Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Potato-head

I am frequently bemused in these posts, and this latest occasion is cause for ample bemusement. After Inzimam's dismissal for Obstructing the Field, in the Peshawar one-day international, one commentator after another (Woolmer, Holding, and now Inzi himself) feels that the appeal was unsporting (in Holding's case: "probably not in the spirit of the game", in Woolmer's case, a tightlipped "I'm not going to comment", and now Inzi's little lament in the papers). I find Inzi's outburst most surprising. Not because I don't think he has a case for being given not out (he did after all, put his bat up in front of his body as Raina's thrown came in, and hence could possibly have been construed as taking evasive action). No, I find it suprising because of his invocation of the spirit of game:

"Certainly, there are several modes in which a batsman can be declared out, but many of them are not in the spirit of the game. I am particularly referring to obstructing the field, handling the ball and hit-the-ball twice dismissals; also about the illegal practice of underarm bowling and running out a batsman while backing up."

Inzi wants to have a go at all these modes of dismissal? You've got to be kidding me. He thinks Mankading is problematic, that appealing for handling the ball is not sporting (is he only thinking of Sarfraz-Hilditch style incidents)? Inzimam clearly hasn't thought through this very clearly. But even more troublingly, is Inzi's further claim:

"I would not have imagined that Rahul Dravid and his team would do such a thing. I am not bothered about my dismissal but an appeal made in an unsportsmanlike manner by the visiting team can have an adverse affect on the relations between the two opponents. I have surely asserted on my boys not to make much of the Peshawar incident. However, in my personal opinion the appeal was not made in a sporting manner. Instead, it just might have left a bad taste in the mouth."

Excuse me, this moral tirade is coming from a man who has been letting Afridi and Akhtar carry on like fools with all their sledging, taunting and general carrying-on in the tests? None of that was likely to leave "bad taste" anywhere?

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