Most sane cricketing heads—Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Bishen Singh Bedi, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Ayaz Memon, Prem Panicker—say India should not cut short the Australian tour and return because of the long-term ramifications of such a move. Those in favour are career-politicians like Farooq Abdullah or cricketers-politicians like Navjot Sidhu, who say the country’s pride is above that of a lost match, lousy umpiring or a Test match ban on a bowler.
On Times Now last night, India’s best cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, who too believes Anil Kumble & Co India should not advance their return journey, launched full-scale into his former colleague, Sidhu alias “Sherry“. First, Manjrekar, tongue firmly in both cheeks, said the BJP MP had probably seen all the “opinion polls” and then decided to what popular position to take on television.
But when Sidhu wouldn’t relent, and kept repeatedly saying India should walk away, the Mangalore-born Manjrekar delivered a pure gem:
“Sherry, you are a past master at walking away, aren’t you? You have some experience in that area. You walked away from the 1996 England series, leaving us to face the new ball in the first part of the season. So, obviously you would want the team to walk away from Australia.”
The usually garrulous Sidhu was tongue-tied.