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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What John Emburey and England did to Krishnamachari Srikkanth – and what MS Dhoni and India did not to Ian Bell.

Immediately after the Ian Bell incident, I had posted my views drawing parallel to Krish Srikkanth’s run out by John Emburey in his debut test, way back in 1981 as also something on the Golden Jubilee Test, when Vishy recalled Bob Taylor and lost the match.

Quite audaciously,  Bell did not even attempt to say that they would have done a similar thing, if an Indian been involved in a similar one.  earlier, there was an incident, when Collingwood bluntly refused to revise their appeal.  Supremacy on the field by virtue of performance is acceptable but many a times, the British still have Imperialistic views and do not hesitate to display them also.   If only the Indian fans were not paying so high and but for IPL – the cricketing World would still be different ruled by a majority displaying their partisan attitude all the time.

Still there would be cat calls for sportsmanship and playing by the spirit of the game. Here is what has appeared on Times of India today.  :

Back in 81-82, England failed to do a Dhoni :  K Shriniwas Rao | TNN 

Mumbai: Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to call back Ian Bell to bat, even though he was technically run out, was applauded by one and all with comments that the Indian skipper upheld the spirit of the game. 
    However, this wasn’t the case when back in 1981-82, England were touring India and found themselves in a similar situation in the first Test at Wankhede Stadium. Opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth, playing his first Test match, debuted with an awful experience when he nudged a ball straight into the hands of fielder John Embury and thought the passage of play was dead. 
    However, when he casually stepped out of the crease as was his wont, Embury quietly took off the bails and appealed for a run out. Technically, Srikkanth was dismissed and shocked as much as he was he quietly began his walk back to the pavilion. England skipper Keith Fletcher didn’t do a Dhoni back then and refused to invoke the so called spirit of the game. England claimed the wicket even as they went on to lose the Test match. 
    Former cricketers recollect the incident today, even though they do not really want to come on record talking about it. Srikkanth, who is now the chairman of selectors, doesn’t want to rake up the issue and create further controversies. 
    However, many ex-cricketers find it unbelievable the manner in which England and Australia prefer to hide their own wrongdoings but pounce on India whenever an opportunity is available. 
    “They’re the last people who should be talking about the spirit of the game,” says one, echoing Sunil Gavaskar’s words that hypocrisy is very much alive and ticking. 
    The BCCI has often been held responsible for ‘blighting’ the very essence of the gentleman’s game, looking at financial prospects wherever possible and putting their ‘money mindedness’ way ahead of cricket itself. However, many ex-cricketers firmly believe that for all of BCCI’s faults, they certainly cannot 
be accused of not helping Indian cricket gain respect around the world, even if it has been so because of the country’s financial clout in the game. 
    “Had it not been for BCCI’s coffers, India wouldn’t have been treated with the same respect that England and Australia think they deserve and is their genuine birthright,” says a former player. 
    “Today, most have no choice but to come to India to earn their money so they can’t afford to badmouth BCCI. It stinks of hypocrisy. Check the Wisden report on that Wankhede match, it doesn’t even mention Srikkanth’s run out fiasco,” he says. 
    It is high time indeed the flag-bearers of English and Australian cricket kept their views to themselves and stopped looking at things from a fake pedestal.

Spirit of cricket important than win: Vishy

New Delhi: He set the precedence by calling back Bob Taylor 31 years ago during the historic ‘Jubilee Test’ in Mumbai and no wonder Gundappa Viswanath is proud about Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s gesture of deciding to call back Ian Bell at Nottingham on Sunday. 
    “For me Spirit of the Game is of paramount importance rather than winning or losing a Test match. Obviously, as a captain you play hard to win a match. But there are times when it’s your inner call that tells you what is right. I really appreciate Dhoni’s decision to call Bell back,” Viswanath said over phone from Bangalore
    During the ‘Jubilee Test’ back in February, 1980, England were in dire straits when Taylor was adjudged caught behind by umpire Jiban Dhan Ghosh off Kapil Dev’s bowling. However, captain Viswanath asked Taylor whether he nicked it and the English batsman replied in negative. The Indian captain then called him back. “It’s a step in the right direction by Dhoni after Praveen Kumar incident and Laxman being accused by English players for using vaselin inhis bat. It feels good that some people still believe in the old world charm of showing true sportsman spirit,” he added. Would he have taken off the bails had he been in place of Dhoni, Viswanath said, “Well, I don’t blame him. You are competing hard and at times you do it at the heat of the moment. But the good part is that you realize that it’s not the right way to play the game.” 
    However Viswanath, one of India’s finest batsmen, was a bit hurt that while hailing Dhoni, very few people remembered his gesture. 
    “I didn’t hear any of the commentators speak about that incident, neither did anyone refer about it,” the soft-spoken Viswanath seemed genuinely hurt. 
    But he was quick to point out that Bell’s decision wouldn’t have more impact than that of India’s poor batting on the second day. “I guess we lost the initiative during India’s first innings when wickets fell in a heap,” he concluded. PTI

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