IT’S just not cricket, a clichéd outburst of outrage that no doubt flared across the Home Counties over the latest spat between the players of England and India.
The tourists lodged a complaint against England’s main strike-force bowler Jimmy Anderson that he had physically confronted India’s Ravindra Jadeja during the first Test at Trent Bridge.
The Lancashire bowler has since been charged by the International Cricket Council with a level three offence, which if proved could bring a ban of between two and four Test matches.
In reply (no pun intended) the England and Wales County Cricket Board (ECB) reported Jadeja, who has since been ICC-indicted with a level two offence which could run to a one-match suspension.
It all sounds so ridiculously nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. Oh, and by the way, my dad’s bigger than your dad, ya boo sucks, just as another molehill is transformed into a mountain.
But with an ICC preliminary hearing due next week posing a genuine threat that Anderson will face a ban, then the powers that be are treating the matter seriously.
In the immediate aftermath of India’s claim, England captain Alastair Cook agreed with the suggestion the tourists were playing dirty tricks, a charge vehemently denied by his Indian counterpart M S Dhoni.
India claimed Anderson shoved Jadeja in a corridor near the dressing rooms at Trent Bridge at lunch on the second day.
Dhoni said his team-mate did not retaliate insisting that Jadeja had refused to get physical, while Anderson had “gone too far”.
Ahead of the current second Test at Lord’s Dhoni was unconcerned about any extra spice being added to the match. And while wanting players to be aggressive, he added “it was important” not to cross boundaries.
If there has been some physical confrontation by Anderson then he indeed should be punished, though it is hard not to agree that the incident has swung out of proportion coincidentally with the Lancashire man being England’s most potent bowler, and, judging by the record-breaking stand at Trent Bridge, he is now no mean willow-wielder either.
But while not condoning alleged physical intimidation, it remains refreshing for England to have someone who is aggressive, who is willing to “mix it”.
Too often England have played straight down the middle, right along the line, with a straight bat - those phrases could well have originated from the domestic game.
But other nations have not always been so fussy, nay prissy.
Yes, England have had their Mike Gatting moments, but never as many as say, the Australians nor the South Africans who have taken the game to the edge and even beyond.
So, Jimmy, keep on giving them the eye, the stare, the stick, the glare out in the middle, as well as ripping out those timbers as you have done so brilliantly for a good decade.
Modern-day cricket is not for whey-faced wimps, indeed, I don’t think it ever was.
We, more than others, played by an attitude as antiquated as an antimacassar.
The covers, and the gloves, have been off for quite a while, and so, Jimbo - go get ‘em.
Kit’s a red face farce
THERE’S less than a month to the start of the new domestic football season and already parents’ pockets are being hit.
Clubs have launched, or are about to launch, their new kits and that means more expense, because sporting fave colours is no longer a cheap option.
And what about some of the new looks? Several designs would appear to have leapt from page to production line influenced by conspicuous consumption of certain chemicals.
If you need evidence just check out Liverpool’s new third strip - a hideous confection of red and black. To borrow a Morrissey phrase - singer Steven Patrick rather than winger Johnny - frankly, Mr Shankly.