Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Brian Lara - a gallant sportsman

Or so he would have us believe. It all started several years ago, on a tour to India, when he was feted far and wide for walking after edging a catch to the keeper. One would have thought at the time that no batsman in the history of the game had walked. With that single action, Lara established himself as the paragon of honesty and virtue in the gentleman's game. Nobody would ever dare question his sportsmanship again.

Which is why we find ourselves where we are today. Virender Sehwag is fined 20% of his match fee for daring to celebrate a wicket without first looking at the umpire. Brian Lara, on the other hand, wags a finger at an umpire, snatches a ball out of his hand, delays a game for 15 minutes with his childish protests, demands that the batsman accept his word over the umpire's, and then concludes it all by having the temerity to question the conduct of everyone else, suggesting that the spirit of the game was endangered by their actions.

He may have scored 375, 400, and 501, performances that can never be detracted from, no matter how benign the opposition or placid the pitches. But no man can be bigger than the game, and apparently this one believes that he is. Whether that is sadder for him, or for the rest of us, I don't know.

1 comment:

worma said...

Difference is Sehwag violated a well defined ICC code (not appealing before celebrating) while Lara didn't. Taufel himself told in an interview next day that after receiving no decision from 3rd ump, the on-field umpires were forced to ask the player's to resolve the issue. Hence the repeated 'discussions' between them. Lara cannot be fined to that, can he? Ofcourse he would ask Dhoni to leave (not 'demand')..that his role in the 'discussion' umpires wanted.

Yes snatching the ball and turning his back on ump maybe signs of frustration, but which ICC code does it fall under? Dissent is actually for disagreeing with umpire's verdict...this wasn't the case. Infact by snatching the ball away from ump, he was asking his players to implement the umpires request of continuing with the game.

Maybe he could have been reprimanded for showing disrespect...but that depends on what Rauf, out there in the middle, felt in that situation. If he didn't feel the disrespect, how can match referee know from all the way up there? And we certainly cant, without the benefit of microfones.

Point being...can't compare Sehwag and Lara's case. There is a separate reason why I believe Sehwag should not be fined, but this comparison is not part of it.