Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Are Australians Sore Losers?

There were thousands of different news articles touching on thousands more topics at the end of the last Ashes series. One that did catch my attention was a Ricky Ponting's complaint about the umpiring during the series. Ponting reserved his views on why the series was lost for his Ashes diary (read commercial publication), in which he apportioned all blame to one man and one ball.

According to Ponting, one ball during the second test match was all it took to bring down the mighty Australians. It was bowled by Brett Lee (sure, he's a decent bowler) to the one of the best batsmen in the English line-up, errr, Simon Jones. Billy Bowden's decision to award the batsmen the benefit of the doubt on that occasion earned him Ponting's ire and the infamous tag of the man who lost Australia The Ashes.

That Ponting is a hot-headed clod is of not news to us here at The Match Referee (TMR). However, we are quite disappointed that the usually irreverent and colourful Billy Bowden has chosen to shut up shop (so to speak) due to Ricky Ponting's ludicrous comments. For Ponting to blame the loss of a series on one ball and one man, that too an umpire, shows his lack of cricketing intellect. Maybe that is why he is such a poor captain.

Supporters of teams touring the Antipodean isles over the last 15-20 years have become accustomed to having to endure many an unpleasant and incorrect decision against their team. Although the Australians have generally been a class above the rest during this time, I am convinced that their superiority at home owes no small gratitude to those umpires (Australian or otherwise) who have generously helped their cause time and time again.

Visiting team and their supporters have been labeled sore losers for complaining about umpiring decisions, no matter how advantageous they may have been to the Australians during the course of a series (one Michael Holding article a few years ago comes to mind). I ask you this, have comments, like Ponting's above, led you to believe that Australian cricketers are a pack of wingeing brats/sore losers or is it a classic case of the winning side making its own luck while the losing side cries foul play?

I have my thoughts on the issue, however, I would like to know what you think.

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