5 reasons Gavaskar’s wrong about playing Pak

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has criticized the Indian cricket board’s decision earlier this week to revive cricketing relations with Pakistan with a three-match ODI series in December this year.

Reason: he feels Pakistan is not cooperating in the probe into the November 2008 siege of Bombay despite the mountain of evidence that has been piled at its door.

“Being a Mumbaikar, I feel, what is the urgency (to resume cricketing ties) when there is no co-operation from the other side?”

Gavaskar is a great cricketer and a weighty columnist and commentator to boot. His views carry enormous weight in the cricketing fraternity. He can make or mar ties between BCCI and PCB having been part of the BCCI and International Cricket Council (ICC) administration for a long time.

However, “Sunny” is plain wrong in questioning BCCI’s rationale for resuming cricket with Pakistan three years after the dastardly attack on his hometown?

First: BCCI would have dared to approach Pakistan with a tour proposal only after securing the government of India’s clearance. Perhaps it was Pakistan which came up with the proposal first.

Either way, Union home minister P. Chidambaram and external affairs minister S.M. Krishna would have discussed the issue threadbare with the Prime Minister and only after his (and/or the cabinet’s) clearance would the BCCI have made the first move to invite Pakistan for a tour.

It is the Indian Government that will decide whether Pakistan is cooperating in the Bombay terror attacks, not BCCI and definitely not Sunil Gavaskar. At least we haven’t reached that stage in the BCCI.

So far.

Second: While one certainly appreciates his views that as a ‘Mumbaikar’  for the tragedy that struck on 26 /11, he cannot decide whether there is cooperation from the other side. Not even BCCI. That is again strictly the job of the government.

Once the Government gives its clearance after satisfying itself of all the aspects and give its nod, the board and the cricketers should do their assigned jobs, as rightly pointed out by Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a media conference.

Third: I am sure every player would have felt terrible about the attack, irrespective of whether he was a Mumbaikar or not. So is it with every Indian. In fact it was with that spirit that the whole team played a match against Andrew Flintoff’s England and both teams came in for huge praise from all over the world for their fantastic gesture.

However well meaning, parochial sentiments on a national issue like terror are better consigned to the dustbin, particularly from a cricketer of the calibre of Gavaskar.

Fourth: Sunny is on firmer ground when he questions BCCI with regard to squeezing this tour in a year which is already quite packed.  Here again, if he is questioning the tour on cricketing grounds, he should have also questioned the wisdom of selectors’ acceding to Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘pick and choose’ policy, especially in ODIs,  a subject which has been dealt by quite of few cricket experts and commentators at length.

This affects balance in the team, creates uncertainty in minds of younger cricketers about their future as they have to make way whenever he ‘feels’ like playing cricket. One would have expected Sunny to question the selectors or Sachin in his weekly column regarding this but that did not happen.

It is only Sanjay Manjrekar who has rightly dared to question this in the past.

Fifth: Why should cricket and cricket alone be the barometer of ties between India and Pakistan? Despite 26/11, the two countries seem to have started finding ways of doing business. Its politicians meet happily, its bureaucrats do, there are growing trade ties, etc.

So, why should cricket be held hostage to terror? It is, after all, a sport.

Also read: Gavaskar: India’s most petulant cricketer ever?

Save Indian cricket: keep Sunil Gavaskar out

Are Gavaskar and Shastri India’s only cricketers?

Gavaskar of 2010 is the same Gavaskar of 1981

Why some of us just love to hate Gavaskar

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24 Responses to “5 reasons Gavaskar’s wrong about playing Pak”

  1. induramesh Says:

    Gavaskar has also talked about the Indian team playing back to back. Should the BCCI not worry about that?

  2. Nastika Says:

    Home ministry gave its no-objection for playing Pakistan more than a year back (thats why Pakistan could play semi-final in World Cup in Mumbai). BCCI being BCCI was looking for ‘right’ moment and hence it brought up the plan now (probably to get Pakistan’s support in some ICC meeting). So why Gavaskar is concerned in not known (unless he joined Shiv-Sena).

    BTW, Sachin is part of 31-member panel is currently examining the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Second Amendment Bill, 2011. Probably thats why he is not in Sri Lanka playing cricket right now :)


  3. sony zee Says:

    First — going through Gavaskar’s comment “Being a Mumbaikar, I feel, what is the urgency (to resume cricketing ties) when there is no co-operation from the other side?”….where is ” BCCI ” mentioned…?
    Second — If BBCI can’t take decision on Govt. behalf then the govt.also can’t take decision on BCCI’s behalf. So why can’t the BCCI stop this nonsensical decision.
    Third— It is the Pakistan side which seems more enthusiastic by this tour, since their image is going down in the world and they want to revive it through any means, best way is of course by having a cricket tour of India.
    Fourth—by bringing sachin tendulkar in the column writer is becoming personal against Gavaskar. Same as Gavaskar became personal by bringing mumbaikars in this issue.
    Fifth — when business delegates from the both side meet how many people watch this…?….when diplomats from both side meet then how many people know about this in India….?…AND WHEN CRICKET IS PLAYED BETWEEN THESE TWO COUNTRIES THEN HOW MANY KNOW ABOUT THIS NEWS….?…THATS WHY CRICKET IS BROUGHT IN THIS ISSUE…
    sixth—-The write is a complete idiot and not an Indian….!!

  4. harkol Says:

    And one reason why Sunil Gavaskar is right – Freedom of Expression.

    This article talks about 5 reasons why he is wrong. let us examine them:

    1. The decision isn’t his to make – he wasn’t making one! He was just airing his opinion. And he has also made public his reasoning. It is for anyone to take it or lump it.

    2. Second reason is same as the first – he didn’t ‘make a decision’. His opinion need not be same as the govt. or BCCI !!

    3. Again, author here seems to be under the impression that Sports and Politics are separate entities. It is not.

    USA banned Moscow Olympics not because of parochial interests. It was in the larger political scheme of things of isolating USSR, USSR retaliated by banning 1984 olympics. USA won the cold war because of its laser like focus on taking on USSR, making it too expensive for USSR to sustain. Pakistan is no less a thorn in our flesh.

    4. Now author questions the cricketing logic of Sunny in not wanting our already overburdened cricketers to be packed any further. He hasn’t said this only regarding this Pakistan tour, but he has been consistently saying that India plays too much cricket. So, it is not a new opinion. And why bring in Tendulkar in to this argument?

    5. Why cricket world alone should be a barometer??? Who says it should? We need to isolate Pakistan in all ways we can. Pakistan is following a perfidious path and we will normalize relations without any action on Pakistan’s part??

    I am entirely with Sunil Gavaskar on this. Author can write one more article saying I am wrong to “make such a DECISION”!!!!

  5. Deepak Says:

    All this resuming cricket ties and Aman ki asha kind of stuff is a sick farce!! As though Zardari and Kayani will be moved and stop their terror strategies!! Its just an occasion for BCCI to mint more money.

  6. Manoj Sharma Says:

    5 Reasons u r wrong about playing Pak:
    1. Nobody is complaining about playing against pak. Scars of the Mumbai assault are not settled enough to INVITE them to home turf and give them all the hospitality and money which they are desperately looking as a bail out from isolation.
    2. The cricket shldn’t hv been banned at the first place but if it has been banned as a consequence of wat hpnd(26/11) then we hv every right to be upset when it gets restarted if scars are still afresh in our hearts and minds.
    3. Considering the reputation of paki cricketers expecting more drama than cricket, a team which kills it coach for making millions by fixing matches and spot fixing should not talk abt morality and all.
    4. As a cricket fanatic nation we are emotionally attached to cricket and that’s the main reason it gets banned when something like this happens at that time it feels right, why not now just because some time has passes.
    5. Whether it is BCCI or Govt. this should be criticized as much as it can be and this time they (Pakistan cricket team) are NOT WELCOME.

  7. Clara Says:

    Many, many reasons not to play cricket with Pakistan. Of course it is great thrill watching the two teams play. But the arguement the it will bring the two countries to some peace is bullshit. Even there is no valid point in the argument that it will help people-to-people contact. Look back. Has playing with Pakistan helped in the past. it will be demeaning to those affected by 26/11 who still wait for justice if we play wit the Pakistanis.

  8. arungov Says:

    The writer is very biased. It feels like the entire article is for the sake of argument and not really making a point.

    A couple more articles like this, I will stop subscribing to chrumuri

  9. Deepak Prakash B Says:

    this guy amaresh mishra is a total retard. completely out of his mental elements. he’s definitely a terrorist in the garb of a writer!

  10. Sanjeeva Says:

    Deepak, You are probably quite right. I also have the same feelings. Still, there is no harm in trying!

  11. shiv Says:

    E.R.Ramachandran is an example of the confused idiotic Indian logging the english media.I do not know how genuine Gavaskar’s disgust on resuming ties with our rogue neighbour but then he has every right to voice his opinion.Pakistan is a rogue state, it is not a country.It has to be treated as one.India will be better off if they shut their minds on this neighbour and concentrate on setting right many wrongs in our country.

  12. shiv Says:

    IMHO the only reason why BCCI has resumed cricketing ties with Pakistan is the possible pressure applied by the betting syndicate/ hawala traders whose clout if we go by newspaper reports is quite deep with our politicians/Industry barons as well as people holding important portfolios in govt/Industry in India.Cricket crazy Indian fans actually are helping these dubious channels to make extraordinary money.It is time at least middle/upper class Indians who are easily the most boring people in this world to get a life and stop leading a drab money/cricket/property centric life.

  13. S.Doreswamy Says:

    ERR seems to have oversimplified the issue. His premise is the Indian Govt. might have approved the proposed Series. What Sunny has attacked is the very proposal itself. Quite rightly. Even if it is Govt’s decision- not God’s decision – the same can be questioned. Particularly in the context of several hostile acts on the part of Pak. If this Series is intended to be one more Confidence Building measure, I am afraid this too may meet the same fate of the previous ones. Don’t call me a Pessimist !

  14. the colonel Says:

    1947, 1965, 1971, kargil, today

    which promise has been kept.

    any promise.

    no entry to the team.

    india’s demand.

  15. Sunkudur Says:

    It is unfortuante that a writer of your caliber gets a venue to write such irrational piece. It is common knowledge that Pakisthan as a govt and as a country was involved in 26/11 attacks. Innocent people died. It is common knowledge that our leaders in the current govt are currupt to the core, inefficent, spineless people whose decisions are not necessarily in the interest of the country.
    The wound inflicted may not bother you, but a true patriot Indian will be feeling differently when our own gove condones the blazen atrocities commited againt our own citizen , Its shameless to justify for anyone these cowerdice actions in the name of diplomacy.
    To insinuate that who ever questions the actions of Indian govt is ignorant is utter nonsense. THe very value of democracy is undermined by writers like you. To assume that everthing is cleared at the cabinet level is foolhardy. IF our cabinet ministers were ever acting prudently in the interest of the common man our country would not be what it is today. So much filth in politics let alone on the road side. FInally I am sorry I had to read your article. You should learn more before you express.

  16. Alok Says:

    I concur with some of the points argued by Mr. Ramachandran, though they are in part repetitive and even look contrived. Gavaskar need not get everything right every time, he is human after all, so it was unnecessary for the author to pull him up for merely airing his view. As to whether India should play Pak or not, I think BCCI has taken the right call in resuming ties with Pakistan, not that there was much choice in this matter. As a nation, we have exhausted our efforts in bringing terrorists to the book – we tried it emotionally (banishing their players), we tried it diplomatically, we tried it rationally (submitting credible evidence), we tried it symbolically (cozying up with US and amassing third parties’ support), we tried it up all, but for one thing – to nuke Pakistan. Which would obviously turn out to be an exercise in mutual and hence self destruction. Just as Abraham Lincoln once famously said, upon being asked why he was trying to act chummy with his cornered rivals, “Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends out of them!”, so must India do – not out of choice but because we are helpless.

    Pakistan is the sort of country which would have no less than both of your eyes, even if it means losing one of its own in bargain. When you are confronting such a headstrong enemy, you can’t just battle them head on, not even America could do it, leave alone poor India. The US has resorted to covert operations instead, such as the one that took out Osama. What the Americans are trying to do with such small-scale, but nevertheless significant, assaults is put the ball in Pakistan’s court – so the onus is on the enemy to initiate a war, which it tentatively hints of every now and then, but which the US also knows it shall never do. But India cannot grow the same gumption about Pak with regard to itself, not least because of our geographical proximity and our comparability in terms of nuclear strength. That’s why I find all the talk about aggression and retaliation to be complete hogwash. I know my views will not resonate much with the nationalistic, perhaps even the majority of, Indians, who are youthful, angry and seething with frustration. But we have no choice but to swallow our anger, contain our scorn and harness our vigor into building a future India which would some day wield the kind of power and clout that only one nation enjoys on earth today. Till then, let’s suck on our thumbs and watch cricket played out on our TV screens!

  17. Harihara Bhat Says:

    Let this cricket drama continue until the next terror attacks and the cycle repeats…..

  18. Curry Hurry Says:

    For one thing these cricket tours allow more of those ISI agent scum to enter the country on valid tourist visa and disappear. Do they know if all those who entered on such visas previously have returned?

  19. Srikanta Says:

    Gundappa Vishwanath marrying Gavaskars Sister has not really help heal the divide between Maharastra and Karnataka.

    In the interest of Peace, Gavaskar’s sister should have married Javid Miandhad, there would have been peace.

  20. Srikanta Says:

    Oh Gavaskar is against Pakistan; I never read the article. He is right.

  21. harkol Says:

    So, in all this shindig about playing Pakistan – let us think back the days immediately after 26/11 attacks.

    In a speech to the nation, Our Prime Minister promised that there will be a cost to Pakistan if it doesn’t take action against the Terrorists in its territory. He also promised there won’t be any ‘dialog with Pakistan’ till Pakistan prosecuted the folks responsible for Mumbai attacks.

    He was counting on fools like E.R.R. forgetting fast, and resuming business as usual?? What exactly is it that Pakistan has done to address India’s concerns?

    Our home minister (PC) had promised ‘not to rest’ until the perpetrators are brought to book. Is he still not ‘resting’??

    Are we insane to repeat the same actions again and again (by Einstein’s definition of Insanity)? Why set ourselves up to dialogs, CBMs etc, only to recoil at next terror attack??

    Why not truly Punish Pakistan for its Perfidy and treat it like a Enemy State that it is? We need not go to war with Pakistan, but pray! We need not be friendly with it either. We can break its back through a prolonged cold-war.

  22. Shankara Says:

    These so called pseudo liberal pseudo intellectuals like ERR are one big reason why our country is divided against an obvious enemy like Pakistan. Those of you old enough to remember, know that the very foundation for Pakistan’s creation was aimed at India’s demise. Things got worse during the next partition – when east Pakistan became Bangladesh. Anyone with a double digit IQ should have realised by now that Pakistan can never be trusted or believed. There can be absolutely no excuse for Osama hiding in plain sight in a high profile military garrison town right in their heart. Pakistan is the #1 terrorist nation on earth today and should be treated as such.

  23. Faldo Says:

    The decision to resume cricket ties is to be frank, quite baffling. Just two weeks ago the home minister made a strong statement about state support to the attackers from across the border. One is not sure how the situation has changed from the time these attacks happened. If anything, there appears to have been a hard-lining of stances and stoking of anti-India sentiments. Even if sentiments were to be left aside, is it fair to be diverting a significant amount of the state’s time and resources to ensure that matches go off uneventfully?

  24. asha Says:


    PC is busy engineering the next scam from behind the scenes. I concur with Shankara here, look at the riots in Assam which killed 36 people….and our government does not even have the nerve to blame it on the illegal immigrants from Banghi Desh…teaching a lesson to pakistan is a tall order for these guys who lack testicular fortitude. Also today the chief of the PCCI has demanded to compensated by BCCI for a cancelled cricket tour…I will not be surprised if the spineless government concedes to his demand.

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