When former Australia coach Mickey Arthur famously punished a group of his players for not adhering to the ‘homework’ they had been set, we thought we had laughed at the most ridiculous cricket offence imaginable.
Yet somehow that absurdity has been trumped by South Australia’s Daniel Worrall, who set a new benchmark in crass stupidity after being suspended for scratching an image of a penis and testicles into a pitch.
You read that right: showing all the creativity, wit and artistry of a bored teenager doodling in the margins of their exercise book during double maths, Worrall carved a "meat and two veg" into the ground.
The creative graffiti appeared after a Futures League match — effectively the state second XI competition — match between Victoria and South Australia at Toorak Park in Melbourne last week. So not a poor quality game at all.
The ground was due to be used for a regional-level cricket final that weekend, which was seen as enough of a reason for match referee Daryl Cox to propose a two-match suspension on the fast bowler.
SA Cricket’s high performance manager Jamie Cox was, perhaps understandably, a little upset about the whole debacle.
“We are extremely disappointed in Daniel’s actions, it’s not in line with the behaviour we expect of a Redbacks player,” he said.
“We do believe this out of character for Daniel. He regrets his behaviour and has accepted the penalty.”
The incident swiftly, and inevitably, saw the club become a laughing stock with even former Australia players having a field day with the story.
The handiwork that landed SA bowler Daniel Worrall a Cricket Australia suspension for damaging the Toorak Park pitch. pic.twitter.com/sNVci0qsLr
— Paul Amy (@PaulAmy375) March 18, 2014
Worrall was originally reported for “acting in a way that a) was unbecoming of a representative, and b) brought the game of cricket into disrepute”.
The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to the charge but did not originally agree with the penalty - no doubt feeling that it was too stiff - which led to a hearing being held on Tuesday morning.
But Worrall lost his appeal, and the Redbacks player will be made to serve his suspension at the start of next summer.
As it turns out, Worrall was likely using the artwork as a creative form of celebration given that he took five wickets in the match as SA beat Victoria by 67 runs.
Do you think this was just harmless fun after a fine victory or was this grossly offensive and worthy of the punishment? Post your views below...
- Sports & Recreation