There’s an old saying where you only believe half what you read. Sadly, that applies to cricket journalism, too. For example, in the Times, Simon Wilde is writing about Ricky Ponting, and how to thwart him. Wilde thinks Ponting’s temper is his weak spot, and he writes:
And only three months ago, in a meaningless one-day tournament in Malaysia, he lost his rag so completely when umpire Asad Rauf made a call of â€œwideâ€ that he was fined his entire match fee. Revealingly, the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported the story under the headline â€œPontingâ€™s bullying tactics: here we go again.â€
In fact, Ponting didn’t lose his temper at all. I was watching it on television. What actually happened was that Ponting reacted to umpire Asad’s call with a mixture of disbelief and scorn. It was the sort of scorn that doesn’t look good and it was that disrespect that he was fined for. Not ‘losing his temper’.
Why did Wilde make this blunder? I rather doubt it was from malice. I think he just read about the incident in the Australian papers, and took them as gospel. It is remarkable how gullible cricket writers are towards other writers, just as great salesmen can not resist other salesmen.
But who are you going to believe? Me, or your own lying eyes?