Thursday, 31 January 2008
India and Australia have been going hard at each other for several years. It does not mean a thing. Eventually the warring parties will realise that all this sound and fury is insignificant beside their need to get along. Thereafter they will work towards finding a way forwards founded upon common understanding. After all, these are the two great cricketing nations of the world, the two countries that combine strength with an enduring love for the game, the powerhouses bound sooner or later to take over the show. They are rivals only on the field. Elsewhere they are partners and friends. Just that sometimes, in the hysteria, amidst the bellowing of the bulls, with the wild-eyed nationalists in a frenzy, they forget that they are on the same side.
For many years and in many ways Australia and India have followed a common path. First they had to free themselves from the patronage of the MCC and the old powers in London. Throughout its formative years, and far into its adulthood, cricket was directed by the same people, or their descendants, who seized control of it in the middle of the 19th century - the old guard who tried to keep the game as pure as homogenised milk. Although they hardly realised it, these complacent souls had old-fashioned views on many matters, including class and colour. Cricket has had plenty of rebels but precious few radicals.
Until the 1850s or so, the English game had two distinct threads: the professionals from Nottingham and the North who went around the country by train playing against local combinations for money, and the gentry from private schools who represented respectability. The professionals wanted to make a living from their craft in the same manner as silversmiths, lacemakers and so forth. Hereabouts skilled labour had started to assert itself. The gentlemen were the products of pulpits, headmasters, and a ruling class determined to retain its position and to bestow its convictions on every nook and cranny of a growing empire. Naturally, the gentlemen prevailed, not least because the professionals were inclined towards drink, besides which, a central authority and a county system were required. Even now workers are few and far between at the MCC, unless a new stand is being built.
For the next 120 years Lord's dominated the game - and not just its laws - right around the world. Every important international cricketing body met at "HQ". It was a conservative game. Cricket did not turn against white captains in the West Indies, or apartheid, till an overwhelming case had been presented elsewhere. After the second World War the cricket nations, most of which had fought with the Allied forces as members of the British Commonwealth, gained their independence and embarked upon, or resumed, lives as free nations. For a long time cricket was immune to changes felt in other sections of society. It was a poor game played by a small number of mostly impoverished peoples. Occasionally the game was shown on television but mostly it inhabited a separate world full of memories and sentiments. In India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it was played mostly by the upper crust, a group fond of England and its ways.
Of course, cricket could not forever remain the same. Sooner or later, independent nations were bound to demand a share, not so much of the spoils as the decisions. Sooner or later, the days of patronage were bound to end. After all, the game was spreading with democracy and opportunity, and the middle class was growing in all the former colonies. Cricket had been taken up by a new generation that did not look towards London or anyone else with awed eyes; a generation proud of their country and colour and inclined to rely on their own wits; a generation that wanted and needed to make money. Meanwhile numerous books were produced, suggesting that some of the great men of the past were not gods but mere flesh and blood, including WG Grace, Wally Hammond, Ranjitsinhji and CB Fry. The era of the romantics was over. The emperor was not exactly naked, but he had been stripped to sometimes embarrassing essentials.
Among the other important cricket-playing nations, only one had consistently stood its own ground. The Australians had never been impressed with the class system or the old guard or walking or preachers or the English way. There was not much point going so far away merely to reproduce the past. Moreover, it was a harsh, raw continent, full of fires and droughts. Together the land and the history produced a breed of tough and direct men of independent disposition. Accordingly the Australians played by their own lights, displaying a singularity of outlook that made them hard to love and harder to beat. But then Australia had an entirely different story than any of its cricketing rivals. It had no aristocracy to work alongside. It went in cold.
The major change in the last few years has been that other nations have also broken away from acquired habits to assert their individuality and demand their rights. Unsurprisingly, India has been the most outspoken of these newly heard voices. None of the others was well enough placed to stand alone. India had the population and the power. And the money. Australia had met its match.
For a time the Indians merely made an occasional noise. Sunil Gavaskar's influence was important. Beloved of his people and lauded as a batsman, he spoke out against the cosy assumptions of London, and for that matter, Melbourne. Gavaskar's weakness has been not that he led the protest, but that, having won the argument, he has not moved on. India has become strong and has no need any longer to act like an outsider. Indeed it has a new responsibility.
And so the Australians and Indians stand tall as cricketing powerhouses. Australia has in recent months started to give some ground to international requirement by moving away from the confrontational approach instilled in numerous backyards, where the game is learned and a thousand friendly taunts are voiced. Hopefully the SCG Test will be remembered as the last instance of the unacceptable face of Australian cricket. Not that they alone crossed the line.
Ricky Ponting and his players had been sorely provoked not so much in Sydney as on their previous visit to India. Sensitivity works both ways. In the last decade India has gained wealth and prestige and its team is strong, intelligent, educated and proud. Whereas Arjuna Ranatunga was seizing the chance presented by leading an unusually gifted Sri Lankan outfit, Sourav Ganguly and his successors have been captaining a side able to take care of itself in any company and likely to remain competitive hereafter. India looks even the fearsome Australians in the eye. Before much more time has passed these nations will learn a common language that goes beyond cricket. Australia will understand that its backyards are unique and that admired sides are supposed to set an example. All the chest beating is passé: the conduct of a new nation eager to flex its muscles and proud of every triumph. India will see that it cannot over-react to every setback as if it were a conspiracy hatched in London and founded upon racist or patronising outlooks.
From the current confrontations will come mutual respect. Sreesanth will realise that he must play the game on his own terms, and that imitating an Australian does not work. The BCCI will stop fighting yesterday's battles and start thinking about tomorrow. Ponting and his replacement will understand that reputations are hard to change and that rudeness anywhere is intolerable.
In the end love of the game and mutual interest will outlast these disturbances. Ignore the turmoil. The fact remains that Brett Lee is immensely popular in India and Sachin Tendulkar is widely admired Down Under. Supporters have already taken the great leap. Now it is up to those directing cricket operations in both countries to anticipate and avoid conflict. Good manners are needed everywhere. It is time for tongues to stop wagging and ears to start working.
Peter Roebuck is a former captain of Somerset and the author, most recently, of In It to Win It.
India's performance in chartering a plane to take the players back home in the event of an independent judge finding against them in the Harbhajan Singh case counted amongst the most nakedly aggressive actions taken in the history of a notoriously fractious game. If this is the way the Indian board intends to conduct its affairs hereafter, then God help cricket.
It is high time the elders of the game in that proud country stopped playing to the gallery and considered the game's wider interests. India is not some tin pot dictatorship but an international powerhouse, and ought to think and act accordingly. Brinkmanship or not, threatening to take their bat and ball home in the event of a resented verdict being allowed to stand was an abomination. It sets a dreadful precedent. What price justice now?
Not that the attempt made by Cricket Australia to broker a compromise had much more to commend it. Ricky Ponting and his players were entitled to take a stand on principle. As it happens, I thought their strategy unwise because they had fanned the flames, Anil Kumble had not been given a chance to intervene and the case was unwinnable.
But they were entitled to take a stand and demand a hearing - especially after their disgraceful treatment by the crowd and a local umpire in Mumbai not long ago (not to mention in Kolkata in 2004) last October. The Australian players may have let rage get the better of them but they were within their rights to demand a hearing. Cricket Australia had no business pusillanimously trying to talk them out of it. Racism was the issue, or there was no issue.
As was inevitable, Harbhajan's appeal was successful. Simply, there was not enough proof to justify a conviction. It does not matter what anyone thinks may have happened. Court cases are about facts, not opinions, or allegations or interpretations or guesses. Once the microphones and umpires could not back up the charges, the case was doomed. That does not make Harbhajan a hero. It is high time his seniors took him in hand. He has become a hothead with an unpleasant tongue.
Far from seeking revenge, the Australians should have treated him with derision. Throughout this episode, they have been driven not by reason but by a rage that ruined a match and imperilled a series. Harbhajan is not worth half as much. Nor is it wise to ignore Australia's reputation as champion sledgers. Everything has a history.
All around, it has been a bad business. Over the years, India have often been represented by gentlemen with high principles and a strong sense of sportsmanship. Australia have not been so fortunate. But it seems that power has corrupted. It was intolerable that India's one-day players were sent to Adelaide when they ought to have been practising hard in Melbourne.
It was not an implied threat to the justice system. It was a direct challenge to it. India took part in the creation of the legal framework they disregarded. If the Indians had packed their bags, Australia should have refused to appear in India next season. That India took exception to the original findings of the match referee was not surprising.
Realising that he was not properly qualified, Mike Procter implored the ICC to appoint someone else to sit at the hearing, but his plea fell on deaf ears. Indeed, the ICC has been notably unhelpful in these last few weeks. It is hard to believe that a legally trained professional could have reached the same decision as the former South African all-rounder. Procter is a cricketing man not versed in the intricacies of evidence and may not understand the difference between a balance of probabilities and reasonable doubt. That does not mean he deserves the venom directed at him by Sunil Gavaskar, also an employee of the ICC.
Accordingly, it was appropriate for India to appeal against the original judgment. For the convenience of all parties, and to allow for a cooling-off period, the appeal hearing was delayed. An independent and experienced judge was asked to preside over it. That the judge was a New Zealander should not have troubled anyone. The idea that a Kiwi might be in league with the Aussies will come as a surprise to both parties. In any case, the time to object to the choice of intermediary had long since passed. Judge Hansen duly applied legal principles and convicted Harbhajan of a lesser charge.
India's conduct was deplorable. That the Australians have been carrying on like pork chops for years was no excuse. India had every right to stand against them, but not to undermine the rule of law. Posturing has cost them the high ground. Indeed, the time has come to take a closer look at the behaviour of the BCCI, not least its liaison with the thieves and thugs running Zimbabwean cricket. A man is known by the company he keeps.
Now the Australians must accept the decision and move on. The allegation could not be substantiated. It's as simple as that. Now both captains must insist that their players conduct themselves appropriately - a responsibility bestowed on them by the laws of the game. Blessed are the peacemakers.
Peter Roebuck is a former captain of Somerset and the author, most recently, of In It to Win It.
Global Voices Advocacy is pleased to announce the second of several planned manuals focused on the topics of circumventing internet filtering, anonymous blogging and effective use of Internet-based tools in campaigns for social and political change.
Blog for a Cause!: The Global Voices Guide of Blog Advocacy explains how activists can use blogs as part of campaigns against injustice around the world. Blogging can help activists in several ways. It is a quick and inexpensive way to create a presence on the Internet, to disseminate information about a cause, and to organize actions to lobby decision-makers.
The goal of Blog for a Cause!: is twofold: to inform and to inspire. The guide is designed to be accessible and practical, giving activists a number of easy-to-follow tips on how to use a blog to further their particular cause.
The guide is divided into five sections:
- Frequently asked questions about what blog advocacy is
- The 5 key elements of any successful advocacy blog
- The 4 steps to creating an advocacy blog
- How to make your blog a vibrant community of active volunteers
- Tips to help blog activists stay safe online
In addition to the information provided above, the guide is also full of examples of advocacy blogs from around the world, to inspire readers with a glimpse of what is possible. These featured advocacy blogs have a variety of goals, ranging from freeing a jailed blogger in Saudi Arabia to protecting the environment in Hong Kong and opposing the conflict in Darfur.
If you found this guide useful when setting up your blog campaign, please email us to let us know.
Download Blog for a Cause!: in English and help us translating the guide in your language.
For further information please contact Mary at MaryCJoyce [ at ] gmail [ dot ] com or Global Voices Advocacy Coordinator Sami Ben Gharbia at advocacy [ at ] globalvoicesonline [ dot ] org
News and politics
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
By Todd Gitlin
The following is the fifth post in my Questions Reporters Should Ask series. My goal for the series is to highlight questions that, to my mind and to the best of my research, the press has not asked (or at least not asked often or insistently enough) of, in this case, the Republican candidate Senator John McCain.
Questions for John McCain
1. You continue to refer to the pre-surge strategy in Iraq as the “Rumsfeld strategy.” Why don’t you call it “the Bush strategy”? Does your reluctance to do so suggest that you would, as president, refuse to take responsibility for your own strategy in Iraq?
2. You anticipate keeping American troops in Iraq for one hundred years “as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed,” in order to fight al-Qaeda. But al-Qaeda and similar jihadist groups, like the train bombers in Madrid and London, have recruited terrorists by exploiting resentment against the American presence in Iraq. Toward what end, then, do you believe that quasi-permanent American bases in Iraq are desirable?
3. More generally, is there any downside for the U.S. guaranteeing the world’s security, spending as much on the military as the rest of the world combined, and maintaining more than a dozen major military bases in other countries? How would you address any such downside?
4. Before President Bush launched the Iraq war, you said: “It’s going to send the message throughout the Middle East that democracy can take hold in the Middle East.” The war “will be brief,” you said. “I have no qualms about our strategic plans.” Why were you sure?
5. In your speech to the 2004 Republican Convention, you agreed with the Democrats that “military action alone won’t protect us, that this war has many fronts: in courts, financial institutions, in the shadowy world of intelligence, and in diplomacy,” and that “our alliances are as important to victory as are our armies.” What would you do to mend the U.S.’s frayed alliances?
6. In 2000, you advocated “rogue state rollback,” speaking specifically of Iraq, Libya, and North Korea, and adding: “I would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically elected governments.” Do you still advocate rollback in North Korea? If not, why not?
7. You urge cutting Federal spending. One of the measures you advocate toward that end is (quoting your Web site): “Allow the private sector to fulfill the needs it can meet and get the government out.” Specifically, in which areas do you propose to replace government by private programs?
8. In December, you said, “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.” Then, last week, on the subject of current economic problems, you said: “what we need to do, to start with, before we go any further is stop the out-of-control spending.” Why are you confident that “spending is the reason why our house is in such fiscal disorder”? Which economists advocate spending cuts as a means to fight recession?[Thanks to Michael Meyer, Matt Welch, and Mark Benjamin at Salon.]
News and politics
By Todd Gitlin
The following is the fourth post in my Questions Reporters Should Ask series. My goal for the series is to highlight questions that, to my mind and to the best of my research, the press has not asked (or at least not asked often or insistently enough) of, in this case, the Democratic candidate Senator Hillary Clinton. I’ll be posing questions for other candidates going forward. Next up: John McCain.
Questions for Hillary Clinton
1. Richard Holbrooke, one of your chief foreign policy supporters, wrote in 2005 that the “Global War on Terror” “is not an accurate description of America’s enemy or of what we are engaged in.” But you use the term “war on terror.” Why?
2. Do you propose to preserve American bases in Iraq?
3. Are you prepared to renounce the Bush Doctrine, which permits preventive war? If the answer is “yes,” how do you square that with your vote to brand Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a “terrorist organization,” and your refusal to take military action against Iran “off the table”?
4. In 1999, your husband withdrew the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty from Senate consideration in the belief that the Senate would not vote to ratify it by the necessary two-thirds vote. Do you anticipate being able to work with the Senate to pass such a treaty, or indeed any arms control treaty? How would you persuade dissenters?
5. Which of the Bush administration’s privacy-invading and government secrecy measures do you reject?
6. To what extent should the money saved by phasing out American combat operations in Iraq be used to reduce the deficit, and to what extent should it be used for creating jobs, environmentally sensible investments, and social programs?
7. One of your chief economic advisers, Gene Sperling, has written that “there are goals—banning child labor in our factories; preventing racial, religious, and gender discrimination in the workforce—that require direct intervention in the market regardless of their efficiency or economic impact.” Is government support for the organizing of unions among the “direct interventions” you favor?
8. Do you believe that the protection of drug company patents is a responsibility of the federal government?Research assistance by Michael Meyer
News and politics
By Todd Gitlin
This is the third in my Questions Reporters Should Ask series, which I kicked off three weeks ago with eight for Mike Huckabee and followed with eight more for Barack Obama. As I wrote earlier, my goal with this series is to highlight questions that, to my mind and to the best of my research, the press has not asked (or at least not asked often or insistently enough). I’ll be posing questions for other candidates going forward. Next up: Hillary Clinton.
1. In response to a question about your wife staying home and raising your children, you once said: “I actually think that motherhood is a profession. It’s one which is challenging, it’s demanding. I think it requires being a psychologist, a psychoanalyst, an engineer, a teacher.” Yet you have also proposed that welfare recipients (including mothers) be required to work “immediately.” If they are already working at their “profession,” why?
2. You support abstinence-only sex education. In the first study of multiyear abstinence programs, Mathematica, a nonpartisan research firm, found that “the programs had no effect on the sexual abstinence of youth,” and that they neither increased nor decreased condom use. At least ten states refuse federal abstinence-only funding from the Bush Administration. Why do you support abstinence-only?
3. Do you believe there is widespread voter fraud that justifies states requiring every would-be voter to present a government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot? What is the evidence for your claim?
4. Do you support the Bush Doctrine, which declares that “America will act against emerging threats before they are fully formed”? If so, how do you address the declining confidence in America that is manifest almost everywhere in the world during the Bush years? Or do you believe that it does not matter?
5. Last year, you wrote in Foreign Affairs: “The next president should commit to spending a minimum of four percent of GDP on national defense.” This is approximately what the U.S. spends now. In 2005, the U.S. military budget exceeded the sum spent in the next fourteen countries combined. Military spending (not counting the Iraq and Afghanistan operations, veterans’ affairs, and off-the-books operations) accounts for more than half of federal discretionary spending. What, specifically, would you change in American military spending, and why?
6. In the same article, you wrote: “Today, among our main challenges are an Iranian regime and an al Qaeda network that developed while we let down our defenses.” Did American policy toward Iran and Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s have anything to do with the development of these challenges?
7. What lessons have you learned from the Iraq invasion? Follow-up: Why didn’t you know those before the invasion?8. In one debate, you said: “I don’t want [terrorists] on our soil. I want them on Guantánamo, where they don’t get the access to lawyers that they get when they’re on our soil. I don’t want them in our prisons….Some people have said we ought to close Guantánamo. My view is we ought to double Guantánamo.” Do you have any evidence that Guantánamo has averted any terrorist attacks? How would you address our allies who disagree about the merits of Guantánamo?
News and politics
By Todd Gitlin
The following is the second post in my Questions Reporters Should Ask series, which I kicked off three weeks ago with Eight Questions Reporters Should Ask Mike Huckabee. As I wrote earlier, my goal with this series is to highlight questions that, to my mind and to the best of my research, the press has not asked (or at least not asked often or insistently enough) of, in this case, the Democratic candidate Senator Barack Obama. I’ll be posing questions for other candidates going forward. Next up: Mitt Romney.
Questions for Barack Obama
1. In June 2006 you voted against the Kerry-Feingold amendment that would have set a deadline of July 2007 for the withdrawal of almost all U. S. forces from Iraq. But in January 2007, you supported a deadline, proposing to begin redeploying troops by May 1, 2007, with the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008. Why did you change your mind about the desirability of setting a deadline for withdrawal?
2. At October’s Democratic debate in Philadelphia, you said: “We are committed to Iran not having nuclear weapons,” and that “there may come a point where [diplomatic] measures have been exhausted and Iran is on the verge of obtaining a nuclear weapon, where we have to consider other options.” Is preventive war with Iran one of those options?
3. You have said: “We must lead by marshalling a global effort to stop the spread of the world’s most dangerous weapons.” Toward that end, would you support a nuclear test ban treaty, and if so, how would you win a two-thirds vote of the Senate for it?
4. Many experts have taken issue with your health insurance proposal because it includes a requirement
of coverage—a “mandate”—for children and not adults. Proponents of a mandate for all argue that universal coverage cannot be attained without it. You have called a health insurance mandate an attempt to “force” people to buy insurance. Are you opposed to all government attempts to force people to do things they’d rather not do—for example, pay taxes? If not, why draw the line at a health insurance mandate?
5. On a related topic, you have said that medical costs must come down, and propose to bring them down by reducing paperwork and increasing competition among insurance and drug companies. Do you really believe that such measures are sufficient to bring down medical costs?
6. You have said that you are a member of the “Joshua generation,” whose challenge is to complete the work of the “Moses generation,” specifically with respect to the rights of African-Americans. Why, then, do you criticize Hillary Clinton and others who, you say, have “been fighting some of the same fights since the ’60s?”
7. Republicans have lately taken drastic steps against what they say is a plague of voter fraud. Indiana now requires every would-be voter to present a government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot. If the Supreme Court upholds that requirement, other states may pass or strengthen similar laws. What is your view of the prevalence of such voter fraud, and what should be done about it?
8. Nearly five million Americans—some 2% of the American electorate—cannot vote today because of they have been convicted of felonies. In this regard the US is unusual among the world’s democracies, which think that the rights of citizenship should be restored once a felon has served his or her sentence. Do you agree that former felons should regain the right to vote?
[Thanks to Michael Meyer and Mark Crispin Miller for suggestions and research.
News and politics
Sunday, 27 January 2008
Adam Gilchrist has given more outright joy to followers of the game than any cricketer since Sir Garfield Sobers. He will be missed as a cricketing force, as a contributor and as an entertainer.
Throughout his career he has played with a gusto that has set him apart from the common run with their facts and figures. The sight of him lifting a boundary catch when quick runs were needed - and departing with something akin to a hop and skip - reminded spectators that cricket is just a game and ought not to be meanly played.
Except on the dark days that occasionally encompass even the brightest lives, he retained this attitude, impressing crowds with merriment even as he slayed bowlers with swashbuckling strokes.
Yet to characterise Gilchrist as a cavalier is to underestimate his craftsmanship and his contribution. Guarding the stumps was his primary duty, a role he carried out with an athleticism and skill that spoke of substantial skill and unfailing stamina. It was no easy task to replace as superb a gloveman as Ian Healy, into whose hands the ball nestled like a bird in a nest. Gilchrist met the challenge with aplomb, not so much ignoring the hisses that greeted him as turning them into cheers by sheer weight of performance and freshness of character.
Standing back to fast bowlers, he was superb. Even now, in this sudden, dismaying and inevitable hour, it is possible to remember him flying through the air to take glides down the leg side, glove outstretched, landing with a thump and emerging with the ball with the sort of pleasure detected in a child who has found a plum. At these times he transformed innocent glances into remarkable snares.
Doubtless it helped that he is a left-hander but then his work in the other direction was not much worse. He was a capable, as opposed to gifted wicketkeeper.
Standing over the stumps to spinners, Gilchrist was reliable. Over the years Shane Warne had less reason than he imagined to regret Healy's departure. Until the last few rugged months, Gilchrist did not miss much. Often he'd wear a helmet to counter the Victorian's prodigious spin, and his work behind the pads was admirable. He holds the world record for Test victims. He must have done something right.
But it is in his secondary responsibility as a batsman that Gilchrist will be remembered longest and cherished most. Simply, he changed the role of the wicketkeeper, changed the way batting orders were constructed. Previously keepers had been little, cheeky fellows built along the lines of jockeys who advanced their tallies with with idiosyncratic strokes sent into improbable places. By and large they did not alter the course of an innings. Gilchrist was having none of that. Instead he became two cricketers, a dashing and dangerous batsman and a polished gloveman. Throughout his career Australia has been playing with 12 men.
Others may reflect upon his thrilling innings at the top of the order in fifty-over cricket, not least the dazzling hundred in the last World Cup final. But then, he attacked because he must. In Test cricket he attacked because he could. He refused to be bogged down by bowling or inhibited by pressure, and did not allow a frown to cross his brow except when an injustice has been observed or an uncharitable remark had upset him, and then he spoke his mind with the same directness that marked his batting.
Gilchrist was a magnificent willow-wielder. Released from worry by his work behind the sticks, he was able to express his temperament at the crease. Fortunately he had the range of strokes needed to meet the occasion: the swing of a swordsman, an ability to assess the length of the ball in an instant, plenty of power, and a wide range of strokes off both feet. Always he looked for opportunities to score, giving ground to defence only when every alternative had been removed. It took fierce reverse-swing or probing spin offered early in the innings to unsettle him. Otherwise he was not easily troubled let alone dismissed.
Yet it is not the keeping or batting that defined him. Throughout his career Gilchrist played in his own time and by his own lights. Although it could cause misunderstandings, his decision to start walking was not a gimmick calculated to improve his popularity. Rather, it was a conclusion reached almost by accident, whose merit he swiftly recognised. Likewise his reluctance to appeal for anything and everything upset the bowlers. Accordingly he was obliged to tread the fine line between serving the interests of the team and applying his personal code. Occasionally he was chastised for swaying too far in one or other direction but these were trifling matters that will not mar his reputation. No-one is perfect.
Above all, Gilchrist was a sportsman. Nothing held against him would have raised a murmur from someone else. Cricket will miss his smile and sense of fun and also his panache with the bat. Australians will miss the sight of him walking through the gate when the team was in trouble or else when quick runs were required. Everyone will remember the dynamic hundred struck in Perth against England.
Every significant passing produces a hundred memories. Gilchrist's also brings forth a hundred smiles. He has been a mighty cricketer who did his best to serve the side, entertain spectators and improve the way the game was played. The amazing thing is not that he occasionally faltered. The amazing thing is that he so often succeeded.
Peter Roebuck is a former captain of Somerset and the author, most recently, of In It to Win It