2ndlook

Scrap The Sydney Test

Posted in Business, Current Affairs, European History, History, language, Media by Anuraag Sanghi on March 4, 2008

Now that the One day Tri Series is over, and the Test series in Australia is also over, India needs to move. The Sydney Test should be scrubbed out of the record books. The Sydney was a was about racism and politics – and not about sports at all.

Australians cricket needs to fall in line with sporting norms’.

Background

Modern international sport is an Anglo Saxon construct. All modern games with international following were constructed, nurtured and administered by Anglo Saxons – for propaganda purposes. Basketball, Badminton, Cricket, Baseball, Football, Hockey – all of them. Being the creators of the sport, the Anglo Saxons always had a head-start – and ahead on the learning curve. They hate it when other catch up – and after that these mind games begin.

Sports As Propaganda

Afraid of losing the propaganda war, to Hitler’s ‘Aryan’ athletes, the first response of the Anglo Saxon Bloc was boycott. But Hitler was a babe in the woods – on the propaganda war that followed. The Germans put up a display without precedents. The Olympic relay torch, the press centre (with telex machines), television coverage were concepts that the Berlin Games organising comittee put up. But, good organising was not enough.

Jesse Owens was a master stroke. Blacks who otherwise were not allowed to drink or eat at the same facilities in America, suddenly became representatives of the land of the free – a propaganda tool. (This link leads to an article which talks about the false propaganda about the ‘imaginary’ snub that Owens received from Hitler). The use of Cathy Freeman by the Australians, an Aborigine, 60 years later was another instance of the same.

Post WW2, repeated Olympic boycotts against Soviet Russia in 1956, 1980 etc. had more to do with fear of losing. Soviets Olympic participation for the first time in 1956 sent shivers down the USA – who did not want to come out second. A win as a pseudo-military victory is best exemplified by Eisenhower’s involvement in the preparation for the 1956 and 1960 Olympics. The Anglo-Saxon bloc is the largest winner of Olympic medals in most years.

Spassky Fischer Title MatchThe USA and Australian focus on sports has propaganda motives (Hitler and Soviet Russia learnt from) – like the Boris Spassky-Robert Fischer title match.

The Boris Spassky-Bobby Fischer chess championships (early 1970s) which were projected as West versus East match by the ABC (America, Australia, Britain, Canada) press and media is a prime instance of this. Apart from Chess, much grandstanding was done by Fischer – starting with the opening ceremony. This distracted Spassky. This was much like the targetting of Ishant Sharma, Harbhajan Singh by the Aussies during the recent Test and One Day series. Steve Waugh, their former captain talked about ‘mind games’ leading to ‘mental disintegration’ amongst opponents.

After India (and Pakistan) dominated hockey for 50 years, the ABC Bloc saw one way out to break this win record. Change the rules. Indians did not see this coming. Using the pretext of making hockey more exciting, the Australians (with some other white countries) modified the game where skills became less important.The rest as they say is history.

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a recognised anglophile, was supported in his Olympic movement by Britain – as a propaganda measure. Says Stefan Szymanski,

“… this mythology has been propagated internationally by the writings of de Coubertin and his followers. De Coubertin, for example, gave much of the credit for development of sport to Thomas Arnold at Rugby School, an attribution that has survived long; yet in reality Arnold seems to have had no noticeable interest in sport … the public schools played a significant role in creating to rhetoric of sportsmanship, which became do important to the self-image of the British and was so attractive to anglophiles such as de Coubertin …” (ellipsis mine From A Theory Of The Evolution Of Modern Sport By Stefan Szymanski).

Eight to One

As any statistician will tell you, when umpiring mistakes go against anyone in eight to one ratio (of the possible 24-28 top order dismissals), it is usually accompanied by a pervading smell of bovine excrement. Interestingly, all the decisions that favored the Australians were against the Indian top order batsmen or in favor of the Australian top order batsmen.

33% (9 out of the possible 28) wrong decisions cannot be a co-incidence. It is not odds or an even chance. It is design – or a conspiracy. Deccan Herald said Anil Kumble’s side was on the wrong end of eight umpiring mistakes, which had affected the outcome.

A report on the Sydney Test, by an Australian reporter, Alex Brown stands out. Deftly, he changes the argument. From cricket the financial muscle of the ‘monster’ which is the ‘Indian Cricket Board.’ Brown’s criticism and reporting is completely devoid of the Indian standpoint.

“Each time an Indian cricketer appeals, umpires are now compromised. Enrage the monster, and pay for it with your job” (italics mine) says Brown.

Actually, each time an Australian appealed, the umpires raised their fingers. Each time an appeal against an Aussie top order batsman was made by Indians, the umpires turned it down. After 33% wrong decisions and a trumped up charge, Alex Brown thinks the Indian Monster Board is in the wrong.

What’s The Big Deal

This was not about cricket at all. It was another demonstration of Anglo Saxon political behaviour in its distilled form. To the Anglo Saxon Bloc, sports is racial superiority by another means – and not entertainment or sport. (For further proof, click on this link and read this article).

A Precedent

Jagmohan Dalmiya

Jagmohan Dalmiya

Till the 1983, world cricket was run by the UK and Australia. These countries, of course, had veto power, had the funding, to control the game. In 1983, however, Britain and Australia hit a financial roadblock – the 1987 World Cup sponsorship. They did not have a sponsor in place for the 1987 World Cup. And then India stepped in. India roped in Dhirubhai Ambani for the sponsorship. India roped in Pakistan to put in a joint bid for the 1987 World Cup.

What was Special

This was, simply, without a precedent. For three reasons.

First, this was a unique case, where rich and developed countries could not find a sponsor for a sporting event, which they dominated. And a poor country could.

Imran Khan

Imran Khan

India, in 1987, still had a waiting period for Bajaj Scooters. Maruti cars had just been introduced. Colour TV sets were rare and colour TV transmission had started a few years old – and a luxury. Competitive bidding for TV rights was not possible – and could be sold only to a public sector TV transmission monopoly. Computers in India were rare and far in between. Private sector as we knew it was non-existent. Licenses were required for everything. Foreign exchange situation was precarious. Hence, for a poor country to bid for a World Cup was unprecedented.

The second major challenge was the organization. Indian bureaucracy was then (much more than now) a minefield. Myriad laws made any kind of complicated organization a nightmare. Private sector was seen with suspicion. Indian films still portrayed businessmen as villains. Indian software industry was nowhere in sight. India did not have even one (private sector) company in the Fortune 500 list. To say the least, it was audacious, at a time when India dominated by stereotypes (more then than now).

But the third element that has remained unrecognized was the working of the India Pakistan partnership. The World Cup bid was a joint bid (1985) by India and Pakistan. No one would have bet that India Pakistan could have worked together. But together they did. And successfully. This Indo-Pak relationship has now survived for more than 20 years.

What Changed

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar

India and Pakistan, went ahead and moved cricketing headquarters from UK to Dubai. Unlike Bro.Manmohan Singh at the high table, BCCI and Pakistan just took away the veto powers of UK and Australia over cricketing matters. In spite of best efforts of ‘divide-and-rule’ by the ECB (UK’s cricketing authority) and Cricket Australia. UK, in a case of sour grapes, went ahead and stopped its players from participating in the Indian Premier League. Australia broke ranks, and participated. South Africa started with its first official post-apartheid series in India – the post-apartheid ‘coming out’ party.

In the UK and Australia, this loss of power rankles.

What should be done?

Dhoni and Team have beaten Australians in Australia at their own game. The One Day Tri Series was convincingly won. The Test Series was also clearly an Indian victory – which was taken away by means, that the Anglo Saxons are best at. And scrubbing the Sydney test will remove the sheep’s clothing from the wolf back.

And that may lead to bigger things – and better things too.

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