Bengal Big Nawob, Sourav Ganguly is happiest when he's whipping his slaves. He also enjoys hinting the other side cheated. This time pitch tampering:
Indian captain Sourav Ganguly tried hard to disguise his dissatisfaction and disappointment at a bungle with the MCG wicket yesterday, after head curator Tony Ware repaired the pitch before the start of play on the fifth day.
Could be said the pitch was waring. Boom Boom.
Anyhoo, 'Rav just likes being contrary. First match referee Mike Proctor - South Africans never cheat - gives it the OK, then it turns out 'Rav didn't even notice the difference:
He conceded he did not notice the difference in the crack from day four to day five.
There have never been any "difficult" pitches in India. No, really.
What does Headingly have in store this time, I wonder" pondered the well-known cricket writer John Woodcock on the morning of the third Test between England and Australia at Headingly Leeds on August 1975. He said almost always this corresponding match has something unusual about it. Whether it is Australia scoring 404 in a day to win as in 1948 or Underwood running through the Australian batting on a controversial match in 1972. Neither spectators nor cricket correspondents could have foreseen the unusual controversy that struck Headingly on the final day on that Test.
Nothing remotely like it had happened in living memory.
As a game this Test was interesting and intriguing edging further and further towards an England victory until Australia staged an excellent recovery, with the Aussies who held the Ashes one up in the four Test series.
Shortly before lunch on the 4th day, Australia went in for a second time needing 445 to win. At the end of the day, Australia needed another 225 to win on a placid wicket with seven wickets remaining.
The storm broke the next morning, at 6.50, when the Headingly groundsman rolled back the covers on the wickets. During the night, unseen by the police patrol, someone had climbed the wall, run on to the pitch, crawled under the covers pouring oil over the wicket (right on a good length) and digging three-inch holes with kitchen knives and forks. On the outside wall, were slogans proclaiming that George Davis was innocent.
Until that day, few people were aware that George Davis, a 34-year-old London mini cab driver, was serving a 17 year jail sentence for his alleged part in a robbery in which a policeman was shot. Within a week, almost everyone knew about George Davis. The campaign to free him had already been in action, but attempts to reopen the case proved futile.
It was now stepped up: slogans at the central criminal court, sit-down protests, a march to Downing Street, campaigners' chain to the Monument and naked displays at an East London boating lake.
The campaign leader Peter Chappell (no relation to the cricketing one) was given an 18 month jail sentence for his Leeds and London Graffiti prose and for topping up the Headingly pitch with oil.
Captains, managers and umpires converged on the wicket around 9.00 O' clock on the morning of the final day of the match. The groundsman felt he could repair the holes on the wickets, but oil was a different matter. The only possible way of continuing the game was the captains Tony Greig and Ian Chappell could agree to play on another strip of wicket of similar ware.
Greig was happy to do this. Understandably, the Australian captain could not comply and the game was abandoned.
Now that's tampering.