Smarting Team India rank one as offenders

  • Jasvinder Sidhu, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 05, 2014 14:09 IST

India are bristling at the International Cricket Council (ICC) judicial commissioner's decision to dismiss the serious charges they had levelled against England fast bowler, James Anderson.

They have every reason to feel aggrieved because Anderson allegedly pushed Ravindra Jadeja in an off-field incident at Trent Bridge during the first Test. England are lucky their pace spearhead escaped a ban with the series locked 1-1, but it is perhaps time India looked within.

A look at ICC's disciplinary record in the last five years show Mahendra Singh Dhoni and teammates are number one in the 'crime and punishment' chart. Since 2010, India players breached ICC disciplinary laws 23 times, by far the most among the ten Test teams. Seven of them are slow over-rate offences but the others reflect India players' attitude. In fact, ten of India's touring squad members have been punished in the past.

Lacking grace
Officials bemoan the vanishing decorum from the game.

"Today, the biggest problem is that no one wants to lose. If a batsman hits a four, the bowler glares at him. One must understand that his job is to bowl, and the batsmen are there to score runs," SK Bansal, BCCI's umpiring coach and former international umpire told HT. "It is wrong when we say sledging is part of the game. If that is the case, then we should get rid of the saying 'play in the spirit of the game' from cricket."

Frustrations boil over often in the India ranks. Last year, Jadeja and Virat Kohli were punished under clause 2.1.4 and 2.2.8 (Level 2) for 'using language or a gesture that was seriously obscene and offensive or insulting during an international match'. A few others were penalised for showing aggression against rivals or umpires. Some were punished for wearing extra logos and shoe laces that were not at least partially white, as rules demand.

"An umpire should control the situation firmly. Who is at fault and who is not, he can decide after the day's proceedings or the match," said Amish Saheba, a former ICC international panel umpire. "I firmly believe that an umpire should never allow a player to cross the limit."

No restraint
In 2011, temperamental pacer S Sreesanth, now banned for life, pleaded guilty over 'abuse of cricket equipment or clothing' while bowlers Amit Mishra and Praveen Kumar were fined for 'showing dissent at an umpire's decision'.

Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, R Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh have all been pulled up for ICC code of conduct violations in the last five years. Dhoni, in fact, was banned for slow over rates and sat out the Adelaide Test in 2012.

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