Here is what the Aussie media and players think of the Gavaskar Ponting war of words –
SUNIL Gavaskar’s increasingly puritanical tone reached new levels of ridiculousness…The former Indian captain and apparent moral guardian of the game made a second outburst about the behaviour of Ricky Ponting’s team….At best, the reference to Hookes’ death after he was punched outside a Melbourne pub was clumsy. At worst it was offensive….
In an article on Herald Sun, Tony Grieg, former England captain and close friend of Hookes, is said to have been shocked by Gavaskar’s comment –
It’s inappropriate and I really don’t see any great value in this sort of sledging
Border and Lehman are not happy either. Lehman, who was with Hookes when the fatal incident at the bar took place, has this to say –
His outburst about David Hookes was totally out of order and in bad taste….He (Gavaskar) was a player I admired. Not anymore.
This is what Border has to say –
I consider Sunny a friend, but what he said about David Hookes and the behaviour of Australian cricketers was totally uncalled for. What Sunny said on television was totally inappropriate
Charles Happell on crickey.com.au sees the other side of the story as well –
But it should not be allowed to obscure his (Gavaskar’s) central point which is that the Australians are reviled wherever the game is played because of their uniformly appalling on-field behaviour
Although Gavaskar bringing up Hookes death to make a point about the Aussie behaviour may not be right, the original point that he tried to make has completely been missed. According to Ponting –
I don’t mind if ‘Mr Perfect’ goes on about our team. We are not going to keep everyone happy. But for some of these guys that have done it all themselves, it’s pretty high and mighty for them to say that
If only Mr. Perfect can comment on the Aussie team, I think we might as well stop having editorial and opinion columns in the press altogether. Ponting has had his share of bad behaviour in a bar as well. Here is the article from the Guardian written last year that talks about it. Now as a captain, if one of his players misbehave, does he loose the right to pull them up? I guess Andrew Symonds doesn’t have to worry any more.