Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Twenty20 tournaments should have best-of-three finals: Ricky Ponting

That was the headline of a news item on the Times of India website today. Typical, isn't it? Sour grapes, I call it. Khatte Angoor.

Ponting said that he felt sad for the boys after they lost the finals because they had won every other match in the tournament. Just one loss after six wins should not rob them of the title is what he felt. So here's a letter to Ricky Ponting expressing my views:

Dear Mr. Ponting,

Of all the people on earth, you are the last one I would have expected to make such a remark. You have won 3 World Cups and 2 Champions Trophy and numerous other ODI tournament finals... you pride yourself in the fact that cometh the hour, your team comes out strong and wins. The Aussies pride themselves in their ability to win the 'big matches'. So why are you whining now, Mr. Ponting?

Had Michael Hussey not managed those 18 runs in the last over from Saeed Ajmal, would you have said that the semi-finals should also have been best-of-three affair? After all, Australia had won 5 straight matches till then and were clearly a better team than Pakistan.

In the end, both England and Australia had just one loss each over the duration of the World Twenty20 Championship. So is it not correct that England should be called the 'Champions' because they won the 'big match'.

I know you hates losing, Mr. Ponting (who doesn't?)... and your boys hate losing too! But there is a term that you often talk about... its called the 'spirit of the game'. Taking defeat in your stride graciously is a part of upholding that very 'spirit'. Please take a note, Mr. Ponting.



Siddharth said...

Well written

Unknown said...

Thank you!

Wes playforcountrynotforself said...

"Ponting said that he felt sad for the boys after they lost the finals because they had won every other match in the tournament. Just one loss after six wins should not rob them of the title is what he felt."

Shridhar would you be so nice and give the exact quote please? The indirect speech/interpretation evokes the impression that Punter thinks that the weaker team deserves the title.


~ Play For Country Not For Self ~

Unknown said...

"They dominated the competition all the way through ... I was disappointed for the boys; no doubt they were the best team right through the tournament but they stumbled at the last hurdle."

That's what he was quoted as saying...

Wes playforcountrynotforself said...

Oh this one. I saw it at Cricinfo. He said that to Fox Sports.

I think it's legitimate to praise your side when talking to a sports channel of your home country. Is that different in India? Do Indian captains usually bash their sides after they have done really well, amazed many people with their game, and only lost in the final, to the *arch enemy*? I think saying that seeing your own side as the best under such circumstances was against the "spirit of the game" is going a bit too far here imho. He admitted that they stumbled at the last hurdle of taking England... admitting this must have almost killed him already *lol* This is his indirect way of saying England were better. He *cannot* say it any more literally.

I think that competition, optimism and confidence are not against the spirit of the game. Disrespecting the rules and rude behaviour is. Not taking a match or a competition seriously, not fighting to win, not giving your all for success.

He sometimes says silly things, and I don't like him personally, but he didn't say anything rude or un-gentleman-like here. Amazing that a newspaper even fabricates a headline from this.

To make this clear, I think the two best sides got into the final, but it turned out that Australia were only the second best side. Both sides got to the final because they absolutely deserved it before any other team, and England deserved to win before Australia. I have no met a single Australian who experessed disrespect of the English performance. In fact, many were as fascinated as anybody else. I admit belonging to these "traitors" as well (in case you glimpsed at my blog every now and then....)

Can you also provide where he says that best of three finals thing? Maybe it was cut off form the Cricinfo quote. I don't even know what it means, to be honest ._.


~ Play For Country Not For Self ~

Unknown said...

Hey Wes,

I never had any problems with Ponting praising his team, or praising the English team or any of those facts... The only point where I feel he was very un-Australian was when he said that Twenty20 tournaments should have best-of-three finals... He did not say that when India beat Pak in 2007 or when Pak beat SL in 2009... Why say it only when his team is on the losing side??

And the second point here is that is the finals are best-of-three affairs, then there is a case for the semi-finals to be best-of-three affairs as well, isn't there? These are the two points where I felt his arguement erred...

I think you got the gist of my post a little wrong... I was never of the view that "competition, optimism and confidence are against the spirit of the game"...

Anyways, good to see you put your points forth so vehemently... Look forward to more such inputs from you...


Siddharth said...

Wes we dont have any problem in captains praising their teams!! but you dont keep double standards. Why only when Australia lost. They are not used to losing and that also to England. I guess it became a lil bit embarrassing for them.