Its just not Cricket

There is little doubt that had the umpiring been up to standard, and had the sportsmanship of the Australian cricket team been upfront and honest in the heat of the moment, that the result of the last cricket test would not have been the same.  Or, if the conditions surrounding the game had been fair and had the batsman “walked” when the (by their own admission) they were aware they were out, then everyone would accord unequivocal respect to an Australian win.   Cricket does not need to deliver controversial circumstances to obtain ratings, and this non-contrived spat will no doubt do damage that will linger far beyond the capitulation of the egocentric body of the ICC.

It is not new that visiting cricket teams to Australia get “done” by poor umpiring that favours the home team.  Every cricketing nation has been complaining about the same for the past decade. 

At the end of the day, ethics and integrity count for everything.  Every person in a situation knows basic right from wrong.  Some choose to try it on, and often even get away with it.  Others choose to do the right thing – these are the people who approach traditional cricket as the bastion of sportsmanship.  How the heck anybody can blatently and brazenly succeed in trying it on with TV cameras and millions of people observing, and then skite about it as being a simple matter of balancing out the luck is beyond comprehension.   

These people are supposed to be our role models.  Then again cricket is supposed to be a sport.  It’s not – its a business, and a poorly administrated one at that. 

Then there is the matter of the racism controversy.  It seems to be ok to mutter expletives into effects microphones, but not OK to call somebody a monkey.  The sensitivities are on some occcasions just a little too sensitive.  They have no boiled over and even if resolved, the damage is done.  This “reporting racism” incident is the proverbial straw that broke the camels back.  It is the ignited fuse, but not symptomatic of the real issue at hand. 

Moving on from there are the images of Indian fans burning effigies and the administration thowing their toys out of the cot and pretending to go home early.  If it is really only just a game then we need some context here.  All around the world people are starving to death, being murdered by ideologs, and struggling to earn an honest living.  The planet is melting, the US have turned Presidential politics into a soundbyte sitcom, and healthcare is being denied to millions of deserving patients who live in pain.  There are some serious problems out there, but the half hour news bulletin has to dedicate 18 minutes worth of coverage to a cricket scandal caused by some substandard umpiring. 

There are some serious problems out there folks.  But our biggest is perspective.  What is really important?  If the tour is disbanded, the lost revenue from ticket and advertising sales will be the point of contention.  To hell with the issue of fairness.   

How do we solve the worlds problems?  Well, thats where simple meaningless cricket can actually contribute to the discussion.  Its all about value judgements and ethics.  Its all about honesty, integrity, sportsmanship and respect.  When society learns from cricketers that cheating is acceptable because you can get away with it, we learn an ammoral lesson. 

You may think I am over-reacting.  But I am a cricket loving Jew, and virtues are the basis of my being.  And if you really do think I am over-reacting, then consider what is really important out there.  While you are contemplating that also consider what happens to society when its moral barometer does not correctly function.  By that I mean that you shouldn’t count on seeing too many cricket tours to places such as Pakistan, Kenya or Zimbabwe in the near future, even if you do beleive that sport has nothing to do with politics.   

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