Sunday, November 22, 2009

Who's a true Maharashtrian? Gavaskar or Tendulkar?

By John Cheeran
Now that Shiv Sena finds Sunil Manohar Gavaskar 'a true Maharashtrian' compared to Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, will the original little master, who writes anodyne columns on cricket, spell out where he stands in the Marathi Manoos controversy?
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut wrote in Saamna on Sunday that Gavaskar batted for Bombay and promoted cricketers from the city.
Raut writes: "There has been no instance of Sachin extending a helping hand to other Marathi cricketers. Forget others, he did not even support Vinod Kambli. In contrast, Gavaskar, when he captained India, had half the team drawn from Mumbai and Maharashtra. He gave Test caps to many Marathi players including Suru Naik and Zulphikar Parkar, at least for one match."
Raut adds: "In this context, Gavaskar is a genuine 'Maharashtrian' and the whole country loves him even now in the same way. Players like Sachin have become rich because of game of cricket. Sachin's wealth has crossed Rs 200-crore mark. We expect Sachin to be as 'proud' of Maharashtra as Saurav Ganguly is of Bengal. Rahul Dravid too is a Marathi player but he is loyal to Karnataka."
So was Gavaskar parochial during his career?
Did Gavaskar have the best interests of the nation when he pushed for players from Bombay and Maharashtra into the side?
I consider it is Gavaskar's responsibility to break his silence and explain whether he played his cricket as an Indian first, or a Bombaywallah.
And as for Tendulkar not helping fellow Mumbaikars, Raut is far from truth. Tendulkar, when he was captaining the side, did bring in cricketers from Bombay to Indian dressing room. Remember Abhay Kuruvila, Nilesh Kulkarni, Salil Ankola, Hrishikesh Kanitkar and Sairaj Bahutule. And even Vinod Kambli got a second look when Tendulkar was captain during 1996-98.
And unlike Bollywood, in cricket, you can only give people opportunities. Even a Tendulkar cannot script a Test and ODI. Every cricketer has to stand up and deliver. You can have quotas only up to the playing XI, but out there in the field, you got to earn runs and wickets on your own.
But coming back to the point, what’s Gavaskar’s take on this?
Gavaskar, I’m sure, will let this bouncer alone.

1 comment:

Jay T V Jayaraman said...

Frequent jibes at Sachin by the Sena mouthpiece may backfire and alienate them from their own people...

John Cheeran at Blogged