Makarand Waingankar

Warner has set a bad trend with his on-field behaviour

Makarand Waingankar. File photo

Makarand Waingankar. File photo  

The West Indies team under Clive Lloyd succeeded while never indulging in such behaviour, writes Makarand Waingankar

Television is meant to entertain people but it can also convey wrong messages and considering its reach in the 21st century this could be troublesome. Especially the behaviour of sports-persons, who are regarded as role-models, holds much power over impressionable youngsters.

David Warner with his obnoxious on-field behaviour has definitely set a bad trend and the living legends of Australian cricket must be embarrassed viewing it.

To its credit the ICC has set a code of conduct, but as Martin Crowe says it’s time for yellow and red cards. In this noble game which has a rich history there have been ugly incidents. Javed Miandad threatening Dennis Lillee with a bat, McGrath-Sarwan spat, and Rashid Patel chasing the late Raman Lamba in a Duleep Trophy match at Jamshedpur all remain as striking examples.

While the strict code of conduct does moderate on-field behaviour to some extent, one does get the impression that Cricket Australia is turning a blind eye to Warner’s rude behaviour.

In India, umpires and match referees are wary of misbehaviour by players and the alarming rate of growth of chuckers. They say junior cricket is the worst affected by these two ills. A teenager picks up a bad habit quicker than one expects, and Warner who could be their hero may spur them onto some such habits.

Indian umpires feel that unless a card system is enforced in junior cricket things could go from bad to worse. A team short by two or three players because of red cards will learn the importance of good behaviour faster than any breach of code of conduct.

If the definition of aggressive play is to abuse the opposition then, the West Indies team under Clive Lloyd succeeded while never indulging in such behaviour. Apart from a stare Andy Roberts didn’t have to do anything to a batsman. It was a measure of his excellence and control over his skills.

Richard Hadlee hardly celebrated a wicket, he had much confidence in his ability. For team managements who implicitly encourage erroneous behaviour these could be good examples.

When Ray Illingworth was in charge of the England team he fined captain Michael Atherton for using sand on the ball much before the match referee imposed a penalty. Will we ever get to see such self-initiated disciplining mechanisms at work again? No, because there is too much at stake. Is it not the duty of the coach of the Australian team to discipline Warner?

India’s future captain Virat Kohli too, is convinced that aggression is the key to success. If he propagates that mentality amongst his team-mates it may not be a good recipe for consistent performances because not many players are comfortable with such extra pressures against teams like Australia, whose brand of cricket revolves around aggression.

In India the BCCI will have to introduce new measures to streamline the game. If we are to believe umpires, match referees, and officials, there is an urgent need to ban chuckers on-field. To let a chucker bowl the entire season and allow him to wreak havoc is certainly not good for the growth of the game. If the current rate of growth of chuckers in junior cricket is allowed to continue in the country, then soon it will cross the hundred mark.

The NCA should conduct seminars in every zone. The faculties should train state coaches in the process of identification of chuckers, and the rectification procedure. At the moment the emphasis on the rectification process is greater. A strong foundation is the key to success hence it is imperative that best practices are inculcated right from the junior-level, and that the players’ progress be continuously monitored.

The Action Review Committee of the BCCI needs to be replaced with a Suspect-Action Identification and Rectification Committee. If the intent is to be the best in the game both in performance and spirit then action is required.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 10:13:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/makarand-waingankar/indias-tour-of-australia-warner-has-set-a-bad-trend-with-his-onfield-behaviour/article6811830.ece

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