Rajan's Wrong 'Un: Indian petulance is just another reason to hope they lose

India's politics is that of the playground and the verb to describe such behaviour, when the insecure biggest boy intimidates the others, is bullying

it strikes me as both remarkable and dispiriting that one of cricket's governing bodies this week rigged the game in their favour and not a pip of protest was heard among the wronged – a herd of victims led, incidentally, by England.

Over the weekend, N Srinivasan, the obstinate secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), reiterated the opposition of India's cricket wallahs to the Decision Review System (DRS).

"Nothing much has changed since we first opposed it", a sprightly Srinivasan told the Indian Express. "We welcome technology when it is 100 per cent error-free."

This argument is specious. My bicycle is not 100 per cent error-free; in fact, a few bus drivers have caused me to wish I had taken the Tube. But I still use it because the upside of doing so consistently outweighs the downside.

Srinivasan then added, for the umpteenth time, that not only does M S Dhoni share his position, but so too Sachin Tendulkar, whose word is holy in India. But this is not true. Tendulkar would vouchsafe DRS if it were augmented by the Snickometer and Hot Spot technology. Perhaps he came round to this view after India's World Cup semi-final against Pakistan, when he looked plumb and was given out against Saeed Ajmal, only for Hawk-Eye to reverse the decision. Tendulkar was on 23 and went on to score a match-winning 85.

But such nuance is at least too much for the determined Indian authorities, and their recalcitrance means the forthcoming series against England – in England – will be deprived of this benefit to the excitement, integrity and justice of the game. There will be weird moments when some fans, unaware of the Indians' refusal to act like grown-ups, are waiting for referrals that never come.

That the BCCI should get away with this mischief says as much about its arrogance as its now dominant position in the game, a function of the trillions of rupees swilling around the Indian Premier League. Theirs is the politics of the playground, and the verb invented to describe such behaviour, when the insecure biggest boy intimidates all the others, is bullying.

Why insecure? Largely because the bowler most likely to profit from DRS would be Graeme Swann. A superb analysis by S Rajesh, the peerless stats editor of espncricinfo.com, shows that spinners now benefit from referrals more than fast bowlers – a long overdue correction to the decades-long prejudice against them. And among spinners currently playing, Swann takes by far the biggest percentage of his wickets leg-before – 29.7 per cent – compared to Harbhajan Singh's much lower 21.2 per cent. The Indians' refusal to submit to DRS is born of fear that it will favour England's bowling attack more than their own. I trust English fans are sensitive to the irony of Indians running scared of English spin.

A single tantrum does not a bully prove but this is the continuation of a grim pattern. The England and Wales Cricket Board meekly succumbed on this issue because it is negotiating with children. For the past decade, the Indian authorities have packed them off to obscure grounds during England tours, rather than the massive grounds in big cities that England fans crave. They say this is because of a rotation policy among their 30 international venues; in fact, it is to ensure their fan base is as well looked after as possible. After protests, the BCCI reversed this policy for England's October tour.

This return to normality has been interpreted in some quarters as ending an unofficial cold war, when actually it is being used to legitimise war by other means. It is long since overdue that fans across the world stood up to this immaturity, and so taught the bully a lesson. I note that India's tourists land at Heathrow in a fortnight's time, and that seems as good a time as any to begin our campaign.

twitter.com/amolrajan

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine