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'Hang their heads in shame': Sixers' ump intimidation appeal sets a bad example for sport at all levels

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Roar Rookie
22nd December, 2023
25
3209 Reads

The Tom Curran incident is rather troubling; not because of what happened, as I have seen young kids get abused by adults at children’s sports because of decisions they disagreed with.

The ‘kids’ umpiring games were trying to give back to the sport they loved, only to be subjected to unfair treatment.

Most of us, for whatever reason, will never be at elite-level competition in the sports we love. However, without the officials, the sports we love and support will never exist.

My problem is that a Sydney Sixers player was specifically told by an umpire that he should not run on the pitch.

It could be understandable that he may not have heard, or properly understood, the instruction. But a reasonable person would walk up to the official as a mature adult and try to gain proper clarification as to why he was standing in the way. I am sure the umpire would have explained the problem if given the chance.

For some reason that player, instead, decides to do what he wants and continue his run-up, forcing the umpire to take evasive action. Then later – after he has been reported and sanctioned – he says ‘I didn’t know what I did was wrong’.

That is inexcusable in itself. However, what is worse is why did the Sixers not condemn the action, and actually go in to bat for him.

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Fair enough for a player who has lots of money to lose to claim ignorance, but an organisation that only exists because of the fans should have sacked him on the spot, or at the very least banned him for the entire season. That would have shown they cared about the game and the umpires.

All sports are struggling at the junior level with the lack of officiating. Knowing that officials would be supported right across the BBL, regardless of financial benefit, could have been a massive boost to the people who often volunteer their time at a grassroots level.

Shame on all who defend the actions of this player, who should know better – not just as a professional sportsman, but as a mature adult and human being.

Entitled athletes need to learn the side of their bread is buttered on. Without the fans turning up there is no game. Without parents turning up on the weekends to take the kids to the sport, there is no game.

A four-match ban is nothing as the player will get paid regardless. The fact the Sixes are supporting him all the way is disgraceful.

What I would like to see happen is that if they follow through with the appeal, then they should be stripped of all points and removed from the BBL for three years.

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That would send a clear message; sack the player and back the ump.

The problem is that the people at high-level sports administration are not at the grassroots of the sports. They do not see the sideline issues that officials face at local grounds.

They should be sacked as well if they support this player.

Tom Curran of the Sixers celebrates taking a wicket

Tom Curran of the Sixers. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Without the umpires, referees, linesmen and other people there is no game.

However, nothing will change because money talks. When players get paid millions and refs get paid peanuts the governing bodies of the sports will support the hand that feeds them.

The media companies, the players and the commentators will back the player. Why? Because the umpires are not the stars of the show, they do not bring in the crowds.

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An official has only done their job if nobody notices they were there. Let us see how these sports go when no junior official will turn up.

Do not get me wrong, I understand the player probably made a massive mistake and regrets it.

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However, owning and apologising for a clear and obvious breach would set much more of an example than appealing it and pretending nothing was wrong – or carrying on like it was a case of ‘nothing to see here’.

If the Sixes do appeal then they should hang their heads in shame, because they have let the whole sport of cricket down.

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