Cricket pitch must be sacrosanct!

Aug 28, 2013, 07:24 IST | MiD DAY Correspondent

The actions of England cricketers Kevin Pietersen, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, who urinated on the Oval pitch after winning the 2013 Ashes on Sunday cannot escape strong condemnation from cricket's stakeholders

The team had every right to celebrate, but they cannot disrespect the game in any way while doing that. The ‘watering’ of the pitch could have also been in response to the disappointing aspect of the Test which was brought to a close because of bad light. The light metre indicated that the light was worse than the previous reading and when that happens, as per the rules, play must be called off. The umpires went by the letter of the law and the players still had reason to be disappointed, but at the end of the day, a cricket pitch must be sacrosanct.

Unique ways of celebrating should be restricted to the dressing room, not on the turf and certainly not on grounds that have been adored by players and fans through the history of the game. Not only did the three players show disrespect for the turf on which they earn a living, they also displayed a lack of dignity by urinating while people (media and groundstaff) who make this game what it is, were toiling away. The ICC ought to penalise players who cause physical and spiritual damage to grounds just like they act when players who show disrespect towards equipment.

During the last World Cup in India, Ricky Ponting escaped with a reprimand from the ICC when he threw his abdomen guard at his kit bag in frustration, damaging a TV. Ponting was pulled up through Clause 2.1.2 of the ICC Code of Conduct that relates to “abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings during an international match.”

Time to act, ICC! 

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