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    December 18, 2009

    What were the umpires doing at Perth?

    During the first over after lunch on day two of the Perth test in the Frank Worrell Trophy featuring Australia v West Indies, Sulieman Benn, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson got into a fracas. The sequence of events, which you can see in the video on YouTube, was approximately this:
    Purely going by what was seen on TV, there were multiple people at fault here:
    A couple of aspects of today's incident are interesting, and give me a huge sense of deja vu.

    Symonds v/s Harbhajan at Sydney in early 2008: Harbhajan patted Lee on the back and Symonds, standing quite far away from the scene of action, stepped in quite unwarrantedly to save his mate's arse from Harbhajan.

    Today, Benn ran into Johnson and Haddin batted on Johnson's behalf.

    A couple of years ago, during the 2nd final of the triangular ODI series in Australia, Michael Clarke, the bowler, nearly pulled down Sachin Tendulkar's pants in order to prevent Tendulkar, at the non-striker's end, from taking a single.

    There was no sign of any apology from Clarke, because he was only doing it hoping that Tendulkar's greatness would have 'rubbed off' on him. Tendulkar also seems to have rather enjoyed the fondling. Gautam Gambhir, who played the shot, did nothing. Of course, it is quite likely that this unwarranted & deliberate physical contact, and the absence of any action around it, 'inspired' him to try a similar stunt a year later.

    Today, Haddin couldn't keep quiet, and had to intervene. An issue that could have been sorted out in a few seconds dragged on and on. It's quite likely that there will be follow-ups over the next 3 days of the test.

    Benn has now been charged with a Level 2 offence while Haddin & Johnson have been charged with Level 1 offences under the ICC's code of conduct for players.

    Clause 2.2.4 refers to "Inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between Players in the course of play during an International Match".

    If Benn's physical contact (the act of tugging at Johnson, for I am unaware of any other deliberate/inappropriate physical contact) was wrong, Johnson is also guilty of pushing Benn away.

    Haddin would be guilty under 2.1.4 (Using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting) or 2.1.8 (conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game or brings the game into disrepute). I don't think he should be charged with a Level 2 offence because he only brandished his bat (admittedly, that did sort of make the whole incident a lot worse than it could have been) and almost definitely needled Benn.

    Am I surprised that Haddin & Johnson are likely to get away with a lesser charge laid against them? Of course, not! We know by now who gets away with it.

    Benn should actually feel proud that the Australians seem to be targetting him now. That usually happens to combustible folks who're doing well against the Aussies.

    On a related note, Malcolm Conn's ghost-writer has once again forgotten to use the magic phrase "India have been the worst-behaved team in cricket over the last decade" in his latest piece.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 12:56 am |
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    5 sledge(s):

    ..and nothing about Ponting shoveling Bravo on the first day ?

    By Blogger Gana (18-Dec-2009, 2:40:00 am)  

    That was a minor incident in comparison! Besides, that was Ricky Ponting who would be the authority on everything cricket related. So how can any match ref do anything?

    By Blogger Jagadish (18-Dec-2009, 12:36:00 pm)  

    What ever happened was wrong, and ya you are write What were the umpires doing at Perth?

    By Anonymous Sachin (23-Dec-2009, 11:27:00 am)  

    I think it is a rational issue. Everytime countries like Eng, aus are clean out in these Home 24x7 or away series.

    By Anonymous Austin (07-Feb-2010, 1:37:00 pm)  

    plz read my idea and give ur opinions

    By Anonymous usually the unusual (15-Feb-2010, 10:48:00 pm)  

    We'd prefer if you posted comments with your real name to add more credibility to your opinions. However, the moderators reserve the right to delete comments, especially those containing offensive or unsuitable language. The opinions in the comments are your own views. You are welcome to provide a URL to your own cricket blog, but the moderators reserve the right to delete comments which only reference sites for viewing live streams.

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