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Monday, March 12, 2007

Hypocrite - Gavaskar or Ponting?

Reacting to recent comments by former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, Ponting has labeled Gavaskar as a hypocrite. "We all know the way he played his cricket, don't we? What about the way India have played their cricket over the last few years?" Ponting said.

Gavaskar, in an interview to a cricket magazine remarked that while the Australian team were no doubt the best in terms of both batting and bowling for the last decade, the way they have conducted themselves on the field left a lot to be desired. Cricketer turned commentator Gavaskar has never been very fond of the Aussies – he had once famously remarked about how visiting teams often faced 13 Aussies on the field. This quote is from those days when the concept of neutral umpires was yet to be introduced on the cricket field, and Gavaskar found more than a few wrong decisions favouring the Aussies.

In one of his tours down under when given out LBW, when he had clearly edged the ball, Gavaskar had almost decided to leave the field along with his batting partner Chetan Chauhan. This is the incident which Rickey Ponting was referring to while replying to Gavaskar’s comments. Even then, 25 years ago, this is what Gavaskar had said, “It was triggered by personal abuse on Lillee's part."

Much gladdened himself at the recent reversals in the fortunes of the Aussie team, Gavaskar said during the course of the controversial interview, “Australia's come-uppance at the hands of England and New Zealand has gladdened the hearts of not just the other aspirants for the World Cup but also the followers of the game. There is not the slightest doubt that in the last decade or so the Aussies have been awesome in batting, bowling and fielding which has taken them to the top of the cricketing ladder in both Test and limited overs cricket. But they have also been awful in the way they have sometimes behaved on the field much to the chagrin of the traditional fans of the game. Like the West Indian teams of the 1970s and 1980s which dominated world cricket in much the same way as the Australians are doing now, the Australians are not popular."

Losing his cool, Ponting added “How many test matches have they (India) won? Gavaskar has been a big part of that, he has been a selector and has been on the coaching committee.” The Australian captain also thought “it was high and mighty” of Gavaskar to criticize others behaviour when he himself was the not exemplary player on the field, citing the “walking-out” incident of Gavaskar in his defence.

rahul dravid and michael slaterIf one were to go by empirical evidence, Gavaskar has enough reason to say whatever he has. The story of Aussies success on the cricket fields for the past decade or so has been accompanied by innumerable stories of their offensive behaviours, both on and off the field. Only very recently, after winning the ICC Champions Trophy, Ponting and his men completely disgraced themselves during the prize distribution ceremony, when they pushed the BCCI President, Sharad Pawar off the dais. Anyone who has seen the video of that incident will find it difficult to believe that it happened incidentally. Then there is the notorious Rahul Dravid – Michael Slater incident. Has Ponting also forgotten that he had once managed to abuse the gentlest of cricketers, Javagal Srinath? Ponting mistimed a pull off a Srinath bouncer and the ball hit the grill of his helmet. Poor Srinath, who walked upto Ponting enquiring if it had hurt the batsmen got some nasty words in return for his good natured behaviour. Then there is the Healy-Ranatunga spat, and the Warnie-Ranatunga one too.

One could go on and on citing incidents of Aussie misbehaviour on the field. Ponting, like the rest of his team may be a very skilled player, but otherwise a very bad example of a cricketer. And also, a poor student of history, I guess. Or maybe the Aussie captain suffers from a problem called amnesia !!

odds on sun beating aussie cricket team


Pri said...

This is getting really heated now with Sunny even bringing up the late David Hookes.
I love celebrity fights and im totally on Sunny's side. I hate Ponting!

Ooh and your comment made my morning! :)

CricketCritic said...

Regarding Ponting's reply to Gavaskar's comments over Australia's behaviour :

In my view, it was about the truth pinching hard . Nearly all teams have had problems with Australia's on field verbal tactics.

The South Africans complained of racial abuse when they went there, and in fact pleaded their home crowd to boo the Aussies when they came for return series.

NewZealander Lou Vincent went public with his feelings against Australia by saying they hunt like a pack of dogs and they think they are above the game.

India's Sachin Tendulkar has been the target of Aussies verbal volleys so often, and in the recent malaysia tri-series, ponting made some rude remarks at him after he was called back by the umpire after being initially given out.

Sri Lanka's Muralitharan and Ranatunga have had problems with Aussies.

Brian Lara too. After he reached 400, Ponting instead of congratulating him, went on to say that Lara was a selfish player in going for the record.

No doubt "Arrogant Aussies" is the right tag for your team, Mr. Ponting.

Be a good ambassador for the sports first before trying to become the best batsman.

And as for his remarks that there are not too many popular winners, you only have to look at the popular Windies of the 80s, Sachin tendulkar, Roger Federer, etc. to see the hollowness of his remarks.

So many teams you have roughed up, are now coming out in the open. Who all will you reply to Mr. Ponting ?

Add to that, Ponting and Damien Martyn's recent behaviour against Mr. Sharad Pawar in the award-giving ceremony in the Champions Trophy in India.

Remember Chris Gayle Vs. Michael Clarke in the Champions Trophy where Gayle was fined but Clrake escaped. Gayle later said that the perpetrator of the crime should be equally punished.

The administrators of the game are turning a blind eye to Aussies on field behaviour.

Amit Bajaj said...

It's only right that that this issue has come back onto the front pages.. somewhere Cricket Australia had launched the "Spirit of Cricket" to make us all forget and overlook the behaviour of the Aussie cricketers. I also remember one of the Chappells defending Waugh & Co.'s sledgings on the field saying, "How can you be playing for your country and not get excited sometimes?". A cool remark to make, but just that. There's a level to which one is allowed to get excited...verbally abusing fellow cricketers has definitely got nothing to do with patriotism. Mr. Critic, i completely agree with you.

and yeah Pri, it's always a nice feeling to give someone's day a good start. cheers!