Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Futher to the mess called "Cricket"

Peter Roebuck has now gone all the way, and called for Ricky Ponting to be sacked. I agree with him, although there is not a snow-flake's chance in hell that it will happen.

The reason is simple.
Channel 9 telecasts the cricket, and it calls the shots. All television stations love celebrities, and Ricky Ponting is their chosen star. Worse, Michael Clarke is being "groomed" to be the next star. Read Peter Roebuck's assessment of Clarke's behaviour. Then ask yourself if this is in keeping with the "Spirit of Cricket" which the International Cricket Council has belatedly decided to champion.

Also, Channel 9 presenter Tony Greig presented the "Man of the Match" award to Andrew Symonds. That is somewhat ironic as Greig is on the record as asking what Symonds said to Harbhajan Singh prior to Singh's comments (which have since got him into trouble). But it still did not stop Greig making the award. Symonds is one Channel 9's favourite advertising "stars".

Channel 9 is selecting the "stars" of Australian cricket, and grooming them, and promoting them in their advertising, and paying them heaps. But they have so much invested in their "stars" that they cannot allow respected commentators such as Peter Roebuck to ruin everything for them (Channel 9), by introducing morals, ethical codes or other considerations into the team selection.

As far as Channel 9 is concerned, it is all about who looks "cute" in their ads on television. Even down to introducing them by their "on-field nick names" - "Punter", "Roy" and "Pup". Cricket has been taken over by the Marketing people from Channel 9.

That's why the perfectly reasonable and well-reasoned call for Ponting to be sacked and the team to be replaced (or rebuilt) will not happen.

When you remember how powerful Channel 9 is in the media in Australia, and how relevant the media is to Politics, you will see why I have devoted 2 consecutive issue to the politics of Sport.

Monday, 7 January 2008

My fellow Australians disgust me (well, some of...)

Sorry to write about "sport" in what was meant to be a political blog, but sport is getting more and more like Politics.

Winner take all!

As that 1936 Punch cartoon illustrates, this is not new in Cricket.

But what is new (for me) is that the Australian Cricket team lacks honour, and certainly they all lack dignity.

Australia did not deserve to win the Second Test, in Sydney, against India. Our team cheated. It is as simple as that.

Thousands of words have been written, but few have come out and called it for what it is. Peter Roebuck has come closest.

People say that it was the Umpires making bad decisions, but the reality is that our players tried to claim that they were not out.
  • "Bucknor (Umpire) was humiliated in the first innings when Symonds said he should have been out on 30 and went on to make 162, and the players have clearly lost confidence in him."
Hang on - it was Symonds who clearly nicked the ball, but stood there, pretending he had not hit it. Then, apparently he admitted the next day that he should have been out. He should not have pretended that he did not hit it. He has no right to blame the Umpire for a wrong decision.

Symonds scored 132 runs illegally. We beat the Indians by 122 runs. On that basis alone, we cheated our way to the win!

And Rahul Dravid was given out on a ball he clearly did not hit. OK - bad Umpiring decision. But let us not forget that the rules of cricket require an "appeal" - the legendary "How's that?" before the Umpire makes his decision. And in the Dravid case the appeal was led by Gilchrist, the wicket-keeper, who was in the very best position to see that Dravid's bat was nowhere near the ball. A calculated false appeal, designed to influence a weak and demoralised Umpire. It worked. One of India's best batsmen was given out (falsely) at a crucial stage of the game. Without that bad decision, based upon a dishonest appeal, India would almost certainly have managed to draw the game.

In the words of Peter Roebuck: "Once justice and fair play have been ejected there is no point in playing the game."

Perhaps you can now see the similarity between "sport" and Politics?

These issues are just some of those relating to this awful test.

There is the issue of alleged racial taunts against Symonds, which has now resulted in Harbhajan Singh being suspended for 3 tests. But what about what Symonds said to him, just prior to his alleged comment? Symonds "said something" to Harbhajan after he allegedly touched Brett Lee "on the bottom" as he walked past him. We can all guess what that comment might have been about, can't we? The Indians are too polite (or sexually repressed) to repeat what was presumably the use of a favourite Australian term of homosexual abuse "poof*ter". The Australian cricket writers are loathe to report that part of the story. No wonder the Indians are coyly claiming their man was provoked!

This match might yet have true "political ramifications" as well as sporting politics.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Pakistan rewarded by US after Bhutto assassination

What is the point of "diplomatic protests" and "expressions of concern", following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, if just a few days after her body has been buried, Pakistan is rewarded by the USA with a huge sale of state of the art Fighter Planes?

"LOCKHEED Martin Corp (LMT.N) was awarded a $US498.2 million ($569.53 million) contract to supply F-16 aircraft to Pakistan, as Pakistani officials mulled whether to go ahead with a January 8 election after the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto."


"The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy," President Bush said in a brief statement at his Crawford, Tex., ranch.

Yeah, right.
Cheap words, George, not worth anything, when you follow it up with a huge arms contract.

Bush is a f...ing hypocrite. But we probably knew that, before.