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    October 24, 2008

    Outside off left alone, through to Gilchrist

    Adam Gilchrist's autobiography, "True Colours: My Life", is to be released next week. As is to be expected, and as we've seen with cricketer autobiographies (Trescothick, Pietersen, Wright, Fletcher, Flintoff, Hussain or Lehmann), there is a tendency to selectively leak 'scandalous' portions of the book. The aim is to create a buzz around it, with the hope that it translates into more sales when the book is released.

    Adam Gilchrist's revelations about Tendulkar are nothing but just that. He has his point of view, and others have theirs. Its his autobiography, and he has a right to choose what to say, and what not to say. If he reckons that the best way to sell his book, when there's an Australia v India series on, is to say things about India's cricketers that rile their fans, then that's his judgement.

    I don't believe there's any value in rebutting the allegation that Tendulkar changed his story from "I didn't hear what Harbhajan said" to "He said something that sounded like 'monkey'" during the Judge Hansen hearing. Perhaps it needs pointing out that Gilchrist wasn't directly involved at all. What he's saying is based on what he heard (or appeared to hear) Symonds, Hayden, etc. say.

    He also writes that India's cricketers, and Tendulkar in particular, are hard to find after India loses a game. Does that make Tendulkar, or the rest of the Indian players, sore losers?

    I don't think so. It's a cultural thing. Just because Aussies do so doesn't mean everyone else should follow. It doesn't make the Aussie refrain of "We play hard on the field, and have a beer off it" right either. It could just be the fact that whoever plays hard to get is extremely competitive.

    I can vouch for it. I hated losing, especially at cricket. I've sulked so often after the team I played in (or captained) has lost, whether it was in inter-university games or intra-office cricket or inter-office cricket or league cricket. Does that make me a sore loser? I don't particularly care if it does.

    In any case, if Gilchrist is taking the one example of the Sydney test to point out Tendulkar not shaking hands, there's no need to point out how acrimonious that game was. Given all that was said (or allegedly said), the spirit in which the proceedings went and the umpiring howlers, it was but natural to feel pissed off and robbed. The problem perhaps is that Gilchrist hadn't encountered defeat enough times across his career to feel that pissed off, or it wasn't in his nature to. Australia won a staggering 71% of all internationals in which Gilchrist played!

    Update: Read this fantabulously hilarious riposte to Gilchrist's quotes!

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 8:59 PM |
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    1 sledge(s):

    Harbhajan had obviously called Symonds "ma-ki-chut". "Ma-ki" sounds like "monkey" to an Australian. To an Indian "ma-ki-chut" is a much bigger insult than "monkey". To an Australian "monkey" is a racist insult stemming from Darwin's theory of evolution which states that monkeys are lower on the evolutionary ladder than humans. So to call someone a monkey is to say that they are inferior. Symonds probably got called "monkey" a great deal in his youth in Britain and Australia by his white classmates. The trouble is that the Indians feel bashful about explaining the misunderstanding because they don't want to use the word "ma-ki-chut" which as most Indians know means motherf*cker. Because of this Australians are convinced to this day that every Indian has been lying about the incident including Tendulkar. Which is pretty stupid...

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