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Australia Caught Cheating...Again

Another year, another series and another controversy. What is it with Australian cricket that for all its vows to play hard but fair, the "fair" part of the bargain is always first to be ditched in a tough tussle?

12 months ago it was erstwhile captain Ricky Ponting claiming a catch after he had quite clearly grounded the ball (see video below) and then teaching a rookie international umpire how to raise his finger after another "catch" off a bumped ball.

In 2008 the popular defence was that Team India had lost the match and were carrying on like sore losers - as they always do when they lost a match. They're rich, spoilt, whinge all the time and should not be taken seriously.

12 months on, Daniel Vettori quite rightly airs his views on a blatant incidence of cheating (see video below) and the perpetrator, backed by his erstwhile captain, has the audacity to proffer that Vettori should have spoken to him privately instead of going to the media. Huh?

Where were such noble thoughts when Ponting deemed it fit to report Harbhajan Singh for acting like a monkey, after quite obviously deigning himself far too important to consult his Indian counterpart?

I could wax lyrical about the need for Brad Haddin to be banned for his ill-deeds, for Ponting to be sacked and for Australian cricket to take a long hard look at its culture. All these recommendations are valid and necessary.

However, the more disturbing trend that has been exposed is the absence of any semblance of introspection, repentance and at times respect for for the game or the warriors in the opposing rooms.

Everyone makes mistakes. For all of Haddin and Ponting's self-belief and determination, even they are mere mortals. It is a quality of fine gentlemen that they admit their mistakes, right the wrong with at least an apology and ensure that such indiscretions are not repeated. Lambasting the victim is a trait of unworthy and characterless simpletons.

By sitting idle, aloof and in support of a clearly compromised Ponting, Cricket Australia is condoning a culture that will only bring future scorn and ridicule. The time to act still has not passed. Whether the will to act is even present is an unforgivable and shamefully debatable at this moment in time.

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