Vantage point

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dirty Australians: The Next Generation

Australian sleazy tactics on field, and their double standards about anything done on the pitch, is legendary. Be it sledging, but being unable to take it, or obstructing the runner, but being unable to be on the receiving end of it, or in general, exacerbating any situation on the field. What makes this dirty behavior even more disgusting is, when the Aussies are tussling against non-white opponents, the usually-white match referees in such situation always rap Aussie on the knuckles lightly, while come down heavily against the opponents. The Aussie commentators are also hopelessly partisan. Happened with Harbhajan and monkey-gate. And it has happened again with the Benn-Johnson-Haddin incident.

Here's the video -

The initial contact between Benn and Johnson seemed accidental, and of the sort that always happens on the cricket field. Bowler's going for the ball, batsman's running. No big deal. Here Haddin, who wasn't even involved in it, yelled at Benn and pointed his bat at him very aggressively, as if it was all Benn's fault. WTF?? Obviously, Benn wasn't happy and gave him and earful, asking him not to point his bat at him.

A couple of balls later, Haddin drove the ball straight back to Benn who made as if to throw down the stumps even though Haddin was in his crease. Anyone who watches cricket knows that the dirty Aussie bowlers do exactly this more often than they have hot meals. Yet, Benn doing this somehow seemed to annoy Haddin (perhaps because Benn isn't white?). Even though Benn was walking away after that, Haddin called him back, and started saying something. Very obviously, not a christmas dinner invitation. Benn responds, pointing his hand. At this point, Johnson does a very dirty and sneaky thing. And watching the video, it is obvious he did it deliberately but made it seem accidental. He walks sideways into Benn, his shoulder crashing against Benn's outstretched arm. Makes it seem as if Benn physically attacked him or harmed him. And that's the image splashed in the media next day - of Benn's arm hitting Johnson's shoulder. A very sleazy kids-playground-level trick pulled by Johnson.

And of course, it worked. Enter match referee Chris Broad. White. Suleiman Benn has been suspended for 2 ODIs. Haddin and Johnson have been fined 25% and 10% of their match fees. The two guys who started this whole thing, turned an accidental collision into an incident, get off lightly. And these are 2 younger players. Aussies have been dirty, sleazy and underhanded from the time of the Chappells, Lillee, down to Slater, McGrath and Symonds. Now Haddin and Johnson show that the next generation, while possessing less than half the talent, seems four times as dirty.

And as long as the match referees continue to coddle Australians and punish the non-white folks who dare to forget their place and stand up to the white man, this dirtiness will continue, with new incidents every year.