Cricket: The Gentleman’s Game played by not so Gentle Men

Image from: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Cricket/Chapter_4
Image from: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Cricket/Chapter_4

So many of you may have heard the saying, ” Football is the gentleman’s game played by hooligans while rugby is the hooligan’s game played by gentleman.”. So where does that leave cricket? A gentleman’s game played by gentleman…or is it really?

Cricket is a game, which has been around for hundreds of years and is considered to be one of the most gentleman like sport that has ever been played. Nowadays, one cannot be too sure about that, as many of the world’s leading cricketers are ‘not playing with a straight bat‘.

What brought my attention to this topic was an incident between the West Indian batsman, Marlon Samuels, and the Australian spin ace, Shane Warne, which had occurred earlier this year on 6 January.

The two well regarded cricketers had an on field clash during an Australian domestic T20 Big Bash game between the Melbourne Stars and the Melbourne Renegades at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, in which the two exchanged some harsh words. Eventually it lead to Samuels throwing his bat at Warne, after the Stars spinner deliberately hit the batsmen with the ball.

Samuels was fortunate to escape punishment, as the tribunal concluded that his reaction was due to provocation by the Stars skipper, who had to pay a fine of $4500 and serve a one match suspension.

Watch the video below to see the incident:

Another controversial figure in the game is none other than the New Zealand batsman, Jessie Ryder. When one hears that name, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘bad boy’.

He has been involved in many nights of heavy boozing and run-ins with the law. The 28-year old cricketer’s most infamous incident would probably be in 2008 when he cut his hand trying to break into a toilet at a bar in Christchurch at 5:30am. This was after New Zealand had won a one-day series against England. It had later been revealed, during that same series, Ryder had been out boozing until 1:30am before the fifth One Day International against England.

The controversial Ryder is currently not in the New Zealand National cricket squad, due to a few other incidents where he was caught ‘outside of his crease’ succeeding the 2008 England tour of New Zealand.

Jesse Ryder after cutting his hand during drunken night out.Image from:http://www.ecb.co.uk/news/world/ryder-dropped-for-drinking,303748,EN.html
Jesse Ryder after cutting his hand during drunken night out.
Image from:http://www.ecb.co.uk/news/world/ryder-dropped-for-drinking,303748,EN.html

These are just a few of the cricketers who are ‘bowling no-balls’, but is it fair to these sportsman if we condone this kind of behaviour in football, rugby and in any other kind of sport, but not in cricket? Well, I would say, cricket may not appear to be a gentleman’s game anymore, but these incidents surely make the game that much more exciting.

References:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/cricket/790616/Jesse-Ryder-at-the-crossroads

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/cricket/cameron-white-responds-to-marlon-samuels-claims/story-e6frfg8o-1226558947040

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