Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Thursday, May 15, 2003  

The mote in your own eye...

The always excellent Ryan Naraine over at the Caribbean Cricket blog notes the hypocrisy concerning the Jermaine Lawson affair.

Lawson, the young Jamaican fast bowler who took seven wickets in the first innings of the just-concluded last Test against Australia, has been reported to the ICC for a suspect bowling action. As Naraine points out, this flaw in Lawson's bowling has been apparent for years, but no one in the position to say or do anything about it did.

Instead, everyone seemed more concerned to highlight the suspect actions of Sri Lanka's Mutiah Muralitharan, Pakistan's Shoaib Ahktar and Australia's Brett Lee; keeping mum on Lawson or, at best, placing the blame on such non sequiturs as the "pressure" on fast bowlers to break the magical 100 km per hour barrier.

We need to get our own extremely disorganised house in order, and let others see about theirs. The problem is that, when it comes to cricket, we have a tendency to wax lyrically, getting carried away with romantic notions of the gentleman's game, the West Indian heritage, the "natural flair" of our batsmen, former colonials beating the mother country at her own game, etc. etc.

I'm not saying we shouldn't see the game in context, because, yes, it does go beyond a boundary. But we need to knock some of these anachronistic, airy-fairy notions out of our heads, and throw in some hard-headed pragmatism. We do seem, however slowly and awkwardly, to be stumbling in that direction. But it doesn't help when our supposed experts, like Guardian sports editor Valentino Singh (in today's edition of the paper) can write about how the West Indian players "are not part of the nastiness that seems inculcated in Steve Waugh's team" (give them time, they aren't the quickest of studies); or that our players "will never intimidate umpires with sustained appeals" (sometimes I wish they would); or how "you will never see a West Indian player starting on field confrontation" (never is a long time, Mr. Singh).

Thankfully, the players seem to be getting the hint, as Ramnaresh Sarwan, who gave as good as he got with Glen McGrath in their flare up on Monday - and was then brilliantly diplomatic about it with the media afterwards - showed.

posted by Jonathan | 3:26 PM 0 comments


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