West Indies Vs England 1979 World Cup Final Gavaskar-Border-Ponting Controversy

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Gavaskar-Border-Ponting Controversy

The tussle between Cricket Batting legends Sunil Gavaskar and Allan Border was a display of pent-up anger dating back to the Bedi vs Bob Simpson series in 1979, which India almost won despite unfavorable (read highly biased) judging by the Australians:

1. Gavaskar – Quoting the David Hookes incident:

This is probably the only inaccurate reference/remark in the entire episode.

David Hookes or anyone else, the quote was out of context and Gavaskar lost track of his argument from here, allowing the Australians to defend themselves. Thumbs Down.

2. Defending it by referring to it as a cultural change:

Of course there are cultural differences and India and the West Indies are at one end of the cultural spectrum and Australia and England at the other (England has recently moved to the center of the spectrum). This end of the spectrum is red (blood), and they certainly play the game hard and will use any style to win – in fact winning is everything. Remember how Bob Simpson was never bowled in the 1977-78 series led by Bishan Singh Bedi where The Aussies couldn’t cope with the Indian Spinners, so only theirs the partisan referee saved the day. I don’t know how much they remember Trevor Chappell stealth delivery? New Zealanders certainly do – and they would never forget it. Or the recent Ponting sledging the mine nations – well he needs to go to the soccer World Cup and get a foothold there first. Similarly, England turns to Bodyline, Vaseline (John Lever in India) even through racial means which they later abandoned (discrimination in the MCC, etc.). At the West Indian and Indian end of the cultural spectrum (which is white as peace) we have always known that the game must be played fairly and even teasing the psychology of the opponent is not fair. Now that is another matter whether messing with psychology is fair or not, but it is part of the tactics of the game. Thumbs Down.

3. Ponting – on Gavaskar Chauhan’s exit:

Well, that incident is a blot on Gavaskar’s impeccable career (apart from Kapil Dev’s fall in Kolkata). Still, let’s face it, they didn’t ride the rollercoaster and their decision wasn’t hurting anyone but their team and Chauhan in particular (he missed the one in the back was probably his last chance to score a Test 100). It’s still a lot better than the Aussies conning to keep Mural out by various unfair means. It is a well-known fact that only the actions of cricketers from the sub-continent have been found wrong. Ricky Ponting, how about that? Thumbs Down.

4. Ponting – Adam Gilchrist left not out:Considering Ricky Ponting didn’t take it lightly and didn’t like Adam Gilchrist’s walk says a lot about the way the Aussies play their cricket – not in the sportsman’s best spirit, that is. Thumbs Down. The bottom line is that some teams want fair results, and some teams just want to win. And lately since they’ve won, they haven’t been found to be champions, they’re just winners. West Indies were the champions. Champions are winners regardless of results. Thumbs up.

5. Boundary – how Gavaskar played his cricket:

Well, Gavaskar certainly played it better than Border, who went on and on until he could surpass Gavaskar in the number of runs he scored – and at what average? If Border wants to refer to Gavaskar’s ODI career, then it is about India taking time to adjust to the new style of playing cricket and Gavaskar’s 36 runs in the World Cup, was the end. Gavaskar then settled in well and had a string of good innings. Finally it is a fact that India and West Indies got the cup long before Australia stood up and was counted. Even Sri Lanka got it before them. Thumbs Down.

6. The Limit – Quoting the David Hookes incident:

This is probably the only inaccurate reference/remark in the entire episode.

David Hookes or anyone else, the quote was out of context and Gavaskar lost track of his argument from here, allowing the Australians to defend themselves. Thumbs Down.

7. Darren Lehmann – joining the controversy:

Darren who? Well, what need does Darren have now to wade into controversy? Thumbs Down.

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