‘Bangladesh U-19 team behavior after beating India in World Cup final was horrible’ said a newspaper headline. Definitely the winning team was ecstatic and was unable to handle success,
That ‘first time winning made them over react’ logic can not excuse them from being criticized and penalized,
Whatever ! The issue is bigger and not just restricted to Bangladesh or current era. There have been incidences when a captain of West Indies had ordered intimidating batsmen and aiming the balls at their bodies in 1976 series in West Indies after WI lost a Test match at Trinidad against minnows India, West Indies bowlers led by Holding bowled lethal bouncers aimed at body . 5 Indian batsmen were injured and captain Bishan Bedi had to declare inning with just 5 wickets down to save the Indian spinners from getting injured. Anshuman Gaikwad was hit umpteen times on body and had to retire hurt with his ear bleeding and no doctor was made available to him . So much so that an Indian doctor who was watching the game from stadium had to attend to Anshuman and ensured player was hospitalized, Anshuman has lost his hearing ability partially after that.
The famous body-line series was first such series where inhuman methods were used . It was way back in 1932-33 when cricket was called gentleman’s game.
English Captain Jardine used bodyline tactics to defeat Australia 4-1. Larwwood used beamers to unsettle Australia and Don Bradman . He was largely successful.
Our own Nari Contractor was hit on head by a ball from Griffith who used to chuck . West Indian Captain had advised Indian batsmen to get out rather than getting injured. Griffith was ruthless and once he had injured 18-year-old batsman who was hit on head by Griffith but bowler didn’t bother to apologies also.
There were many incidences of misbehavior by players with umpires, players with opposition, players with politician/ ICC official (Video of Aussies insulting Indian Politician who was ICC head at that time during prize distribution was viral recently).
I had been witnessed to one such incidence at a local cricket tournament where one of the current Indian upcoming star was literally abusing umpire for giving wrong decision and umpire was helplessly watching with no support from anyone.
These things have been happening in our country as well , at local cricket, club cricket, school cricket, college cricket, corporate cricket.
There were stories that big players who played Test or International cricket never accepted LBW decisions of umpires in local corporate cricket tournaments and continued to bat without bothering to look at umpire. Dadagiri , on field fights are everywhere at all levels. Big star players are generally not given out in local matches. Umpire could only give them out at the cost of their umpiring career.
The aggression is mushrooming and is contagious at every level of cricket. Sunny Gavaskar wanted to take back entire Indian team to pavilion after being given out in Australia. Javed Miandad had raised a bat to hit Dennis Lillie in a Test match in Australia. John Snow had deliberately collided with our own little master Sunny in a Test Match in England and was punished with 2 Test ban.
So let us not just blame Bangla Boys for their unruly aggression after U-19 World Cup win. ICC can just warn them. The over exciting and over reacting style is here to stay. The competition , the money , the politics in sports creates ideal breeding ground for such behavior.
Williamson and his team could be the last species reminding us that cricket is a gentleman’s game.
This gentleman’s breed is getting extincted fast. The climate change has happened , global warming is on the rise and the pollution can only be controlled or contained .
By Aju Deshpande
A Sportsnasha Exclusive
Feature image- by Prakash Parsekar