Saturday, January 27, 2007

Was Herschelle Gibbs Unfairly Banned? states a definition of "racism" as being "discrimination or prejudice based on race." Do you know what Herschelle Gibbs actually mouthed that fateful day? Probably not.

Herschelle Gibbs', supposedly racist, remarks were uttered using the following string of words:
"f***ing bunch of f***ing animals"
and that Pakistani supporters should also:
"f**k off back to the zoo"

Let me also remind you that the Pakistani supporters in question were the same fools that were hurling missiles, of both the physical and verbal variety, at Gibbs' team mates who were stationed on the boundary.

Given this context, I cannot find too much fault with a man for affording the "animal" label to nincompoops who have broken through the bottom of the barrel - leave alone merely scraping it. To be brutally honest, I would be disgusted if a player did not offer a similar reaction if he had witnessed his team mate being abused in a similar manner.

Secondly, I fail to understand which part of Gibbs' comments refer to the race/colour/religious beliefs of the offending party. In this situation, how and why has he been banned under ICC regulations that are designed to punish cricketers for race-related offences?

My previous article will testify to the truth that I dislike Herschelle Gibbs for his earlier misdemeanors. However, looking at this episode from an objective and impartial angle I cannot, for the life of me, understand why his comments have ignited such heated debate, fuelled such impassioned ridicule and cost him his place in the South African team for two international matches, plus a Twenty20 International.

Does anybody have any faith left in cricket administrators after this episode and the sham that was the Pakistani drug taking investigation and trials? I certainly will not be holding my breath for any semblance of logic in forthcoming announcements.

Continued >> >>

Is Nathan Astle Great?

First and foremost allow me, on behalf of X and I, to thank Nathan Astle for a the number of times he has treated us to his bludgeoning brilliance. In the same mould as Sanath Jaysuriya, he had the uncanny ability to spank a cricket ball in a direction and at a speed that most would think impossible, given his slight frame and often ungainly technique.

However, with Astle's retirement arisen has the question of who should be considered a great player?

Current New Zealand coach John Bracewell proffered:
"Statistically his record puts him into the position of greatness."

Mr Bracewell, I disagree. Astle's record of 7090 ODI runs at 34.92 and 4702 Test runs at 37.02 do not seem to me to be the statistics of a "great" player.

Although I agree that statistics alone are not the judge of greatness, I do not believe that Nathan Astle was a great player. He was a committed, talented and diligent servant of the game in his country. He enjoyed moderate success at the levels of his chosen sport, but could not be considered a world-beater.

Sir Richard Hadlee was a great New Zealand player. Martin Crowe was a great New Zealand batsman. By all accounts, Nathan Astle is a great team man, but he is definitely not a cricketing great.

This sport would be much better off if supposedly knowledgeable people, such as John Bracewell, did not embarrass the legends of the game by associating them with good players who did all they could to make the most of their limited talent.

Having said all this, Nath - your batting will be missed.

Continued >> >>
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