19 September 2014

Gale harshly treated

There was all that stuff written about how Andrew Gale wasn't allowed to lift the County Championship trophy because of his various disciplinary issues, so I assumed he'd done something serious and didn't really think more about it.   It turns out his exchange with Ashwell Prince was as follows (as reported by The Telegraph):

Gale moved himself in the field in an attempt to squeeze in one further over. He moved closer to Prince who is alleged to have told him to “f*** off back to cover point.” Gale responded by saying “Well you can f*** off back to your own country you Kolpak f*****.
Calling someone a Kolpak is not racist.   It's just not, no matter how some over paid lawyer may argue it.   If as an Englishman I was called a f****** pommie bastard, I wouldn't consider it rude in any way....it's a statement of fact that I'm a pom.   It's a slang description rather than an insult and if I played cricket in Australia I would expect a bit of "f*** o** back to England" type conversations.   Ashwell Prince is indeed a Kolpak as he's South African and represented South Africa in 66 Test matches.

Apparently the umpires reported the "incident" which makes me assume it was the worst thing said in the whole game (which would seem incredibly unlikely).   I'm all for umpires cracking down on sledging if they want to but at the time on the pitch and on all abusive sledging, not just arbitrary interjections/reports.

Once again though, by getting into the slanging match, Gale made it less likely he'd get the wicket he was looking for.   As I've discussed before about sledging, why say things that will make the batsman all the more determined not to get out?

I'm never surprised by strange legal rulings because they happen so regularly, but I hope that this isn't one of them and Gale is cleared of using racist language.   If he is guilty of using abusive language then of course Prince is too but use of a swear word is not something that can justifiably called abuse unless the cricketing authorities make that clear at the start of the season and are consistent in taking action every single time a swear word is used (which will never happen).

What a sorry end to the season for the ECB.

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