Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Jarnail’s Joota revives Chappell memories

Underarm ActionNew Delhi. The whole world was stunned when a journalist called Jarnail Singh threw a shoe (also known as Joota in Hindi) at Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram. People couldn’t believe their eyes when Jarnail stood up and flung the shoe. It was shocking – it was clearly an underarm action – something the whole world thought was never to be repeated again after it shook the civil society 28 years ago.

It was February 1, 1981, and Australia was playing a One Day International cricket match against New Zealand in Melbourne. New Zealand needed to hit a six on the last ball to tie the match. To secure victory, Australian captain Greg Chappell instructed his brother and bowler Trevor Chappell to deliver the last ball underarm. The ball was thrown underarm, almost along the ground, and Australia won the match.

Although underarm delivery was technically legal at that time, the incident caused major controversy and outcry on and off the cricketing field, resulting in underarm action being banned. Underarm action was not seen again until Jarnail Singh rose to throw the shoe, which has now raised the ghost of bad deeds of Chappell brothers. People are also calling it “the Joota-Chappell connection” between the two incidents.

“Congress might have forgiven Jarnail Singh even though he didn’t ask for apology, but New Zealand will never forgive Chappell brothers for what they did in 1981. These brothers brought shame not only to their own country but to the whole game of cricket. Australia must not give them any tickets, lest they fly out of the country and spread such unethical behavior outside.” New Zealand cricket captain Daniel Vettori told in a press conference.

But Daneile Vettori seemed to have forgotten that Australia had already given tickets to Greg Chappell, who flew out of his country to coach India. But his sentiments were echoed by former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly, who also blamed Greg Chappell for having set a bad precedent and demanded that Chappell be arrested for his original sins.

“Jarnail would have been an innocent school going kid when the 1981 incident happened. Clearly that has left a deep mark on his psyche and he committed the mistake of throwing the shoe underarm. Instead of blaming Jarnail, we must identify the root of the problem and address that.” Ganguly demanded.

Meanwhile Jarnail’s Joota act has given rise to fears that the underarm action can become popular again as a tool to secure victories. Authorities have declared that no one would be allowed to get away easily after breaking the rules, even as they let Jarnail Singh go off without registering a case against him.

Unfortunately this purely cricketing incident is slowly getting mired in political controversies as well with a Congress leader called Jagdish Tytler claiming that the action of Jarnail Singh was politically motivated.


Sandeep said...

LOL :)

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