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Thread: Interesting article - Out of proportion

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    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    Interesting article - Out of proportion

    Thought I'd plagiarise this from Supercricket SA - Quite a good article from Neil Manthorp about how things a player says get chewed up and spat out by the world's media..


    "I thought I'd killed him," said Allan Donald the day after South Africa's 1996 World Cup match against the United Arab Emirates in Rawalpindi. "My heart just sank when he went down and I didn't know what to do with myself."

    He was referring to the bouncer that felled UAE captain Sultan Zarawani after a sickening blow to the head. The hopelessly inadequate batsman was wearing just a sunhat when he took guard and Donald had been revved up by a couple of his team mates to let the bearded Zarawani know that not wearing a helmet against the fastest bowler in the world was disrespectful.

    The next day there was barely a newspaper on the subcontinent, and South Africa for that matter, which didn't run the "I thought I'd killed him" headline.

    And, of course, there were more than a few Indian newspapers who put two and two together and came up with 427. "I tried to kill him" screamed one rag while another, perversely, claimed that Zarawani had "deserved to die."

    Happily Zarawani lived happily to tell the tale and Donald even signed his sunhat on the brim which had buckled under the impact of the ball and probably saved him from far more serious damage.

    The lesson, however, is that Donald had been sitting quietly in his hotel room musing on the incident feeling anything but that he was talking to the world's media. In fact, he was chatting to just one reporter. In a press conference Donald would probably have said something far less dramatic.

    And so was Mark Boucher when he made the comments about sledging and the resultant "lack of respect" between the two teams at the end of the tour in Australia.

    He was talking to a single reporter, he was physically tired and emotionally drained by the team's form. He was also, naturally, fed up with a few of the personal comments made by certain members of Ricky Ponting's team (models as girlfriends was a popular topic) and he was very, very fed up about the racist abuse handed out by a few members of the crowd to his great friend Makhaya Ntini.

    As he lay there on his hotel bed, television flickering in the corner and a CD playing quietly, Boucher was concentrating as much on what he was going to order from room service and about the prospect of going home than he was on the interview. In short, his 'guard' was down. Not that he cared much. He was fed up and he didn't mind saying so. Australia is a wonderful country for a holiday but, let me assure you, Boucher wasn't the only one happy to be coming home after two months of hard work and smart **** Aussie 'banter'.

    He mentioned that the South African players had lost respect for some of their Australian counterparts and that, perhaps, their hearts hadn't really been in it when they shared a few beers at the end of the Test series. He said he hoped the South African crowds would make sure Ponting's men weren't given an easier ride.

    When his comments were written down there was no television, no CD, no room service and no shrug of the shoulders. There is very rarely much 'context' in cold, hard quotes. It's a lesson that every young sportsman must learn - and it's a lesson that every sportsman keeps on learning throughout his career.

    Fortunately, Boucher has learned it many times and so have many of the Australian players. Boucher's comments may have raised the temperature of the contest amongst the suporters, but not amongst the players. They have all seen and heard it before.

    Boucher's best line during the interview, of course, was the one that wasn't repeated all around the cricket playing world - but it's the one the players will be reminding themselves of over and over again.

    "Cricket is a contest between bat and ball - if you say too much it just becomes a distraction." Let the contest begin.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member luckyeddie's Avatar
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    That article says everything that ever needs to be said about the modern phenomenon where certain media people feel the need to contribute to the news as opposed to just reporting on it.

    An exceptionally insightful piece of writing.
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    PY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langeveldt
    "Cricket is a contest between bat and ball - if you say too much it just becomes a distraction." Let the contest begin.
    Amen, if only there wasn't so much fannying about with petty stuff.
    Last edited by PY; 25-02-2006 at 05:29 PM.
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    Neil Manthorp is one of my favourite writers and he shows it again in that article. Thanks Rich. Would have missed it otherwise.

    There was a time when I used to give a lot of thought to player comments. Now even interviews do not mean much until I find that it is by some reporter who I think has some credibility (How I augur it is usually by his columns etc though it is obviously not fool proof).

    I mostly dont take what I read at face value though.


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    Quote Originally Posted by PY
    Amen, if only there wasn't so much fannying about with petty stuff.
    The posts in the forum would reduce dramatically with no Trescothic 3-0 discussions.

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    Tim
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    I did respect Neil Manthorp. UNTIL he wrote an extremely arrogant broadside of NZ cricket & our grounds last year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim
    I did respect Neil Manthorp. UNTIL he wrote an extremely arrogant broadside of NZ cricket & our grounds last year.
    Well, no one is perfect, really. Almost every single writer would have his/her own little biases. But this is one of the best articles on cricket (heck, on sports, for that matter) in recent times. Thanks for posting it, Rich.
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    International Coach archie mac's Avatar
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    Yes a very good read. Not cricket but in the same vein this story from the great actor Robert Mitcham (spelling)

    He had some bad press on his last visit of England so on this his next visit he was determined to change things.

    On arriving in England he was asked what he though of the place, he said he 'loved it, he just wished the airport was closer to the city so he could get there even quicker'

    The newspaper headline:

    'The airport is too far from the city, moans the hollywood star'
    You know it makes sense.

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    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    Manthorp has a weekly column on www.supercricket.co.za - I'd say his standard of writing beats that of cricinfos, especially since the Indian dude had his rant last week.. Shame the rest is a bit brief though

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend honestbharani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langeveldt
    Manthorp has a weekly column on www.supercricket.co.za - I'd say his standard of writing beats that of cricinfos, especially since the Indian dude had his rant last week.. Shame the rest is a bit brief though
    Well, not that I endorse those views, but I can completely understand why that Indian dude had that attitude. The colonial rule and the way it ended (the partition etc.) has left a lot of bad memories behind as far as Englishmen are concerned, with respect to India. Esp. in north India, which was the part that was worst hit by the partition.... You guys cannot even imagine how it could have been. Just try to think if one part of RSA in the north and a part in the middle east of the country is just partitioned away and is anointed as a seperate country. And consider if the partition is done on the basis of religion. You really had to be there to understand how tough it must have been and why there is that kind of hate for Englishmen amongst the first two generations of people after India (and Pakistan) got its Independence.

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    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by honestbharani
    Well, not that I endorse those views, but I can completely understand why that Indian dude had that attitude. The colonial rule and the way it ended (the partition etc.) has left a lot of bad memories behind as far as Englishmen are concerned, with respect to India. Esp. in north India, which was the part that was worst hit by the partition.... You guys cannot even imagine how it could have been. Just try to think if one part of RSA in the north and a part in the middle east of the country is just partitioned away and is anointed as a seperate country. And consider if the partition is done on the basis of religion. You really had to be there to understand how tough it must have been and why there is that kind of hate for Englishmen amongst the first two generations of people after India (and Pakistan) got its Independence.
    fair dos

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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Anyone read the responses to that article on Cricinfo? Stirred up its fair share of controversy. His reply to it all was pretty weak as well, pretty much avoiding the issues raised by those who wrote in to Cricinfo.

    Anyway top article Rich.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Neil Manthorp has quite a crusade against the stupidity of taking-out-of-context writing. Touched on it here, too.
    I've always liked his writing and commentary, myself.
    Sadly, he won't do anything about the taking-stuff-out-of-context, though. You only need to look at this thread here to see that we on CW are every bit as guilty of it as the next man.
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    State Vice-Captain sirjeremy11's Avatar
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    Gee. Imagine if Al Jazeera had broadcast that story - "I tried to kill him because I am a racist" would have been the headline!
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