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India’s Aussie tour: Sissy Australians and dumb umpires
Had there been harsh punishment for poor umpiring, Bucknor and Benson would receive the death penalty. It was not all over on day four; it continued on day five as well. Dravid and Ganguly were unfairly dismissed. Ponting played the third umpire!
AFTER THE fourth day of the ongoing Sydney test I told one of my friends that the last day of the test match is interestingly poised with Australia having a slight edge. Given the present state of the game, the three possible results (an Aussie victory, a draw and an Indian victory) will depend significantly on umpiring decisions and the weather on the final day. ‘India will go into the final day of the second cricket test with an open mind and the onus would now be on the bowlers to peg back Australia’, said senior batsman Sourav Ganguly after the close of the penultimate day of the exciting test match. Incidentally umpiring made the difference on the fifth day. 
There’s this apocryphal story of BS Chandrashekhar, (the former Indian bowling great) getting frustrated with umpiring during a particular tour (there’re many accounts of this tale, with the umpire’s nationality varying from Australian to English to Kiwi). His four or five plumb lbw appeals were turned down. Then he clean-bowled the batsman and appealed "Howzzaaaat?" The umpire was surprised and told him the batsman had been bowled. Chandra apparently queried, "I know he’s bowled, but is he out?"
Had there been harsh punishment for poor umpiring in cricket, Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson would have attracted death penalty. They changed the course of the Sydney test by ruling Ponting and Symonds not out when TV replays showed they were indeed out. Symonds got three decisions in his favour and went on to score an unbeaten 162, which virtually took the match away from India. Hussey was not given out caught when he’d obviously edged the ball down the leg side. 
Poor umpiring continued on the fifth day as well. Steve Bucknor gave Rahul Dravid caught behind when the ball kissed his pad and the bat was behind his pad. The decision took Dravid by surprise and he went off the field in utter disappointment. At that time India were cruising along nicely and the dismissal of Dravid opened the floodgates. The dismissal of Sourav Ganguly showed that Aussies are so desperate for a win that they can stoop to any level. Replays clearly showed that it was not a clear catch by Michael Clarke; Sourav waited and umpire Mark Benson, instead of consulting Steve Bucknor or the Third Umpire asked Ponting whether the catch was taken cleanly or not. Not to anyone’s surprise Ponting said the catch was on and the umpire declared Sourav out.
Now here are a few questions that need to be answered:
Is Ponting the third umpire on the ground? Is Ponting’s honesty above reproach? If yes, then why did he stay on the pitch after he nicked the ball to MS Dhoni? When Michael Clarke nicked the ball to the slip fielder, even a kid would have entertained no doubt in his mind. But Clarke had other thoughts on his mind. He hoped to get the umpires’ backing and did not leave the crease for a while. Even the umpires did not budge. The Indians were in shock and they vociferously pressed for the decision. Finally, the umpires relented and Clarke was given out.
The Australian team has shown that it is a sissy and does not have courage. It can’t take any fight from the opposition. It lacks sportsmanship. Sorry to say but this is not the stuff champions are made of. Now the allegation of Symonds against Harbhajan Singh seems to be a move inspired to distract the Indian team and this might well be part of a plan. I extend my full support to Bhajji. But I am also not happy with the decision of the Indian team management not to complain against poor umpiring. Rumour attributes it to Sharad Pawar eyeing the top ICC seat in 2010. 
Australia’s victory in the Sydney test by unfair means and against the spirit of the game will remain a black spot in the annals of history of test cricket? And there should be no doubt about the winner of the "Man of the Match" award. Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson should share it. Bucknor isn’t quite done with this series though! He’s scheduled to follow both the teams to Perth.
I can think of two extreme ways to register a protest against poor umpiring:
  • Don’t ever appeal: for anything; not for obvious bowled cases, catches, stumpings, run outs, etc.
  • Appeal for everything: for bowled cases, skied catches, stumpings / run outs with the batsman halfway down the pitch, etc.
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    New Rules by ICC to the Teams Visiting Australia :) (1) Ricky Ponting (THE TRULY GENUINE CRICKETER OF THE CRICKET ERA AND WHOSE INTEGRITY SHOULD NOT BE DOUBTED) should be considered as the FOURTH UMPIRE. As per the new rules, FOURTH UMPIRE decision is final and will over ride any decisions taken by any other umpires. ON-FIELD umpires can seek the assistance of RICKY PONTING even if he is not on the field. This rule is to be made, so that every team should understand the importance of the FOURTH UMPIRE. (2) While AUSTRALIAN TEAM is bowling, If the ball flies anywhere close to the AUSTRALIAN FIELDER(WITHIN 5 metre distance), the batsman is to be considered OUT irrelevant of whether the catch was taken cleanly or grassed. Any decision for further clarification should be seeked from the FOURTH UMPIRE. This is made to ensure that the cricket is played with SPORTIVE SPIRIT by all the teams. (3) While BATTING, AUSTRALIAN players will wait for the ON-FIELD UMPIRE decisions only (even if the catch goes to the FIFTH SLIP as the ball might not have touched the bat). Each AUSTRALIAN batsman has to be out FOUR TIMES (minimum) before he can return to the pavilion. In case of THE CRICKETER WITH INTEGRITY, this can be higher. (4) UMPIRES should consider a huge bonus if an AUSTRALIAN player scores a century. Any wrong decisions can be ignored as they will be paid huge bonus and will receive the backing of the AUSTRALIAN team and board. (5) All AUSTRALIAN players are eligible to keep commenting about all players on the field and the OPPONENT TEAM should never comment as they will be spoiling the spirit of the AUSTRALIAN team. Any comments made in any other language are to be considered as RACISM only. (6) MATCH REFREE decisions will be taken purely on the AUSTRALIAN TEAM advices only. Player views from the other teams decisions will not be considered for hearing. MATCH REFREES are to be given huge bonus if this rule is implemented. (7) NO VISITING TEAM should plan to win in AUSTRALIA. This is to ensure that the sportive spirit of CRICKET is maintained. (8) THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: If any bowler gets RICKY PONTING - THE UNDISPUTED CRICKETER WITH INTEGTIRY IN THE GAME OF CRICKET more than twice in a series, he will be banned for the REST OF THE SERIES. This is to ensure that the best batsman/Captain can play to break records and create history in the game of CRICKET. These rules will clarify better to all the teams VISITING AUSTRALIA.
    If people believe that the Media is sensationalist then let us question as to who makes them sensationalist. It is us because of whom the TRP ratings of news channels go up. The media is just a reflection of what the society is. So questioning the media is pointing fingers at ourselves. "something that is after all just a game" Well, cricket is followed like a religion in India. And if it was just a game, cricketers would not have devoted years of their lives to it. It is sad that you think it is just a game. About the death penalty comment it is a bit harsh, but we have to try and understand what the writer is trying to convey. He has said, " Had there been a harsh punishment " He thus tries to cite a fictitious analogy which COULD happen but is completely a figment of the writers imagination. Lastly about choosing it as the Merinews Picks. I think the guys who wrok behind the scenes editing our articles and posting them have some sense otherwise they would not have been so successful. Questioning their integrity or ability is very wrong for an amateaur. Thus all in all though it was an article on the harsher side, but i can understand the emotions of the writer completely. And i do believe comments in Bad taste are becoming a norm on this site. I have been on this site for months but have barely seen even the regular writers even taking a second off to comment on someone else's article. I guess people are just involved in writing their articles and leaving it till their. It is sad because after all this is a platform for citizen journalists to express and discuss their views. But, the regular writers just mind their own business and have nothing to do with other views or articles being put up.
    merinews for RTI activists
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