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    August 16, 2010

    Spirit of cricket spoils Sehwag century?

    Predictably enough, Suraj Randiv's no-ball to Virender Sehwag, preventing Sehwag from reaching his century with a six, is making the news on the extremely vitriolic TV channels. Did he bowl it deliberately, to ensure that Sehwag didn't reach a well-deserved 100? Who cares?

    Sehwag changed his opinion from not taking it too seriously ("It happens in cricket. The other team doesn't want anybody to score a hundred against them. They tried their best. Doesn't matter to me, 99 or 100.") to claiming it was deliberate in the span of a few minutes.

    Besides, Sehwag did play out a couple of dot balls. So there's no real basis for him to whine.

    Is there anything in the rules that prevents a bowler from doing so? No! Even if it is there in the 'spirit of cricket', it means nothing. Captains and players have acted totally in violation of the spirit defined and no action has been taken.

    Did anything prevent India from declaring & setting Sri Lanka around 70 to win immediately after VVS Laxman got out in India's 2nd innings at Galle? There was charity being doled out to Murali in the form of his 800th wicket. VVS perhaps was trying to get the message across by getting run out? Why didn't any of the other batsmen get dismissed timed out, handling the ball, obstructing the field or hitting the ball twice?

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 11:14 PM |
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    15 sledge(s):

    There is the small matter of watching the replay of the ball bowled by Raniv for Sehwag to change his opinion. And when he first spoke he wasn't expecting such improper behavior from Randiv so he gave him the benefit of doubt. Moreover, it's not whining to point put someone's unsportsman behavior. Identifying it is important because players and umpires need to be careful with such people (when they ask for a runner and stuff like that..they can fake!).

    By Anonymous naveen (17-Aug-2010, 9:50:00 AM)  

    I agree with naveen. Viru had every reason to change his opinion as Randiv's action was so f***ing cheap.

    On playing dot balls, its not that even Viru can hit a 6 of any delivery (just that he can do of many deliveries which others cant).

    And about the Galle incident, one of the Indian tailenders could have easily got run-out or hit-wicket and ensured Murali stayed on 799.

    I think this incident again reemphasizes that India are far from being cheap on the cricket field, whereas other nations do it more often.

    I am fairly sure Sanga was the one who instructed Randiv to do so and his reaction in the presentation was baffling and I am sorry Sanga, you have lost your respect in me.

    By Blogger Ganesh (17-Aug-2010, 10:42:00 AM)  

    On the issue of Galle, why would any team do that. the idea of cricket is and should be to play without anybody's records in mind (even yours and your opponents). Murali finished at 800. Good for him. But that number should not be in the minds of Indians or sri Lankans. The fact that Randiv was thinking about Sehwag's 100 and voluntarily lost the match by gifting the run seems opposite to how you should play cricket. As a bowler all you should think about is can i get the batsman out, not if is on 99!

    By Anonymous naveen (17-Aug-2010, 11:07:00 AM)  

    "Besides, Sehwag did play out a couple of dot balls. So there's no real basis for him to whine."

    Sehwag is not whining. He was asked by the press whether he felt it was deliberate and why he felt so. Being a straight-into-your-face-man that he is, he gave his reply. Some people who found it too blunt thought he was whining, which is not the case since he specifically stated that the win with a bonus point was far more important.

    And secondly, I guess Randiv had the idea of bowling that no-ball even before the two dot balls. He just didn't have the guts then! Just before he bowled 'that' no-ball, he had aborted his run-up midway through. So it seems pretty obvious that it was a deliberate act (not that one needed more reasons to prove it)!

    By Blogger Shridhar Jaju (17-Aug-2010, 2:07:00 PM)  

    If Sehwag really doesn't care for individual numbers, this shouldn't even have been an issue.

    He can't say "my 100 doesn't matter compared to my team winning" and also accuse Randiv (or SL) of doing it deliberately.

    My point was that 'unsportsmanly' is a really stupid concept. Either its there in the laws, or its not. If players and teams were hauled up for acting outside the spirit of cricket, there'd hardly be any players or teams that weren't penalized.

    By Blogger Jagadish (17-Aug-2010, 4:09:00 PM)  

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    By Anonymous Hayley Barmy Army (17-Aug-2010, 6:16:00 PM)  

    There're 2 bits of delicious irony here.

    1. With a lot of clamour over changing the rule so that all runs scored off the final delivery where the game gets sealed are added to the batsman's score, it also implies that if Sehwag had tried to steal a quick single, and had been run-out of the Randiv no-ball, he would have been dismissed run out on 99 (joining a fairly elite bunch)

    2. Almost exactly 6 months ago, this happened at Eden Gardens:

    129.4 Tendulkar to Amla, 1 run, More drama! Sehwag kicks the ball away to the boundary! slightly short in length and outside off stump and Amla punched it off the back foot and the ball stops just near the boundary. Now the drama begins! Sehwag who was after the ball leans to kick it away over the boundary! The umpires get on walkie talkie and talk ,. And talk. ..

    At that stage, South Africa were 9 down, with 50+ more runs needed to make India bat again. India needed to win to become #1 in the ICC test rankings.

    I guess what Sehwag did was within the 'spirit of the game'! The spirit of the game is like the 'directive principles' in the Indian constitution. They are not enforceable.

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    By Blogger T.Banken (12-Oct-2010, 1:29:00 PM)  

    This was one big mess.

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    By Blogger Author (13-Dec-2010, 3:53:00 PM)  

    This was indeed a needless and shameful one.

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    By Blogger John Cornar (12-Mar-2011, 9:28:00 AM)  

    I particularly think that the spirit of cricket does not spoil sehwag century, the other way around, I think it creates a motivation in the cricket fans towards the sehwag century

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