Thursday, March 20, 2008

Decisions that shit me

"As expected, the ICC has confirmed that Darrell Hair will not be asked to stand in any international matches involving Pakistan."

Ahhh so Darrell Hair will not be umpiring Pakistan matches.

This is crap.

I hate it when people choose to do something because it's easy as opposed to choosing what's right and having to deal with the consequences. How can this outcome be acceptable?

The ICC people said it's because of the extreme scrutiny and criticism he will face if making a bad decision against Pakistan, but the incident at the Oval wasn't about making a bad decision, it was about accusing them of blatant cheating.

Surely most people (except maybe the Kiwis) can accept that there is a margin of error (kill the ref!). If he's not biased he'd be within that margin. If he's outside that margin, he's a shoddy umpire and should be fired, anyway.

Oh! But he's promised to improve his communication skills. Jeez, why didn't he say? So now it's all ok! Yeah, whatever Dazza. It's all so depressing really. Oh well, I suppose Pakistan are pleased they won't have to deal with him, even if they're annoyed he's been allowed out of his cage at all.

Elsewhere, dear Suave has predicted a comfortable win for his England in the third test. Hop over (only for a few minutes, then come back) to read his preview.

Is it all over for Kevin Pietersen? I don't think so. I think that's wishful thinking. Unless he's dropped before it happens, he will come up to scratch again... eventually. If not, I'm sure England will have him.

Oh, wait.

I wonder if, by some strange string of happenings, KP and Grazza Smith were in each other's shoes, would the world hate Graeme as much if he played for England? It's a strange thought, because Poms hate KP (unless he's winning matches for them, then they tolerate him) as it is. Imagine the possibilities, imagine the hatred oozing, imagine this world gone topsy-turvy!

Anyway, whether you believe in the Resurrection, the Easter bunny or Adam Gilchrist, happy Easter to all and sundry, and remember to drive safely.

12 comments:

David Barry said...

The ICC people said it's because of the extreme scrutiny and criticism he will face if making a bad decision against Pakistan, but the incident at the Oval wasn't about making a bad decision, it was about accusing them of blatant cheating.

That last bit isn't relevant to the ICC's argument (which I basically agree with, though I'm surprised they're being honest about it - I would have thought that he'd just get England-NZ-Windies-South Africa games 'randomly').

Pakistan sees Hair as biased against them. If Hair were to stand in a Pakistan match and make a bad decision against Pakistan, then he'd come under a huge amount of fire, and it would be a very unedifying spectacle in the media. If another umpire had made the same error, he would have been criticised, but he wouldn't generate the outrage that Hair would.

The point in this is that Hair could umpire just as well as the other Elite Panel umpires, but would cop disproportionate criticism and effigy-burning if he stood in Pakistan matches.

Miss Field said...

I was also very surprised they admitted it.

If we were to replace Pakistan in this situation with Australia, do you think they would not allocate him any Australian matches?

David Barry said...

You mean if it were a Pakistani umpire that senior Australian players and Cricket Australia had accused of being biased, with effigies of him burned in Sydney streets?

Then yes, I think they would keep him away from Australia matches. Rather an unlikely situation though.

Miss Field said...

Well not entirely, because burning effigies isn't really our style, not in public at least.

But if it wasn't for the threat of public backlash and effigy-burning, I think it is unlikely that they would not schedule him with Australia matches. Would you agree?

Because in that case the ICC is pandering to the people of Pakistan and taking the easy road for their own sake, and I don't agree with that either.

Ugh. I'm not making this point very articulately, but I know what I mean!

David Barry said...

But if it wasn't for the threat of public backlash and effigy-burning, I think it is unlikely that they would not schedule him with Australia matches. Would you agree?
Kind of:

Because in that case the ICC is pandering to the people of Pakistan
It's not just the reaction of the public. It's the stance of the Pakistani players and officials too.

If James Sutherland and Ricky Ponting both said publicly that a Pakistani umpire who'd given a series of bad decisions against them was biased, and that it was a disgrace that he was an international umpire, etc. then I think that probably that umpire would be kept from Australian matches.

It's not a particularly principled situation to keep certain umpires away from certain teams, but it seems to be the uneasy truce that cricket has settled into. It's happened before with Hair - he was kept from Sri Lankan matches for a few years. It's pseudo-happened with Bucknor and the Indians.

As long as it doesn't get too out of hand, we'll still be able to get good umpires that both teams agree on, and cricket will continue. Not an elegant situation, but probably the one that will minimise total unhappiness.

And I don't think it will get out of hand. The complaints only come when there's a string of bad decisions in one direction (this needs qualifying, but it's close enough), with a large number of neutral fans also disagreeing with the umpire.

Miss Field said...

Yes I think you're right.

To quote a great man... "Down with this sort of thing".

I wish I could think of something more intelligent to say, about imaginary numbers or something.

Oh well... have a nice day, with your baguettes!

Jrod said...

I once burned an effigy of Tony barber.

My teachers didn't think it was amusing.

Miss Field said...

That is very funny. How old were you and did you create the effigy yourself?

miriam said...

Who is it who made the joke about people going to all the trouble of making effigies, only to burn them? It's really annoying me that I can't remember.

Samir Chopra said...

Its a bad compromise, but perhaps the only one that could be made under the circumstances.

Andruid said...

As was said in a cricinfo article on the matter, its a shameless cop-out. The ICC seem more than happy to hide Hair in the backwaters of Associate cricket matches so till the heat was off and now it seems they want to wind down his contract as quickly and as painlessly as possible so that he can disappear forever. Clearly something is wrong with the system and the ICC just do not want to fix it.

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