The Press Tent: The dab edition
We have had Christmas off, but now the Press Tent is back and we cannot wait to see wait 2017 has to offer us. The things we most want to happen is more #RootMaths, and that is where we start.
Joe Root does #RootMaths
Any long time reader of the Press Tent will know of our obsession with the phenomenon of #RootMaths – the process by which a player’s successes are subtracting from their record in order to prove a point. The name started during the 2013 Ashes when many tried to prove that Joe Root had done badly during that series by taking out the 180 he made in the second innings at Lord’s.
Now, there have been any number of examples over the years, but there was one at the end of the India vs England series that made us deliriously happy. Joe Root did #RootMaths.
In a press conference during the Chennai Test, Joe Root gave us the following quote:
““The number of runs Kohli’s scored, if you take them away it’s a completely different series.”
We think that might be #RootMathsSquared.
Loads of Lodha
The Lodha committee have finally flexed their muscles and removed the BCCI’s President, Anurag Thakur, from his post. The whole story of how this Supreme Court committee came into being is a long and complicated one, and beyond the remit of this banterous column. If you want to familiarise yourself with the whole palaver have a read of this summary.
This is big news. But there has still be some reluctance from big names to have their say on the move to demand that Thakur steps down. One of those that has kept their own counsel on events is Harsha Bhogle. Once an ever present figure on our television sets, Bhogle has been out of the picture for a while now.
He was asked on Twitter: “@bhogleharsha for a chap who has an opinion on every ball, why not have an opinion on whats going on at @BCCI ? #LodhaPanel #anuragthakur”
His response was an interesting one. “Fair call. But given events of last year, will be seen as an aggrieved party. Can be misinterpreted.”
Those “events” are worth revisiting. During the World T20 there were reports that Bhogle fell out with an official in Nagpur. He was working for Star Sports in both English and Hindi and needed to rush between commentary boxes. A door connected both sections of the building, but Bhogle was told he was not allowed to walk through it and instead needed to run up and down a set of stairs. He complained. Some have suggested this was why his contract was terminated by the BCCI.
Also during the World T20 there was a tweet from Bollywood legend, Amitabh Bachchan, that appeared to be a very thinly veiled attack on Bhogle.
“With all due respects, it would be really worthy of an Indian commentator to speak more about our players than others all the time.”
MS Dhoni, India’s captain at the tournament quote tweeted this with the words “Nothing to add.”
Bhogle was being criticised for being informed about India’s opponents and trying to give viewers balance and it was suggested that this also played a part in his removal from the BCCI’s coverage of the IPL.
Bhogle has always seemed to be a class act by us occupants of the Press Tent, and his reluctance to stick the boot in is another example. But we would love to know what he thinks.
Usman Khawaja scored a second innings half-century against Pakistan at the SCG, and he celebrated by doing a “dab”. The youngsters inside the Press Tent tell us that the dance pose originated in the Atlanta hip-hop scene, with Skippa Da Flippa and Rich the Kid occasionally credited with inventing the move.
American sports have seen players doing a “dab” to celebrate for years now, with Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers one of the best known dabbers.
As far as we can tell, Khawaja is the first Test cricketer to do a dab and there has been some press related hilarity as a result. Both the Telegraph and Seven Sport have published articles that refer to Khawaja doing this as “disrespectful” and both are examples of what passes for journalism in 2017. Both articles have a list of tweets from random punters that are upset about something that is in no way disrespectful. The same thing happened when Misbah-ul-Haq did push ups, but back then some actual administrators said they were upset.
James Gratton, who it seems is a journalist and who has a verified Twitter account takes pride of place in both articles with his tweet. “Lack of respect shown by Khawaja to the Pakistan team. No excuse for behaviour like that in community cricket, let alone in a test.”
The Telegraph’s article quotes a Twitter account claiming to be Ian Chappell’s which tweeted “The only ‘dab’ I know of is a deftly glided shot to third man. No idea how it relates to whatever the hell Khawaja did there.”
This account isn’t verified, has 438 followers and tweeted about Shane Warne being a “cu*t” in recent days. It seems unlikely that this is the real Chappelli.
Whatever else 2017 brings, at least we know that sports journalism is in safe hands.
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