Just when it seemed that the DRS fiasco was over and cricket would return to being a gentleman’s game between India and Australia, a new low awaited fans across the globe.
This time, Fox Sports Australia seems to have had a brain fade. Or so they might claim when some sanity returns to their newsroom.
On Friday night, while running a poll on their official Facebook page for their ‘Vettel of the Week’ contest, the media house asked its fans to vote between a puppy, a panda, a kitten and India captain Virat Kohli.
The post’s caption read: “Recent events have prompted a return of our Vettel of The Week award. Kids, ask your grandparents. The rest of you know the drill,” with the four images put up in the form of a collage and different emoticons assigned for each face.
The Vettel of the week award was started in 2013 by Fox Sports Australia when Sebastien Vettel just snatched the pole position from Mark Webber
Although they were criticised from fans across the globe, the media house didn’t bother to apologise. Well, why would they? This wasn’t anyway the first time an Australian media house failed to draw a line between criticising a player and stooping to new low. In 2015, a poll ran by news.com.au had Kohli listed as one of the nominees for the biggest sports jerk of the week.
A series between India and Australia has never been without a few banters but it’s hard to recall an incident where Indian media houses have hurled such personal attacks against visiting cricketers or put previous Australian captains in the same bracket as animals.
The ‘recent event’ that Fox Sports Australia seems to have referred to while posting the useless poll was with Steve Smith seeking advice from the dressing room after being trapped in front by Umesh Yadav in the second Test. His batting partner, Peter Handscomb, too had given a go-ahead. Two brain fades in a single minute. Kohli’s only fault was perhaps that he brought it to the umpires’ notice and lambasted the gesture in the media interactions later.
Smith had admitted to have made a mistake and stated that he shouldn’t have done what he did but credited the act to a ‘brain fade’. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had lodged a complaint with the International Cricket Council as well, but later withdrew it on Thursday night.
And thus, after almost everyone had tried to move on hoping it was a one-off incident, here came a poll that was perhaps of paramount significance to the world. Well done Fox Sports Australia, very well done.