Saturday, August 10, 2013

Should Pro's Get Reprimanded For Abuse Like Amateurs Do?

After watching Surrey Vs Somerset in the Friends Life T20 competition last night it made me think that professional players get away with murder when it comes to abusing umpires and fellow players or showing descent  in comparison to their amateur counterparts.

I am not a prude or self-righteous in any way and actually enjoy a bit of sledging while I am batting, and as long as it’s funny, when i’m fielding too.

My only concern is that local cricket leagues have clamped down so much on this that players are getting banned far too frequently. If I told you that the team that I play for, and now captain, have, in the last 3 years, had a player player banned for a season and a half, our previous captain for 2 games and my bowler earlier in this campaign for 2 matches you would think we are a rough outfit. But we are far from it. Let me explain.
The season and a half ban – We were fielding as the ball was played into mid-wicket where our fielder picked it up and gently threw it back to myself at wicket-keeper. The ball accidentally struck the batsman on the helmet. Our fielder apologized immediately but the batsman wouldn't let it settle calling him this and that. Our fielder said “Look I've said sorry ok?” The batsman could have accepted this and move on but he decided to walk towards our fielder in an aggressive manner. They squared up yet there was no physical abuse, just a few verbals. One of the umpires (Who I personally think made the whole situation worse) jumped in between them and could have defused the verbals but completely lost control. I am not supporting what the players were doing at all. They were still having verbals and trying to get closer to one another yet the umpire and now players were in their way. Our player was asked to leave the field to calm down. He reiterated that he had said sorry and said he wasn't leaving to which the umpire then sent him off the field of play. The report came back saying that he used foul and abusive language towards an opponent – Correct. It said that he had sworn at an umpire – “I’m not going f$%*ing anywhere” I suppose he did although not directly and thirdly, which was the worst one, – He physically abused the umpire by barging him out of the way. This did NOT happen. The umpire was stood inbetween two arguing men. Neither barged him.
He was banned for the rest of that season and for the whole of the next. The batsman didn't get anything. The previous captain getting a 2 game ban for “not being able to control his players”. Fair? Well as I am well aware, as we get told before each game, that, we, the captains are in control of the players so this was probably right.
This season after being frustrated by a team that had somehow reached 140/0 we finally got the breakthrough when our spinner took a wicket. The batsman had been exceptionally lucky to put it mildly and was given a two word send off, one beginning with F and the other O. He was given a two match ban. Again, I am not condoning this in any way but my only concern is that it happens in professional cricket all of the time.
Gary Wilson, batsman of Surrey, openly told a Somerset player where to go live on TV and was having a go at the square leg umpire when he thought he should have had a no-ball for a high full toss. He was asked to “Get on with it please Gary” by the umpire at the strikers end. That was his punishment. In our form of cricket that would have been an instant two match ban.
Earlier in the match verbals were exchanged by Somersets Peter Trego and Surrey’s Gareth Batty. It was a only a bit of handbags but that would have definitely been reported by the umpires in our league.
This is my concern. Players get fined if they do something majorly wrong. They don’t miss games which as a cricketer is surely the greatest punishment. They don’t get asked leave the field of play.
Stuart Broad got attacked for not walking more than he would have if he had got into a verbal assault with an opposing player. Which is worse?
Like i said I am not a prude, I’m not against humorous sledging but I would like to see professional players get treated the same way as us amateurs.
Here is what some of my twitter followers at @VoiceOfCricket think..
Steve Nash ‏@stevejnash ”This is the example professional cricketers set and we wonder why our younger players chip the umpires.”
Robert Highton ‏@RobCin88Highton ”Amateurs are sent off and banned for a few games for disrespecting umpires, why aren't professionals?”
Jak King ‏@jakking49 ”Rugby Union deals with this very effectively. No reason cricket cannot have a sin bin for x number of overs.”
Pete Henthorn ‏@Pompytrunk ”Players should be fined and banned, outrageous behaviour on a cricket field.”
Lets us know what you think.
Tom Arkell for DieHard Cricket Fans 
Follow Tom on twitter @VoiceOfCricket

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