Sunday, January 6, 2008

"Benson'd & Bucknor'd" the order of the day

Having seen many new words and phrases like "Bangalore'd" added to the dictionaries and our vocabularies over the last few years, I feel Benson'd & Bucknor'd should be the latest addition, Especially after the Sydney test match in the ongoing India-Australia cricket test series. The match has been full of umpiring errors. One off lapse can be termed human error but as James Bond once said "Once is chance, twice is coincidence and more is enemy action". More so, when the error has favoured only one of the competitors.

When the Indians were bowling Ponting and Symonds benifitted by poor decissions early in their innings. Especially Symonds got a reprieve when on 30 and went on to score a big hundred. To add insult to injury he admitted at the day end press conference that he had nicked it. The very next day when Harbhajan Singh and Sachin Tendulkar were fighting to bat India out of trouble, an exchange of words between Symonds and Harbhajan took place(very common in cricket these days). On the face of it looked like a friendly fire. The Australian team complained about Harbhajan's comments being racist. They found the word monkey to be racist(if Harbhajan actually said that). I remember, Symo had warned India of a "searing hot Australian summer" earlier this year when they played ODI's in India(maybe just a coincidence).

I remember few years back Glenn McGrath called Sanath Jayasuriya a "black monkey". That appeared in the papers no action by ICC or anybody. Perhaps, we Indians, Paki's, Bangladeshi's and Srilankan's still have a colonial hangover and dont want to raise these silly issues especially against the gora's. Reminds me of a famous urdu couplet " Hum aah bhi bharte hain to hojate hain badnaam, Wo karte hain khatle aam aur charcha bhi nahi hota"(tough to translate this in english)

That was earlier in the test match. This morning I have not slept after my morning prayers just to see India fight and win this test match. I was happy till I saw Saurav and Rahul play a fighting innings till Rahul was given out caught behind. The ball might have nicked the pad the bat being miles away. Gilchrist went up immediately and Mr. Bucknor had no hestation in raising his finger. It was the same Gilly so well known for walking away whenever he felt he was out. I wonder is being honest only a virtue when you are winning? Mr. Honest of cricket let everybody down. Yuvraj got out two balls later. It was a close one but the replays showed it was out and Yuvi walked(no doubts there).

Next shocker was the decission of Sourav being caught on slip by Clarke off Brett Lee. Sourav nicked it and the ball clearly fell short of Clarke. He went up right away having taken a bump ball. To everybodies surprise Mr Benson clarified with Ponting if it was out. The same Ponting who stood his ground earlier in the test match when he nicked a ball down the legside straight into Dhoni's gloves. I wonder is the fielder ever credible enough for an umpire to take a decission. He should have consulted the square leg umpire then the TV umpire. But these umpires seam hell bent on making a big blooper out of this test match.

I can see this Benson & Bucknor factor everywhere in the world. Be it the war for petrodollars or politics anywhere in the world. Injustice seams to be the order of the day. Sometimes I wonder if its the colour of your skin, nationality or your faith that determines the degree to which you get justice. I experienced that while getting my US visa. But thats another story.

I can only pray to God that we are "all" guided towards truth, justice and fairplay. Lets say Ameen to that.

PS: I wrote this while watching the last session of the test match. Michael Clarke just took the last wicket and Australia win by 122 runs. They have won 16 tests in a row(a world record). Indian team is disappointed but there is much more to this match than what the scoreboard reads.

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