Thursday, 14 December 2006

Larsen on the spirit of cricket

Gavin Larsen's latest column for the Black Caps website is a cracker. He opens by reminding us of how kids always use the word "safe" in backyard cricket before wandering out of their crease and then turns his ire on the Sri Lankans irresponsible use of the words "spirit of cricket" to cover their spinner's recent childish mistake. Building up a head of steam at this point Larsen then opens fire on the Sunday-Star Times coverage of the Murali run-out:

Headlines such as “Brendon McCullum – hang your head in shame” was inflammatory, unbalanced, out of context and poor judgement, to my mind. Sold a few papers though, I’m sure.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The headline was uncalled for. But a friend of mine has brought up an interesting point. If McCullum has seemingly made it a habit to run out tailend batsme in these kinds of circumstances (and if Fleming has indeed shown himself to be ruthless and calculated at applying the laws of the game), how on erath have New Zealand won the spirit of Cricket award for 2 seasons in a row?

Granted, New Zealand aren't obliged to live up to an image or anything. And no other team can really be singled out for the award (even if the Lankans point to their giving Astle a lifeline in the Champions Trophy - a valid point which nobody seems to have brought up). Why then, does such an award exist? Spirit of cricket indeed.

Paul said...

It wasn't a spirit of cricket thing really - if Murali had engaged his brain and waited 2 seconds it wouldn't have happened. However, it was a hollow way to end the innings and a disppointing way to get the #11 out - we would all rather have seen the chucker's stumps smashed to smithereens or LBW to Vettori's arm ball - but that's cricket. The headlines about being a disgrace, akin to the Underarm and so on are off the mark - hyperbole, exaggeration whatever you want to call it. McCullum did his job - it was Fleming's call to whistle Murali back if he thought it was an unfair dismissal.
In the Star-Times defence, the piece was written as a goodie vs baddie piece - the writers were writing from set viewpoints and there was case to argue it both ways. Bloody good way to fill in space in the paper reserved for a preview of 4th and 5th days which didn't exist.

Ben said...

New Zealand won the Spirit of Cricket Award in 2004. Subsequently, England has won it twice in a row. I don't think anyone should be under the impression that New Zealand upholds the spirit of cricket any more than any other team.

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