Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Character !

Modern behaviours have rendered a much valued trait of days gone by to a status that is rapidly going out of importance as desirable.

To be of good character, once was a recommendation as to a trustworthy and thoroughly good bastard with little else needed.

One very reliable marker of such an admirable trait could be found on a sports field where vagaries of what the eye could discern by umpires/referees/judges would be over-ruled by the player at the centre of a maelstrom immediately putting it right.
Never more poignantly demonstrated than in the game of cricket, the game full of legendary acts of self destruction when batsmen who knew they had touched the ball with glove and or bat, saw the wicket keeper take the ball and "walked".

My first encounter with a seriously unsporting act by a cricketer came with an "Aussie" by the name of Matthews who claimed a boundary catch with his foot clearly on the boundary rope in a game against a NZ team.

To highly competitive Greg Matthews, it was not cheating it was merely playing to the Umpires call and in the days before scrutiny to the degree of sometimes frustration in 2016 un challenged.
Such is a growing attitude that the wearers of The Baggy Green have since made an art form while a  more cynical person might have dismissed his action by saying it was just 'not cricket'.

Fast forward to yesterday when the deciding game of the Chappel/Hadlee trophy was in the balance with Australia seemingly making the necessary move to domination from the bat of Mitchell Marsh when a ball from Matt Henry caught an inside edge, cannoned down onto his boot and flew to the hands of a mystified bowler who raised an inquiring hand and looked back to the umpire in what would have, in a less challenging situation, had the dreaded finger raised with out further ado.
After the fifteen seconds available to either captain for a challenge elapsed the big screen played the incident and the crowd erupted. Australian scribes  described that reaction at the "feral" end of crowd behaviour, the third umpire confirmed to those in the middle it was out and the right decision made.
Now far too many who should consult history before making total asses of themselves are crying foul.
The world champions at sledging and manipulation of adjudicators, found themselves trying to suggest a batsman who was clearly out had been hard done by.
Stop bloody crying.

Two things that could have resolved the matter, one  with great kudos for all;
Mitchell Marsh, son of Selector and former Aussie cricketer Geoff Marsh, brother of Shawn Marsh could have walked.  If not after he hit it onto his toe, hard to miss that, and watched it balloon to a still in shock bowler, then immediately on seeing what the so called baying for blood spectators saw on the big screen. That people, would have required that old fashioned trait, "Character"
The other way could have seen the entire NZ Team doing what the Indians have made their own Modus Operandi and appealed for a full minute to remove any doubt that an appeal had been made. A behaviour largely absent from our way of doing business, thanks be.

Mr Marsh junr you must have known when that ball landed on the soft upper of your shoe, that there was very little reduction in impact from having the pitch involved and the TV replay confirmed it.
Gobbing off that it was bullshit and departing with a spray of profanity just wasn't cricket, you were actually OUT.
So sad, too bad, what should have been a doddle became a bad day at the office so just suck it up.
BTW Adam Milne's dismissal, unchallenged, looked very dodgy but  that is just cricket as it becomes when the arbitrary, limited to one, challenge  has been used.

1 comment:

Tinman said...

I realise you've never played cricket. At any level.

If you had you would know that not only had Mr Marsh no idea whether the ball had hit the ground after hitting his foot but that after the play NZ had a time to appeal and then ask for a "referral".

The umpires are required, on appeal, to make a decision.

That decision (or referral) may not be delayed until a television replay has happened.

Mr Marsh was correct, the way it happened was bullshit (if, in the end, correct).

Nothing to do with "character", sportsmanship or anything else, just fact being expressed correctly.

At fault were the officials who, like Akaroa cockies, are, of course, never wrong.

Further GD, Mr Blaise Pascal once famously ended a letter with an apology: I'm sorry that this was such a long letter, but I didn't have time to write you a short one.

Take the time GD, take the time.