Thursday, March 03, 2005

Lee the Bully

There has been a minor controversy in the on-going one-day series between Trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand, a storm in a tea cup. In an otherwise dull and one-sided series where the most interesting action was seen in the unofficial Twenty20 game, Brett Lee's beamer directed at Kiwi keeper Brendon McCullum have sparked off some indignation. From Peter Roebuck, for example. The retro, '70s-style hairdos sported by the Black Caps in the opening exhibition game still remain the highlight of the series, though. I watched the confrontation that Roebuck mentions, between Abdul Razzaq and Lee in the recent VB series and I thought Lee was vengeful and boorish. Razzaq genuinely appeared to have lost control of his attempted full delivery, but when it happened twice in the same over, he was given marching orders by the umpire (Rudi Koertzen, I think). When his turn came, Lee didn't hold back and extracted retribution. I remember Tony Greig was quick to denounce Razzaq's act as malicious, but I don't recall him being so stern about Lee. But that is besides the point. It has been par for the course for Australian cricketers to feel indignation when they're on the receiving end of on field incidents while turning a blind eye to their own. Ricky Ponting has indicated he'd be taking no nonsense, but one suspects it will be a slow process. - NK

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