Just when we thought that the Ugly Aussie was a thing of the past, especially with the two-match series against India passing off without controversies or major incidents – the current Aussie team was probably the best behaved in recent times - the Aussie contingent at the Commonwealth Games decided that they would prove the sceptics right.
The Aussies at the village went on an all-night binge and in the process destroyed a washing machine flinging it to the ground from the eighth floor of their tower.
The Indian officials have played down the incident. And the Aussies have termed it as ‘high spirits’ that just got a little out of hand. The Aussies have paid for the damage.
But coupled with recent news reports about the reduction in Indian student registrations to Australian educational institutes by a whopping 80% and the continued racial attacks on Indian students there, the image of Australia in the international media has taken a serious beating.
The Indian media have not failed to highlight racial attacks on Indian students down under over the past year. And this has had Indian students think twice about pursuing avenues in Kangaroo Land.
Sports, as a metaphor for life, is one way of allaying fears among the Indian public and a way to reach out to the general public. It is the minuscule minority who indulge in such outrageous behaviour and the Aussie contingent at the games has done its bit by raising funds to the tune of Rs. 4 lacs for the poor and underprivileged children of New Delhi.
But such ‘high jinks’ are not the best way to present the integrated face of Australia to the world.
The new Aussie cricket team may have got the message but it does not seem to have permeated to their fellow sportsmen.