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Sweet Justice

Woke up this morning to news that Australian Captain Ricky Ponting had been fined, wait for it, all (yes, ALL) his match fee for showing dissent at an umpire’s decision, during the first match of the Malaysian tri-series featuring Australia, India and Lara.

I heartily applaud Chris Broad’s decision, although it was a blatant, unfounded and unnecessary act that deserved no less. Australian players and especially the most recent permanent Captains (Waugh and Ponting) have always seemed to escape appropriate penalties, even when visibly remonstrating against an umpire’s decision. No other captain from any other nation has been on the receiving end of such leniency. Just ask Sourav Ganguly.

Steve Waugh was guilty of proliferating bad behaviour by failing to exercise greater control over his team, on the pretence of engaging in “mental disintegration”. Whereas, it seems Ponting is hell-bent on verifying his leadership qualities by aggressively venting at every umpiring decision that he or one of his charges have an issue with.

During Waugh’s reign, he built an aura around himself that even the game’s administrators seemed to subscribe to. This merely served to embolden the will of certain members of Waugh’s team (read Glen McGrath, but that is another topic). The ICC’s Match Referees seem to have finally awoken from their slumber and are more agreeable to booking Australian players for palpable breaches of the Code. Let us all pray that this new resolve to dispense due justice continues and is applied fairly and uniformly.

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