Zaheer Khan claims that Kevin Pietersen threw a wee sweetie at him whilst batting. Presumably, this is after the stump-microphone picked up the “that’s a shit shot” wittism.
England claim no such action took place. Michael Vaughan said:
"The guys promised me they weren't throwing them. They were just left there at a drinks interval."
It may have indeed been a joke. By in the context of a barrage of abuse, it would be difficult to interpret this joking-but-not-joking incident as anything other than part of the pathetic intimidatory tactics that England were reduced to. I’m not surprised that Zaheer felt “insulted”.
In an obvious tit-for-tat remark, David Gravney, the English Chairman of Selectors said:
"There were some issues on both sides. You've got people bowling beamers, you've got people going across the crease."No, not both sides: our side. Besides, these comments are a blatant attack on Sree Santh who, along with receiving a fine of 50% of his match fee for barging into Michael Vaughan, also accidentally bowled a beamer and deliberately ran over the crease.
As far as I’m concerned, this is an isolated action by one hot-headed quick. The more troubling aspect of this debacle comes from the English camp. Their organised and nasty abuse of batsmen was constant.
I’m really annoyed at England. If they were a political party, I would definitely never vote for them ever again. However, I am English, and I’m buggered if I know what to do. Maybe reclaim my Irish roots?
Anyway, this sledging business is really pissing me off. Why can’t they just bloody play cricket for Christ’s sake? Here’s Geoff Boycott:
"With verbals, I ask myself why do people carry on abusing players when they're batting. I never had it in my day and I faced some of the greatest bowlers there has ever been."For once I agree with Geoff. Sledging hasn’t always been “part of the game”. Being “tough” does not mean tolerating abuse. It means playing hard cricket; not swearing at opponents.
What am I going to do? The England team are a collection of vindictive bastards. Support India, I suppose? They do appreciate spin bowling more…