Saturday, 23 June 2007

Geyser pays price for World Cup malfunction

(Barbados Bungle artists: Billy Bowden, Steve Bucknor)

Justice delayed is justice denied, alright. But in an imperfect world, two months is not a big deal. Hence, ICC's decision to suspend the disgraced quintet behind the Barbados Bungle deserves kudos.

Steve Bucknor comes across as an affable Jamaican. Aleem Dar looks unruffled under pressure. Rudy Koertzen probably deserved a Chevalier de L├ęgion d'honneur for refusing to be bribed before the Coca-Cola Cup final. On his part, Billy Bowden is cricket's answer to Jim Carey.

But does that mean they would go scot-free after spoiling the summit clash of cricket's greatest extravaganza?

Make no mistake, Australia deserved to win and win in broad day-light. Semi-darkness suits pilferers and cat burglars, not world champions. Bucknor & Co clearly lost the marbles they were supposed to count in Barbados.

Now whether it was Koertzen, who sowed the seed of doubt or not, that’s irrelevant. Mired in controversy, murder theory, upsets, low turn-outs and mediocre displays, the World Cup desperately needed a final to salvage some of its reputation in the spiritual home of the game. And Australia-Sri Lanka showdown meant two best teams had reached the summit clash. But the ill-fated event concluded in the shoddiest manner.

"The umpire at cricket is like the geyser in the bathroom; we cannot do without it, yet we notice it only when it is out of order." So said Neville Cardus. Fair enough. But then it was not just another Tom-Dick-Harry memorial tournament after all.

Image: BBC

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