Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tabloid Tantrum

The Indian media has jumped all over a recent outburst by the Australian Captain Ricky Ponting, during which after his run-out it is alleged he smashed a television screen in the dressing room.
It must be a slow news day today as the media in Delhi and Mumbai are publishing articles headlined 'Ponting Temper Tantrum' and 'Ponting's TV Smash Rage', and labelled a 'petulant' and a 'bad boy'.
The Australian team management has made a far milder public response stating that in frustration Ponting hurled his protective box towards his kit bag only for it to ricochet off a wall and strike the TV screen.

The resultant damage, they say, was in essence a black spot coming up on the screen and in fact the said television was still in operation when staff came to replace it.

One gets the feeling that Ponting is enemy No. 1 in India, and the press is using this as a great opportunity to try and throw off the Aussies via the media with such an over blown story. I have no doubt Ponting was in a less than amusing mood as he re-entered the dressing room, and I’m sure this has not been the only item ever smashed in such a way in cricketing history.

If this happened to be Indian Captain MS Dhoni I doubt the words would have tickled a keyboard. I find any reports from a dressing room to be out of order, and feel this is a sacred place for a cricket team and is off-limits to any media or those wishing to leak stories.

Australia & India within the media have had a pickled past, with India very quick to accuse Australia of being a raciest country post the Symonds-Singh affair at the Sydney Test match 2008, and this was inflamed by sensationalized reports on attacks on Indian students in Melbourne in 2009. While in India in 2009 I found quite a lot of hostility towards Australians in the large city centres, and the opportunity to look down their nose at the actions of the cricket team were often.

On a day where India is not in action the incident has given the local scribes something to get their teeth into. It is not the first time and, dare I say it, it won't be the last before the end of this World Cup.