Analysis & Opinion

Roughing Cricket With Sandpaper

Cricket, often called the gentleman’s game, pivots around the battle between bat and ball. Known for instilling patience, resilience and above all sportsman spirit; it has evolved through the years.

A recent incident in Cape Town cricket ground left no stone unturned in tarring the reputation of this fine game. Sandpaper which is widely used for wood finishing and metal roughing, was put to a whole new use by Cameron Bancroft in the third innings of Cape Town test.

Mr. Bancroft thought it was a great idea to rub the ball with sandpaper to roughen up the surface, something that shall aid seamers in reverse swinging the ball. No matter how much cricket faithful love the banana swinging deliveries that rattle the batsmen, using unfair means to achieve that is considered a heinous crime.

No matter what the conditions are, no matter how verbally hostile the crowd is, no matter how intense the game is – nothing merits the usage of unfair means to win a game, that too in a scenario when your team is under the cloud for throwing tantrums. It is against the very fabric of cricket, a sport that embodies sportsman spirit.

Not only did it bring cricket to disrepute, it established the involvement of team in cheating during a high profile game of cricket. The captain, Steve Smith, who is supposed to lead from the front was himself involved in this, alongwith the coach Darren Lehmenn. Adding to misery, David Warner couldn’t keep his emotions in check and went overboard in riling up the opposition with his stingy comments.

These condemnable incidents tore down the values and traditions upheld by cricket since long. The perpetrators of this action should be held accountable and punished strictly to set an example for others.

Written By: Saad Amjad