The thing about definitive judgments is that they are often not definitive. For centuries and centuries mankind has tried to come with a collective code of living in shape of religion. Little problem, they don’t seem to agree which one is the best. A few others have tried to find another way of enforcing collective judgment or wisdom. It’s called political & legislative system(s).
The thing about them is people also keep changing their minds, so much so that progressivism is a movement. As new things come up, we decide what may not be correct say 70 years ago, is now completely acceptable, hint racial segregation. Rules coaxed with much enthusiasm are torn up by a different bunch of people living in a different time zone.
Like most things in life, cricket time and again faces moral and legitimacy paradoxes. The recent Decision Review system controversy highlighted this rather ignored side of the game. Virat Kohli accused the Australians of cheating. Australians are angry.
Pakistani fans, get some pop corns. People are being accused of cheating and no Pakistani crickets are involved. How long before another story involving one of us pops up? Australians have always been abrasive, brash, and in your face. Virat Kohli’s India have modeled themselves on similar lines. Obviously, having the richest and most influential board on their back, helps. Nevertheless, with both sides making their feelings clear, an intriguing verbal battle lies ahead. The cosmetic meeting before the 3rd test will have little impact in the heat of the battle.
But the question remains, did the Australians cheat? Iain O’Brien, the former New Zealand pacer, thinks otherwise. According to him, if you are not looking for clues from the dressing room before reviewing, you are not trying hard enough (to win). It is an age old question. To what extent are you willing to go to attain victory? Is winning the only thing? This is ambiguous as it gets. It’s down to each individual really. How does the ICC monitor this? Are the umpires supposed to track the eye balls of the batsmen? Where is Tahir Shah when we need him? Can the team management not place people in other sections of the ground, to help their batsmen? The system is built with an opening for exploitation or cheating if you prefer Kohli’s version
Do we have a solution? I am not sure we do. Some suggest, that it is best to take away reviews from players and give it to the umpires. Now will this not mean that players pushing for review of every decision being made? This will only mean a more captains being banned for not finishing overs in time. Consumers not being see their favorite performers, isn’t the best method of selling a product. Things will go on further in different direction until collectively we decide on a solution. Like Mankad, ball tampering (or ball management) and chunking, cricket has a new moral question. I am not sure anybody has the answer.