Vantage point

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Laws ain't for Oz

I do not agree with many draconian laws of the ICC. But if the laws are there, they should be uniformly applied. If members of one particular team are consistently seen breaking these laws, and get away with it, while others are pulled up, then it smells of fish.

One law.... which I repeat, I do not agree with, counts the following as level 2 offences -

2.2 Showing serious dissent at an umpire's decision by action or verbal abuse

2.4 Public criticism of, or inappropriate comment on a match related incident or match official

The penalties for a level 2 offence could result in forefeiture of match fees or a 1 test-ban.

Now read the following things Shane Warne said to the media about his incident with Aleem Dar yesterday -

On the leg-side wides
I was trying to bowl a slow top-spinner down the leg side so [Jacob Oram] could top-edge a sweep. The umpire [Aleem Dar] said it was negative bowling so he wided me. I thought the first one was a bit wide, but the second I didn't think was a wide. I just asked him if it was negative, and he said you worry about your job and I'll worry about mine. I said fine, no problem.

On his comments being heard on radio
I also asked that if he was going to look at the laws he might want to check the lbw rule. He might have missed one or two over the years.

Now if this does not fall under 2.4, then I don't know what does.

But here we are, 36 hours after the incident, and no word about Warne being pulled up for this level 2 offence.

Meanwhile Ganguly was unfairly handed a ban by the ICC Match referee.

The issue here isn't whether Warne was bowling a negative line or whether Ganguly delayed the match.

On one hand, you have Ganguly's case where there are a lot of factors that might have caused the innings to be extended. The dew factor, the injury to Saleem Butt, the coming and going to runners. With all these factors, is it fair to blame Ganguly alone? Might not he deserve some benefit of the doubt?

On the other hand you have Warne, where there is a clear cut case against him. If insinuating that an ICC umpire does not know LBW rules is not an "inappropriate comment", then what is?

But then, the Aussies are above the law, innit?