Sydney, Jan.30 : Australia's Governor General Michael Jeffery has expressed his anguish over the loss of grace and courtesy from the game of cricket, and appealed to cricketers at all levels to improve their manners.
Jeffery said he and many Australians and cricket-watchers around the world were becoming concerned about a lack of sportsmanship at the game's highest level.
"(I'm concerned about) the reduction in the grace and the courtesies that are being shown on the cricketing fields," he said on ABC Radio today.
"While we should be playing the game tough and hard and all of that sort of thing, I think there's also a need to really take care of the fundamental courtesies and good manners. Good manners on the ground and off the ground have such a good impact on our other cricketing friends around the world. I think we've got to have a little bit of a look at this," news.com.au quoted the Governor General, as saying.
His comments come ahead of the Prime Minister's XI game against Sri Lanka in Canberra today.
Major General (retired) Jeffery said he was troubled by some batsmen's failure to walk from the crease when they knew they were out but had been let off by umpires.
"Questioning umpires' decisions, not walking, sledging - which I'm totally against - in a vicious sense. An on-field humorous remark was fine, but sledging in its true sense was totally un-Australian and unacceptable, he said.
He warned that bad behaviour by Australian sportspeople could have ramifications overseas.
"If we're seen to be a bit churlish or we don't acknowledge the other players in an appropriate manner that can have a negative effect," he said.
Maj-Gen Jeffery said the acrimonious Sydney Test between Australia and India had been a "wake-up call" and the subsequent two matches had been conducted in a far better spirit.