Aloo on the face
It all started with this incident (link to Google video) during the last India-Pakistan ODI game. The Pakistan captain Inzamam decided to go for a leisurely stroll outside his crease while the ball was still alive and figured that using his bat to flick away an incoming throw from the fielder would mean much less effort as compared to trying to scramble back to recover ground. The Indians appealed and Inzi was given out. Dismissals such as this are always bound to be controversial – remember the Michael Vaughan ‘handling the ball’ at Bangalore? But even though Pakistan eventually won the game on the
SuckworthDuckworth/Lewis system, Inzy decided to flame the issue by calling Rahul Dravid and the Indian team’s appeal unsportsmanlike and against the ‘spirit of the game’, both in the post-game interview and in a separate newspaper column.
The mainstream media, ever on a hunt for the tiniest sniff of sensationalism, enlisted former captain and professional loud mouth Moin Khan for his views, which were as expected, less than complimentary towards the Indian team. This is of course the same Moin, who earlier wrote this priceless column about how Sachin Tendulkar apparently walked away ‘scared’ of Shoaib Akhtar (this piece is simply worth reading for the laughs it will generate)!. This time Moin went a step further and threw in a reference to Sourav Ganguly for good measure. Apparently, the former bare-chested-shirt-waving-on-Lords-balcony Indian captain would have been gracious enough to call Inzi back at that moment. That comment just cracks me up since Ganguly would probably not only have not done this, but even put in a word or two in the media telling Inzi to shut his trap up and play the game.
I am not much in support of giving credence to former has-been who would like nothing better than to start a controversy just to stay in limelight, but aNTi does a pretty good job of fisking Moin’s article, that is worth linking. Even some Paksitani writers, notably Zainub and Osman Samiuddin are not too happy with Inzi’s comments. Of course, Prem Panicker and Manish Verma have written about this at Sightscreen.
But the one incident I don’t recall anyone mentioning is Inzi’s outburst at Toronto 1997. India was chasing a smallish total and Inzamam, while fielding, called for the twelfth man to bring him a bat! Suitably armed, he then went charging into the stands to attack a spectator, who apparently had the temerity to suggest that Inzi’s body represented a high-starch content vegetable (which he was probably consuming too much of anyway). Yeah right – so that was in the spirit of the game. Given his behaviour that day was probably beyond the bounds of several laws, its quite rich hearing all these complaints about sportsmanship coming from Inzi and co.