Monday, March 26, 2018

Australia - Why Didn't the team Concede?

After watching the visuals of how the Australian team cheated by using hard plastic to alter the condition of the ball to give their bowlers an advantage and how they tried to cover it up by sending information to the team on the field through the 12th man and how the main accused Bancroft slipped the evidence into his underwear to conceal it all under the eye of the camera I wondered about what I would have done if I was coaching a team like that. Not just that - after being caught on camera the Aussie team captain said that the leadership of the team knew about it which meant that he and David Warner and certainly the coaching staff knew about it. Warner and Smith gave up their places in the team and allowed wicket keeper Tim Paine to lead the last day while Australia capitulated to a loss.

Why were they on the field at all after the incident? They should have conceded or played with 8 - minus Bancroft, Smith and Warner. If I was the coach of the team I would have instantly conceded. But here we have a coach who appears complicit. Maybe the referee should have done it then. Awarded the game to the opposition - Australia has already conceded the game by its actions. The individual punishments could come later. One match - what a laugh. He should have been banned for a year. What happens to a leader of a company or a country who admits to cheating after he is caught?

What would hold good in a school game will hold good in an international game. It's time everyone in the game woke up. Make decisions that are not weighed by commercial gains or losses because in the longer term your losses will be much bigger than what you save now. Act right, act swiftly and strongly and show that there is no place for cheats and dishonesty at this level.

It's a label that Steve Smith and his team has to carry for life. Not just his team but Cricket Australia will have to take a hard look at how it has built this culture. What signals is it sending down and to others. I have always found that the Aussie team has consistently flouted the spirit of the game. On top of flouting the spirit with sledging and aggressive behavior, they crib like babies when confronted with oppositions who do not back off. If ever there was an shred of respect for Australian cricket, it is all gone now. And they have themselves to blame for letting it slip to this stage and for entrusting their leadership to people with such dubious characters.

If I were an IPL franchisee, I would think twice about carrying such players on my team. No one has spoken about it yet. I am surprised. And in one way, not surprised also.

But then we are all led by midgets it appears. And not just in cricket. In the corporate world, in politics  - so why not in sport. It's the leadership everywhere and the they encourage which is what brings such behavior on.  

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