The way I see it, it is a horrible thing to be called a CHEAT.
For the entire week past, the word CHEAT resonated in our ears and many persons shared many varied opinions.
It forced me to do some research on the word CHEAT and the internet search via OXFORD DICTIONARIES, revealed the following:
VERB (USED WITH OBJECT)
to defraud; swindle: He cheated her out of her inheritance.
to deceive; influence by fraud: He cheated us into believing him a hero.
to elude; deprive of something expected: He cheated the law by suicide.
VERB (USED WITHOUT OBJECT)
to practice fraud or deceit: She cheats without regrets.
to violate rules or regulations: He cheats at cards.
For the purposes of this class, we will settle for the last one: ‘To violate rules and regulations.’
And so I present case number one:
Cameron Timothy Bancroft, just 25 years old, of Australia. A promising young batsman, with a bright future ahead of him. He was only in his 8th test match and already has an average of 30.92, with a highest score of 82 not out and two other half centuries.
He was caught red handed on camera, using sand paper to alter the shape of the ball, with an attempt to aid it to reverse swing, at a stage when Australia was in dire straits as to how to get the next South African wicket, in their ongoing test series.
When it was revealed that he was seen, he quickly shoved the sandpaper down his underwear and when he was confronted by the on field umpires about having an object in his pocket, he emptied his pockets to show that he only had his sunshades there.
Well I newa!
It was later revealed that the ‘plot’ was originally hatched by vice-captain, David Warner, with the full knowledge of Captain Steven Smith and the youngest member of the team, Bancroft, had volunteered to commit the dastardly act.
Cricket Australia has since released the two top men from their responsibilities and banned them from all cricket for one year. As for Bancroft, he was given a nine months ban.
Steve Smith and David Warner both shed tears at a press conference on their return to Australia and said they were SORRY.
My research further reveals that this is not the first case of ball tampering at the international level:
“Mailey, a leg spinner who played for Australia in the 1920s, admitted to tampering with the seam of the ball using resin and bird-lime in his tell-all autobiography, 10 for 66 and all that, published in 1958
During England’s tour to India in 1976-77, John Lever, the Essex left-arm bowler, swung the first Test England’s way, taking ten wickets in Feroze Shah Kotla. He used a Vaseline soaked gauze, stuck on his forehead, to good effect.
Chris Pringle of England, in 1990, used the edge of an old bottle top, to such good effect, that Pakistan crashed from 35 without loss, to 102 all out and he recorded his best test figures of 7 for 52.
In Ivo Tennant’s 1994 biography of him, Imran Khan confessed to having used a bottle top to alter the condition of the ball during a Sussex v Hampshire game in the 1981 county season
“Almost all Pakistani fast bowlers have tampered with the ball. I may be the first one to openly admit to it but everybody is doing it”, said Shoaib Akhtar in his autobiography, Controversially Yours, months after retiring from international cricket
He went on to admit that he had “tampered with the ball on many occasions”, despite knowing that it was against the laws of the game
“There are so many ways to prepare the ball; it’s not just a matter of scratching it. I have used my boot nails and zip of my back pocket. Many bowlers, use Vaseline or gum on the ball. The only way to stop this is for the ICC to ensure that at least some pitches are prepared in favour of bowlers”, confessed Akhtar.”
So young Bancroft is not the first and probably won’t be the last.
Case number two:
The much anticipated Gulf Insurance Interprimary schools’ athletic competition, was held at the Nevis Athletic stadium or the MONDO track, at Long Point, on Wednesday 28th March.
It was historic and immensely competitive.
At the end of the day, the grand announcement was made that the Charlestown Primary School and the Jocelyn Liburd Primary school, had tied on points in first place-181 points to be exact.
Immediately, there were loud noises and the word CHEAT, again resonated throughout the stadium.
It brought out some awful behavioral displays by some persons and some words were said that ought not be repeated.
In hind sight, maybe some of the officials messed up with the recording of the correct results and this ought to be corrected for future events but some adults did not show the children how to deal with situations such as these, in a proper manner.
And case number three: Russia’ recent elections when President Vladimir Putin won almost 77% of the votes in a land slide victory and there were reports that surveillance footage showed evidence of ‘ballot stuffing.’
Now, we can look at these incidents and decry the moral worth of the men and women involved but I want to suggest that at the same time, we should also take a close look at ourselves.
Remember, the admonition that when we point one finger accusingly at someone, there are at least three other fingers pointing back at us?
Also, during a week when the ultimate sacrifice made by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on our behalf, comes into sharp focus, we can remember his admonition of taking the beam from my eye before I take a speck from my brother’s? And ‘you without sin, cast the first stone?
Here is a shocker: ALL OF US HAVE CHEATED!
From the time that Eve ate of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, we were all born CHEATS.
Some have cheated on their taxes; some have cheated on their spouses; some have cheated by taking things home from their job sites without asking permission (I heard of one lady who worked at a hotel, who took home one towel every day-without permission).
Well I newa!
Have you ever travelled and on return home, you hide certain things that you have bought in all kinds of secluded corners of your suitcase to evade paying customs duty?
Okay, have you ever scratched someone else’s vehicle and driven off, before you are observed by the owner?
Okay, have you ever, received the wrong change (too much) from a supermarket or got too much from a Teller at a bank and never returned it?
Have you ever taken short cuts with the work on your job and not given full hours work and quality expected of you?
Have you ever….?
Man, all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God and when caught, we ought to receive the punishment due. However, we can all correct our erring ways and bounce back to be productive individuals, by God’s grace.
Rather than condemning others, we ought to take a closer look at ourselves and seek to correct those areas where we are presently going wrong and seek God’s forgiveness and turn away from our wrong doings.
This is a season of reflection and a good time as any to do some self-introspection.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?