E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: During the IPL semifinals between the Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore last night, one minor incident proved that the more things change in cricket, the more things remain the same with one of our greatest cricketers.
In Melbourne, in 1981, Sunil Gavaskar, opening batsman and India captain, almost walked out of the MCG along with his partner Chetan Chauhan, peeved at the umpire’s LBW decision off the bowling of Dennis Lillee, much to the astonishment of Australian cricketers, the public and to the embarrassment of the Indian team.
Thankfully, team manager Col. Durrani came running to the boundary and was able to persuade Chauhan to go back and resume the innings that saved great ignominy for Indian cricket.
Imagine walking out of a Test match because you don’t agree with the umpire’s decision?
Yesterday, when Rahul Dravid stood his ground after Sachin Tendulkar had ‘caught’ him in the slips, the self-same Gavaskar remarked:
“Dravid is not going! After playing for so many years with Tendulkar and spending time in the dressing room, Dravid should know what sort of a person Tendulkar is. He would never cheat. Dravid should have accepted the catch and walked.“
Gavaskar’s fellow commentator, Robin Jackman was more circumspect. He was not sure whether the catch had been taken cleanly and felt that it was rightly referred to the third umpire.
Subsequently it was proved beyond doubt that even as Tendulakr’s hands grabbed the ball, a part of the ball had touched the ground and hence it was not a catch.
Cameras do not take into account the celebrations. The cameras had conclusively proved that it was not a catch and Dravid was right in standing his ground.
It is possible that a fielder may not know if the catch had been taken cleanly or a boundary scored, as it all happens in a micro-second. That is why more than 20 cameras capture the action to be played in slow motion. It helps umpires to give the decision, reverse the decision if need be, after getting the facts clearly.
The yardsticks are same, be it Ricky Ponting or Tendulkar.
However, what must have been surprising to millions of viewers as well as Robin Jackman, was the unnecessary diatribe by Gavaskar against Dravid whose credentials for fair play is one of the highest order, if not the highest itself.
In fact, the cameras proved Dravid was right and Tendulkar was wrong.
Dravid and Tendulkar have played for India with distinction and are ranked amongst the greats of the game and have shared many a great moment in team’s victory.
Gavaskar is one of the all-time greats of the game; there is not an iota of doubt about that. But as in the Melbourne match when he lost his cool and reason, he seemed to have lost again last night.
A little bit of humility adds lustre to greatness. Always. Both Dravid and Tendulkar are examples of that.
Gavaskar doesn’t have to go far to see that. There is one in his family in G.R. Vishwanth.
Photograph: courtesy World News
Also read: From Bhadravathi, the Bhimsen Joshi of cricket
Sunil Gavaskar: India’s most petulant cricketer ever?
Last night I was wondering why Gavaskar was saying that it would have been really tough for the 3rd umpire(even after a looking at the replays and the 3rd umpire announcing the decision), when anybody who saw the replay would have easily said that it shouldn’t have been difficult at all.
I have seen people ‘suddenly’ becoming ‘close’ and always around the bride/groom during a wedding so that they can steal some importance from the couple during their time of fame.
Did anybody else feel so or is just me?
Gavaskar never was and will never be a fair person. He is always a Mumbaikar and talks only for them. If the case would have been reverse, dravid claiming the catch & tendulakar not accepting it, then he would have gone around the world pomping tendulkar’s right in questioning, use of technology and finally tendulkar proving it is right.
We should never give credence to such biased people and best thing is to ignore such people. They are meant for television channels who are biased for the sake of their money and survival.
It was shocking to hear Gavaskar utter that nonsense. Shameless fanboyism. Worst part is he sometimes tries to push even the utter failure Agarkar.
PS: Ever since Tendulkar stole the first slip position from Dravid (trying to get the catching record too ? ), there have been tons of instances of catches dropping short of SRT. He is not cut out to be a slip fielder (too short and stubby to be a slipfielder), but nobody questions him and our team silently suffers.
Gavaskar showed his true colours in that one moment, his reflex response even when the replay clearly showed that T’kar was acting. I felt really sorry for Dravid after a long time, he just stood there glared at T’kar in a way that I have never ever seen him do. We all know that Dravid is a pucca gentleman – but, boy was there some venom in that look ! I don’t think the relationship between the two men will be the same again.
G’kar should be thoroughly investigated in the current IPL scam as also that loudmouth Ravi Shastri. The Saraswat Brahmin Mahasabha might make some noise. But I am sure a tax raid on their office can be arranged.
Gavaskar would like to touch the feet of only one “Kar” come what may. Rest of the “Kars” would by default be touching his feet eh! Like KH said , its utterly shameless. Actually, it was’nt shocking at all!
I felt the same way. Gavaskar and his pettiness can never change
hmm.. Gavas’kar’ is talking about honesty Tendul’kar’ !!
Tendulkar is a great man, but he is not beyond being mistaken about a catch, a dismissal, or mistaking a ‘monkey’ with a ‘maa ki’?
If honesty of the players is the measure, then perhaps they can do away with umpires?
Gavaskar will always be India’s finest batsman and does not need to explain anything to anyone.
ERR used to writing fiction forgot to mind the line this time in his cavalier treatment of the facts. Gavaskar walked out in disgust after a rash of shoddy and biased umpiring in Australia. That definitely shook up the racist Aussies (remember the banners displayed during the Benson & Hedges Finals of India vs. Pakistan in Melbourne in 1985? “Bus Drivers vs. Tram Conductors” derisively referring to the most common trades of Indians and Pakistanis in Melbourne) and a semblance of fairness was restored. Gavaskar wasn’t the first Indian cricketer to call out the biased umpiring in Oz. Another famous cricketer, a great bowler is known to have asked the umpire after he clean bowled an Australian batsman,
“Is he out?”
“Why do you ask?” replied the umpire.
“I know he is bowled, but is he out?” replied the cricketer – none other than B.S. Chandrashekhar
I am surprised how pettily parochial and provincial some posters on Churumuri can get. This self-pitying, tearful, self-righteous attitude bubbles out in full force at the drop of a hat. Learn from you fellow South Indians. Chennai and TN with all its Tamil frenzy welcomes and celebrates a Rajinikanth, a Tendulkar and a Dhoni. Kerala and its Malayalis go out of their way to learn about other cultures and make movies with national themes. In AP they don’t care what language you speak. The Kodavas, Konkanis and the Tulus, who have just their language to call their own, and no land, can never be found whining.
Grow up guys!
Inspite of all comments, the whole episode can be summarised in one line of the artile. “Dravid was right and Tendulkar (and Gavaskar) was (were) wrong.
Celebrating in that manner when another senior member is in sceptical was clearly unbecoming of Tendulkar.
In fact, I suspect that Tendulkar and gang never gave support to their Captain Dravid.
If I had to trust one of the two, my vote would go to Dravid.
When Dravid was sacked, I felt we as a people do not want nationlists in positions of power. Because, we do not respect our own nation.
@Kaangeya – I would like to point out a minor detail as well. I think the Chandra incident was while playing in NZ during the 1976 series not against Oz. Anyways, I respect the sentiment of your article.
My own opionion is that as it concerned two well known players who are respected for their gentlemanly conduct, the comment was unnecessary. At the same time, I would like to ascribe any motives to SMG. I think it was the heat of the moment getting the better of him.
ಎಲ್ಲಾ IPL ಮಹಿಮೆ ….
How can Gavaskar and Shastri be officially associated with BCCI and yet be commentating ? Meanwhile the players get the gag order when a series is on. No way would Gavaskar’s links to the IPL deals be investigated. Even during the match-fixing hungama the Bombay Gymkhana locker incident http://www.indianexpress.com/ie/daily/20000601/isp01070.html was given a very private burial.
Gavaskar has never been a sportsman. It does not surprise me
>Gavaskar will always be India’s finest batsman and does not need to explain anything to anyone.
he he.. BCCI too seems to think of itself in the same manner. It has made cricket the second biggest/richest sport in the world, so it doesn’t need to explain anything to anyone!! ;-)
He is snobbish n partial…known fact from ages…even as kid I remember him praisin Sanjay manjrekar heavily for easy pickings like full-toss n over pitched deliveries
@Kaangeya…. We all know Ausssies are racists, how does that justify SG hijacking the game when he was given out?
What is parochial about calling a spade a spade? SRT made a mistake (honest or not) which was proven beyond doubt, Dravid’s survival instict worked for him, SG got a slap on the face for blindly supporting SRT. If it was up to SG, umpires would have been made optional when SRT was batting.
As far your last paragraph, it doesn’t deserve a response. But here it is anyway, there are more distinct languages spoken and flourishing in Karnataka than any of the South Indian states (probably all of India). So you can shove it.
While I don’t approve of Gavaskar’s regionalism here or anywhere, I have to correct the original posting from Mr. E.R. RAMACHANDRAN. I did check the youtube replay of the match and found no evidence where Gavaskar says:
” He would never cheat. Dravid should have accepted the catch and walked.”
And like most of you who have posted subsequently, I don’t hold SMG in high esteem – but we need to be fair to the guy!!
Gavaskar’s commentary: ‘I think’ run rate of 10/over is good. ‘I think’ the batsman hit the ball hard. ‘I think’ the ball slipped from the hand, in between 4th and 5th finger. ‘I think’ he saved one run for MI. ‘I think’ the fielder is a cricketer. ‘I think’ that thing floating over there is MRF blimp. ‘I think’ MRF is a tyre company. ‘I think’ that is Lalit Modi. ‘I think’ Ravi Shastri is snatching the mike from me.
‘I think’ a part of the ball touched the ground but not the whole ball…
Yes another thing. There is a saying “dont teach your daddy how to ****”. same way as an experienced slip fielder, dravid need not be enlightened by gavaskar whether catch was taken or not.
Gavaskar had no business taking sides, and that too so viciously, when the third umpire decision was pending.
So called ‘expert’ Gavaskar can’t even judge if a player is out or not. What is the difference between a layman and him?
Either he should stop commenting on cricket.
Or cricket itself should be banned for being a game with too many loopholes. Even TV cameras can’t judge if a player is out lbw, caught bat and pad, out stumped, whether a pace bowler chucks the ball or not, whether the ball has touched the boundary, along with the fielder.
Also, the weather unfairly favours one team, when there is moisture in the air, when the outfield is wet, when there is a strong breeze, when it is hot and dry,when it drizzles.
Pitches unfairly favours team which bats or bowls first. In test matches, it is almost unheard of a team batting last winning in India. Clerarly, the team which wins the toss is at a huge advantage in India.
So winning in cricket depends on a lot of external factors other than skill. Toss of coin, pitch conditions, weather conditions, camera angles, umpire errors….
No other sport in the world depends on so many external factors like in cricket.
While niceness is not marketable, I still fail to understand why people dont sing hosannas to Dravid with the same devotion and lack of self consciousness as they do to Tendulkar.
Gavaskar had no business to make such cheeky remarks. Dravid has been a perfect role model and on the field he has achieved far more success than Gavaskar himself and more importantly none of his innings is out of touch with the team and every piece is a part of the main.
Both Tendulkar and Dravid are pillars of integrity and gavaskar should borrow a leaf aout of these two to spend the rest of his life with less hypocrisy and more honesty.
@Kaangeya or Kongaiah
“Learn from you fellow South Indians ” – Tamils have reaped and raped out of their provincialism and now they want to clear the competition. How smart?
How did you leave Nityananda and Dinakaran I wonder!
Tamils are reached from all parts of world on Tsunami .
The same thing doesn’t happen to people of Bagalkote . Till now people stay in sheds even after a year of floods.
“AP they don’t care what language you speak” – After forming Telangana they will show you your place.
Kongaiah’s comments strenghthens further the point that Tamils are the most shrewd and cunning neighbours anyone can ever have.
When you launched the ‘parochial’ tirade against the folks who defend Dravid and deride Gavaskar, did you miss out on the fact that Dravid himself is a Maharashtrian (His parents are from Maharashtra and his mother-tongue is Marathi)? As you can see the folks defended him as a Kannadiga/player from Karnataka.
So will we be pardoned now? Are we now in the same league as TN worshipping Rajani? Or Mohanlal acting in Kaalapani?
Why fly off the handle by merely some comments and launch into parochialism etc – as if it is the meanest low life ever known.
Gavaskar is a stupendous batsman, a wonderful opening bat who defied the West Indies’ fierce pace attack without the Gladiator costume worn of late. There can’t be any doubt about it. Stats talk about it and those grainy videos still being aired on sports channels are a testimony.
But does it automatically make him a great human being, a saint – impartial and non-parochial? How?
Gavaskar always biased towards Mumbaikars, dont know why people should think otherwise. Tendulkar just plays for his records and nothing else. he hates others in the team who compete with him and all that he’s a GOD rubbish should stop. People are fools in thic country to get carried away by this rubbish.
And Sunny capped all this with a super-stupid statement “maybe a part of the ball is touching the ground.” As my friend said, how ELSE (apart from a part) can a ball touch the ground?!
Even I was shocked and annoyed the way Sunil Gavaskar was supporting his fellow mumbaikar……. However, when speaking about Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, I am sure both of them are honest (maybe there was a lapse on Tendulkar’s part on this occasion), otherwise genuinely both have a fair attitude towards the game……On this occasion, it is not at all fair on Gavaskar to be biased towards a mumbaikar as he was sitting in a neutral position of commenting on the game….. Shame on Sunil Gavaskar…… It is no more just the mumbaikar’s game… and understand by supporting Sachin and talking mean about Rahul has put him down……the TV channels should stop such unethical guys from their bunch…….like what they did with crazy Siddhu & Boycott
you are entitled to your opinion and it is another aspect whether it is a fact or not.
gavaskar played against quality W I bowling successfully and will always remain as one of the greats of the game.
It would be travesty of justice to compare chandra asking the Kiwi umpire and the high headed behaviour of sunny,be it 1981 walkoff ,batting lefthanded against Raghuram Bhat or talking bullshit about sachin catch episode.
Imagine if Dravid was wrong, effigies would have been burnt for suspecting India’s cricketing God, thank god Gavaskar had to eat his own shit.
Gavaskar is always a man in a Hurry. He does not pause to think what he is commenting or sometime hide which side he is backing . But you hv to admire his guts, apparently he was in such a hurry that he stowed lot of cash (no one knows where it came from) in his dressing room locker. Way to go – what a legend! (Clap)
Had I been a commentator for Set Max I would told Gavaskar: “Sunny, Dravid has spent most of his cricketing career standing at slip showing his ass towards the cameraman near fine leg area.STFU and wait for 3rd umpire’s decision”. I would least cared if they fired me later.
@Simple saar: Lets not ban cricket. Thats the only way i can see thousands of fools gathered at the stadium. Thats the only way i can be a part of millions who waste their time sitting in front of tv or utube. :)
Well, the facts, as I think:
1. Dravid and Tendulkar would have forgotten about the incident the next time they meet
2. Gavaskar is a mediocre commentator
3. Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar are in positions of heavy conflicts of interest
4. Tendulkar is a great cricketer in terms of his longevity and the style of cricket he plays which makes you feel like watching him play. But, he does play for records. He slows when he comes to his 90s, we all know that . He even slowed down when he neared 200 in a recent match
5. Dravid is a great test cricketer everywhere but a mediocre one day cricketer at home
I dont have anything to add on the SG episode as it does not merit any space and most of us have written/ ranted about it.
@ Kangeya, Well mister dont you dare question the plurality of the state of Karnataka. Dont you even compare it with any of the ‘good’ neighbours you ve mentioned. It is fellows like you, who are responsible for the creation of people like Raj Thackrey.
Once an a-hole always an…
Mountain, molehill and all that…….
The most funniest part of all is “maybe a part of the ball touched the ground” Really!!! How much does the ball should touch the ground to be clean or in other words drop should roll completely???
Gavaskar and his “kar” mafia which incubated betting and match fixing in Indian cricket, never brought to justice but instead some fringe “others” like kapil, jadeja, azhar, … No wonder they are part of all the IPL ponzi scheme and associated betting…. as long as this mafia is there…. expect more.
Also this statement “After playing for so many years with Tendulkar and spending time in the dressing room, Dravid should know what sort of a person Tendulkar is. Maybe dravid know what sort of person this tenda is, he did not walk away.
Gavaskar was never an attractive player, nor was he a likeable character. I for one, will never forgive his left handed batting against Karnataka. About a decade ago when the Indian team featured 6-7 Karnataka players (and coincidentally G.R.Vishwanath was the chairman of the selection committee) I remember reading a column by Gavaskar where he said that this was only a temporary phase and that the Indian team would be “back” to having more Bombay players. As if that is the natural order of things.
His doggedness certainly won him a reputation, but he is not in the same league as Tendulkar or Dravid as a batsman. He is definitely not in the same league as Dravid/Kumble when it comes to being a gentleman on the ground. He’s always been a shifty eyed little goon as far as I am concerned.
The involved players know exactly what happened and they don’t talk as much about it as people are doing! Tendulkar knows why Dravid stood – sometimes players themselves are not 100% sure about such low catches – the eyes close could close for that split second or the fingers wont feel the impact to the turf almost at the same time.
SG – known for his ‘hatred’ for non Mumbaites – the reaction comes as no surprise. Everyone who knows SG a bit closely knows that. Has anyone seen him showering accolades on any Karnataka player in all the years of his stint behind the mike?
More over Gavaskar makes it a point to say Bangalore when his co-commentataor makes it a point to correctly call it Bangaluru. I wonder what he would do if his co-commentators, Indian and foreign start calling Mumbai, Bombay.
Gavaskar, Tedulkar and Dravid are great in their own way. All can be graded as A+++ category for their sheer brilliance in application to the game of cricket. The grading does not reveal the marks but only the range. But it must be remembered that beyond brilliance there is something else that tilts the balance and if amongst these three one is asked to rank somebody as first my best guess is Dravid will have an edge over others. Let us not try to put them on a high pedestal for it is an uneasy perch to retain the balance for when it comes to judge people exhibit very high expectations.
Gavaskerr showed his true colour at the IPL final. As a commentator he should have been neutral and not favouring Mumbay. When Tandulker nicked Raina into Dhoni’s gloves Gavasker had no comment about this and went on to support Tandulker. He should have walked and his respect in the public would have gone up, as they were in a hopeless situation with 12+ per over to get. Marati culture!!! Blood is thicker than water!
Azhar, one of the stylish batsmen India ever produced, shamelessly played the minority victim card when cornered in the match fixing issue. This after captaining the national team for close to a decade. He didn’t complain then?
Hansie Cronje had revealed that it was Azhar who introduced him to the bookies.
Yesterday in the final match also, Tendulkar was clearly out by cought behind.Dhoni made a strong confident appeal. Although there was a clear” tuck” sound,umpire could not hear/see this. Only Dhoni and Tendulkar knew what had happened. Umpire dicided it was not out.
It was appreciable that, The Captain cool, respected umpire decision and let Tendulkar, continue batting.
While Tendulkar was within his rights to stay, guilt on his face and anger on the Indian captain face was palpable. Our little master of the microphone this time was speechless.
Are we not getting sick of listening to Gavaskars shastris etc and their diabolical parochialism.
A commentator should be a combination of analysis and clicheridden words and should provide a new element of understanding to the viewers at all times.
Having studied in a ordinary kannada medium school, I can easily predict how shastri completes a sentence.
In another crucial game against Rajastan Royals, I remember Sachin appealed against a caught behind decision which was ultimately given in favour of the Bowler (Shane Watson) and rightly so! Everyone has the right to appeal against a decision, if the rule permits and this in no way demeans the integrity of the opposition. To err is human. The people who are commenting in public should be aware of this fact and be more unbiased in their approach.
When it comes to a tug of war between winning and sportsmanship the former almost always takes the upperhand. The game has known very few top notch gentlemen like Sir Frank Worrell who was held in high regard for sporting values and have hence become legends.
Totally disagree. kaangeya u’r ryt
Guys in cricket, the benifit of doubts goes to the batsman and same happened in Dravid’s case. The TV replays did not clearly indicate and Dravid benefited. Understand the game rather than creating controversies.
Gavaskar was a great player but from recent times Gavaskar is a selfish and he supports Mumbaikars only you can see in IPL matches when Bangalore team plays he gives negative commentry about Bangalore. So i request you people to see that this comments should reach Mr. Gavaskar so that he learn not be selfish. ok thanks guys for giving me an oppurchnity to spek.
@ Kaangeya: Check out the video of Benson and Hedges match, Gavaskar is seen to be forcing the batsmen in the other end to come along with him to boycott the game.
I completely agree tat the umpiring was biased and aussies r racists, but there is manner in which these situations shud b handled.
Look how Anil Kumble handled in a dignified manner, the Harbhajan issue and the hopeless umpiring (if u can recall) in the sydney test in India’s last aussie tour.
Kumble is a true gentleman! Wat about Gavaskar??? wat do u guys say??
The overall quality of commentating itself has fallen.SG andRS are the worse off Not only are they biased they are blatant about it. IPL or no IPL ,they should have some standard set.While on the subject ,this applies to the so called Experts on TV channels .The way some of them speak is hilarious.
Learn from the OZ and the English.They Analise and are not sentimental and judgmental.
True guys, However, one of our friends has misconstrued the whole stuff and was talking about ‘Benefit of Doubt’ on which we do not have an iota of doubt. Agreed. But established cricketers making biased comments about another cricketer is still not acceptable. I still remember some top notch commentators of yesteryears used to talk about what ball will be bowled next based on field placements or pass valuable information on the pitch / wind conditions and how this will affect the outcome of the match etc ..etc. Nowadays more often we see comments like “15 balls to go and 25 runs to be scored, thats interesting” which we are already aware of from the scorecard. Or its an heavy dosage of adjectives to glorify a shot or shower praises on a couple of dot / bad balls or the put forth personal views on a particular team(s).
Gavaskar always disgusts most people with biased commentary and selfish behavior. This has run 4 decades in all now.
His mindless support of SRT along with Shastri nauseates audiences. This SRT ‘catch’ cheating incident – Dravid was criticized. Then in the final, when SRT did not walk after being caught behind – Gavaskar kept silent.
makes you think he is in his own idiot world.
Gavaskar is a really petty person. The Mumbai gang (with Shastri) was responsible for dropping Uthappa from the T20 World Cup Squad. They have messed with the careers of Dravid, Ganguly and will try to do the same with Sehwag and Yuvraj. Keep these thugs (Gavaskar and Shastri along with Pawar) at arms length from Indian cricket.
Sad part is because of one man the whole of a part of India is getting bashed and also a great player who changed Indias image is also getting bashed!
Whatt Gavaskar’s lackey callled Ravi Shastri?? Remember Dravid’s 233 and 72 in Adelade in 2003-04 season, leading to Test win?? This Shastri and Gavaskar interviwed Dravid immediately after the match? And guess what Shastri’s comment was??? ‘In my book, there only three great batsmen – Vishwanath, Gavaskar and Tendulkar’??? It was stunning. Insulting THE MAN THE WALL THE DRAVID immediately after one of his most favous efforts. Who the hell is Shastri.. immediatelly before he retired, crowd everywhere in India used to go ‘SHASTRI HAI HAI’ without any provocation. Such was the hatred towards him. Amazing, now he adorns commentary every where. What is his qualification – lackey of Gavaskar
To be fair to Shastri, he did not just say “there are only 3 greats”. You have not quoted him fully. He said “Till now there were only 3 great Indian players. Now we have the 4th one.”
I am not sure if people here picked it up. when asked about his predictions for the semifinal next week gavaskar had this to say “….. let me add one more thing. The pakistanis love coming to mumbai. It will be additional motivation for them to win the semi-final so they can come to mumbai” I don’t know if it’s my interpretation, I felt gavaskar was comapring the pakistan cricket team to the 26/11 terrorist. If so, its a terribly distasteful thing to say on live television, akin to Dean Jones’ comment about Hashim Amla.
Gavaskar never play for nation, this selfish person happy when he make 50 or 100 while India losing match…
Gavaskar is a selfish and he did not play good in his own time and now he try to bash others..