Sorry, this shit has gone on too long. The latest ridiculous indignity India has attempted to visit on New Zealand is the moving of the start time of the test matches to midday. An x-ray of Justin Vaughan’s back has revealed a small, malformed cluster of bones at the base, perhaps the remnants of what might once have been a spine. He’s used this to gently decline, in the most obsequious of terms, this request. Which I guess at least puts him one up on the NZRU.
“Sony [now Multi Screen Entertainment] had wanted better time slots broadcast back into India and we want to keep them happy because they are our broadcast partner but it just wasn’t to be this time,” Vaughan said. “The players weren’t happy to play under lights and Sony is fine about that, they understand, and everyone is happy. It’s a very amicable outcome.”
Well, I’m not fucking happy. After depriving us of the best bowler I’m likely to see in my lifetime over some ridiculous domestic spat, telling us which players will be allowed the privilege of helping bed in their superstars to New Zealand conditions, and trying to control which commentators call the game, now they attempt to alter the daylight hours in New Zealand?! Seriously, this stuff needs to cease. All the money in the world can’t justify these incessant humilations, and at some point we need to just call them and the TV rights owners on this bullshit.
This morning, at 11am, a game of cricket is going to be played, by a full-strength Indian side and a New Zealand side which looks pretty good, but is clearly weakened by the continued absence of Bond. That he has kept a dignified silence over the issue, despite his having received assurances from NZC that he would be allowed to continue to play for the Black Caps only speaks to the respective decency of the two parties involved. That issue has to be called dead now, but the incessant petty squables that are wheeled out by the BCCI and Multi Screen Media need to go too.
The ICL has more-or-less called time on its competition, suspending the league and failing to make payments to its players. It’s all over bar the shouting, yet the Indian establishment continues to meddle with the most minute details, blustering and huffing at every opportunity, and generally rendering a wonderful era of cricket dangerously close to farce.
When india and New Zealand stroll out to play test cricket this MORNING (thank God), as the two sides have done since 1955, the cricket should be the main story. As it is, the sense that we’re being dictated to as to the content of our sides at both domestic and international level, even who is allowed to talk about the games, is becoming so overwhelming that it threatens to drown out the event which drew us here in the first place.