Saturday, December 09, 2006

Martyn walks away: It happens only Down Under!

By John Cheeran
It happens only in Australia.
Australian middle order batsman Damien Martyn has set an admirable example by leaving the game and catching everyone by surprise.
True, Martyn's place was under heavy scrutiny after the second Test in Adelaide, but he chose to go with his pride intact. Much more important than the many glorious innings he has played, Martyn's parting words should be an excellent reminder for any cricketer, for that matter any sportsman.
The 35-year-old said Australia and Ricky Ponting need people who are more than 100 per cent committed. Let me quote Martyn.
"I'm aware of the tremendous challenges facing Australian cricket including this current Ashes series. Such challenges require people who are more than 100 per cent committed, dedicated, disciplined and passionate about the game. I feel, therefore, it's time for me to move aside."
Yes, it is important to repeat what Martyn has said.
Australia require people who are more than 100 per cent committed.
Can you expect any Indian cricketer to come out with such a statement and bow out of the cricket ground?
I can't think of Sourav Ganguly doing that.
I can't think of Sachin Tendulkar doing that.
I can't think of Virender Sehwag doing that even on his wretched current form.
May be Greg Chappell should use his Aussie connections to persuade Martyn to play for India. I'm sure Martyn will find his groove playing for India and considering the side's batting wounds, skipper Rahul Dravid shoud welcome him.
BCCI, flexing their financial muscle, should put pressure on the ICC to get Martyn play for India. May be that is a good solution. We now have an Aussie coach and support staff. Now BCCI should replace our desi players with Australian rejects. Then we will have a winning chance.
Despite his recent travails with scores of 29, 11 and 5, Martyn is a much better player than the above mentioned three Indian batsmen. But while Martyn has decided to quit, the Indians plod on till they come upon an opposition that is magnanimous enough to let them score tons and extend their lifelines.
It is to be noted that Martyn's his decision was greeted with surprise, given Australia's 2-0 dominance of the five-match Ashes series so far, the fact that Martyn dominated the recent Champions Trophy win and with the World Cup looming next year.
"It is definitely a surprise to me," former Australian captain Ian Chappell said in Perth. " The fact that he has got a home Test (in Perth) coming up, that Australia is probably going to win the Ashes back -- all those reasons make it tougher and all the more reason to admire him for it."
Chappell said Martyn was possibly pre-empting a decision to drop him from the team. "You don't have to be Einstein to know that the Australian selectors are going to want to make the side younger pretty soon and he probably felt he was going to be near the top of the list of guys to go," Chappell said. "I admire him for getting out before they gave him the chop." Martyn played 67 Tests, beginning in 1992, scoring 4406 runs at 46.37. He endured a seven-year lock-out from theAustralian team after he was blamed for a loss in the 1993-1994 series against South Africa when he played a loose shot in Sydney which resulted in the fall of his wicket, triggering a five-run defeat.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting said the team would miss Martyn."Damien is one of the world's most unsung players in both forms of the game and I don't think it is really understood how good a player he actually is," he said.
Martyn, who also played 208 one-day international matches, said he had enjoyed everything the game had given him. "I have gained from it more then I could have ever imagined. I have made, in the playing of cricket, lifelong friends," he said.

No comments:

John Cheeran at Blogged