An interesting point was opined in the aftermath of the previous post and this post more or less elucidates my stand on the issues raised over there. In simpler words, this post should ideally have been nothing more than a comment.
Believe it or not, i saw the push on Sharad Pawar coming and (brace yourselves), i felt that it was vindicated or shall we mildly say not that uncalled for. The Aussies high on Foster’s and what not could hardly wait to get their hands upon the trophy. Fair enough but what was Mr.Pawar doing ? He was flashing a stupid grin to all the countless Indian media whilst holding the trophy in his own hands even though Ponting’s men were waiting right behind him on the dais. The time which he took to let go off the trophy was ridiculously too long and as such forced Ponting to firstly remind him that it was okay to let go and secondly invited Martyn to render a reminder that he wasn’t the President of Cricket Australia to be presented in the team photograph. I have no doubt whatsoever that any other team (barring India) would have nudged Pawar in the same manner under those circumstances. I ain’t justifying the Aussies just for the heck of it, why would i huh , i truly felt that Pawar held on for ages.
I personally felt that the nudge/shove was nothing but a natural impulse reaction (a bit too physical i will concede) . Now most of you might feel that it was brutish, culture less, tradition less, disrespectful and many other such adjectives reserved for non-Indians and Indians gone wrong but have you ever looked at the complete footage? The media played it’s part in not helping the matters by only showing the headline grabbing moment. Before you unleash a cry of war, i suggest you watch the whole ceremony instead of the news segment/ newspaper picture. I do concur that Pawar felt hurt and humiliated but it was his own making in ways more than one.
Assuming that the Australian papers support their team unconditionally ain’t true (Vinay). The following is an excerpt from the Sydney Morning Herald:-
The rudeness began in Mumbai last week during the presentation of the Champions Trophy, which the Australians had won for the first time. The portly and dignified Pawar, 68, was supposed to be on stage to hand over the cup to Australian captain Ponting. The rest of the team weren’t meant to be on the dais.
Egged on by Martin and the rest of the jostling, grinning boyos at the back of the stage, Ponting begins his discourtesy during what probably were interminable speeches by the Indian officials. But if you spend half your life standing around in the outfield watching grass grow, your boredom threshold should be pretty high.
Pawar is standing in front of the team on stage, trophy in hand, beaming at the crowd. Behind him the lads are restless, and finally Ponting leans forward, taps Pawar on the shoulder and gestures theatrically with his forefinger as if to say, “Hurry up and hand over the trophy, old man” .
A much more definitive example which could have been quoted to illustrate the Aussies affinity towards being packed without even a minuscule pinch of respect is the reaction of the then young Ponting when struck by a Javagal Srinath bouncer during the ’99 series down under. Srinath, in that case,immediately went down to apologise to the embattled batsman but what did Ponting do, he made it a point to offend Srinath through every possible scathing verbal volleys deliverable as an acknowledgement of the good natured apology. The Aussies’ past is needless to say chequered with many such incidents and are without any doubt the most notorious when it comes to behaviour but billing every action of theirs as intentionally malicious ain’t prudent.
Moving on to the other issues raised, i never felt that nationalist passion has got anything to do with supporting a sports team. I cheer for South Africa every time they play (even against India) and i don’t feel a slightest twinge of guilt or national pride fu*ing with me (phrase borrowed, Marcellus Wallace from Pulp Fiction). I do realise that by writing such posts, i am just a sitting duck hapless in the face of the flak you got but hey, the only disease i suffer from (no matter how amusing names you give them) is Honesty (this is where you should feign a cough 😀 )
p.s:- Most of the references come from the comments to the previous post