India’s much-hyped cricket tour of Australia has run into an air pocket. Rank mediocre umpiring by Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson has cost India the second Test in Sydney and robbed the series of all the excitement it promised in the remaining two Tests. The relationship between the players is at a nadir—Andrew Symonds says Harbhajan Singh called him a “monkey”, and now India says Brad Hogg called a player a “bastard”.
The integrity of the Australian players to play the game fair and square is under severe question after Andrew Symonds refused to walk; Ricky Ponting claimed a grounded catch off Mahendra Singh Dhoni; and Michael Clarke claimed Saurav Ganguly‘s catch was fair. Anil Kumble has said only one side played the game honestly. And the Indian media’s has complained to the BCCI about Ricky Ponting’s behaviour at a post-match press conference.
Question: Since the rest of the series can only go downhill or be completed in a cloud of mutual suspicion, mistrust, rancour and animosity, should India call off the tour and return to drive home the point to the Australians and the ICC that enough is enough, even at the risk of very heavy financial damages? Or should India stomach the insults and go through the remainder of the series in the “spirit of the game” and try to make the best of a bad situation?