Foreign stars should show India respect - Emirates24|7

Foreign stars should show India respect

I have a wife and three kids back in Melbourne and they are not impressed with the part of the world I am in, are the words of Darren Berry, the assistant coach of the Rajasthan Royals after the bomb blasts that shook the Pink City a few days back.

One can understand the anxiety and concern of families who are miles away from their loved ones in India. Australia is indeed fortunate not to have the spectre of terrorism in their country and one can sympathise with them when they find themselves in a situation like the one in Jaipur.

But while sympathising with Berry about the predicament he and the other Australians are facing, there is immense disappointment and not a little annoyance at the choice of words to describe India as "not impressed with the part of the world I am in".

There were bomb blasts in India before too, so the situation in this part of the world is pretty well known and still Darren and his family did not think twice about it when the dollar signs were flashed in front of their face to come down for the DLF Indian Premier League. The solution is pretty simple as our common friend, the late Doctor Jain, would have said to Darren to pack his bags and go home, which presumably is an impressive part of the world. Never mind that it is where young Indian students, trying to earn an extra buck by driving cabs after university hours, get set upon by drunks when it comes to paying the fare or just for the heck of it.

We are told that these attacks on students are the result of the frustration that Australians feel about their jobs being taken by Indians. Just imagine if the cricketing fraternity in India were to look at it in the same way as the support staff of the various franchises in the IPL. Would that be justified?

The manner in which some people bad mouth India all the time, but are the first on the plane to the country when it is a question of making some easy money, is well known. And because we in India are a lot more tolerant than others, it is being taken advantage of. Whenever there is an interview to be given to the papers back home, it is invariably with a dig at India and Indians.

Indian cricket is like a river of gold and there are many who are dipping their hands in it with no loyalty whatsoever to the country, but only to their bank managers back home. There are some who are being paid six-figure amounts in dollars, but making occasional trips to India and not staying on for the duration of the tournament. And they will be the first to escape if the teams don't do well. What these guys don't understand is that the franchises are not stupid. They haven't got into the prominent positions in their businesses and industry by fluke and they are all well aware of what's happening.

This is the first year and so they are being a bit indulgent and watching it unfold. By the time the second year starts, don't be surprised at the trimming of the personnel that will take place. They will want results and if they don't get them, there will be wholesale sackings. So, enjoy it guys but just make sure you show some respect to the country that is putting more food on your table and allowing the family to buy designer stuff rather than the ones in the car boot sale.

The Harbhajan Singh episode is finally over and the BCCI too has pronounced its punishment for him. It was surprising to hear that some felt that it was a rap on the knuckles. But hasn't he been punished by the IPL? Yes, what he did was wrong, but he didn't sell the country.

More than criticising the quantum of punishment, what these critics should be doing is to help the spinner resurrect his career. The BCCI would do well to send him to an anger management course. That is where the problem is, and while he is out of action, maybe this is the best time for him to undergo such a course. India has lost many players who were unable to cope with sudden fame and we must ensure that a talent like Harbhajan isn't lost. He is still young and has plenty to give to Indian cricket.

And to think that all this wouldn't have happened if his teammate had not burst into tears. It was the sight of Sreesanth crying like a baby that started the troubles for Harbhajan. What was worse was after that display of histrionics, the same guy says that it was OK as Harbhajan is like an elder brother and he has the right to do it, and also adding that it is part of the game.

Since when has physical assault become part of the game? Despite the coach Gary Kirsten's assertion that there won't be bad blood between the two, it is not going to be easy for a person who has lost a lot of money, and more crucially face, to be able to regard the other in a favouarble way.

What Sreesanth did not realise is how he has exposed himself to the verbal taunts that are sure to come his way especially from teams like Australia and South Africa, whose batsmen are not going to let him forget his flood of tears.