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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Deja vu

"Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone."

Maybe it would do a bit of good for the Ricky Ponting led Australian cricket team to go meet a priest.

Apparently some repairs were made to the pitch by the hosting South Africans as seen from this AFP report.
Matthew Hayden, Australia's opening batsman, hit out on Monday at repairs which were made to the Kingsmead pitch before the fourth day's play. Hayden says, "A hole on one end has been mudded together to stop the cracks and at the other end there was a huge hole last night and it's been repaired. "
He continues, "It's very embarrassing. In Test cricket the rules are very plain. You can't touch any of the playing surface."
With the Australians pressing for a win, the possibility of Shane Warne being able to exploit any assistance from the pitch was a factor in their complaint. "It may have come into play, it may not have," said Hayden. "But it's the principle. You never compromise those rules. It's very disappointing."
Noble and sportsmanlike as Hayden's words may seem, history has a way of repeating itself. Let us rewind to India's tour of Australia 2003 for the last day of the Melbourne test. On the fifth day, the pitch
curator replaced a lump of soil the size of two fifty cent pieces, on a spot which was a good length for the left-arm pace bowler to bowl to a left-handed batsman. At the request of the match referee, the patches were removed from the pitch.

Here's a sampling of comments from different people.

Steve Waugh (Australian captain): "An honest mistake".

Mike Procter (Match referee): "There was nothing malicious about it."

Saurav Ganguly (Indian captain): "You know what's happened, you know whether it's right or wrong."

I guess, when it's done in Australia it's harmless, while elsewhere it's against the rules.


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