5 days but since the whole series started. The "tampering" bit was "not that bad". We have seen worse have we not? But this should not be repeated, the foot on the ball was just a way of stopping it but the small finger rubbing and picking where it should not was not something anyone really wants to see. How far is too far? Perhaps South Africa would have taken a harder stance if Anderson brought the sandpaper out? Be that as it may a thirlling last test awaits with the best bookmakers making England 4/9 for the series win. Go on chaps!

Glyn Davies said...

Savonarola - agreed, but having been caught, the failure of the governing body to act has left some unanswered questions. Is it now OK for teams to do what Broad/Anderson did, or tried to do? Is it now officially OK to stop the ball with the spikes of a boot, and if it is, how much pressure and wriggle is acceptable? But as you say, it was a graet match. For now, we can leave it at that.

Glyn Davies said...

Qwertyman - Its not so much the approach of the south Africans. Players will always push at the boundaries. In this case, Broad and Anderson were caught, one trying to damage the ball with his spikes and the other trying to pick at the damage. You ask the question - How far is too far? It has not been answered. Lets hope its sorted with a few words behind the sightscreens.