India didn’t waste any time in pulling its trump card, suspending their tour of Australia pending the outcome of Harbhjan Singh’s appeal against a three match ban for racial vilification.

Gideon Haigh sums up the situation:

We’re just getting used to the idea of the statutes where a captain has the opportunity to report an opposition player and I don’t think it’s going to work, because I think it opens the game to the potential for these kind of tit for tat, he-said she-said kind of accusations and it’s just going to make the game ungovernable.

Indian captain, Anil Kumble, said: “Only one team was playing within the spirit of the game, that’s all I can say.”

The aggression with which Australia pursued the win in the final hour of the game, incessantly appealing for dismissals that weren’t there left this cricket optimist a little deflated after securing the win.

Meanwhile, Ricky Ponting remains deliberately ignorant: “There’s been one little issue that’s come out of the game. Otherwise, the spirit between both teams in both Tests has been excellent.”

Did you not hear what Anil said, Ricky?

I’m certain India will play the Perth test match, and optmistic raw-boned Australian quick Shaun Tait will be there to greet them.


Today’s Top 10 articles on The Age list four out of ten related to cricket, right next to Why 10 is too young for your first Brazilian.

Who or what is Greg Matthews?: “This ain’t groovy, guys”.

What is this verbal agreement they speak of?

Ponting ‘must be sacked’, according to Peter Roebuck:

The notion that Ponting can hereafter take the Australian team to India is preposterous. He has shown not the slightest interest in the wellbeing of the game, not the slightest sign of diplomatic skill, not a single mark of respect for his accomplished and widely admired opponents.

Ricky Ponting gave what seems like his final opinion in The Australian: “It’s my job as captain to make sure everyone stays within those boundaries and I am satisfied we have, not only in this Test and series but in recent years.”

Gideon Haigh lends his intelligence to the discussion of racism:

Racism is serious. Racism is about the denial of another person’s essential humanity on the basis of their skin and their culture. Racism is about embedded prejudices, institutionalised discrimination, real economic and social deprivation… To say, then, that one cricketer calling another a monkey on a cricket field is racism is to define the idea frivolously. Was Symonds belittled? Was he hurt? Was he disadvantaged?

Mike Coward explains why Anil Kumble thought “Only one team [was] playing in the spirit of the game”: “Historians and social anthropologists will also have a field day, for this debate extends well beyond the realm of sport.”

At last count, 75% of those polled think the Australian cricketers are bad sports.

Will the tour go on? Two words: Television rights.