The Reuters global sports blog
Warne and Samuels show TV cricket is no longer just a gentleman’s game
When Shane Warne and Marlon Samuels came close to trading blows at the jam-packed MCG, it made for great TV viewing.
Sadly, in a sport like cricket which has always been considered a “gentleman’s game”, it wasn’t an aberration.
You see it more and more these days – be it international matches, domestic ties – or any televised game.
Like Warne, most of players admit that everything happens in the “heat of the moment”.
Back in 1981, Javed Miandad was all set to strike Dennis Lillee with his bat after the bowler had kicked him in the leg. At that time, their behaviour stunned all cricket lovers but now such incidents hold little shock value; although they get huge number of hits on YouTube.
It’s not hard to believe that if it wasn’t for TV coverage, a lot of these incidents would have never happened.
With around 16-20 cameras and numerous microphones following the action closely, and bringing it live to our living rooms, cricketers are well aware that even a wink won’t go unnoticed.
Sure, sour incidents make for entertaining TV viewing but it kills the purity of the sport.
The onus is on the players to discipline themselves and be good role-models rather than portraying themselves as celebrities, who are fighting it out for their two minutes of TV fame.
Let the sport be bigger than the players.