Are our current cricketers being punished for past misbehaviour?

ak Roar Guru

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    The recently concluded India vs Australia Bangalore Test was a gem as far as the quality of cricket and the swinging fortunes throughout the match were concerned.

    However, the match also saw the Australian players ending up on the receiving end of verbal volleys in a complete anti-climax from the era gone by.

    Over the years, starting from the era of Ian Chappell and Allan Border to that of Ricky Ponting or maybe even Michael Clarke, the Aussies have played hard cricket, meaning good cricket coupled with an attitude aptly fitting the phrase ‘everything is fair in love and war’. So many teams over the years have been on the receiving end of so-called ‘sledging’ – verbal volleys unleashed by the Aussies. Only Mark Taylor to some extent tried to curb it, but without much success.

    So even though Australian teams have performed well over the years, they have always come across as arrogant and rude in the eyes of overseas cricket lovers. Some of these include current players from opposition teams who have grown up watching their idols being sledged by their Aussie counterparts.

    Most of these players, especially Asian players and even including Asian crowds, have grown up thinking there is nothing inappropriate in sledging an Aussie player. Even though the actual sledging that happens on the ground might be a harmless thing or non-personal banter, the way it has been broadcast has led to many fans considering Aussie sledging to be personal verbal abuse.

    What that has done today is left many teams considering it is all right to sledge an Aussie player because it’s a game they started and are now having served back to them.

    However, here the current Australian team is not at fault for the behaviour of their predecessors. This is not to say that the current lot is a bunch of ‘good boys’, but surely compared to past players they are better behaved – but they have to cope with sledging from opposition players, some of whom have mastered the art as well as any former Aussie cricketer known for sledging. And it seems things are not going to change anytime soon.

    So boys, sorry. You have no option but to take it on the chin and give back as hard as possible.

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