Welcome Darren Lehmann fans! Lehmann
Welcome Darren Lehmann fans!
Lehmann hits have been my main traffic for most of today and yesterday, so here is what I know of the Lehmann case.
1. After being dismissed, Lehmann indulged in the obligatory bat-throwing and cursing tirade in the dressing rooms, ending with “Fucking Black Cunts”.
2. The racial slur was heard by members of the Sri Lankan touring party, not by the actual players.
3. After the incident, Lehmann apologised for the remarks to the Sri Lankan team, who accepted his apology, asking for leniency in the matter. Clive Lloyd agreed, and gave him a reprimand.
4. Malcolm Speed picked up the ball and insisted Lehmann face the ICC tribunal for a level 3 offence.
5. Lehmann has been suspended for 5 games, which will make him ineligible for the first round of the world cup assuming that the VB series finals finish in 2 games (which is likely)
The first thing to note in this event is that Lehmann didn’t directly vilify anyone. His comments were not directed at any member of the Sri Lankan team, rather all of them as a group. This doesn’t excuse his behaviour, but I think most people can agree that running past Sanath Jayasuriya and calling him a “Black Monkey” directly would be a much more serious offense than what actually happened. Especially given that there were no actual team members present, and his comments were simply overheard (presumably because he shouted them from the dressing room).
A reprimand may have been too light of a sentence, but I think 5 games is way too heavy. The heaviest penalty that could be applied for racial vilification is 8 matches, and Lehmann got 5 for what is really a pretty tame case. I could imagine much more serious offenses of a similar nature, and indeed many more serious have occurred in the past. Giving Lehmann such a severe penalty for a relatively tame incident really leaves them nowhere to go in future cases.
The upside of this affair though, is the inclusion of Michael Clarke at Lehmann’s expense. Clarke is young and very exciting batsman, a former member of Australia’s under 19 world cup side. Watching him in the next matches will be extremely entertaining. If you haven’t seen Clarke play, think Dean Jones without the zinc cream, and you will be pretty close.
On a related tangent, It is physically impossible to spin the ball from Leg to Off, with an Off-Spin action, without bending the arm in order to snap the wrist. The ICC has made it illegal to no-ball players during a game, instead the umpires are required to report the action after the fact.
This has to beg the question, probably from our friends in New Zealand: What is to stop Ricky Ponting from taking the ball, in the final over of the world cup final, and pitching baseball-style for the entire over? The umpire cannot no-ball him, no matter how diabolical his action is. This is, quite simply, stupid. Muralitharan is great to watch, and Sri Lanka couldn’t compete without him, but he’s a cheat.
Disclaimer: This article was written while under the influence of cheap pre-mixed spirits. I will correct any spelling/link errors in the morning.Explore posts in the same categories: From Blogger