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    March 25, 2008

    Weekend news: Trescothick retires, Gavaskar to be retired?

    Two significant events happened over the weekend.

    Marcus Trescothick announced his retirement from international cricket a week after he withdrew from Somerset's pre-season tour of the UAE due to a recurrence of the stress-related illness that caused him to pull out of the 2006 Ashes tour and the tour of India earlier that year. Given his discomfort at touring, it may be assumed that he won't sign up for the IPL.

    Sunil Gavaskar is in a soup this time for sure with the ICC bosses. He had written a scathing column last week in which he referred to England and Australia as dinosaurs and defended the BCCI's stand in Australia vis-a-vis the racial remark allegations against Harbhajan.

    Gavaskar keeps getting into trouble. In January, after Mike Procter pronounced a 3-test ban on Harbhajan, he was accused of (and rightly so) alleging that Procter's decision was racially biased.

    Last year, Gavaskar angered Ponting following his comments on the Australian team's behaviour. In that post, I wrote:
    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)
    One year later, we run into the same problem. While I'm of the opinion that the committee that he heads hasn't really achieved anything of note (umpiring standards are pathetic, player behaviour is pathetic, over rates are pathetic, usage of technology is ambiguous, cricket schedules are pathetic & crazy), I really hope he opts to stay on the committee.

    He used to be a very good commentator but in the last half-decade or so, his commentary skills have dipped alarmingly. I'm fairly sure cricket production houses will also favour him remaining on the committee rather than stay on in the commentary box for the simple reason that they won't have to keep erecting a fence every time he goes on air, for that's where he is sitting all the time!

    Sample this: At Perth, when Kumble announced that India would bat first, my first reaction was "Go for it, Jumbo! Great, bold decision in the context of the series!". Harsha Bhogle asked Gavaskar what he felt. Gavaskar said he'd have opted to bowl first factoring in the weather, India having 3 seamers and Australia having 2 inexperienced openers. He'd barely finished the sentence when he said that on the other hand, India had batted first and got over 600 at Leeds in 2002 on a green wicket that aided swing bowling, so batting first was a good idea too. This piece of expert commentary really sealed it for me and I've now lost respect in his abilities as a commentator.

    So, for the sake of us cricket fans, Mr. Gavaskar, please stay on the committee and off the tube!

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 3:19 PM |
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