Friday, March 2, 2007

a tale of two pities

As the World Cup draws near, we are being hit every day with news of another player that must miss out for such and such reason. Each of these incidents is a shame, because the whole point of the tournament is to bring together the best talent in the world. But few are as interesting as the two most recent tragedies.

First, it's official. Shoaib and Asif are out, due to "injury." I put the word in quotation marks because I, like many, don't believe they are really injured. The conspiracy theory, for anyone who hasn't heard it yet, basically says that they are waiting till the nandrolone is completely flushed out of their bodies before they test. That way they might miss the World Cup, but won't have to deal with the prospect of a life ban.

Meanwhile, around 8000 miles away, New Zealand's Jacob Oram is grappling with a personal dilemma of his own. Having fractured his ring finger, Oram has been told by doctors that he will have to sit out the World Cup. But with himself and the rest of his team in tremendous form, Oram is so desperate to play that he is considering amputating the finger in question.

So here's a pair of players that are feigning injury to avoid having to take a urine sample for the duration of the World Cup. And there's another who is willing to injure himself just for the chance to play.

Here's a couple of men who have tried to patch up numerous problems by piling complication upon complication. And there's a man who knows how to cut to the chase. Literally.

Surely there's some middle ground somewhere.

cross-posted at

No comments: