Martin Devlin: Tim Paine's behaviour is another reason to hate Australian cricket

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Thu, 14 Jan 2021, 12:29PM

Martin Devlin: Tim Paine's behaviour is another reason to hate Australian cricket

Author
Martin Devlin,
Publish Date
Thu, 14 Jan 2021, 12:29PM

Tim Paine was a jerk. Plain and simple. On-field in-game the Australian captain, as demonstrated during the 5th day of the 3rd test, he behaved like a right plonker.

Off the pitch he might be a nice guy. Who cares? When the game is on the real Tim comes out. He is bitterly competitive to the point where, like his team-mates, he will do anything to win. And please, don't anyone act surprised. This is who they are, who they always have been - a great team who on the field act like a bunch of complete dickheads.

Which is actually great because it also gives the rest of us every good reason to hate them. Not burn-in-hell type hate but a genuine dislike for who they are and the way they play. But as for this latest round of online faux outrage, just stop it. It's as pathetic as Paine's lame attempts to upset Ashwin.

Men playing sport at the highest level involves a lot of this sort of behaviour. If you don't like it then do your awfully sensitive ears and eyes a favour and look away. At least as nauseating as the outrage over-reaction is the sugar-coated response from the PR fluffers paid to clean up Paine's mess.

Every time the Ozzies (like Paine, like the sandpaper incident) reveal their true character there is a post-match flood of public apologies, tearfully contrived press conferences, parents involved/kids paraded in front of the cameras, everything possible to present an image of the players as nice guy family men. And at home they might well be. But not when they're playing test matches.

All the recent rhetoric around "we're changing, we're rebuilding the  culture, it's not who we want to be" etc is just rubbish. Sledging, banter, mental disintegration Steve Waugh called it is as much a part of their approach as is short-pitched pace bowling and blatant cheating. What else was Steve Smith doing when he chose to pirouette on the pitch? They will do whatever they think might upset the opponent and put them off their game. To the Ozzie cricketers this is called normal.

If you know anything about the sport then you already know all of this and know it's never going to stop. Just use it as another reason to dislike them and they way they play the game. And be eternally grateful our lot don't revert to the same.