>I’m sure everyone from the BCCI to the bhajiwala is relieved that the racial abuse charge brought against Harbhajan Singh by Andrew Symonds has been dropped. By now every Indian, cricket-crazy or otherwise, knows the whole story. To put it in a nutshell, Symonds accused Singh of using the word ‘Monkey’ which, according to Symonds is a racist term, given his African origins. Fair enough. Singh was punished, there was a hearing and finally, it’s been established that Singh did not use a racially abusive term. However he has confessed to using abusive language and has been punished accordingly.
What I don’t get is why the Aussies who’re past masters at sledging are suddenly being so sanctimonious? Racism is unacceptable of course, but what about the boorish behaviour of the Australian team itself? They claim that vile comments regarding the opposing team’s parentage and sexuality are legitimate and above board and that it is all a part of the ‘mental toughness’ required for the game. So while it’s not OK to racially abuse someone, other kinds of vulgar abuse are just a sign of ‘competitiveness’. This smacks of hypocrisy.
So the question is – Has Bhajji been vindicated? Of course not! Unacceptable behaviour is unacceptable behaviour and it has to be punished. But that the Australians are occupying the moral high ground on this one and are deciding who needs to be punished seems patently unfair. Even more so, since Kumble dropped charges against Hogg as a goodwill gesture, but Bhajji has still been punished. Talk about common courtesy!
This is not a racism vs. sledging case. It’s a straight issue of bad sportsmanship. And all sides need to be punished if they don’t stick to the straight and narrow path.
The Aussies need to learn that if they want to dish it, they have to learn to take it as well. They can’t go running to the umpires every time it looks like someone is giving them a taste of their own medicine.