B(h)ajji Ban(ne)d!!

Three simple words:


And now, the lengthy discourse that usually follows a simple message…

As of a few hours ago, Harbhajan Singh, a.k.a. Bhajji a.k.a The Turbanator a.k.a. the Wizard Of(f) Oz a.k.a. “Symonds, go back!” was reportedly banned for a duration of three Test matches, for a racist remark dealt to Andrew Symonds.

Symonds has faced Indian ‘racism’ before. Indian fans at Vadodara and Wankhede repeatedly pestered him with monkey chants during the One-Day series in late 2007.

Cut to, circa 2008. The Sydney Cricket Ground has been a witness to some memorable moments in cricketing history. Another moment was added to the list, withe Symonds-Bhajji spat on Day 4.

Reams and reams of paper, Unimaginable tape lengths and gigabytes and terabytes of data will be spent trying to reconstruct the incident.

Not one will come close to what happened.

Simply because, the truth is a secret closely held by three people – Symonds, Bhajji and Sachin. (Yeah, he was there too, remember?) Here’s a clearer (not unbiased, mind you) account of the incident by AdelaideNow. (Do read the comments too, they make for interesting reading.) Here’s the situation as I percieve it.

Day four. India on a roll. In spite of umpiring setbacks and sloppy footwork, Sachin and Bhajji are going strong. Ponting who has never seen a Day Four happen on an India tour of Australia, suddenly finds himself in uncharted waters. (smirk smirk) And thus, the mind-games begin…

I condemn racism – unequivocally, unabashedly, unconditionally.

I also condemn sneaky manoeuvres – unequivocally, unabashedly, unconditionally.

Ponting claims, “There is absolutely no doubt this match has been played in the right spirit.” Kumble responds, “There was only one team playing in the spirit of the game, that’s all I can say.” (via The Daily Telegraph)

My heart goes out to the guy.

What kind of a person would look at Day One, look at all the Umpiring Bloopers, and say, “It’s just Cricket!” and move on?

What kind of a person would choose not to lodge a protest after all this, if only as token?

What kind of a temperament must he have to not lose cool even when a batsman stands his ground after being cleanly caught in the slips?

What does it take to not erupt when the umpire takes the opposing captain’s word and not the 3rd umpire?

A very, very large-hearted person, that’s who. No wonder he’s called Jumbo – must be his heart, three sizes bigger and all…

And the Indian Cricket Board has decided to stay and complete the Australian tour. Not for the money, I presume. There’s a lot more in endorsements. I suspect, it’s only to ‘maintain relations’ with Cricket Australia – or whatever it is they want to maintain.

What power on earth gives these pompous S.O.B.s the right to cry wolf about something they have been doing day in and day out for years and years together? Who told them that they could make their own rules and change them if someone used it against them? Who gave them the right to make rules, anyway?

Somebody tell them that the M in MCC stands for MARYLEBONE, not MELBOURNE.

Ask a psycho-analyst to profile someone with these characteristics, and the answer would, in all probability be – a mentally-retarded three year old with acute over-possessive tendencies.

Not too far from the truth, eh?

I think Team India should walk out of the remaining Test matches. Turning the other cheek and all that is fine – we did it after Day One and the saga of bad umpiring decisions. But when that too, is done, it’s time to follow Munnabhai’s example. We will stand by you whatever happens after that.

Why this sudden patriotic fire, you ask?

Well, we the people of India, were shown a dream on the 24th September, 2007 at Johannesburg. Silly, gullible, idiots that we were, we believed it then.

And, we believe it now…