Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Obnoxious is as obnoxious does

If you don't already subscribe to the Guardian's 'Spin' weekly cricket newsletter, well - you should. The link is here - it'll take you about two minutes, and make you look forward to Tuesday lunchtimes more than at any time since 'Mary Mungo & Midge' was the 1 o'clock treat for pre-school kids.

The juxtaposition of comments in this week's communique about Mark Benson’s retirement and Doug Bollinger ‘fessing up to being 'obnoxious' could well be related.

After all, it can’t be easy for an umpire to give a 'not out' to an LBW appeal and then to see the bowler (and most of the fielding side) totally spit the dummy at the decision. Asad Rauf had to put up with the Australian team channeling a bunch of sugared up kindergarten kids on the 4th day at Adelaide when he gave Brandon Nash the benefit of the doubt. I’ve occasionally got a bit annoyed when a bowler queries one of my umpiring decisions in such a blatant manner – and that’s at the ‘Sunday afternoon friendly’ level – so I can only imagine at the state Mark Benson got himself into if that's what he was putting up with.

I suppose there’s nothing wrong with being ‘obnoxious’ to the opposition – but when it stretches to such boorish behaviour for the benefit of the umpire, then surely it’s time for the match referee to step in. I’d say it’s also down to the captain to lay down the law to his bowler, but Ponting’s reaction was pretty lamentable too.

I could go on and talk about the example this sets to kids watching on TV – but am afraid that that particular horse has well and truly bolted.

And while we're at it, the incident raises the issue of replays as well. Australia had run out of their mandatory appeals, so it became a moot point - but, despite Mark Nicholas instantly declaring it to be 'out', all the Channel 9 replays showed was a ball that would have just about shaved the top of off stump, based on the assumed trajectory mapped out on the screen.

It might have been out - but it certainly wasn't as clear cut as Nicholas immediately concluded, so what would the TV umpire have called? Call it 'not out' and Channel 9 would presumably have thrown a collective hissy fit, even though something that might have hit the off bail (based on the TV trajectory) would have created reasonable doubt and thus not out would be a justifiable result.


Tony.T said...

Mark, you know where Aussie cricket seems to differ from most elsewhere? Obnoxious = funny.

I played cricket over 20 years, at many different levels, in many different parts of Australia. Everywhere you went there were wankers, fatheads, deadshits, dickheads and just plain old fuckwits; cricket, at heart an individualistic game, is tailor-made for turds.

The thing is, whenever anyone behaves like a shit, they don't often get castigated, censured or punished, they get laughed at.

That's the sort of thing with Bollinger. Most of us here think he looked like a bit of a dick and took the piss out of him, but we don't want to jump on him.

Mark said...

Thanks for the clarification Tony!

Stevie said...

Nice blog - for a communist!

Guy who plays at my club is so irritating even we call him 'Thrush'.

Think about it...