4 March 2008

Different levels of cheating

Now being serialised in The Times Ed Smith's book 'What Sport teaches us about Life' raises a number of very interesting points.

Today's is about the different levels of cheating and how, whilst laws are changing, conventions change too. Not long ago speeding and drink driving were considered by the public as equally heinous and it was bad luck to be caught doing either - nowadays the drink driver has no sympathy from his peers.

In cricket walking was the norm until fairly recently, but those days are gone and an equivalent to staying put when you know you've nicked it is appealing for catches that the fielder knows has fallen short (we wouldn't do either in proper cricket but we know many pro's do). One seems to be acceptable, the other isn't. So you need to know where the boundaries lie. And of course this relates to what Australians and Indians call each other - different languages and customs have different views of the degree of offensiveness.

Finally Smith makes the point that this has bearing on the Hair / Pakistan incident - 'Hair thought he was dishing out a speeding ticket. Pakistan felt they were in the dock for drink driving.'

My copy of the book is on order from Amazon and you can get your copy by clicking on the link to the right at Cricket Burble.


Ed said...

In terms of what's acceptable for sledging, isn't it a case of anything that could be deemed to be racist, in any culture, is not acceptable? I don't think culture can be used as an excuse, otherwise it will be used every time.

Do you ever appeal when you know it's not really out? I've been guilty of trying to even games up when we've batted first and had a couple of dodgy decisions given against us - when umpires are obviously trigger happy like that I tend to appeal more than I would normally, and have had success in evening out matches with dodgy LBWs that I knew weren't out. The thing is, if the opposition only have to take 8 or 9 "proper" wickets, why should my team have to take 10?

What say you oh wise one?

Mark Davis said...

The answer is to make sure that you always bowl at the end with the most sensible umpire.