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Re your other eternal whinge ... I was in a room of about 20 people last night (the entire bi-paedal population of Denmark) when the news highlights of the game came on Teev. As one, we all gasped when MM flicked those wicket-taking balls out. "Bloody hell" & "throw" then spontaneously said everyone in the room.
I have a stock whip in the living room (NO, not for that!) and we went out onto the verandah and gave it a burl. Same thing. It's a disgrace.


Couldn't agree more with all (both) your points Tony - even with Lehmann and Warne in we still had a chance of getting to 280-300, but once Lehmann, who I thought played a very good innings, went the rest was downhill.

Some of the shot selection was awful too, and as for the doctored pitches - I've never seen anything like the spin that pitch was taking - I say when the Sri Lankans visit later this year, hard bouncy greentops are the order of the day.

As for chucker, I swear I wanted to reach into the tele and wrap my hands around his throat ... I wouldn't have minded so much if Chandana the leggie (who's a good bowler) had've taken 6-fer, but to be bowled out by the cheat makes me so angry.

For the want of a commentator to actually hint that the guy is cheating ... no such luck. Can anyone remember if the late David Hookes may have had something to say on his action in the past - something he might've let slip in a Fox Sports telecast previously.....

I don't mind it if the Aussies are beaten fair and square (to a point), but I just can't enjoy a game when you know that the Aussies are being beaten by a cheat.


I was going to ask if you wanted to co-sign my congratulatory email to Murali for his "singlehanded" - quote from radio in Brissie this am - destruction of the Aussies.
Suppose I shouldn't bother?
Are you ready for the Bulls this Friday?


In total agreeance with all points said on this issue. I reckon I could spin a few on that deck, bloody disgrace having it like that on day one of a test. Shouldn't there be some sort of guidelines from the ICC about preperation of wickets? At least it could give match referees something to adjudicate rather than hand out fines to players who show a bit of character. Any pitches deemed to be doctored way too far like this one should be investigated (oh wait I just remembered they are a puppet organisation who can't get anything done. Especially when the subcontinent cricket boards start to ark up... not too harsh a judgement is it??)

A perfect pitch for me would consist of a bit of green first session day one, flattening out to a batting paradise from then on, then taking plenty of spin after tea on day four and all of day five. None of this batting paradise crap we have become used to over this summer, and now a dustbowl over in Galle. Too many extremes.

Not to say the Aussies handled the wicket terribly. Like people have said more than half of the dismissals were handing wickets to the bowlers (oh and one exeptional chucker) That may be a selection worry in the future. Do we go for a flat out attacking side or pop in a grinder who can bat all day for a hundred like Steve Waugh used to do?

And on Marto's shot selection, we were running a book on how he would give up his wicket cheaply after getting a start when he first arrived at the crease. I think we were offering 3's on the cut, evens on bat pad, and a couple to one on a run out. No one even queried a little fairy paddle to leg gully....


What the Shrees have up their sleeve is zero commercial pressure to prepare their pitches in a certain way. We can't possibly deliberately prepare greentops, because every match would last three days and Cricket Australia and Channel Nine would go nuts. With 1200 people attending the first day at Galle there's virtually no "bums on seats" factor, and so they can do what they like. And do. Bastards!

I'm getting sick of us collapsing at crucial times. I'm sure that the whole "tide is turning against Australia" bandwagon is a load of bollocks, but we can't seem to get it together at the moment. If we lose this series thanks to a few too many cowboys in the middle order losing their heads, I'm going to be really pissed off.

Brett Pee

The "unique" off spinner!! Yeah....like that one.We will NEVER produce 'doctored' rock hard green tops in Straya when our Asian friends visit--too bad for business mate. We've been well and truly stitched up- even more so than the Poms, when THEY visited the ball was only turning square on the 2nd day.

At the end of the 2nd day the Lanks are marching on 120 ahead with some slogging to spare. Ever the eternal optimist with our cricketers, we can nip them out for 410,420 and then bat for 1 and a half days with each guy selling his wicket dearly. The stage should then be set for a 100% improvement by McGillers and 50% by Warnie to show that cheat a proper exhibition of SPIN.


Os - It's the "Yo-Yo" action, and it's worse for the one that goes the other way -- or "t'other way" as Neville Oliver would ooze. And make me throw my radio across the room.

What's this? "bi-paedal"? Two bikes?

Chris - Hookes originally called him a chucker, then when he became coach of Victoria came under the auspices of CA so he had to shut up. He then modified his opinion to suggest that because Murali was already well into his career, he be able to continue unpenalised. Soft.

Jim -- Ha Ha. The Bulls are roasted. What's this I hear about your yobbo supporters spitting on our refined boys last time we played in the final? Disgusting.

About the Chucker, Crash Craddock has been leading a sickening cheer-squad. Probably afraid he'd lose access were he to toss in the facts.

Ads - I must admit the idea of dodgy pitches is fantastic in ODI's, many great games are low scoring affairs, but it's ridiculous in a Test.

And Martyn's dismissal was bizarre. That's exactly how we used to give catching practice on a training night. Surround the guy with the bat, and nudge it here and there. Anyway, the pitches in the subcontinent are way to slow for sweeping, the ball sits up too much and doesn't come onto the bat.

Carrot - good to have you back - you hit on a very important point. Australia is the only place where the media go ape over a shortened test. Channel Nine especially, they pay big bucks for five days and have influenced CA to deliver pitches that go the distance. Maybe related to this is my earlier post about Richie insisting sides bat out the fifty overs in a ODI. Anyway, this media pressure doesn't seem to be the case elsewhere, although with incresed international coverage, I can see it becoming an issue everwhere.

I can't -- or should I say "can", nudge nudge -- understand why the ICC wouldn't step in and do something when the Sri Lankan skipper says "Australia play well on good batting strips, let's see how they go on a pitch made for spinning". As in shamelessly doctored. May as well water them too and reduce Tests by a day.

As for the collapsing, I think it's always been related to our batting arrogance leading to us getting ourselves out -- nix on the sweep please -- because we won't accept the other sides have worked us out. India in 2001 was a disgrace, as was NZ in 2001/2002, the last test in the Windies and recently against India. It's about time we learnt how to change gear. That's the hallmark of a great side.

Brett - we'll be very lucky if we don't get beaten by an innings. Warne and McGill would be lucky to take a lot of wickets because, as leggies, they're slower through the air and therefore batsmen used to spin have an easier time playing them. Do'nt expect them to be overly threatening.


I note this comment from Peter Roebuck in the Age on March 9.
This is the last paragraph of a long article about the Chucker.

"Once again, Murali had finished on top. Australia may live to regret this failure to polish him off. He always has been much, much more than a bowler with a bizarre action and yesterday he proved it by fighting back from a slow start to dominate an aggressive opponent. A great competitor, his action may be freakish but his heart is strong. Now it is up to the Australians to match him."

His action may be freakish!!!???! What the hell - the guy chucks Peter, just say it!!!!!


Chris, Spanky CAN'T say he chucks it. After his histrionics in the '95 Boxing Day Test commentary box, he would look a total tool.

Actually, I think the Spanker's all over the shop on the issue. One side he's saying chucking should be reduced to the status of an ordinary no-ball, on the other, he has a baby when someone is called.

Then there are the time's -- like you've pointed out -- when he appears to hint at Murali's chucking. Is Roebuck one, nudge nudging or two, needling Aussie readers?

Given his form, it must be the latter. I don't think I've ever heard him assert Murali chucks. And it baffles me -- as someone who considers himself to have a bloody good eye as to what's going on -- how Roebuck can believe Murali DOESN'T chuck. Of course he bloody well does.

It's also ridiculous in the extreme -- cheating by the vested interests -- to suggest he's "been cleared" by the ICC. So fuckin' what! I've got a drivers licence, doesn't mean I can drive like a lunatic under the proviso I have a Get Out of Jail Free card.

And I'm also sick of other countries saying "Well, he's only ever been called in Straya" when no other country has the bottle and WOULD if they did.

Lately I've been enjoying Dermot Brereton -- of all people -- who has been virtually screaming "CHEAT!" at the monitor in the SEN studio every time Murali "rolls" his arm over.

But I digress, my impression is that even if Spanky Roebuck actually DID think Murali chucked, he flat out wouldn't WANT to admit it.


I meant "bi-pedal" ... two legs, sorry I'm from Denmark and I don't have a frontal lobe.

Brett Pee

Keep the faith Tone!! Lose by an innings, no way mate. We polished 'em off even quicker than i thought and Haydos IS selling himself dearly, amongst the big shots of course. I reckon a lead of near enough 300 is not out of the question....and then, on that 'pitch' , anything is possible-- even 7-35 from McGillers. You read it here first.


I quote again from Roebuck, in today's (Thursday's) Age

"Murali belongs to the unorthodox tradition of Iverson, Ramadhin and Gleeson, without whose contributions the game would be immeasurably duller. Rightly, the Australians are focusing on countering him as opposed to grizzling about him. Australia's pragmatic approach suggests the tide was turning in its favour. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankans were falling back in an ill-advised attempt to consolidate. There is a lot more to Murali than his action. Indeed concentrating solely upon his means of delivery denies a fine operator due recognition for his control and variation.

Murali hardly ever bowls a loose ball. Nor does he merely send the same delivery down time and again. He has survived many hidings, bowled countless long spells on baking afternoons and never ducked a challenge."

I'll let everyone else draw their conclusions on this - but I reckon its a load of absolute tosh for him to compare a chucker to those three unorthodox, yet fine and LEGAL spin bowlers.

And of course Chucker hardly ever bowls a loose ball - that's easy to do when you can chuck it on a ten cent piece! Try it yourself - try to bowl on the same spot all the time as opposed to chucking it, and see which is easier.


"I look forward to the day Australia, sick of rigged pitches overseas, prepare rockhard greentops when subcontinental teams visit. Instead of adhering to their misplaced sense of fairplay which continues to deliver"

Eh, what ?
Growing up on the "subcontinent" the aussie story went as follows -
1. Aussies play with an extra man on the field AKA the umpire.
2. The pitches down there ARE rigged to make their seamers look good.
3. Very good at calling all chuckers except their own.
Now it's possible that all this is in the eye of the beholder and that "objectively" speaking aussie cricketers are model christian gentlemen who personify sportsmanship while "subcontinentals" are cads AND bounders. It's also possible, i have no idea, that popular opinion on the subcontinent has changed and the Aussie team is held in high regard where previously they were estimated at a notch above the Pakistanis for "fairplay". But i doubt it. It's of course true that Aussies were always seen as great competitors and individual cricketrs (Steve Waugh, Richard Hadlee) were very popular. Imagewise though, things were never (and probably still not) quite congruent with that "misplaced sense of fairplay" stuff.

Still, i bet its nice to know that human nature is the same everywhere you go.
Oh, before i forget - very nice blog.


Points in response to the post above:

1 - Hard to play with an extra man in the field now (eg, umpire) when there are international umps doing the job. That said, they can still make some awful decisions .... its just that you don't know which way they'll go.

2 - Witness the pitches in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide last summer against our subcontinental foes (and damn good cricket team) India. Wouldn't ever get them confused with seamers' paradises - can't accuse us of doctoring pitches in our favour there (in fact, the reverse could be stated).
In fact, the only seamers' paradise was in Perth, and what happened - India shot out once for a low total, and struggled to haul in another low total.

3 - Seem to remeber a gent by the name of Ian Meckiff .... maybe that's a hallucination I'm having. By the by, while we all know Chucker is a chucker, and Shoaib's action is questionable, Brett Lee's had his very well publicised problems and has had to go back to class to re-learn not to chuck. Last time I looked, he was an Aussie.

Also, while Australia's on field behaviour can be up for debate at times, I'm pretty sure that no-one is lillywhite in this regard. Seem to remeber some shenanigans under a former rotound Sri Lankan captain that brought the game to interesting lows.

Just for the record, I understand the two captains in the SL v Aust series have agreed that if a fielder catches one close to the ground, and says he has caught it, the batsman will walk - no bringing replays into it or anything like that. I would think this is a healthy sign of good sportsmanship from both sides.


I'm not saying that the Aussie cricketing establishment is "bad". I'm sure it is not. My point was that these things often come down to perception. Count on the the other side to have an identical set of complaints against you.

The Mongrel

Something to remember about countries that doctor their pitches - they are often the worst travellers, as they become soft at home.

I'm happy for the Aussies to play on fair pitches at home, as that's how they stay sharp.

Anyway, the Aussies have done a lot better in the second innings. It's a good sign of temprament as to how a team responds to adversity.

As Roebuck once said - sport doesn't build character, it reveals it


"Os", as a Danish name, I'm not particularly familiar with it. Traditional Danish name, I take it. Short for Os-Jens? Osrik?

I DID read it -- "You read it here first" -- here first, Brett. Good stuff. Now it will take some excellent batting for the Shreees to save or win. However, I like to play gloom-master when it comes to test cricket ... the pitch seems to be playing pretty well, AND we're a bowler down bowling to batsmen who play spin well.

Another one of his disingenuous "get-outs" Chris. He's not going to admit it, no matter HOW close he comes to inadvertently speaking the truth. For me -- even though I enjoy many of his article -- he's crucially flawed on cricket until he comes out and admits Murali chucks. It's just not good enough for him to skirt the issue either hinting that he does, or insinuating that he doesn't. As well as knifing Aussies over our insistence that he does.

Now SM ... maaaate ... buddy ... paaal ... to quote a well know American (born in Germany) sporting identity prone to tennis racket violence -- "You cannot be serious!"

1) Ever heard of Shakoor Rana? And he was moderate. Neutral umps now.

2) The pitches down here have been exactly the same for years. Except for the renovation stages in the 1980's. GABBA - lively early, batting paradise later. WACA - hard and fast. SACA - best cricky wicky in the world. MCG - cross between Gabba and Saca. SCG - spinners delight, not so much lately.

If we cheated, we'd prepare spinners paradises everywhere when the Windies, Poms and Yarpies tour. And we'd deliver green-top concrete when India, Pakistan and the Shreees tour.

There's also the no inconsiderable fact that when I look at the outfield at Galle, I see it lush and green, surely a sign that the pitch could be better prepared.

3) Know who Ian Meckiff is? Greg Rowell? Brett Lee? Our umps are fair, and what's more, have the guts to make the hard calls. Pity the same can't be said elsewhere. Now the ICC are running scared and the record books will be lead by someone undeserving who's contributing to the erosion of the values of a great game. Helped in no small part by a complicit nation. With any luck there will be an asterisk by Murali's name in future record books.

And you've fallen for the line that Aussies somehow think subcontinental cricketers are rats. I can't speak for everyone, but I don't think that at all. Some of my favourite cricketers are from that neck of the woods, Javed Miandad, Bishen Bedi, Wasim Akram, Wee Wee Laxman, Sachin -- doesn't need a last name, surely a sign of respect -- Rahul "Sore Throat" Dravid, Chaminda Vaas, Imran Khan, Inzy -- because he's a lovable big palooka.

What I will say, though, is that the cricket systems in Sri Lanka and Pakistan (more so than India) are not as robust as down here therefore someone with a bad action will not be picked up as readily. Here, Murali wouldn't have made it through school cricket, let alone Grade, State and Test.

And I don't think Richard Hadlee would appreciate being called an Aussie.

Anyhoo, thanks for your comment and compliment.

Chris - ditto.

That's a good point about the pitch doctoring, Mong. A pity, however, we don't make them a little more contrary here so as to aclimatise us to spinning tracks. And a bloody good second dig. Here's hoping we can bowl the Shrees out this arvo. Right now, in fact.

Brett Pee

Apart from Warnie taking 5-43, i was pretty much spot on with that Tone!! Even McGillers chipped in with 4!!

Was'nt there also a bowler called Gordon Rorke who was called for chucking or dragging back in the 50's.. Big blonde guy, now a successful business man. Anybody else cast any light on him?


Gordon Rorke, here we go....


"The 60s saw Australian Sir Don Bradman and Englishman Gubby Allen - foes on the field but close friends off it - come together to eradicate chucking. In the early 1950s, there was suspicion regarding the action of South African fast bowler Cuan McCarthy and later England left-arm spinner Tony Lock. South Africa's Geoff Griffin was suspect too, as also England's Harold Rhodes.

Things were beginning to get out of hand when as many as five Australians during Peter May's England's visit in 1958-59 were believed to have suspect actions. They were Ian Meckiff, Gordon Rorke, Keith Slater, Trethaway and Hitchcock. Of them, three figured in Tests.

This was when the two great statesmen of the game decided that throwing had to be eliminated at all costs. Griffin and later Meckiff were no-balled out of cricket in the 60s while Rorke and Slater faded away naturally."

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