Gavaskar-Ponting war of words – Aussie views

Here is what the Aussie media and players think of the Gavaskar Ponting war of words

Chloe Saltau in the age writes

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 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.

Sanjay had earlier written a piece about the Gavaskar-Ponting episode and we would like to hear your opinion as well.


7 responses to “Gavaskar-Ponting war of words – Aussie views

  1. Pingback: Gavaskar-Ponting verbal duel: another opinion « NAyK Home

  2. Pingback: News in brief: Thursday 15 March 2007 « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  3. I think both Gavaskar and Border have a point but poor Hookes has been unnecassarily dragged into it. He may have died of his fault or not but that does not mean every Australian player needs to be bashed :-). Ok leaving apart Gilchrist and Brett lee no Aussie player looks like a are all mean cricketers that behave like an arrogant bunch of high school bullys. Partly it is culture as cricket is all bully and rough in Australia even at club level and who knows it could be because of too much sun and too many beers. But I think Australian sledging has gone one step ahead where occasional spats are no longer the norm…it is gone into the system where sledgers are rewarded and others are isolated. Infact captains are those who are leaders in agressive sledging. It is clearly visible in the uncouth body language. I think there is a danger where Australia might be treating this behaviour as normal and expecting it to be passed as part of their sports culture. This culture is alien to the rest of the world. That is why their so many of voices coming up now against them on the world cup. I think the Australian performance is also tied with their sledging…they lost 2005 ashes because they were maybe a bit friendly (and relaxed). I think they would not know winning without showing this kind of ugly agression and for them to be winners without this they will have to change the culture at the grass roots level and at the highest level where performance and onfield/off field character is equally rewarded. This is sport and for is not a game for inmates.

  4. I met Gavaskar at the Chennai blog camp a few months ago and he patiently answered me and some of the others. It seems unlkiely that he would say such things when somebody has died but even if he has said, he has said the right thing at the wrong time.

    The whole world knows that the the Australians have their own interpretation of competition and even humble souls like Dravid and Tendulkar have spoken against sledging in the past. What one can’t understand is- why can’t it be banned and the umpires do something about it. What are they doing standing in the middle anyway? Can anyone imagine one player sledging in a badmintor or a Tennis match. It should be banned- as simple as that.

    Only people like Gavaskar and Kapil Dev have spoken vehemntly agains the Indian board and only then can speak against the australians. Gavaskar has also spoken against the West indies crowd and the Calcutta crowd. What is so sacrosant about the Australians.

    He is an articulate man and has every right to voice his opinion though he mave chosen the wrong time.

  5. Kishan

    You are right about the cultural angle to sledging. (See Wikipedia article on sledging)

    But quite often it is also used as an excuse for justifying what is actually wrong. As you pointed out, for countries like Australia, where sledging starts at the grass root levels – it is hard to change. In fact, I don’t see this happening at all.

    The reverse seems to be catching on though – with even teams like India starting to sledge opposing teams.

    I am not sure whether it will ever get to a stage where personal/insensitive remarks are made, though…Only time will tell.

  6. Hiren,
    Sledging, well, let us call it conversation was a part of Tennis for years before all conversation on the tennis court was banned in the mid 70’s from memory. Tennis players aren’t allowed to talk to each other any more, maybe that is what is needed in cricket.

  7. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

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