Home > cricket > Can we get past Melbourne, 1981, please?

Can we get past Melbourne, 1981, please?

While the Cricket World Cup has started and as teams and fans warm up to the competition, there is a hot war-of-words brewing up on the sidelines. Sunil Gavaskar has been exchanging verbal blows with Ricky Ponting. IMHO, this could have been avoided and both sides could have kept their dignity and refrain from washing the dirty linen in public.

Having said that, there is one comment I have to make on the topic.

Gavaskar was far from popular in his playing days. Many people I have talked to/read remember him as a great batsman but don’t have many kind words for him as a person. Only Geoffrey Boycott would have surpassed him in the ability:popularity ratio. 🙂

But whenever Gavaskar is criticised for whatever reason, there is one incident that almost always get mentioned – his threat to walk off of a Test match at Melbourne in 1981. You can watch the video of the incident here, or read a detailed description here. Chris Cairns mentioned it recently, and so did Ricky Ponting now.

I am wondering if people are referring to this incident once too often. While I agree that Gavaskar did not cover himself with glory that day, I think he didn’t do anything unpardonable enough to have “holier-than-thou” fingers pointed at him this often. For one, Gavaskar did not throw away the match – he only threatened to. Secondly, it was not unprovoked either – throughout the series India had been on the receiving end of some dodgy umpiring (television replays and eye witness accounts suggests that Gavaskar might have got an inside edge after all). Of course, Lillee did his bit to flare up the flames too.

So please, can we move past Melbourne 1981?

PS: So far, this incident had been the biggest stick his detractors used to beat Gavaskar with – but I think he had just given them a new one.

Categories: cricket
  1. March 14, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    One thing I don’t like about U-Tube cricket videos is its abundance of racial comments. It is not U-Tube’s problem per se, but the users hanging out there are by no means mature. It is always Indians Vs Pakis OR Indians Vs. Aussies [where some Pakis masquerade as Aussies and try to flare up the situation]. A variation of this phenomenon is now noticeable in Digg and Reddit too where many comments contain shades of racism. WTF always had this, most topics have a comment in the line of – yes, the stupid offshore programmer !

  2. March 16, 2007 at 10:15 am

    Well, as the saying goes, “you do something good, ppl remember it for a day or two, you do something bad, ppl remember it for the rest of your life”…


  3. March 17, 2007 at 4:07 am

    you do something good, ppl remember it for a day or two, you do something bad, ppl remember it for the rest of your life

    How true!

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