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    March 12, 2007

    Some angry cricketers

    Ricky Ponting is seething over Sunil Gavaskar's remarks last week that Australia's behaviour made them a less liked bunch of winners compared to the West Indies sides of the 1970s and 1980s. So Ponting went ahead and made the obligatory reference to Gavaskar dragging Chetan Chauhan to the boundary after copping a bad decision at Melbourne in 1980/81. This wasn't the first time Gavaskar had pointed out Australia's bad behaviour. He did so in 2003, while delivering the Colin Cowdrey lecture at Lord's.

    Aside from referring to Gavaskar's antics at Melbourne (curiously, he didn't refer to Sunny's 36 at Lord's in 1975), Ponting talked about India's hopeless record in tests and said that he knew who he'd rather watch. I hope his national cricket board was listening. They seem rather over keen to have India play Australia, at various venues - now Ireland after Malaysia last year. Ponting also said that his team was placing a lot of emphasis on behaviour, something which he talked about a in 2005 and John Buchanan talked about in 2006. Maybe they're not doing enough - Australian players made seven visits to the ICC Match Referee's room in 2007, Ponting doing so twice.

    It may not be a bad idea for Gavaskar to realize that there're genuine conflicts of interest between his duties as the chairman of the ICC's Cricket Committee and his rights as a columnist. I don't remember who, but I'm sure I've read a comment piece some time ago by a columnist/editor in (possibly) 'The Times' which talked about Gavaskar's "inability to realize a conflict of interest even when it stared at him in the face". If Gavaskar had concerns about Australia's behaviour, I'm sure there are right 'channels' to get his concerns addressed, especially since his committee 'deals with any matters or issues relating to the game or the playing of the game.' (sic)

    The other player who should actually be very angry, but probably isn't, is Denesh Ramdin. Rahul Dravid, while defending Sehwag's inclusion in the light of yet another low score, seemed to get a little angry.
    I get asked this question why are you supporting Sehwag. Anyway my supporting Sehwag, it is not like I'm supporting Joe Bloggs, some Ramdin or Ramakdin or something.
    Joe Bloggs, I can understand. Ramakdin, less so. But Ramdin? I mean, why pick on a 21-year old who's just about made it to the West Indies squad for the tournament?

    Update: I wonder if Dravid or Gavaskar should point out that India beats Australia hollow when you compare recent one-day record against England because Ponting only referred to India's poor test record.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 12:52 PM |
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    7 sledge(s):

    To me, Australia has always been the cocky rub-it-in-your-face kind of winners... But they won so often, so they kinda had the "bragging rights".

    Lately though I must admit they've been better. (That they've not been winning that much might have something to do with it)

    Brett Lee to me is their best behaved player. He genuinely congratulates opponents on good performances, and then goes on to bowl aggressively and being a general thorn in the opponent's flesh.

    I like him.

    By Blogger Reenen (12-Mar-2007, 4:19:00 PM)  

    Nice blog do pls checkout http://www.Crichome.com for latest in cricket news for this world cup 2007, live cricket score, forums, pictures and videos of this world cup ...

    By Blogger InfoSourcing (12-Mar-2007, 9:29:00 PM)  

    Reneen,

    Lee is well behaved? Do you mean the same Lee that has a liking to bowling 'accidental beamers' with the potential to kill?

    Jag,

    Probably a bit un-diplomatically said by Ponting, but its not hard to see why he's peeved off. Like you point out, with Gavaskar's record, and since they come out in these lame columns and from promotional events and lectures and seminars and what not, they're always likely to be perceived as a bit hypocritical. Still though, amusing to see two grown up argue like that.

    By Blogger Zainub (13-Mar-2007, 4:41:00 AM)  

    Lee was pulled up twice in 2006. I've seen him celebrating a wicket without appealing several times. Maybe he doesn't sledge, but like Zainub pointed out, some balls do end up homing in on batsmen's heads.

    There's no doubt that Gavaskar has touched a raw nerve. Behaviour has been something that Aussies have been fairly defensive about after Waugh left. While I don't necessarily think Ponting is placed to lecture Gavaskar (come on, there're enough times we've seen Ponting arguing with players/umpires - I remember this occasion in 1999/2000 when he copped a blow on his helmet/cheek from Srinath and he shouted at Srinath when Sri went up to inquire about his well-being), the point remains that Gavaskar should be able to strike the right balance.

    By Blogger Jagadish (13-Mar-2007, 1:54:00 PM)  

    Gavaskar's witty retort: 'There's the example of the late David Hookes. Would the Australians who use that kind of language on the field, and not all of them do, in a bar and would they get away with it? Would they have a fist coming at their face or not?'

    So what he's saying is, he thinks the behaviour of Australians is unacceptable. Then he says that he thinks if they continue to behave like that, someone will hit them. He also references a player who died.

    Clearly that is acceptable.

    By Blogger Geoff (14-Mar-2007, 12:52:00 AM)  

    geoff - Gavaskar's remarks were in quite poor taste and unacceptable. He needn't have tried to have the last word. I watched the show on ESPN yesterday ('Taking Guard') where he said it and cringed when he referred to Hookes.

    Rohit Brijnath wrote in his column in 'The Hindu' today that Ponting shouldn't even have responded.

    Oh, and I sent you an email (to hushmail). Please respond!

    By Blogger Jagadish (14-Mar-2007, 9:59:00 AM)  

    It is glad to find that both of us are sitting at the same end of observation. This was clearly meant to be a non issue and both the parties are just trying to plough it to lower depths.

    I have been an avid reader of your blog and have recently started blogging myself. I am adding you to my blogroll. A link back would be appriciated

    http://swapnil.ej.am/blog

    By Blogger Swapnil Shukla (14-Mar-2007, 4:12:00 PM)  


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