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    March 26, 2007

    Good timing Mark, as usual. Pity about the content though

    A couple of days after the Indian team exited the World Cup, Mark Waugh referred to Sunil Gavaskar's remarks on Aussie behaviour and David Hookes in his weekly column for the Sun-Herald.

    Most of what he said was pretty identical to Ricky Ponting's outburst against Gavaskar. The problem was that while dismissing the tendency to keep referring to Australian cricketers' behaviour as stereotyping, he went on to do the same for sub-continental cricketers. First he said
    One of the hardest things in cricket is shedding a title. A batsman described as "gritty" finds it a hell of a task to be acknowledged for other traits. The Aussies face the same struggle because sledging is what the media and critics home in on.
    Then he went on to over-generalize on sub-continental teams using runners, substitutes, tampering with balls, playing for individual records (shades of Matthew Hayden circa 2004 here), etc.
    The Australian teams I played for, and those I've watched since retiring, play hard but fair. They play within the rules while other teams, especially those from the subcontinent, don't mind pushing the rules.

    I cite such things as their preparedness to call for runners when maybe the batsman doesn't warrant one, or by fielding specialist fieldsmen as substitutes, as not being in the spirit of the game. And then there's examples of ball tampering.

    The difference between many teams is that Australia, South Africa and the Kiwis want to win as a team, so they play hard, whereas players from the subcontinent appear happy to play for individual performances, though with Tom Moody as their coach the Sri Lankans are developing some Aussie-style confidence.
    It's sad that Waugh failed to realize even after proof-reading (or maybe he just pockets the money without caring for what his ghost-writer spits out) that he was contradicting himself. Maybe he was extrapolating to show us what stereotyping actually meant.

    So while he got his timing spot on, the content left a lot to be desired.

    The larger issue though remains about what the BCCI and India's players need to do to make sure that they don't continue to be laughed at about their on-field performances.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 1:16 PM |
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