Red cards are the ‘fuck off’s of referees. – No one. Yet
It has been reported that red and yellow cards may be used in cricket, soon. MCC is working on the logistics and we are curious about the turn out.
Red is a confusing colour, given that it signifies both danger and love at the same time. But no one seems to take a hint. In sports, red cards are the primary weapon for referees to keep the hooligans of sports in check, on the field. The receivers of the dreaded ‘red card’ are issued an immediate GTFO the field. Then there is “yellow card“. The yellow card is red card’s volatile cousin. A warning to mend your ways before you get flashed another yellow. Which in turn means a red. Some color mixing this is! And it goes without saying, you are not there to collect them all.
According to MCC, responsible for Laws of Cricket (not BCCI, surprisingly), the coloured cards will work on similar principles as in football. In cases of intimidating, threatening umpires or other players, red and yellow cards would lead to timed suspension of on field players for 10 min. The batsman may be retired out if found guilty. The on field umpired will act as Judge Dredd, with complete autonomy with regard to the enforcement of the laws.
Ardent cricket fans will always have an image of the brutal Australian sledging and the consequent hammering lead by Sachin and Sehwag on numerous occasions. And who can forget Flintoff pumping up Yuvraj with his foulmouthed sledging. Which led to an onslaught off the bowling of Stuart Broad. 6 powerful sixes, traumatising for the English, in an over. This in itself could have qualified for a red card against Yuvraj for ‘intimidating’ and ‘scarring’ Broad for life.
Cricket is lovingly called a ‘gentlemen’s game’ which barring a few rare occasions, it has always been. Every now and then a player gets disappointed by the umpire’s call, shows him his bat, grunts dejectedly. But it hardly ever will ever translate to an umpire being under any kind of threat from the player.
While it remains to be seen how practical this move is, its sure to give us some exciting and fun times in the “gentleman’s game“. Cricket as a sport certainly has its feisty moments and to take corrective measures when things get out of hand might just be a start in the journey of keeping the game clean (and sucking the fun out of it).
India for one will always be at a huge disadvantage with this rule because you can expect Virat Kohli to begin the game on a yellow card having already shouted Bhen##od after having lost the toss.
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