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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Australia vs India Third Test: The Focus is Now on Cricket

A lot have been written on the controversial Sydney test over the last one week. There were matters, both on and off the field, which kept the focus of media out of cricket. Well, with India dropping their charge against Brad Hogg, ICC’s appointment of two new umpires replacing Bucknor and Benson, and ICC allowing Harbhajan Singh pending his appeal against three-est ban, the situation has come under control.

Australian vs India third test is going to be started within few hours. India is now down 0-2 in the series and they have no option expect win in the last two tests. Now, ahead of the Perth test, it seems that focus has come to cricket and players are expected to be in right spirit this time around.

BBC reported:

After gathering again in Perth, the players had a "get-everything-out-in-the-open" meeting, said Ponting, and vowed to brush up on any areas where they thought their behaviour was below par.

More than anything else, they were just looking forward to retaking the field.

India has to win both the test remaining in the four match test series. Australian vs India Perth test is now the center of whole cricket world. No body wants to see any more humiliating controversies on the cricket field. Rather, it has been a common expectation of all to have an exciting match in Perth.

1 comment:

  1. A fair resolution: 1) declare the second test between Australia and India played at Sydney during January 2 – 6, 2008 to be NULL and VOID on legal grounds, 2) cancel the ban on Harbhajan Singh, but punish him along with Andrew Symonds, Michael Clark and Brad Hogg for conduct unbecoming of players of test cricket, and of representatives of their countries.

    Explanation: The umpires officiating for the test match (Mark Benson and Steve Bucknor) and the captains (Ricky Ponting and Anil Kumble) of the two playing sides have some legal grounds to enter into an oral agreement about umpiring decisions that AUGMENTS the ICC rules which provide for the umpires’ current decision making capabilities. However, under no circumstances do they have the jurisdiction to enter into an agreement between themselves that SUBVERTS the current rules of the ICC. To make this point clear, consider the incident involving Saurav Ganguly’s dismissal in his second innings. Ganguly (a left-hander) had nicked a ball, and the ball was supposedly caught by Michael Clarke in the slip position. Under normal circumstances, if the fielder (Clarke) was not in the direct line of sight of the umpire (Benson), or if the umpire was not sure if the catch was clean, he would consult the square leg umpire (Bucknor). If the square leg umpire also could not deliver a clear verdict, then the third umpire, who has the benefit of the TV replays, is referred to. This is the procedure for determining the dismissal of the batsman, as provided by the rules of the ICC.

    Now, there is definitely the possibility that, when the third umpire is called in, the TV replays also could not determine the verdict clearly. This might be the case, for example, if the TV cameras could not provide the complete information on the position and the movement of the ball and the fielder during the catch. Currently, in international cricket, the batsman is usually given the benefit of the doubt, if the third umpire also could not reach a clear verdict. In this second test match, if the captains and the umpires, in this particular situation (where the third umpire is inconclusive), had agreed that to resolve the ambiguity in a more transparent manner, they would take the word of the fielder who caught the ball (to be conveyed to the umpires through the captain of the fielding side), then they are on a relatively strong legal ground. However, in the case of Ganguly’s dismissal, the umpire, Benson, decided to directly ask the captain of the fielding side, rather than first ask the square leg umpire and the third umpire. Thus his action amounts to subverting the decision process provided by the ICC rules. At this point, perhaps it is worth interjecting that there is no need to ascribe any sinister motives to the umpire. He must have simply gone by the earlier ‘Gentlemen’s agreement’, and possibly, he might not have understood the legal implications of his actions. Also, it is worth explaining the seriousness of this issue with an example here. In a game of cricket, if the umpires and the captains, on their own, could make agreements that subvert the ICC rules, then there is no guarantee that what is played at the venue is cricket. Just imagine, years later, the record books would specify a certain result, but what happened on the field, might be a game of gilli-danda, or football, for that matter! Thus it is very important to understand that the umpires and captains can only augment the decision making procedure provided by the ICC rules for the purpose of transparency, but they can never subvert the ICC rules. If they do, it could not be considered a game of cricket. Thus, the second test match between Australia and India played at Sydney, Australia during January 2 – 6, 2008 is NULL and VOID on legal grounds.

    Note that this legal implication is also a happy consequence for all fair-minded followers of the game. Australia would still have the chance to go for their 17 straight test wins if they won the remaining test matches at Perth and Adelaide. Moreover, this would nullify the accusations of cheating that the Australian team has been hearing from many of their own countrymen. On the other hand, for India, they could still win the Border-Gavaskar trophy if they won the remaining two tests. Moreover, for Cricket Australia, BCCI, ICC and the media, the fact that the series is still undecided and kicking, would mean more revenue, and hence a welcome resolution. Thus this is the best outcomes for all parties involved.

    (The grounds for my conclusions on the Harbhajan Singh ban, and punishing Singh, Symonds, Clarke, and Hogg will be explained later, in a subsequent article).

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