In that I love the sport, but hate just about everyone else who follows it.
This week Australia defeated India by nearly 200 runs in the second Test Match of the Series, sealing their overall victory and equaling the record for most Test Matches won consecutively. The victory looked entirely impossible until the last over of play, where Michael Clarke, a part-time left-orthodox spinner who spends most of his time as Lara Bingle's sex-toy, bowled three wickets for zero runs, only just missing out on a hat-trick. It's hard to cut that so it sounds bad as far as I'm concerned, but the media are doing a good job to try and guilt us into hating our team as they do all the fucking time.
The first matter is that the media is constantly telling us that our team is completely evil by suffocating the great game. Yes, our team is 'too good' for the rest of the world to have a chance, and all other countries are going to cry like toddlers with sprained ankles before taking their bat and going home, never to play with Australia.
The second matter is Anil Kumble, a solid spinner and India's captain, who has actually gone and done just that. Shortly after the match he seems to be attempting to quit the entire series, get the umpires sacked, and what's more, stating that our team is unsportsmanlike.
Let me repeat that: the guy who has taken umbrage with all umpirial decisions, who clearly ordered his team to make the over-rate as slow as possible on the final day to give Australian bowlers less oppurtunity to take their wickets, and is now flying in the face of his own countries cricket board to try and NOT continue the tour, is the one who IS sportsmanlike. What have we done?
According to some guy who looked like Professor Adrian Franklin (fromCollectors)'s younger, whinier, more-beat-up-at-school brother on last night's 7:30 Report, we are responsible for using 'tough standover tactics' by following the standard rules of cricket and reporting an unethical insult to the Umpires. Yes, following the rulebook word for word is NOT in the best interests of the game now.
To digress from the main body of my rant, the unethical insult was calling Andrew Symonds, the only black player on our side, a 'monkey'. Even if Harbhajan Singh genuinely meant it as a term of affection, as claimed by the slightly-mad Hascha Bogley, (REEEALLY likely. Ha fucking ha) he could not possibly be ignorant after Symonds was called a monkey by the crowds playing at India, and made headlines with his disgust at their behaviour. Hence, Harbhajan was an idiot and has been suspended for it - that's the way the game works. The Indians are clearly blessed with short memories, otherwise they would remember that Shane Warne, reckoned by everyone to be one of the greatest players ever, was banned for a year after taking a diet pill. Puts things into perspective, don't it me old china?
The main issue, though, is Ponting not giving India a chance to win (ie, doing his job) as if Kumble would have had any mercy at all in that position, and the idea that our side claimed non-existant wickets with Gilchrist shouting for appeal off a ball that came of Dravid's pads rather than his bat. The only conclusion any commentator can come up with from this is 'Gilchrist is an entirely amoral fuck'. Having seen several balls that would have been called wickets if Gilly DID raise in appeal but did not, and knowing that Gilly is famous for 'walking' when he knows he's out rather than waiting for the umpire my conclusion is different - he made a mistake.
It's very easy for cricket writers/ commentators to say that he had to know, as they're safe and sound in their test-white ivory towers, seeing nothing of the game but the TV footage, distilled from a camera at every angle slowed down showing every tiny detail. For Gilchrist, focusing on catching a slow ball still travelling at 96 kph, he wouldn't necessarily have made out what happened - especially since Dravid was holding his bat directly behind his pad.
There's some similar bullshit about Michael Clarke and various LB decisions, but I remembered what blog I'm on so forget about it. Suffice it to say I hate pretty much everyone in the media right now and the Indians should just get the fuck over themselves and play the sport.
And sorry for writing an entire post about cricket AGAIN but this shit has been getting ridiculous.