Recently Mr Gavaskar was invited to deliver the Colin Cowdrey lecture. Surprising as it was, it came into account that he was very much irritated and disappointed by the sledging going on in the game. Surprising because, Mr Gavaskar himself admits, it was only once or maybe twice that he had actually experienced this bitter truth of modern day cricket. But a topic like this, I feel, could only be put up by someone as bold as Mr Gavaskar. South Africans, Australians, Kiwis or the Eglishmen would never raise the issue. The reason is simple. Because they do it themselves.
Though the little master originally blamed Australia as the only side using it, I think sledging certainly goes beyond the aussies. Later, rightly so, Mr Gavaskar agreed that it was even the Indian team that had been sledging and putting up verbal abuse. But I think the Indians (read Asians, or better, blacks i.e, India, Pakistan and Srilanka) do not have any further options to counter it. Pleading against the worlds greatest cricket authority, ICC has never been fruitful, however good and justified the reason may be. If the asians do it, they get fined but if the whites do it, its in the rule. Descrimination goes on, till this day. And the irony is, that most of the revenue generated by cricket is from the three big cricketing giants of Asia. No, not Australia and not even England. Sledging will go on, with or without Steven Waugh telling his players to try and stop it. Steve is one of the very few cricketers I have huge respect for. I know, if it were all in Steve’s hands this would not have been going on. But now that the australians have made sledging a part of the game, I think the asians have no other option than to start listening to Eminem songs and jot down the insults to keep themselves updated on this core issue. And in Saurav Ganguly, it seems, we have a perfectly capable leader to do so. (remember the shirt-off-look-at-my-chest-and-the-so-many-gold-chains scene in the Natwest final? )
All the best boys. And well done Mr Gavaskar. I had never seen you bat on the ground. But yes, off the ground you are a gem.