No announcement yet.

white and non-white referee and raj mentality

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    white and non-white referee and raj mentality

    It's time to scrap match referees

    By Rehan Siddiqui

    From the day cricket's ruling body, International Cricket Council (ICC), decided to appoint match referees for Internationals and Test matches to enforce code of conduct, the exercise has done more harm than good for the image of the game owing to the "double-standards" practised specially by the "white" officials. The majority of match referees are "whites" from England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and they invariably get plum and lucrative assignments. And they have different sets of rules for offending "white" and "non-white" nation players which at times tantamount to racism.

    Over the years the record shows that non-white countries players have suffered most at the hands of over zealous "white" match referees for minor indiscretions wherein the "whites" are not penalised for much bigger offences. There have been dozens of instances in recent past, the most blatant one was Australian match referee Barry Jarman's verbal reprimand to England captain, Nasser Hussain, after his outbursts in Rawalpindi one-dayer when adjudged lbw by Pakistani umpire, Mohammad Aslam. Hussain was not only guilty of uttering expletives throughout his long trek to the pavilion, but smashed the dressing room refrigerator as well as damaged some of the furniture.

    I am sure if it were a Pakistani or a non-white player, the upright Aussie arbiter without wasting any time would have suspend him for at least one match. Recently, Zimbabwe's Alistair Campbell was suspended for one match when he showed dissent after West Indian umpire, Steve Bucknor, gave him out lbw which everyone thought was a very poor decision. His crime was definitely much lesser than that of Hussain. He paid the penalty for being a player of a non-white country.

    Earlier this year, New Zealand's John Reid, who is no friend of Pakistan, found Waqar Younis and Azhar Mahmood guilty of tampering with the ball as well, warned Moin Khan for bringing the game bad name after watching a video recording of a one-dayer provided by White South African crew covering Sri Lanka-Pakistan tour.

    The righteous Reid took the decision by himself without consulting the two Sri Lankan umpires who saw nothing wrong with the ball and did not report either Waqar or Azhar disfiguring the ball. Then there was the incident involving former England player, Mike Atherton. The England captain was caught "red handed" with "dirt in his pocket." But neither the match referee deemed it fit to take action against him nor the English cricket bosses. Instead they hushed it up. Atherton's unfair means were described by the "fair" British press as an innocent mistake. No doubt if the same offence was perpetrated by a Pakistani, the British press would have a field day declaring the offending player a cheat and what not.

    Another incident that comes to the mind which definitely had racial connotation written all over it was the fine slapped on Pakistan's Aamir Sohail during the Hobat Test in 1996 series. Sohail was well set and a century was up for grabs when the temperamental lefthander was caught playing a loose stroke. So disgusted was Sohail with himself that in sheer frustration he banged the bat on the ground while trudging back to the dressing room. Later it was found out that the "white" match referee had fined Sohail for showing dissent when the case was totally different.

    Last year during Pakistan's visit to Australia couple of Aussie players, including Ricky Ponting and Glen McGrath, breached the sacred code of conduct, but the match referee saw nothing wrong and did not even deemed fit to have a word with the offending players.

    It was time for the ICC to abolish match referee's position as it is not only an expensive exercise, but has brought the game a bad name besides creating mistrust between whites and non-whites. Instead of match referee, the ICC should give more powers to the umpires in the middle who are better placed to take action against erring players.


    Raj mentality lives on

    By zaheer abbas

    AT the time of writing these lines England is pretty well-placed on the first day of the Lahore Test, with their openers still on the crease. What might happen as the Test progresses and the pitch factor comes into play is anybody's guess, but their painstaking manner of scoring suggests the threat of spin is playing constantly on the English minds and they are trying to pile up some kind of score that may spare them the trouble of playing a dicey second innings, totally regardless of whatever time it may take them to do that in the first outing.

    With the Test still not four hours old at the time of writing, I think I can live without making a prediction. In any case, I have never been interested in the business of forecasting, and even in my active days I believed in giving my best to the moment, instead of trying to forecast what might happen the next day. That was perhaps the reason I never came across any bookmaker all my professional life!

    Back to business, however, ever since the English side has landed on Pakistan soil, much has been written in the media, both national and international, about the fact that the tour had come around after thirteen years. Unproportionately high column space has been wasted reliving the acrimonious episode between Mike Gatting and Shakoor Rana, in an attempt to hype up pre-action passion, which has somewhat become a routine marketing gimmick these days.

    The passion, however, seems to have caught on the English players more than it has been able to catch the fancy of the masses. Captain Nasser Hussain has found it appropriate to keep reminding us all that England is here to play it hard and should not be expected to behave like a team on some sort of peace mission. What made him make a flurry of such statements is beyond me, really. But, as if to underline his captain's misplaced rhetoric, Andy Caddick came up with antics of his own during the side match in Peshawar.

    There is something radically wrong in the manner the English team management has drawn its tour strategy, and the manner in which the visiting English media is reporting the affairs for the consumption of public back home. I have been browsing through a cross-section of English newspapers these days and have found them filled with reports that tell the public the manner in which "cricket is played in this part of the world". Players and the media have been making much noise about the hot weather, the dew factor, the insects and so on, creating images of "harsh conditions".

    More than five decades after the sun finally set on an already crippled and struggling British empire, the Raj mentality seems to be alive and vibrant even though the players forming the current English team were not even born, conceived or planned during the glory days. They have only heard, if at all, about the Gentlemen-versus-Players era. They have never been part of teams that "played the natives". And yet they are behaving as if they are visiting a colony.

    Someone needs to remind them that the days of the Raj have long been over. England is not, I repeat, not a leading force in world cricket. The nation that invented the game is now a little more than a worthless bunch of bits-and-pieces players, dangling more often than not at the bottom of international standings. For their own good, they should behave accordingly.

    There is no specific definition of "harsh conditions". When touring players from around the world face England wearing three, four sweaters, they continue to focus on cricket and not on conditions, which, may I add to the knowledge of the visiting English team, has more to do with geography than anything else. My guess is that the English management is raising the bogey of "harsh conditions" to pacify public sentiment in case they need to do that at the end of the series here.