Sunday, 3 Mar 2024

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Sharne Warne Backs the Aussies to Win and Lands himself in Hot Water

The battle of the cricketing giants officially begins today with India facing off against the might of the baggy caps. Australia have been unstoppable in Test cricket and visiting teams usually find it difficult to win against the Aussies. To make it extra challenging for India, the match will be held under day / night conditions.

India need to put on a strong showing here especially as this will be Virat Kohli’s last game. India’s captain is not retiring any time soon but is instead heading home to be attend the birth of his first child.

Former Aussie legend, Sharne Warne believes that while India are a dominant force in international test cricket, the Aussies will reign supreme and ultimately clinch the series. This is despite India’s impressive performance against the same opponents in 2018/19 when the men in blue were successful in lifting the prestigious Border/Gavaskar trophy. Warne believes that Kohli’s absence will no doubt hurt India and the team will need to rally around their stand in captain to be able to defeat Australia.

Warne further added that India were the better side a couple of years ago. Kohli was in top form and the boys rallied behind him to win the trophy. Warne also showered praise on India’s first class cricket. Players have to demonstrate their ability at the first class level before they can even be considered for the national team. This has allowed India to come up with a consistent supply of outstanding cricketers. Gone are the days when India were primarily known as a superior batting unit. Now they produce devastating quick bowlers as well as seen with the arrival of Shami and Bhumrah.

Unfortunately, Sharne Warne was also in the cricket news for the wrong reasons! While Cheteshwar Pujara put on a spirited fightback against Australia, Warne did mention an incident which hints towards ‘casual racism’ and is something that was not received well by the Twitter audience. While commentating for Fox Cricket during the first session, Warne mentioned how Pujara was given a nickname while he was playing county cricket with Yorkshire. The leg spinner explained how his name was not the easiest to pronounce so the English teammates referred to him as ‘Steve’.

The mention of this incident has reopened old wounds where the matter of calling Pujara as ‘Steve’ was considered controversial even when he was playing for Yorkshire. A legal complaint has already been filed by former Yorkshire captain Azeem Rafiq. The complaint filed on 5th December is against the team for harassment and discrimination on the grounds of race.

Pujara further went to confirm that the name was given to him because his Yorkshire team mates were unable to pronounce his name. Pujara added that he would like his team mates to call him by his actual name but understands that given the difficult name they resorted to using Steve instead.

Incidents like this should not be glorified and every effort must be made to not repeat them. A name is one’s identity and effort must be taken to ensure that the correct name is called out. There is no need for abbreviations or in this case a complete change of name just because you are not able to pronounce the name properly.a

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