Posted by: nestaquin | February 11, 2010

Clubs, Collingwood & Contempt

The plan today was to write something remotely elegant about the remarkable resilience of tiny Tasmania’s cricketing excellence but news from the Northern Hemisphere has me mildly indignant.

The matter revolves around an insensitive quip by Paul Collingwood delivered at a sponsor’s product launch.

It won’t be easy to find a golf course in Bangladesh, if there is one, they’ll probably have wooden clubs

I never heard the words come out of his mouth so with the benefit of the doubt initially I presumed it was taken out of context. However, I tracked down an article summarizing his speech and discovered he was serious or at the very least, portrayed that way.

Reading between the lines and considering the confines of where the remark was given I now firmly believe he was making a joke about the poverty of the Bangladeshi people.

I’m hoping that the suits and press at the function didn’t snigger at this poor excuse for humour but I understand English sensibilities enough to know that the opposite is probably true.

For the record there are plenty of golf courses in Bangladesh. More than 100 and many of them set in beautiful locations. The best of them, the Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka is a splendidly manicured course which annually hosts a leg on the Professional Asian Golfing Tour and where the golfing competition of the South Asian Games just concluded.

Knowing the warm and generous hospitality of the Bangladeshi people first-hand I’m sure that if Paul and his cronies turn up for a round they’ll be treated with the utmost respect, given the finest equipment, the best caddies and a delicious lunch to boot. And they won’t be expected to put their hands in their pockets either. Not that he deserves any of it.

I have no idea what motivation Collingwood had for making such a poorly informed and derogatory comment, he has toured Bangladesh before, or why the reporter included it deadpan in the article but it does give us another greasy glimpse into the character of the man and regretfully, the condescending cricketing culture of the country he represents.

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  1. I have no idea why he would say this…honestly I’ve always respected Collingwood as one of England’s nicer and more down-to-earth types but this comment was really really stupid. InshaAllah, Bangladesh can bring England crashing down

  2. Sehwag put a slur on our cricket, that was bad enough, but Collingwood has put slur on the whole country. Shame on him and I hope Shahadat gives him the same medicine as Dravid.

    • Atleast what Sehwag said was true. You should know, your team vindicated his opinion.

  3. Oh we’ll have some wooden clubs ready for him alright…

  4. I have a 9 iron with a titanium shaft that will fit neatly up his hairy ass! :)

  5. I always liked Colly as a cricketer…but this is just really stupid.

    Thank you for having me on your blog roll btw. I didn’t even know!

  6. Would Collingwood know the diff between a wooden club and any other sort? He plays for Durham, I believe. Durham being about as bereft of anyone with a job as it is possible to be in England. Liecestershire would be pushing for the top place in that category, perhaps.

    ah well. the throwaway line that is always directed to a captive audience, ( sponsors) is sure to find the spot.

    But it seems to be the usual disdain towards Bangladesh, Strauss’ ‘resting period’ not withstanding. I recall the same shrieks from Collingwood in SriLanka, * where England collapsed so dreadfully that even those hardwired nincompoops, the Barmy Army finally took umbrage at the laziness and idiocy of the ENG cricketplayers they booed them and banged on the bus shouting the usual English abuse. *

    Vaughans boots were lost, Collingwood ran into a sleeping grass snake, the heat, the sun, the light, the oh well. you get my drift. It was an endless moaning fest, and Collingwood appears to be setting up yet another. The Dreariness.

    In the light of this remark, I believe that CA is setting up a game of golf for Paul at Cooper Pedy. Where an iron is really an iron superglued to an iron bar, and played on tailings from the opal mines mixed with left over diesel oil.

    Tee off, Collingwood.

  7. Before this remark, I was going to pay out my cards, viz that Bangla Desh play some fabulous cricket. It wouldn’t surprise me if they do England over with their usual exuberance and niftiness and having seen Cook as Captain and the strange and eerie exhibition of Captaincy by Committee , Collingwood advising, Pietersen advising * naturally* , even Bell, that well known tactical guru, advising Cook on this and that, I look forward to it immensely.

    But my prediction now is, along with that one, that Kev will have a headache, the wicketkeeper will be addled, someone’s pants will go astray, the entire entourage, the cook, the barber, the wig maker, the tailor, the Brit Ton Ton Macoute guards, the podiatrist, the psychiatrist, the manicurist, the accountant, the presser, the boot polisher, I forget now how many helpers England travels with, so many, will huddle up in the pavillions as those Eng wickets go hurtling across the oval.

  8. […] Purna has more on why this was such a dick move, including a link to a great post by Nestaquin of 99.94 which additionally proves that Collingwood wasn’t just being a massive […]

  9. Colly has put his foot in it with an insensitive remark, but I prefer players to be themselves in Press conferences rather than spout entirely bland rehearsed statements. In being himself, he looks ignorant here.

    There is an interesting debate about the impact of golf course development on natural resources in the developing world, but that’s for another day.

    Cricketers, indeed sportspeople, have never been the most sensitive of people have they?

  10. Blimey, that’s a touch on the disrespectful side.

    Having a quick scan through the Times article, this also stood out:

    “Hopefully there will be little snippets when I can get a brief break to recharge. Ideally, we need one long break of six weeks to two months, but I won’t get that until after the Ashes.”

    When the Bangladesh tour ends in late March, he will immediately join Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League (IPL)’

    If you really needed a break that badly I think I can spot where it you could have fitted it in.

    • This is where Strauss appears to have more integrity. He has carried a helluva burden dealing with the aftermath of the KP / Moores row and then two big series. As captain, with a young family, I do understand his need for a break and he took it despite having no IPL contract.

      As for the other contracted players, they have one employer (the ECB) – if they want a second, they can’t whinge about needing breaks.

  11. Colly didn’t get a run in the last IPL, he just benchwarmed so he may not be exactly stressed there.

    I like Colly and I am very disappointed in that comment. Playing to his audience in that ignorant manner makes him sound like a git.

    But I don’t expect a great deal from sportsmen. They really shouldn’t open their mouths as much as they do.

    • True Lou.

      I think it’s the travelling as much as the playing that “tires” them.

  12. Okay- I’ll bite. A player’s place is in the playing field, so what’s this mong doing in front of a microphone?

    Give me rehearsed press statements any day of the week.

    Like him as a cricketer though.

    • They are behind mics because the sponsors, media and us fans demand access to players. They often say nothing of interest, but sometimes they do say something of interest. I don’t think we should have to wait for the book and pay £19.99 to hear their thoughts.

      • Yeah… unfortunately. Autobiographies, too, are ghosted ghastlies anyway.

        • I haven’t read a sportsman’s biog – the auto bit is a complete misnomer – since I was a teenager and that was Ray Lindwall’s.

          I really love the sport, but find it hard to get interested in the off-field lives of cricketers.

          And there are so many good books in the world to read.

  13. Tooting you’re the master of red herrings. You must be a fisherman in between your cricketing activities.
    “Prefer players to be themselves”: Mike Tyson was being himself when he bit off his opponents ear. Afridi was being himself when he bit the cricket ball. “Being yourself” doesn’t pass as an excuse after you’ve passed the age of two.
    As for golf courses in developing countries, true, but they are environmentally damaging wherever they are built, and that has nothing to do with his statement.
    I agree though about your later comment, he has one contract already, and it pays well and it’s a nice job, which he chose. He doesn’t really need a second. Take a second job if you like but don’t complain about it.
    I’ll join the chorus, I respected Colly more than most in his team, and am surprised at what he said, but who knows the circumstances, we’re only getting it through the press which is very dodgy.
    But, a cricket earthquake has hit this week and I’m surprised at the lack of reaction. India has just reverse-colonised England, through the IPL, and potentially torn the fabric of the ICC. It’s the first move in breaking up the national framework on which cricket is based. But Cricinfo just reports the facts, and I checked the guardian, which I had given up on reading, only to find Selvey spluttering that they didn’t ask permission first.
    Hopefully Harbijan will have retired before he gets the chance to represent Australia.

    • One man says the ECB wasn’t consulted, another man says Dean Kino has been in constant touch with David Collier. Is it so hard for these guys to be on the same page?

      • Yes it is difficult for 18 counties and the ECB to be on the same page. The ECB does not control the counties and the counties are not a cartel.

    • I do prefer players to be themselves. This comment is ill-judged and ignorant, but it’s not a criminal offence. Of course, players can be stupid, but it’s a price I’d pay to avoid only hearing about “Taking the positives out of the game”; “Hitting the right areas”; and, wait for it, “Bangladesh will be difficult to beat” – despite all evidence to the contrary. (Of course, this doesn’t guarantee a result, but Bangla’s history in Tests does not suggest that they are difficult to beat in the context of international sport).

      The golf course issue isn’t related (as I wrote above) but it’s an issue I often think about – golf courses just aren’t sustainable in large parts of the world.

    • My sudden fury at Collingwood was , oddly, inspired by Selvey’s column in that rag, Fred. And the vitriol against St. Shane by the gloomers!! But most of all, it was because Collingwood is an MBE. Hardly a remark that enhances the MBE, whatever that may mean. Which is probably half the reason St. Shane does these things, may God forever preserve and protect him, he must have been grinning like a rat with a gold tooth all the way thru the proceedings.

      It’s nice to know that Shane is our gold toothed rat, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  14. I think, rather than castigate Collingwood for an insensitive remark, it’s instructive to examine the context. It was clearly a throwaway line and I’m sure no malice was intended by Collingwood.

    But it does beg the question – how much of an ambassador should a cricketer be? Rather than make fun of golf course (or their lack thereof), if Collingwood and his teammates can spare a few hours, why not have a coaching knockabout with some local kids? I’m sure the gesture will speak more than any thoughtless remarks can.

    I don’t mean every cricketer should be like Steve Waugh with Udyan, but I do feel that, even in this age of compressed and hectic tours, there’s a case to made for getting out of the hotel for a bit and soak in/contribute to the local scene.

    • Dead right Rajesh.

      • I’m glad you agree Gary, despite the appalling grammar in that comment of mine, as I realise now :)

      • Also, re: golf courses, no one would be happier than me if every single one of the 25 billion golf courses on earth was turned into turnip farms. I hate turnips, but they can feed people and more importantly, they’re not golf, the biggest waste of human endeavour ever invented. Scotland has much to answer for.

  15. […] a comment » I see Reina, Cricket Minded and Nestaquin have all sounded off on Paul Collingwood’s gaffe: “It won’t be easy to find a golf course […]

  16. Pepp, you have many insights which I value, but in respect to Warne, I’m not sure we’re on the same page.
    Brilliant spinner?, Yes.
    Brilliant cricketer? yes.
    Man to have beer with? Absolutely.
    Man of good character? Dubious, but I won’t throw stones.
    Man to represent cricket? You have to be joking.
    Drug cheat? Yes.
    Man to commentate on cricket for TV? Well, OK, sounds like an idiot but knows his stuff.
    Man to babysit my daughter? Not on your life.
    Man to comment on English cricketers? Yes, just because it pisses off the English so much. It’s about time he said something about Anderson. Or Swan.
    I think he’s absolutely right about Strauss though. Disgraceful. What does being Captain mean? How can you take time off from being Captain? Strauss is devaluing the position.
    Rajesh, yes, how much can we expect of cricketers. Careless comment by Colly, who otherwise seems pretty grounded. Maybe we should just let them play cricket.

  17. oh, I hate being on the ‘same page’ !!… I watched Warne babysit about 8 little kids one day at the SCG, behind the Ladies Pavilion. Justin Langers 4 girls, Haydens girl and boy, and I think McGraths two littles, light rain, but the kids needed to be busy, so a game of tippety run was on. For hours. I figure I can trust Langers judgement, re Warne. I attended a function once, was it the Border trophy?? It was quite a few years ago, Simone had changed the locks yet again, and Warne attended the function with his daughter, Brooke.

    Looked fine, to me. I would leave my Mango with Warnie, you know. I can give no higher accolade.

    Dubious?? .. well. Here is how I see it. Warne has never been dubious on the cricket ground. Unlike, say, Tendulkar, who lied thru his teeth at the Harb enquiry, no jelly bean stuff, etc . no biting the ball, none of this nonsense. He does his spin and lets the chips fall where they may. He sledges and yaps, but does it better than anyone else, ask our current star, Collingwood. He knows. As a representative of Cricket, I say Ay to that without hesitation.

    Drug cheat. A moot point. For me. I like my page, Fred!!.. But I join you on the English irritation page, indeed. Which is why English journalists ask him this stuff. But niether him, nor McGrath, or Hayden, Martyn, Langer, Symonds, et al, have ever said a bad word about the Punter. Says a lot about their character and Pontings, as well.

    Of course , Warnies war with Buchanan was the stuff of Press dreams, and entered into with wild abandon by both Bux and Warne. But when all was said and done, Bux got Warne to that camp, and no one else could. Simone couldn’t get Warne to even take the rubbish bins to the kerb in those days.

    These days, she can persuade him to buy into Brighton for 8 million $, without so much as the smallest glance of rebellion. Good old Simone, ey?

  18. *ringring* … ( at the Teardown Brighton Mansion on Beach Road, the Warne residence)

    (Warne )…. ‘phone , Simone!!’..

    (Simone) ….’I’m busy, Shane. I bet it’s Kev again’…

    (Warne)…… ‘oh, no.. not again. It is, too.. .

    (Warne )……’ Yes, Kev?? how may I help you? ..

    (Kev)………..’shh, don’t let her know I am ringing, she will pull the cord out, now.. Shane.. you know my average is in the shit, I can’t seem to get bat on ball in any rational sense, I need a game with the Rajhastan Royals, I have 50 crates of Brylcreem to trade with, I really really need some extra cash, Jessica and I are personalities, you know, and ….

    (Warne) ….. No. No ,mate. This is a business venture. You know , business. Not a game, no.. no. I don’t want to talk it over with Jessica, thanks. Only advice I can give, is Watch The Ball. Now, Kev, I have to get …

    ( Kev) .. ..’don’t hang up!!…wait.. I …


  19. In a bit of cricket Nirvana this slow and warm Sydney Sunday afternoon. Dog is snoring, golfer is snoring, long warm swim this morning, and now, in total absence of any responsibilities I have South Africa v India and AU v WI (ODI) on at the same time.

    I don’t think it gets much better.

  20. Ponting and Cam White knocking seven bells out of the WI at the Gabba. Amla and Petersen ditto to India at the smoky Eden Gardens…. despite some robust, nay, hysterical appealing from the Indian bowlers…. Harbhajan is bowling now so I have closed my eyes. Lunch coming up at Kolkata, quite awful fielding by India, more awful than usual, I thought…

  21. Here is what I am seeing. Amla and Petersen , detached, with that thousand yard stare of men who are merely there to bat till Kingdom Come.

    India, bowlers and fielders alike, detached, distanced, barely managing an interest in fielding, cranky and niggling each other. Throwing themselves into the bowling, certainly, but with a sort of recalcitrance and the fielding echoes this.

    Gone swimming. AU is in good hands, Cam looks set in concrete, Punter too.

  22. aww… nice century by the Punter. Calm, crafted. Lovely to watch.

  23. Hussey and Hopes , coming in at 7 and 8, calculated that the preceding Au batsmen had been a bit slack and upped the run rate to 13- 14 an over. AU 324.

    And the WI fielded the best I have seen them do all tour in that session. It had no impact.

    Good ole Amla . And Petersen. And now Kallis. Indian fielding is not too sharp. Amla out, now.

  24. I reckon part of the reason Harbharjan is ineffective currently is that he is carrying about 30 kilograms of extra ਲੰਗਰ, or लंगर) around his waistline. His centre of gravity is off course. He can barely appear to bend over to pick up the ball.

  25. and then Harbhajan gets two very important wickets… Kallis and Prince and is on a hattrick.

  26. Harbhajan is such an andrenaline cricketer – and SA are still as susceptible as England to a collapse.

  27. W I struggling at the Gabba. oh my lord.. Dinesh was bowled crop and neck by Bollinger, one of those horrors where the wickets and bails fly all over the place.

    And Duminy is gone, too. OOOOO Jean-Paul you are breaaaaaaaaaaaking my heart…

  28. and de villiers, too!!…

  29. the WI need 174 off 109 balls. Not a snowballs chance in hell.

  30. aww Ishant… first wicket of the season. Well done.

  31. India start off, needing to win at the Eden to stay in the series against a rampant side widely reckoned to be the best in the world, and after an early wicket, nos 2 and 3 grind down the Indians, who look utterly lost and despondent, and so does the Eden crowd.\

    Suddenly, there’s a couple of wickets, and then Harbhajan Singh runs through the middle order, and all of a sudden, the opposition is 8 down for 260 odd.

    Will Dale Steyn be the Steve Waugh in the opposition to take them to 445? As i speak, he’s gone.

    We all know how the most improbable victory in modern cricket was achieved 9 years ago – so far, this one has gone exactly like 9 years ago.

    • If India had squeezed a lead of 120 in the First Test…

  32. *Almost exactly.

  33. the WI has 5 balls to get 60 something runs. 2 wickets in hand. So that’s this game over and out. What a shambolic exhibition.


  34. Needless to say, Gayle won the toss and chose to field first. Why?? Buggered if I know. Every time he’s done that he’s gone down and fallen over no matter which ground. But no. He did it again. Ricky must love the toss. He can’t lose whatever call is made. AU win by 90 runs, or something like that. Won the series, too. Good ole Ricky. What a zip he is.

    maybe the WI will come good in the T20’s. Maybe. Maybe AU will just run thru them again like salt thru a duck. I dunno. *sigh*

  35. Well you fight your corner well Pepp but I think we’ll remain on our respective pages.

  36. Mon Cher Fred. Nous pouvons exister non seulement sur les pages différentes mais sommes élevés et ravi par lui.

    Passer le Monbizilliac et les acclamations à vive la différence.

  37. I spend a bit of the winter time with French Skiers at Blue Cow. And many of them, grown men and women , and some small highly sophisticated French children have often cried in agony at my Francais.

    OH this summer has been a very hard one to take on the cricket sphere here in Au. I don’t mind winning, and winning and winning, but jaysus mary and joseph, I would like a BIT OF A BLOODY CONTEST for my bux.

    Over and out.

  38. I know the feeling. I git up, saw 300+ on the board, and didn’t pay much more attention after that.
    I was just going to add, can you please not make any more references to the beach, the mercury hasn’t passed zero for 72hrs chez moi. Pas de niege, pas de montagnes, pas de ski, que du ciel gris, et du bulot.
    I’m impressed, a person of many talents!
    NZ next isn’t it? They always give us a run for our money.

  39. the Whelk.. Such are my skills at translation, I am stuck with whelk for et du bulot. the gray skies, etc. … dear god. No wonder they cry.

    I don’t ski. I bring the cattle down from the summer high ground, and often pass a French hiker lugeing along on rollers, ready for le season chez Smiggins and all. BTW, fred, the push for having the Winter Games in AU is still on and going strong. Please donate. We are going to all send the contents of our garage fridges to les Snowies for the big day.

    Yes, NZ next and the gorgeous Vetttori and Taylor and Mc Cullum et al. Always a good game, and they get us inbetween utter exhaustion and gearing up for the Big Push. A bright moment in months of tedium , I fear. The only light on the horizon for me is SriLanka, and I don’t think that is tests, just ODI’s. The Horror. Oh well.

  40. of course, I rise up in the saddle upon seeing these skiers, and shout..’Faire attention ! !.. le bétail a évacué leurs intestins sur la piste. Marcher soigneusement. Le bon matin à vous, mon ami. ‘

    It’s always results in real tears..

    dear Lord, this cricket has deranged me.

  41. Indeed, a bulot is a whelk, too. Not that I’ve ever been tempted to eat one. They eat the things live. Bulot is slang for work. The life of a Parisien, metro, bulot, dodo.
    Winter olympics in Australia? Doesn’t seem right somehow.
    Got to go, my filet du carnard is calling, and the clients are getting restless.

  42. I shouldn’t rise to the bait, but what the hell, I’m loath to let an earlier comment of Pepp just go unchallenged.

    With the Harbhajan affair, for lack of evidence, it’s two men’s word against two other men’s and who know’s who’s lying. But if I believe that, it probably means I’m naive – naive enough to believe that John the bookmaker paid Warne $5,000 for weather and pitch information, and kept contact with him afterwards for similar reasons. Eh?

    Oh, wait, Warne’s Australian, so of course he’s just a larrikin and a great bloke. Whereas Tendulkar, and the jelly bean people, and Afridi and Collingwood – it’s their misfortune that their nationality precludes them from Pepp’s generosity.

    For a remarkably sane and balanced blog, there are a few blinkered views on display here, and certainly not just vis-a-vis Australia.

  43. Rajesh, I won’t speak for pepp, I’m sure she will make her response in due course, but I must say there is a big difference between jelli bean, ball biting and wooden clubs, vs Harbi racist attack. The first ones actually happened. I think its quite fair to cast aspersions on people who have incontrovertibly behaved badly, such as someone who bites ball in front of 20 odd cameras.
    It’s the second time Afridi has done something deeply cynical, he deserves no respect.

    Honestly, Harbi is a bit hard to like, isn’t he?

    I do agree however this is a very sane and balanced blog. Long may it be.

  44. I dislike Harbhajan and his attitude plenty, and my response was to the blanket “oh, Warne’s done nothing wrong”, which is fine, but the “unlike x y z” part is petty, yet completely expected. You can believe what you want about whether Harbhajan indulged in a racist attack at Sydney (and despite Pepp treating it as a fait accompli, it was still the word of some v the word of others, with added Punjabi swear word miscomprehension possibility thrown in). Same with Warne – you can believe that he took $5,000 for pitch and weather info and remained in touch with John the bookie and didn’t disclose it, because there is no proof.

    I didn’t bring the original comparison up, fred – if Pepp wants to consider Warne as pure as the driven snow, she’s welcome to it but when the point is made with comparison to another “cheat”, I am forced to point out that, maybe, Warne might have indulged in something as serious (in a cricketing sense, at least) as racism.

    I realise that the anonymity that the Internet provides makes throwing blanket accusations and general unpleasantness very easy, and I’m gratified that, with a few exceptions, this blog has not succumbed to the temptation.

  45. Rajesh,
    we can all throw lots of stones, no one is perfect, and Warne, as I suggested to Pepp before, is less perfect th

  46. than most.
    Im glad you recognise that Harbi is also a bit difficult.

  47. Of all the things I write that anyone could have ‘bit’ at, Harbhajan would have to be the silliest thing to defend. The man was, and is, a serial offender. That particular charge at the time was his Fifth. (5). He pleaded guilty to the charge of Obscene Abuse. And was , as a consequence convicted of such.

    This little detail is so often forgotten. So overwhelming was the evidence neither he, nor as it happens, Tendulkar, who chose to be a bit loose with the truth could escape it. In return for this, he escaped a Racial Abuse conviction, which was the main point of Tendulkar’s insistence that Harbhajan’s previous convictions, ( not presumptions, but convictions ) were glossed over. All of this was , obviously, overshadowed by Harbs physical assault on another cricketer, in public.

    I see no reason to be giddily generous merely because of nationality. Why should I conform to the ridiculous idea that nationality somehow obliges me to have no opinion ?

    In fact, any opinion I do lay down here is met with Raj’s disapproval, but do I care? Not a bit. Nor even when I make it, or how often I make it, all is met with Raj’s endless carping. I like it. It adds a piquancy. It’s a pity that Raj drags the blog into personal abuse, but it’s a habit that seems to have no end in sight, and one just has to put up with it, I guess.

  48. I’m not going back over old ground, but I will write this about Warne. He is the best cricketer ever on my criterion of having done more than any other to win more matches than any other (okay Tests and okay Punter is past him, but it’s wickets win Tests as we all know). Now the ruthlessness, drive and sheer will to impose himself on any situation that, allied to his skill (a skill much diminished post-injuries), required to deliver on the field so successfully does not translate easily off the field, in personal or professional terms. He doesn’t come across as attractive in what we know of his personal life and I certainly don’t care for his media work and interventions. People (plenty Australian) said the same of Bradman.

    I hope I don’t need to point out that my comment above is hardly of universal applicability. Steve Waugh, Gilchrist, McGrath, Langer, Fleming and no doubt others of Warne’s contemporaries I find warm and balanced whenever I hear them – MA Taylor and of course Richie are hugely respected here. Warne seems to want to continue the fight by other means – that’s his right I suppose – but if he wants to work his media audiences the way he worked his umpires, we’ll go elsewhere.

    Great to see Paul Reiffel standing today – a cricketer I admired enormously who brings quiet authority to the middle.

  49. Actually, I’m not sure we disagree that much pon this issue, Pepp :) At least wrt Harbhajan, I agree he’s a serial offender and I’m not enamoured of his behaviour. As far as the obscene abuse part is concerned, that’s fine, but that’s hardly a big deal, considering that every other delivery bowled by a bowler these days seems to be accompanied by a swear word. The bigger issue is if he indulged in racist abuse, and that is a big deal, as big as match fixing.

    My only point was that you can’t have one without the other – that is, convince yourself that Harbhajan shouted racist abuse and Tendulkar lied to protect him (without conclusive proof of it), while at the same time saying Warnie was largely innocent in the betting scandal (also with no conclusive proof). That’s a double standard, which is all I want to point out.

  50. As far as my accusation of Aussie prejudice toward you, I’ve read a lot of your comments here and on the Guardian blogs over the past couple of years, and never once have I seen you criticise your team of bad conduct. Now you’re free to believe that Australia has been churchboy-like in all this time – and I’m free to believe that believing that makes you prejudiced. That’s all.

  51. I have never felt the need to criticise AU cricket on the Guardian, as it does the job so well, along with it’s collection of the dysfunctional and dull contributors. Hardly a week goes by without the Guardian in full cry over some imagined ‘insult’ or ‘incident’ perpetrated by some Au cricketer, and it’s lunatic fringe all follow suit.

    Nearly always at the end of the venting, the Guardian has to state, Au won the match. And this is quite clearly the problem for both the paper and it’s adherents. Nothing much I can add to that, really.

    So there has never been a need there for me to contribute to their fantasies. Although I often enjoy them intensely. Naturally. The amusement factor is always high.

    Exactly what bad conduct do you think I should be criticising, hmm??

    Again, Raj, you are displaying all the properties of one to whom individual choices, and especially those of women are to be managed, and micro managed by you, and you alone. Pal, I think not. You are on a hiding to nothing going down that route, old sport. This I guarantee you. You can ‘take issue’ and ‘bite’ and all that stuff about what you take as prejudice until you are blue in the face, but it’s background noise to me.

    You just carry on with your blogging and I’ll carry on with mine and let the chips fall where they may. I am often amused by your meanderings, and I look forward to them, I rarely comment to you personally, for very good and solid reasons, but you don’t have to take any notice whatsoever of mine. The fact that you do, and have done , as you state, for some years , following me around from Blog to Blog and have even counted them and noted their content is the stuff of stalkers, an unhealthy obsession, I would say.

    As Warnie would advise.. get a grip, mate.

    • You think this is chauvinism on my part? I haven’t stopped chuckling since I read that – thanks for the amusement, and I think I’ll avoid that “hiding to nothing” and stop trying to talk sense to someone who’s defensive enough to dismiss criticism as chauvinism. Thanks for the laughs, and I sure won’t be making the mistake of thinking we could have a sensible discussion.

      As for the Guardian, c’mon, it’s hardly stalking as you’re a celebrity there – they still ask about where you are. Hardly easy to miss you there, when you were there. Oh, right, you’re not allowed back there, are you? Stay cheerful, and maybe someday we’ll find ourself on the same page.

      • Modesty prevents me from claiming to be outstanding in , as Raj puts it, ‘not allowed back there’, because I share this distinction, proudly, with Nestaquin. That is when this blog was started, Raj. Because the Guardian took umbrage at Nestaquins marvellous comments, and shot their own goal by banning him. Both of us received mail to ‘ please consider returning as a contributor’.. ( due to the dearth of them, I suppose . It has declined to the same old grumps. ) Nesta declined to return on ethical grounds, me on lack of attention span factors. Fred is a voluntary rejector of the Guardian. And I can state clearly, and I believe Nestaquin would agree, that we are quite cheerful about it, indeedy!!

        And we are on the same page, Raj. This one. That you take ‘issue’ and ‘bite’ constantly is hardly an excuse to groan about me not attending to your persistant need for compliance. There is a simple answer to your problem. Don’t read my comments. Then you won’t have to worry about my disobedience as you see it, or anything else!!.. Simple!!.

        • I had to work a lot harder than Nestaquin to get ‘not allowed back’ on the Guardian, and I feel my hard work has not been recognised. Nesta did it easy. Couple of remarks and poof!!. but me, oh no. I had to bang on for years.

  52. as I was about to comment, before I was distracted, .. SA slip cordon just isn’t working without Boucher. The whole thing is out of whack with Smith and his broken finger, ( Smith’s poor hands have taken a beating these last years!), and De Villiers wickie, and Duminy at slip.

    It’s not working.

    ohhh. come on, Saffers!!

  53. Harris reduced already to bowling outside leg, but Sehwag has just switch hit him for four.

    Maybe I was a Test late, but the SA support bowling looks as thin as I suggested. Of course, a collapse may be coming, but sensible play from here will give SA a steep task on Day Four.

  54. Getting back to the cricket – poor Duminy’s had a horrific 13 months, and if he doesn’t do much in the second innings, I think Prince can heave a sigh of relief – Boucher will come in for Duminy.

    As I type this, Sehwag hits a simply staggering reverse mow over extra cover to negate Harris. 9 hundreds out of 19 at a strike rate above 80 (7 of them >100) – unbelievable, only Adam Gilchrist exceeds him, and by the ime he’s done, Sehwag, barring something untoward, will be known as the most destructive batsman of the post-war era, bar none.

  55. On the big screen in the stadium, message from the sponsor Micromax – “Sehwag, please don’t play reverse shots, we beg you”


  56. Bloody Sewag hey? A hundred is never enough for him, he always wants more.

    Nesta, I’m surprised at you! What did you do to upset our English friends and become persona non grata? Pepp of course is hardly surprising:) Surprised it took them so long.

    I’d forgotten about the Harbi slap, I must look, it up again on you tube, it was pretty funny.

  57. me too, Fred. I was very surprised it took so long. I put hours into it. Years, even. In the end, I had to lift to overdrive. In response to one of Duncan Fletcher’s more sour and indigestible reads about the awfulness of the Punter, based on nothing whatsoever, except Duncan’s gurgling digestive system, I opined that Duncan’s hemarrhoids came in bunches, all of which had names. Ricky . Thomas. Ponting.

    and pooof!!.. * snort* .

    I had hoped my run in with that prawn Dileep Premchararadan , and his insistence that AU cricketers should sacrifice their lives to play in Pakistan, because Dileep had a an anonymous and fabricated mate ( he insisted he was a distinguished AU journalist, in a pigs eye. I know most of them ) who assured Dileep that AU cricketers were rich, thick and ‘ fucking disrepectful ‘ for not playing in Pakistan. ( quote)..would do it. Dileep wanted AU blood, but in the end he had to settle for SriLankan cricketers maiming. I can only hope that satisfied him. He has changed his tune somewhat now.

    But Nesta did nothing. Except get on some Guardian yobs nerves, I suppose. Not rocket science. Too clever for the Guard, is my guess.

    STEYN~~!!… gosh, that was a lethal off cutter he slung at the closing of the light there in Kolkata.

  58. I still state that the Trumpet of these distinguished pages aided and abetted the Guardian in my final hurl. Oh well. Probably Raj was one of those weak kneed complainers to the Guard who is trying the same dodge here. Except there is no box to tick. Good luck, pal.

    I put it down to simple jealousy of my ability to underscore the obvious. Not a charming trait, I admit, but hey. I never claimed charm. It’s a tough job , and someone has to do it.

    • I had no part in any action taken by The Guardian against anyone. In all my time there, I have reported three comments, two because I felt that they were probably defamatory and one because it was racist. I did not remember the commenters’ names – they were unknown to me.

  59. Sigh…look Pepp, I’ve said whatever I’ve wanted to say to you on the comment threads themselves, without having to ask Nesta (or the Guardian blogmasters) to take action. And I know the trumpet feels the same way.

    So kindly stop with the tiresome and childish insinuations, and continue bringing with whatever it is you think you bring to these pages.

    • oh, it’s nice to know that you and the trump are on the same page. Cosy. I am taking that ‘sigh’ as from one who is worn down. Therefore.. game, set , and match to me. I take it that you will resist the temptation to read my posts and make some nutso personal abusive and chauvanistic retort which every time merely served to dig your own hole even deeper from now on, as I advised you, you may recall, many times, to no apparent avail.

  60. And kindly use my handle, Rajesh K, when referring to me, instead of the assumed familiarity with “Raj” – there has been another commenter here previously and on the Guard blogs by that handle, and intentional on your part or not, I don’t want any confusion.

    • why, coitanly, Rajesh K .. you should have mentioned it, you know. You never gave even a hint that this was disturbing you so deeply, how distressing. If you did, I must have missed the signs. It is merely a cultural hiccup, a very Australian thing, but now that I know, I will most assuredly exert myself every time , (should I feel the need at any time to reply to your strange thoughts) to use your full and expanded handle, not a problem. Gosh.. that was easy, wasn’t it? Do you think I should put some effort into going thru all the rigmarole of typing The Tooting Trumpet, instead of Toots? or Trump? or Tooter? or MoTM?Please confirm. I need your advice on this matter, obviously. And you know Gary’s mind so well. It worries me that I may have been overly familiar many times, and …well.. one wants to get things right, doesn’t one?

      Life is fraught with the sudden yawning cultural abyss, that one is forever on the landmine path, so to speak. How lucky we all are to have Rajesh K forever on the alert to warn and suggest at all times.

      • I have no objection to anyone calling me Toots or any other diminutive of my handle. Now, if anyone called me Pepp…

        • if anyone mistook you for me, Toots, we would have to call you Mr. The Lucky Tooting Trumpet.. quite a mouthful.

          • I have no problem in being called Rajesh or Raju or Rajesh Kannan or whatever anyone wants – just meant that I don’t want to be confused with a previous, banned commenter and general boor on this blog and Guardian. Surely even the gregarious Australian way is compatible with such a trifling request?

  61. @Pepp: “Nearly always at the end of the venting, the Guardian has to state, Au won the match. And this is quite clearly the problem for both the paper and it’s adherents.”

    I only visit the Guardian (never commented there, I think) during the Ashes. And Aus were on the losing side in the last two Ashes in England, though they blanked Eng in between at home. So, I wonder which series Pepp is talking about.

  62. Feeling very good today..the whole world looks better.

    The SA bowling was way off the radar, but they were made to look so ordinary by VVS’ patience and Dhoni’s ugly resourcefulness.

    A lead of 341 now..lets see how the morning session unfolds tomorrow.

    • I’d have preferred the pitch to misbehave and India getting a lead of 200 – looks ominously flat and easy paced. Time for the spinners to earn their keep.

      • That’s what they’re there for. If two spinners can’t drive a 341 lead to a win over two days, you need two different spinners.

  63. Richard Boock, NZ sports columnist on the Harbhajan incident from Sydney 2008.

    Its interesting that no one actually talks about the findings of Judge Hansen assigned to adjudicate on the matter. No one comes off smelling nice really. Still surprised that this is still being discussed.

    • The effigy industry in India went into overdrive then – wonder what’s sustaining them now. Maybe Pakistan’s a better market?

      • Luckily for the effigy industry, there are a whole range of issues of international, national, regional and local import that Indians are currently all worked up about to keep them fairly busy. In demand are effigies of people of all races and religions, as well as some complex abstract issues. However, I hear Uncle Sam effigies are currently the only ones in demand in the Pakistani market. Still, demand for them is very high (it’s been a cold winter as well).

        All this info comes from sources at a popular Chinese effigy maker – who also assured me btw that they’ve stopped using lead of any sort in their effigies. They also burn much more evenly and safer now.They changed practices after receiving an order for an effigy of unsafe effigies. So yeah – the fumes are no longer noxious and stuff and its all fairly safe.

        Or so I’ve been told.

        Forgot to mention – love the blog?!

        • Oops. Sorry Nesta. I meant to say “Forgot to mention – love the blog!”

        • Fantastic. Now, we’ll have dumping charges on China who make cheaper effigies, leading to tariffs on Chinese effigies, and debates in the Indian parliament asking that “we stand up to these imports which are destroying the livelihood of the poor effigy makers”. Followed by the Left parties staging a mass walkout (all 4-5 of them) protesting against discrimination against our “Chinese friends.” Then an MP will ask for a centralised effigy manufacturing process with a top down hierarchy, and that all effigy implementation production be directed from his home constituency in rural Jharkhand (is there any other kind of Jharkhand?). Then, in a few years, the state will “liberalise” the effigy raj, and lots of entrepreneurs will once again flood the market with cheap effigies of all shapes and sizes.

          Wait, what were we talking about?

          • LOL! I can totally see that happening. Reality is almost always more stranger than fiction. Also, lets not overlook effigy censorship issues: Should an effigy protesting Shilpa Shetty and Richard Gere kissing censor the kiss as well?

            Anyways, big apologies for taking off in a completely unrelated direction.

            Mishra’s day to make it count. Look out for the usual Eden post-Tea wicket slide to rear its head again.

            • In the UK we have abandoned out effigy industry, but there are traders making millions on effigy futures and stock swaps and consolidated effigy debt options.

              • Effigy futures eh? Bush was always a safe bet, but now he’s gone – Obama’s a bit more popular. Brown doesn’t seem worth the trouble to make an effigy over. Sharad Pawar? Ricky Ponting (he’s becoming nicer, more gloom for the effigy industry)?

                I know whose effigies I’d want burned – Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and Danny Morrison. I’d rather listen to Gaddafi’s speeches than their commentary.

        • Living in a no -fires locale, I found effigeeying a no – go pastime.. I tried it, but it didn’t work for me. It only scared the horses. I turned to wax doll replica’s of certain players, cheap and well made from Moldova. Unfortunately the instructions were in Moldovanian, consequently, having slowly inserted the pin in Kevin Pietersen’s leg one time, the entire ENG side went to hell in a handbasket. Not once, but twice. I put them away, they being a bit too unstable, but went hunting for them upon reading this apropos reminder for tonights ENg v ENg Lions in Abu Dhabi later on in my evening. Whom to impale?

          Kev is a certainty, but I fancy giving the little Bell doll a bit of a jab for the Lions side.

          Of course, not Saj.. Never Saj. The Saj doll is wrapped in cotton wool. How I miss Saj playing for England!!

  64. A man who caused an international cricket uproar after tackling a Pakistani cricketer during a one-day international at the WACA last month has been fined for his actions.

    David James Fraser, of Yangebup, was convicted of assault and trespass after pleading guilty to the charges in the Perth Magistrates Court today.

    The 37-year-old ran on to the pitch on January 31 and tackled Pakistani fieldsman Khalid Latif, before being wrestled to the ground by security guards. His lawyer told the court he ran onto the ground because he was dared to by his mate.

    David Fraser was fined for tackling a Pakistani cricketer at the WACA.
    Magistrate Giuseppe Cicchini fined Fraser $6000 on the trespass charge and $3000 for the assault, as well as ordering him to pay $62.50 in court costs.

    Plus a life ban from the WACA.

    Fair?? I think so.

    • Possibly should be the higher fine for the assault and the lower for the trespass, but it looks like fair action against the foolish man. Stopping others is a matter of stewarding rather than fining though.

      • It probably would have been a lot higher fine for the assault if the Pakistani player had not grinned and laughed all the way thru it, I suppose. It left the magistrates capacities to load it up to the max a tad cramped.

        I was most surprised to learn the bloke was 37. He had the face of the permanent idiot, which, I guess , tends to wipe off years.

        • Yes – at 37 you’d think he’d have learned something.

          • He was monged outta his head. No other reason for that particular gormlessly happy expression on his face.

  65. Harbhajan’s bowling with surprising bite (has all the criticism of his defensive, ODI-style bowling actually penetrated through?!!), and Mishra took out Smith – there’s some help on offer in the pitch, but SAF still has a LOT of batting left. But they need numbers 5-7 to fire – Amla and Kallis aren’t going to be enough.

    39/1 at lunch

  66. This is it for SAF. Their two form batsmen at the crease, fighting to save the match, win the series and take the no. 1 ranking. Stakes don’t come any higher, chokes won’t come any bitter-er.

  67. I thought the Chepauk specialised in denying India victories through rain – now the Eden has joined in the act? Where are the Chinese weather manipulators when you need them?

    • According to weather underground, 30% chance of showers today (Wednesday) and later tonight.

      Thursday is forecast to be a cloudy day as well but no rain tho. Probably get another delayed start in the morning (overnight rain, bad light). Which would leave India about 70 overs to get 7 wickets. Doable – esp. if the crowd show up (which they will).

  68. anyone in Kolkata with some on the ground dope on whether any play is likely today?

  69. RK,

    I am not in Kolkata, but I can see on the TV that the rain has stopped. The umpires should be out in a few minutes.

    Mishra and Bhajji have bowled well so far to take these 3 wickets. Mishra’s leg break to take Kallis out was as classical as it comes.

    And Ishant (no balls notwithstanding) has cranked up his pace a bit today.Consistently breaching 140+. He should be patient – the wickets will start soon if he keeps up the improvement curve.

  70. I only saw a little of the cricket today, but, as I often find when Harbhajan is bowling well, his arm didn’t look all that straight in a lot of the slo-mos.

  71. And how the spinners have delivered! Superb stuff – Harbhajan is maligned enough (definitely by me), but credit where credit’s due. And Mishy as well.

  72. I donno..a 70 run partnership for the 8th wicket and its Tea now. With light guaranteed to cause problems, I don’t think we’ll see more than 20 overs after tea.

    Amla and the tail would back themselves to play thru till close.And India is feeling Zaheer’s absence in a big way here.

    Some one has to bowl a few special deliveries.Else, SA will be deserving 1-0 winner.

    What a series for Amla though !

  73. I think they’ll get at least 25 in, with the spinners bowling, but yea, this has swung slightly towards SAF.

  74. The Saffers suffered so much against England’s 10 wicket pair, maybe karma says it’s time for their last pair to inflict some punishment.

  75. And it’d complete a nice karma circle – India frustrating England at Lord’s in 2007, Eng doing it to SA, and now SA to India.

  76. Just 30 more balls to be bowled in this test.

    All we need is one wicket taking delivery and its been more than 17 overs !

  77. At least 3 easy catches have been dropped so far, with Badri’s being the worst drop among them all.

    Now, Dhoni drops a chance too. Idiots !

  78. In the nick of time !

  79. Test cricket is dead?

    • Good one, Toots :)

      SA was able to bring it so close due to just one man – Amla.Otherwise, this match was almost as one sided as the Nagpur one.One would have expected these two teams to play closely faught test matches.

      It would be great to have a better structured test program so that all top 5 nations play each other in a minimum of 3 test series.

      • Fantastic finish! More so for India of course ;).

        Seriously though, both teams will rue dropped chances – SA a lot more because they could have made the Eden Gardens test a lot less one-sided. Badhri and Vijay have a lot of convincing to do but I doubt they will get any more chances after this. For now Dinesh Karthik will be the first choice. I get the feeling DK’s been given a time out for recklessness and over enthusiasm. It’s probably over with by now.

        Vijay hardly inspires the confidence a number 3 should – especially when you compare the emotion a man named Rahul Dravid inspires at that spot. You might switch off the TV and go to bed when Sehwag gets caught at the fence on Thirdman – but you sleep easy knowing that Dravid’s guarding the gates, the women and the kids.

        Time to look elsewhere for readying a long term replacemen

        Meanwhile SA would probably make a mistake if they send Amla home for the ODIs. Amla could completely hold up one end while the others biff around him. Who cares though? Tests done with. Now on to the IPL.

        ODIs are dead!

  80. They’ll keep Badri at 5 when Dravid slots back in at 3. Long term, who knows – there are plenty of guys queueing up, including Vijay, for dismissing someone after 2-3 tests is remarkably short-sighted. And Karthik, for all his enthusiasm, is just not very good.

    • Agree Karthik is not very good. But his experience as opener serves as a reasonable stop gap at worst.

      Not all that impressed with Badri. Deserved a chance to play based on his first-class record (like Wasim Jaffer did once). Do agree tho they need to stick with him for another series or two to see if all he ever wanted was to boast that he played test cricket once.

      Vijay has some good traits. Did OK against Oz but only in the company of the other stalwarts (I think). Kaif and Kohli (in that order) wait for their chance at No. 3. Better still – ask Dravid – very very respectfully (or get Kumble to get it out of him at a Bangalore pub after a few beers while watching the football world cup) – who after him?

  81. time for collingwood to retire!

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