Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Who started the fire?

So, who really likes to see all the pre-tour sniping and flame wars? Well, one answer would be provided by looking at the opening line of this piece on Andre Nel's take on Glenn McGrath's absence from the South African tour.

"IT BEGINS. Firing the first shot of a tour expected to provide plenty of tension and heat, South Africa's enigmatic paceman Andre Nel has insisted the Australian attack will struggle in the absence of Glenn McGrath."

What begins? Not the cricket according to this piece, but the sledging. But read the article, and its clear that all Nel is doing is pointing out that the Australian bowling attack will miss the Pidge. And they won't? If the Aussies wrap up the series, will there not be a single piece in the Australian press about how well they did inspite of McGrath's absence? Nel's comments on the fans and what the Aussies will experience in Australia are fairly run-of-the-mill, and he does not even claim to have noticed any bad blood between the players. So why is his piece being called an opening shot in the sledging wars? Dunno.

And in all of this, it occurred to me that the headline for this piece could just as easily have been "Fast bowlers express solidarity in family trouble" and started with a line about how all the tension surrounding RSA-Australian cricket didn't stop Nel from talking about how McGrath was doing the right thing by staying with his wife.


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