Ball tampering and the Aussie hurt

Whether one strikes a conversation with a stranger in a plane or meets someone at a business conclave, one can see just how pained an average Aussie fan is every time the subject comes up.

The ball-tampering scandal still hurts a common Aussie.   -  AP

'Every day is a rainbow day for me,' a song composed by Sir Don Bradman - recorded in 1930 - finds a proud mention in the Bradman Collection on the precinct of the iconic Adelaide Oval ground.

Had Bradman, the greatest cricketing figure, still been alive, he would not have subscribed to the line, not after what the ball-tampering episode did to the country's cricket team and its populace.

It still hurts a common Aussie. Whether one strikes a conversation with a stranger in a plane or meets someone at a business conclave, one can see just how pained they are every time the subject comes up.

“The culture of every Australian is born and bred on fairness and respect for everyone. Unfortunate that it was not really just about cricket, nor a piece of cricket equipment. It really scratched the surface of the fundamental belief in the culture. It was a silly thing to do, a sad thing to do.

“It probably brought about the fact, what a lot of Australians believe, the sport is now highly commercialised. I feel sorry for the guys because I think they have been misled badly - commercial interests are putting unnecessary pressure on them. We should ensure we will never ever let it happen again,” says 60-year-old Tasmanian Racco Marsh with a touch of emotion.

Had Bradman, the greatest cricketing figure, still been alive, he would not have subscribed to his famous line 'Every day is a rainbow day for me'.   -  Y.B. SARANGI

 

“Walking through the Bradman Collection, reading the notes, I think it is the core of our sporting history. Don't tamper with it,” appeals Marsh, taking a round of the Bradman Collection with his 17-year-old son James.

Sanjeev, an Indian who has made Australia his home for the last eight years, understands why the shameful episode disturbs the average countryman. “Whenever I speak to my colleagues and friends about this, they seem to be shattered. For them it is just not about cricket, it is about the values,” says Sanjeev, in his mid-30s.

As the visitors continue to display their fascination for the rich history of the game, one is certain that cricket will overcome the forgettable episode and regain its charm at one of its strongest bases.

(The writer is in Adelaide at the invite of Tourism Australia)