HIS captain is embarrassed. Senior cricket writers have poured scorn on him. Past cricketers have called his actions juvenile. Yet Shane Watson, the Australian all-rounder, is out there trying to defend his behaviour on the fourth day of the third Test against the West Indies.
Watson dismissed the West Indies captain, Chris Gayle, and then charged down the wicket to the departing Gayle and jumped up and down in front of him, snarling in a manner that the best wolfhound would find difficult to emulate.
And he justifies this behaviour by saying that Gayle had riled him up on the field, and “given as good as he got.” He even says he’s not embarrassed by the monkey act he performed in front of Gayle.
Which leaves one wondering whether he is really in the here and now, whether he knows that he can’t act like a two-year-old on the field – which is his workplace – and whether he thinks that he is not subject to society’s expected standards of behaviour.
Cricket Australia is partly to blame because it has not seen fit to levy any penalty on Watson after the ICC referee Chris Broad fined him a totally inadequate 15 percent of his match fee.
Broad has form in this regard – it would have been interesting to see what he would have fined a West Indies player who did a Watson. In the same game, Sulieman Benn was involved in an incident with Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson for which he earned a two-match suspension; the Australians were fined 25 and 15 percent of their match fees respectively.
You know that the chief of Cricket Australia is holding a post he is clearly not fit to hold when he says that the players should be given credit for good behaviour in several recent series.
I’m not sure why anyone should be given credit for doing the basics of their job but that seems to be part of the culture in the country. Cricketers are paid extremely high wages – Australian cricketers are about the highest paid in the world – in order to do a job. With that job comes an expected standard of behaviour; the ICC has a code of conduct and the Australian authority has one too.
When people do a job for which they have been paid, and paid mighty well too, why do they need to be praised? They have signed up to do something and merely kept to it. If a man signs up to work from 9am to 5pm, should he then expect praise because he arrives punctually for work every day?