Thursday, January 10, 2008

CRIKEY: How to stop a cricket civil war ...

Well, it seems international cricket is about to have its first world war. It started with at least one Indian bastard being found guilty of poking fun at the appearance of an Aussie monkey. Then a heap of other Aussie monkeys retaliated by calling the bastards bastards (presumably to keep them honest, of course!).

Now it seems one monkey’s parents are receiving abusive phone calls, while the Windies are peeved that umpire Steve Bucknor has been dropped despite not having called anyone a monkey or a bastard.

And in a move sure to encourage Billy Birmingham back into the recording studio, the bastards are accusing Ian Chappell and other Channel 9 TV commentators of adding fuel to the fire by their constant replay of controversial decisions accompanied by acidic commentary. In all fairness, I think it’s a bit rich to blame Aussie TV commentators, who are never known to be engaged in controversies over racial slurs. (OK, let’s all cough the following words in unison: “bullsh*t, bullsh*t” in honour of Dean Jones.)

And I imagine Ponting (the poor bastard) is still licking his wounds after being told by Peter Roebuck and other influential cricket pundits to go get sacked.

And all this was caused by the International Cricket Council caving in to the demands of the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI, not to be confused with the BCCI, the allegedly corrupt and now-defunct Bank of Credit & Commerce International). Yet even the extraordinary backflip by the ICC may not stop the BCCI from suspending the tour and calling the bastards back home.

I’m not sure what the solution to all this is. Maybe the Pope needs to step in and inject some blessing into the game so that it reflects the same “values of honesty, solidarity and fraternity, especially among younger generations” as soccer.

Actually, the best precedent for resolving this has already been set by Dean Jones and South African all-rounder Hashim Amla. Basically Dean Jones apologised for calling Amla a terrorist, and Amla accepted the apology. Perhaps the bastards should apologise to the monkeys and vice versa. Then they can forgive each other and get on with it while the rest of us dust off our old Billy Birmingham CDs.

First published in the Crikey Daily Alert for 10 January 2007.

Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf

UPDATE I: Some responses from Crikey readers ...

Greg Ellis
Thursday, 10 January 2008 2:37:26 PM
Multiple abuser of teenagers Peter Roebuck deserves to have his name connected to a URL too. The fullest account is at:

Thursday, 10 January 2008 2:45:00 PM
I hope Yusuf isn's seriously suggesting it is appropriate to refer to a person of African descent as a "monkey", or that it is somehow equivalent to calling someone a bastard. Pathetic article.

Lisa Crago
Thursday, 10 January 2008 4:05:37 PM
THANKYOU Irfan,after all the tension, this comic simplification is a welcome relief from all the dangerous inflamatory commentary we have read from both sides.bring in the pope,lol, sport&politics&religion,hardly cricket fun, plus no mexican wave :(

Thursday, 10 January 2008 5:20:47 PM
Lisa is right.Irfans article shows how ludicrously the whole situation has been inflamed.Nneither countries or ICC come out of the situation with much credibility.Hopefully the tour will continue and all concerned will learn to"play the game" as in past

Thursday, 10 January 2008 5:20:50 PM
What a pleasure to read something so witty. Crikey needs more of this. Mostly your correspondents take themselves so seriously. And they're righteous. Oh so righteous. Will I subscribe again? Too predictable and angry. And righteous!

Dave Liberts
Friday, 11 January 2008 9:05:27 AM
Check out Kevin Smith's film Clerks 2 for a top debate about whether the term 'porch monkey' is racist. Irfan isn't being racist in this article, Chris Ellis, he's just 'taking it back' (if you don't get this, see the movie).

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