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    March 21, 2006

    Unsporting, uncivilized or just a demand-supply gap?

    There has been a huge hue and cry over spectators in one/more sections of the Wankhede booing Sachin Tendulkar as he walked off, playing a horrible shot after making a torturous 1 off 21 balls at the Wankhede on Sunday. Commentators and writers have called it unsporting, uncivilized and by several other such synonyms.

    Yes, booing a player isn't great manners. Booing a great player is definitely not great manners. How would those same spectators feel if Tendulkar had been booed off at say the Wanderers or Lord's or Sabina Park or the SCG or the Gaddafi Stadium? Well you get my point.

    But do they have a right to protest against his poor performance, especially when they had [possibly] paid a fair amount of good money to watch the game, in searing heat and with no real possibility of feeling comfortable sitting on hard benches/chairs, without being able to take their own food & drink into the stadium etc. etc.? I think they do. Do they have a right to demand that their team, and their favourite son-of-the-soil, puts up a spirited performance against the opposition? Yes, they do. Is it ok if they feel aggrieved when their hero masquerades like Courtney Walsh, Danny Morrison or Glenn McGrath? Yes!

    The reality, in my opinion, is that there was a demand-supply gap. The spectators demanded, and were possibly justified in doing so, a good batting performance from Sachin Tendulkar, given that it was his home ground, his lean trot in tests of late, including Pakistan, Nagpur and Mohali and the situation India found themselves in.

    The supply side was lacking. One off 21 balls is perfectly ok, in my opinion. But the problem was that he got out, playing a stupid shot. That was what riled the spectators. They'd have been infinitely happier had he remained not out at the end of the day. It would have, perhaps, justified the hundreds/thousands of rupees they had spent in buying the tickets for Sunday's cricket entertainment/performance as well as the hope that Monday would see India get to a good position.

    The Wankhede isn't certainly the first stadium in India where the crowd has acted thus. A few months ago, I heard cheers on the radio by "Hooghligans" when Rahul Dravid was dismissed cheaply at the Eden Gardens. Why did they cheer his dismissal? Because they were incensed at Ganguly's absence for the South Africa one-dayers.

    Mind you, we've had our share of questions and answers over Tendulkar's performances. Perhaps all it would take to quieten the crowds is a superb knock from him as India romp to victory tomorrow?

    You can have your say here, through your comments as well as by voting in the poll on the right hand side navbar.
    Thus spake Jagadish @ 9:36 AM |
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    4 sledge(s):

    I'm not sure if booing is uncivilised. So, what is the civilised manner for the crowd to show displeasure? Surely, one is not implying that showing displeasure for the bad performance (even that of a great/former-great player) is wrong? If they applaud and cheer, then they have the right to boo.

    Abusing, throwing stuff at players etc is abuse. Not booing.

    By Blogger worma (21-Mar-2006, 2:45:00 PM)  

    worma: I reckon that those who booed weren't off the mark with their actions. They'd paid good money and obviously the performance (or effort, if you prefer) wasn't commensurate with their expectations. I think the notion that their actions were uncivilized etc. is far off the mark. They were demanding value for money. Simple.

    By Blogger Jagadish (21-Mar-2006, 2:57:00 PM)  

    After the defeat to England India were again booed, no-one can say that this is unjustified. The India batsmen again let the bowlers down in the series.

    Another point; with Viru not looking as good at opening as before is it time for Sourav to reinvent himself as an opener. It wouldn't matter how slow he scored as long as some sort of platform is laid for Dravid and Tendulkar and the new ball seen off. Sehway could then bat lower in the order against an old ball like Gilchrist. Could this work because I think that the batting order needs to change.

    By Blogger Libero (22-Mar-2006, 7:22:00 PM)  

    libero: I doubt if Ganguly can come back. Kiran More has made it absolutely clear that the current committee will not consider him.

    By Blogger Jagadish (22-Mar-2006, 10:07:00 PM)  

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