02 August, 2021

Wrong One Up The Wicket

Dodgy umpiring and onfield bluster have a symbiotic relation in Australia

Wrong One Up The Wicket
Right after the ICC sensibly substituted umpire Steve Bucknor with Billy Bowden for the third Test at Perth, came one of those moments of delicious crassness that only Indian news channels deliver. Bucknor was gone, Harbhajan's ban had been stayed on appeal, the Indian counter-accusation against Brad 'he-called-me-a-bastard' Hogg had been admitted by the match referee—everything the team and the BCCI had demanded had been conceded. The story wasn't likely to advance before the Perth Test, which was days away. And yet a captive cricket public out there wanted new dragons slain and fresh blood spilt: it wanted non-stop retribution for the humiliation of being robbed. So a news anchor came up with a genius idea: she started a campaign for getting the Sydney Test annulled. Raging fans were asked to vote their views on this pressing matter.

As a historian, I was delighted. If there's one cricket organisation rich enough and powerful enough to rewind Time and rewrite the past, it must be the BCCI. We'll see what Mr Pawar makes of this fine...

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