Kolkata: When it comes to decency, in general, Aussie cricketers are aliens. And Australian skipper Steve Smith lives up to the reputation. In the ongoing Test in Ranchi, Smith crossed all limits by making fun of his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli after the latter’s dismissal today. Smith after taking his catch, put his hand on his shoulder, exactly in the same manner as Kohli did on the first day when he got injured. This gamesmanship is simply not acceptable. If the International Cricket Council (ICC) does not step in, cricketers will soon be seeing coming to blows on the ground. And he is not the only one. Smith’s teammate Glenn Maxwell too tried to impersonate Kohli on the field displaying the latter’s reaction after getting injured.
Yes, there is going to be an atmosphere of tension when the two best teams play against each other. And yes, a little bit of exchange of stares and words is okay too. But that in no way gives you the freedom to mock a player who despite an injury comes out to bat for his country. Cricket has been honoured with the tag of ‘A Gentleman’s game,’ but Smith and his team do enough to denigrate the game. Sad, indeed sad!
It does not matter how great a cricketer you are, Smith. Ultimately it all boils down to your nature as a human being. Greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Rahul Dravid and Sunil Gavaskar stand tall as perfect examples. Does this mean that these players haven’t ever been upset on the field? Of course they have. It is natural to lose your temper, but you should also know how to control your emotions. And no way, can you have such a laugh at the expense of an injured rival who is respected worldwide.
After the unfortunate demise of Phil Hughes, Kohli and some of his teammates set an example by attending the former’s funeral. And hence, this act of humanity and support received huge praise from former Aussie captain, Michael Clarke.
But don’t expect the Australians to be decent. There are plenty of instances in the past when Australian cricketers have crossed the line. Decency is a word that does not exist in their dictionary. They want to win at any cost. Fair enough, have faith in your abilities and don’t indulge in such shameful behaviour, especially when you are revered. Smith has already been in the news for the wrong reasons over the DRS in the Bengaluru Test and he has once again proved that desperation has taken a toll on him the human being.
Will the Match Referee take a note of Smith and Maxwell’s condemnable behaviour? Or will he be lenient enough to pardon them? Honestly speaking, the Match Referee should not only penalise Smith and Maxwell, but he should also take a tough action, especially against Smith. He simply has not displayed true sportsmanship as a captain. And it is also time for the ICC to tackle the menace of sledging and such atrocious behaviour. If it still remains silent, then the cricket pitch will soon turn into a wrestling ring. Is anybody listening?