Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dhoni Drop Out: Gavaskar forgets his own words

By John Cheeran
Sunil Gavaskar is a one-man circus show in cricket. Gavaskar’s adroitness to perform breathtaking u-turns and somersaults should give Nadia Comaneci blushes.
This morning I read Gavaskar’s column in Hindustan Times where he has dwelled on Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to take a break from the international game. The Mumbai oracle finds Dhoni a brave man.
Let me quote Gavaskar from his column.
“The reaction to Dhoni's decision looks a lot more mature. They seem to have appreciated Dhoni's honesty in not playing on if he is mentally and physically tired.”
But what about SMG’s own reaction?
That is less forthcoming.
Gavaskar, however, dwells a great deal on what happened in 1978 when he was captain but is happy that the BCCI has accepted Dhoni’s decision to stay away from the action.
All that is fine.
But in his column Gavaskar does not refer to his own reaction two years ago, on April 18, 2006, on the same subject. When players all over the world complained there was too much cricket, as the head of the cricket committee of the ICC, Gavaskar fulminated against them.
Let me quote Gavaskar’s statement he made on April 17, 2006.
“I can't see the problem, these players are turning out for their countries, it's an honour to represent your country. I would be willing to sweat 365 days in a year for India. Those who can't stand the heat should stay out."
Yes. Dhoni has heeded Gavaskar’s words.
Now why has Gavaskar fallen silent on ‘honour and playing for his country’?
But rather tactfully Gavaskar has held back himself on the big questions – is there too much cricket?
Is the BCCI the villain by flogging its hired cricketers?
It was a delight to watch Gavaskar on back foot at the crease during his hey days.
But not now.

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