What if Nick Kyrgios had a baggy green?

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    Transcending, unique, scallywag, humorous, you either love him or hate him, all Australians appreciate his sporting talents. This would be Australia’s view on Nick Kyrgios if he was scoring hundreds, taking screamers or bamboozling batsmen with jaffas.

    However, we as Australians are hypnotised into thinking that Kyrgios is too brash and not respectful.

    The Australian public can have very short memories, as some of our most decorated, respected and recognised role models who have worn the baggy green make the flamboyant Kyrgios look like a choir boy.

    Mark Waugh and Shane Warne were caught up in a fixing scandal where they allegedly provided pitch reports to a bookmaker. Kyrgios, on the other hand, has been rightfully criticised but continually vilified for basically admitting to tanking a tennis match.

    The ‘pitch reports’ brought the great game of cricket into worldwide crisis, as opposed to a confused young man imploding before our eyes, however Waugh and Warne are today loved and respected. The Warne also had a range of other misdemeanours, but hey, the tanking and social media comments from Nick Kyrgios should never be forgiven!

    If for some reason the Australian public can forgive this young man from the nation’s capital for that, we can never forgive him for what he said to Stan Wawrinka in 2015.

    “Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you mate” was the comment made by the young man during a match in 2015 and by no means was it appropriate. However, is this the worst sledge we have heard in Australian sport?

    Nick Krygios throws his racquet against Tommy Robredo

    (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

    Something tells me that if this was said on just before lunch in on the first day of an Ashes series we would be reading about it in a list of the best sledges in cricket history.

    We can’t forget Australian cricket statesman and media personality Ian Healy informing Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga that he was an “overweight, fat so and so”. Some would say that, in a society that is going through a body image epidemic, this comment wouldn’t be remembered with such pride if a young tennis player directed it to another in the heat of a David Cup tie.

    Glen McGrath is one of the best role models that we have in Australian sport with his cricket credentials, charity work and longevity in the game. However, in a 2003 Test match against the West Indies, McGrath was typically frustrated and allegedly remarkably asked Ramnaresh Sarwan what Brian Lara’s privates tasted like.

    Sarwan replied with “I don’t know, ask your wife,” which is just as inappropriate given the circumstances, but did ‘Pigeon’s’ comment need to be said at the start? Would this comment be remembered differently if it had been at the change of ends at Roland Garros?

    “Get ready for a broken arm!” was the delightful comment made to Jimmy Anderson from Australian captain Micheal Clarke in an Ashes Test. The Australian cricket captaincy is widely regarded as the most important job in Australia apart from the Prime Minister. Would we be proud of this comment if it was said on Rod Laver Arena this summer? Would we be laughing at it during our summer BBQs if we heard it across the net?

    Sportsmanship, sledging and ‘chat’ should always have a place in sport and is part of the Australian way of life. I hope this never changes and we are still discussing the great Australian sledges when Nick Kyrgios is an old man.

    Nevertheless, my grandmother always told me what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Shane Warne, Mark Waugh, Ian Healy, Glen McGrath and Michael Clarke are all great Australians and are not the only Australian sportsmen to sledge, however as a nation we reminisce their actions, laugh at their ‘chat’ at BBQs and promote their comments to ‘folklore’.

    Do we do the same for Nick Kyrgios? If Kyrgios was coming in at first drop or the next great spinner, he would be seen as an Australian scallywag, someone who transcends sport. He would be loved by the Australian public.

    So before we criticize Kyrgios this summer, let’s remember to consider what it would be like if he had a baggy green.

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • January 10th 2018 @ 9:42am
      Winston said | January 10th 2018 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      Well, if he had a baggy green, he would have just won the Ashes 4-0, and that’s why all would be forgiven. As things stand, being a tennis player, he hasn’t won any major tournament, and so there is nothing to counteract his bad behaviours. This is the most appalling comparison I’ve ever seen.

      • January 10th 2018 @ 1:17pm
        9 Green Minds said | January 10th 2018 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

        So are you saying if he wins Aus Open all will be forgiven?

    • January 10th 2018 @ 2:06pm
      Pauly said | January 10th 2018 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

      Forgiveness is something only the Anglo-Saxon, with their easily pronouncable name, can receive in 2018 Australia.

    • January 15th 2018 @ 11:36pm
      Beny Iniesta said | January 15th 2018 @ 11:36pm | ! Report

      Kyrgios would never NEVER get anywhere near a Baggy Green.

      He is a manboy. A disgrace.

      No chance Australian Cricket would let this dingbat anywhere near a National cricket team

      Talk about a stupid ridiculous article!!!

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