Saturday, October 25, 2008

This won't wash, Gilly

I'm afraid this business surrounding Adam Gilchrist's book doesn't portray him in a particularly positive light. By that, I don't mean that I'm enraged that he has dared to question any aspect whatsoever of SRT's character, or slam Harbhajan, or the BCCI and CA. Gilly is entitled to his opinions, and to write about them, and publish them in his memoirs. More power to him. What I'm finding disingenuous is his rapid, incoherent, backtracking from his statements, once it became clear that far from helping his book sales, it could cost him IPL-dollars (yes, I know I'm being harsh, but read on).

For what else are we to make of his suggestion that he never accused Sachin of lying? Well, perhaps he didn't use the word "lie" or "liar". But he certainly made a strong claim that Sachin engaged in a convenient misrepresentation. That sounds like a lie to me. And what are we to make of his claim that he wasn't accusing SRT of poor sportsmanship in not being available to shake hands after a game? Gilly suggests that it was just to point out cultural differences, but his choice of language ("different strokes for different folks") and his clubbing in of SRT with Bhajji (Public Enemy No. 1 in Australia last summer) suggests that he wants a connection to be drawn between the two. Why say that Sachin is not to be found in the dressing room after a *defeat*, as opposed to saying, "he forgets to shake hands after a game" whether winning or losing? You've lost a few tests to India, haven't you, Gilly? What happens when India wins? Is he not around to shake hands then either? Or is it only when India loses?

My personal take is that Gilchrist wrote what he wanted to write, and then climbed down when he realized the proverbial smelly stuff had hit the fan.


Blogger Homer said...

The only surprising thing in this entire episode is that it took Gilly the better part of the day ( after the story had hot the stands) to back peddle.


1:51 AM  
Blogger Soulberry said...

How about a deliberate strategy - let the stuff hit the fan, so the odor can circulate well, and before you court complaints from the other guys in the room, just open a small window of communication to dilute the smelly - agents and publishers (and tag-along authors) will walk the sharp edge these days to trigger a smart start for a book.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Soulberry said...

Deepavali greetings to you and yours and all the readers of Eye on cricket.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Homer: Indeed. Another point was that cultural differences can be emphasized in so many ways; why mention something as an instance thereof, which actually serves to make a broader point about a 'superior' way of playing cricket?

SB: I don't put anything past marketing people these days! And Happy Diwali right back to you!

3:21 PM  
Anonymous raj said...

This is not the first time Gilly makes comments and then backtracks when the smelly stuff hits the fan.

He spoke ill of Muralitharan in a local function where he thought he could open his minds since only locals were present. Unfortunately, it got reported and when Gilly realised that ICC regulations didnt allow him to shoot his mouth off - instead of standing by his belief that Murali chucked, he shut his mouth and played for the dollars. Now, thats what I call hypocrisy. To be fair, I am hypocritical, too. But then I dont go about creating an image that I am a "gentleman cricketer", "a saintly soul" etc.

12:51 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Raj: Thanks for your comment. Do you have a link to this Murali story? Thanks?

1:32 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Samir, here you go: Gilchrist queries Murali's action.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

By the way, sportsmen making accusations then backing down stinks. One of these days one of them is bound to own their opinions rather than be cowed into an ignominious backdown accompanied by transparent sophistry. But I'm not holding my breath.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...


Thanks for the link. I wonder if ghost-writing is playing a role? Or does the desire to write something flashy make folks pen something they don't really want to stand by?


9:56 PM  

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