Monday, April 06, 2009

Cricket - Is the game greater or the money behind it?

Recently we heard about Shah Rukh Khan slamming Sunil Gavaskar, over the latter's comments on Kolkata Knight Riders' Coach John Buchanan's multiple captain theory.

India is a Country where Cricket is a passion and a favorite pastime for a majority of its citizens. But amongst all such self proclaimed experts, there are also Cricket's all time greats, one of whom is Sunil Gavaskar.

In an outstanding career spanning 17 years (1970 to 1987), Sunil Gavaskar's contribution to the game helped the Indian cricket team become an World Class team to reckon with. But more than that, this man mesmerized cricket loving fans across the World with his classy stroke play and fielding, which resulted in a long list of 'all time high' achievements, most of which remain unbroken records to the day.

It was Sunil Gavaskar who broke Donald Bradman's long standing record of the maximum number of centuries in test cricket. Sunil remains the only batsman to have scored a century in each innings of a test match, on three occasions. On his debut tour of the West Indies in 1970-71, he compiled a mammoth 774 runs individually. He was the first batsman in the history of test cricket to have scored and reached the magic 10,000 runs mark. In 1971-72, Sunil, along with Bishen Singh Bedi and Farookh Engineer, was one of the three Indians selected in the Rest of the World team against Australia.

Above all, his knowledge, skill and experience stand above all the records he created. Today, years after he retired from active cricket, the World still recognizes him as an expert of the game. He has contributed to cricket as much 'off field' as he did 'on field'

Sunil's loyalty to the Indian Cricket team which he represented for years, and to the game remain unquestioned.

As a true lover of the game, Sunil commented on the recent decision of John Buchanan to use multiple captains for Kolkata Knight Riders in the forthcoming IPL tournament.
And got slammed for it by the great Shah Rukh Khan in a manner, no ex-cricketer,leave alone a person of Sunil Gavaskar's stature would deserve.

While Gavaskar's comments were about Buchanan and his multiple captain theory, it is obvious that Shah Rukh Khan took them personally. And instead of seeing some merit in what an experienced cricketer had to say, he lambasted Gavaskar. He also made it clear to the World that he paid money to 'buy' a team.

There is no taking away from the fact that all cricketers are professionals and play to earn a living. But has Mr. Khan bought 'slaves' by bidding for the team?

The only justification SRK had to defend his coach and the latter's controversial decision of appointing multiple captains, seems to be the fact that 'he spent a lot of money on his team' And then went on to tell the great cricketing legend "if you have a problem then you buy your own team..."

By making these comments in public, SRK has insulted and humiliated one of the greatest players of cricket with his direct onslaught, totally belittling the "Little Master's' knowledge and experience.

In saying whatever he did, SRK has exhibited how immature a person he is and how irresponsibly he can behave. And above all he has displayed an attitude that stinks of arrogance.

But this episode also makes one wonder - what are we dealing with here? Is this cricket? Little sport and mostly commerce? Where a game is going to be managed by the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Mukesh Ambani and Vijay Mallya?

Where money is everything and only money matters? And universally acknowledged authorities of the game have no say?

If this is cricket then it's no longer a great game. It's the money behind it that matters now.

1 comment:

  1. Some of my favorite 'icons' over the years have been Sunil Gavaskar and Ganguly from the field of cricket and amongst the actor's I have always liked Sharukh Khan. During the last season of IPL, I was a Kolkatta Knight Rider supporter becoz two of my favorites ie Ganguly and Sharukh were associated with the team. It 'hurts' me no end that the team is getting embroiled in controversy even before IPL 2 has started.
    If my 'observations' are right IPL was primarily for 'Commerce' and for making 'profit' and also becoz of the breakaway ICL doing reasonably well and... the BCCI for 'commercial reasons'wanted to eliminate ICL from public memory

    Its a 'selfish' world...Gavaskar being a functionary of BCCI never made a 'comment' on the ICL being the 'great cricketer that he is...coz that would have 'cost' him his position in the BCCI...

    To make a comment on 'KKR multiple captain theory' was not justified till it was 'implemented' and had 'failed'. Shahrukh is probably justified in saying it is his team and it is he who would like to try new things. When IPL started we all knew 'money' would play. If the sanctity of the game of cricket was to be maintained, Gavaskar (a functionary of the BCCI) should have opposed the very concept of IPL.