The decline of cricket
I started watching cricket in 1992. The infamous semifinal between SA and Pakistan was my first. I have seen witnessed a steady decline in sportsmanship and they way that professional cricketers represent their countries, themselves and the game . When I started watching cricket, the game still had good sportsmanship where batsmen once walked before the umpire decision and now in many cases question umpires. Perhaps the first incident to tarnish the sport can be attributed to the "underarm incident":
This in an era where players get paid to do what they love by the public yet fail to act professional in front of the very people paying their wages and encourage kids to participate in sports with these as role models. Translated to the typical work environment, employees would likely be fired for being unprofessional or bringing disgrace upon their company. This does not even take into account the fact that bets can be made on almost every single ball and game in an era where players have even tried to dictate to the on-field decision makers what hat their decisions are wrong and need to be reversed. I am using Ponting here as The Australians in particular have contributed to the decline in sportsmanship in cricket and conducted themselves unprofessionally by letting their appreciated success grow into unmatched arrogance and sledging to the point where even Australian media and commentators have openly written and stated on how ashamed they were and how they had to even turn of the stump mics for below-the-belt sledging. It's not just the Australians and players that are to blame, but umpires too. UDRS (third umpire referrals) are greatly needed in cricket and I find it correct that the ICC have decided to insure that every dismissal of a batsman are checked for a no-ball, because if an umpire is not doing his job by checking the line, he is not doing his job either. Some decisions need assistance according to the rules. As an example, the rules state that the batsmen needs to have his bat or part of body over the line in the event of a run-out which may not always be visible to the naked eye.
HansieGate, spot fixing and attempting to influence the outcome of matches by whatever means.
These events taint careers, much like Mike Tyson may be more known for an ear byte than being a brilliant boxer. They are permanently online on YouTube and other places and so easily overshadow or tarnish the people and the sport:
Mike Atherton Ball Tampering:
Shahid Afridi Pitch Tampering:
Shahid Afridi ball tampering:
Ponting Questioning Umpires:
Ridiculous umpiring and sportsmanship:
The Aussies in the 90's had obviously tarnished the sport with over-excessive appealing and below-thebelt-sledging that it seems anything goes these days. Harbajan made a racial slur at Symmonds including a "monkey" comment. Not the worst Ive heard though. One sledging incident involved Darren Sammy repsonding in defense with an insult to Glen Mcgrath's wife who later died of cancer. How terrible for both players. One can never retract ehat is said an recorded online. The comment is not appropriate to post here, it just serves the point that cricket has been tarnished with poor sportsmanship in the last decade.
Greame Smith's Gesture
Was pure good sportsmanship toward a man who in my opinion did not deserve it for showing a lack of it on many occasions. I will forever remember Ponting along with his arrogant teammates of the90's for their rants and arrogance on the field and poor sportsmanship.
Politics and cricket
The greatest wicket taker of all time was attacked by Australian PM. Such incidents also push interest away from the sport, but none for me has been worse than the political influence and insult of CSA and it's recent stance on quotas. Racial policies have already cost SA decades of participation in the international cricket arena and I found it very unacceptable that similar policies were experienced recently. Why should fans pay money to see a political representation on the field? Sport is the one thing capable of uniting a nation in getting together on a weekend in the bar or stadium to watch a game without thinking about race. But when Ntini showed he was not worthy a place in the side, purely due to lack of form, he was guaranteed a spot months ahead purely because CSA had marketed and pushed the event. There are many great cricketers some of whom retire with 90 games some with 70 and others with 99. The point is that every fan elsewhere in any other country enjoys a team based on merit. The current SA team looks the part, but numerous players have already had careers cut off and shortened and immigrated due to CSA racial and other BS including Kiewsetter, KP, Klusener and Cullinan. Why should SA fans pay for development of players who never make the team due to racial policies and then watch these players compete against us? Why should a third world country pay for the development of players for first world countries?