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Once upon a time, a bull saw a frog in a pond. Seeing the bull, the frog said, “I will become bigger than you! Smiling, the bull watched the frog grow bigger and bigger. With a last effort, the frog took a breath and jumped. The arrogant frog perished striving to become better than others.
This summarized parable shows all too well the folly of arrogance, the quality of having an exaggerated sense of one’s own abilities or opinions. It’s the fly-half going out and trying to score sixes on every ball because he’s not evaluating the opposing bowling. He’s the basketball player who averages 50 points per game while his teammates barely crack ten because he doesn’t think his teammates are as good as him.
The reality is that arrogance exists in all sports everywhere. Dominant individuals and teams tend to become more arrogant than individuals or teams winning close matches. My biggest fear is that the current Australian cricket team will become arrogant.
The team showed arrogance by refusing to endorse their coach. No one with or without Justin Langer’s resume deserves to be treated the way he was treated. Winning Big Bash League titles with the Perth Scorchers, a T20 World Cup and a 4-0 home Ashes series and presiding over a draw Ashes series in England is no small feat. For some – probably only two or three senior players – to say in effect, “We are too good for your ways and methods and want someone who will respond more to what we think we want” is at best a self-righteous, if not outright. arrogance.
Langer’s coaching style will continue to be a topic of discussion, but the abrupt nature of his eventual resignation and complete lack of team support has left a bitter taste in the mouths of the most serious cricket fans. He revealed that players believed they were better than the system rather than buying into the system to keep producing greatness. They wanted I did it my way without being working class man.
The team also showed arrogance in the way they mocked their opponent on the final day of the Pakistani series. Although the media presented it as just “amusing” Usman Khawaja and David Warner, the reality emerged that it was two guys making fun of the drummer coming out because they were on top.
While I’m sure the act was nothing more sinister than just lashing out at someone, making fun of how a famous person is either a sincere form of flattery or just an arrogant assertion of your authority over her. Considering that mockery didn’t come in any of the tests drawn indicates that there may have been some sort of arrogance in this.
The new style of leadership under Pat Cummins demonstrates that the team is extremely confident in their mastery of their respective games. While for the most part Cummins led and showed admirable sportsmanship to friend and foe alike, the above moments left a sour taste and demonstrated that perhaps, when it comes to his work on the field, Cummins may be getting too big for his pants. and that attitude has rubbed off on the team.
It remains to be seen how the Australians will play the rest of their series, but let’s hope that it’s more the signs of arrogance so far that are misleading.