Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The silence of cricketers

By John Cheeran
Does it surprise you that Indian cricketers, the current and former lot, have kept their distance from the simmering Bal Thackeray-Sachin Tendulkar controversy on the great divide between Mumbai and India?
I'm not. Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri, who both played their cricket in Bombay and continue to live there, never uttered a word on the Saamna editorial while doing commentary for Neo Cricket in the ongoing three Test series against Sri Lanka.
No player from the current Indian squad came forward to say that though they hail from different regions of the country, for them India comes first and no one should pillory Sachin Tendulkar for saying that "he is an Indian first."
Had this bunch of players were playing for India, and not for the BCCI XI, such a reaction would have been most natural. Nor did the band of former players castigate Thackeray for taking a swipe at Tendulkar. Who are they afraid of?
It is too silly to argue that cricketers are not interested in politics and they should be allowed to remain outside the murky world of politics. All actions are political. From fixing cricket matches to planting stories against a team mate to feigning injuries to playing a cracking cover drive.
Yes, politicians did make some noise about the Thackeray statement. But I'm yet to read a remark from Sharad Pawar, the Maratha chieftain, and union minister for agriculture, who is also the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Pawar, who knows a thing or two about the Marathi Manoos, let his dummy Rajeev Shukla issue a vapid statement.
There is not even a purr from the highly political Sourav Ganguly, who the other day was showering praise on Tendulkar.
So much for the people, who can spot the tricolour fluttering on the shoulders of Sachin Tendulkar, every time he walks out to bat.
Long live India.

No comments:

John Cheeran at Blogged