Sunday, August 27, 2006

Split Ends

Guess which well known umpire wrote this a few years ago: -

"One of the best things an umpire can do to avoid conflict situations is to let the players play the game.

"Umpires shouldn't be looking for minor technical violations or any other circumstances just to show people they know the Law. Such situations may involve penalty runs. Successful man-management skills that have averted conflict situations need to be continued with minor adjustments.

"Use common sense when applying the Laws." (My bold)
Any offers? As it doesn't contain the words 'I', 'me' or 'mine' we can safely assume it wasn't penned by that irritatingly omnipresent professional northerner, Dickie Bird, but I'm sure you can narrow it down sufficiently to come up with the worst four-letter word Pakistan supporters know at the present time.

To be honest, the whole affair is becoming a bit tired and (dare I say it) boring. Maybe it's the advent of 24 hour news, and the emergence of the internet as the main communications medium. This means that an announcement in the morning is chewed over by thousands of commentators - professional and amateur alike, so that within hours every word, nuance and emphasis has been wrung out and by the next morning, the comments of printed word journalists - that for years were treated as gospel, seem dated and irrelevent.

To quote the title of one of the best sports books I've ever read - we're 'All Played Out' - all in the space of a week.

I suppose, deep down, some of us were hoping that the whole affair might have been the catalyst to bring down the whole rancid cricketing establishment that we know and loathe, but that was always a very long shot. The one thing any establishment is good at is self preservation - after 'hypocrisy' it's probably top of the list, so there was really no way that our dreams were going to come true that easily.

As soon as the e-mails were made public it was obvious that the authorities were going get off scot free. As an aside, you wonder if they'd have been so quick to release them had Douglas Cowie or Malcolm Speed replied to Darrell Hair's offer along the lines of "damn fine idea, the cheques in the post"? As it is, Hair can be painted as the villian, and the ICC can be seen as being magnanimous when they try to retain him as a Test Match umpire.

There have been some positives - the reputation of the ICC has taken a bit of a bashing, some decent journalists have risen to the occasion and enhanced their reputations no end over the past week (Mike Selvey to name one), and you'd like to think that people might stop and think a second now before banding the word 'cheat' around. There may even be a long overdue review of the Laws that concern the state of the ball, and other on-field activity over which the umpires have discretionary control come to that.

As it is, the whole thing will now drag on to some sort of muddled conclusion that will really only serve to keep the ICC happy.

Of course, we may all be pleasantly surprised as some tenacious reporter uncovers a secret dossier revealing the details of how Glenn McGrath is the secret love-child of Darrell Hair and Germaine Greer, but until that day, here at TRSM Mansions, we'll keep comment on the whole affair to the barest minimum.


Beau Peep said...

Cricket Australia has a grand conspiracy in place. This is the reason.

Now tell me if you can disagree.

Mark said...

Nice - see post above!

Anonymous said...

cool post!