January 5, 2010

Come now, Sunny

So Stuart Broad is the beneficiary of the darkest nepotism, is he
105


Broad: guilty of looking like a fat-free Andrew Flintoff © Getty Images
 

I have nothing against word processors. Nor do I bear any ill will towards retired cricketers. However, the conjunction of the two is usually, in my experience, something to be avoided. Scientists may believe that an infinite number of former batsmen bashing away at an infinite number of laptops may eventually produce the collected works of Cardus, but I count myself amongst the sceptics.

And can you blame me? Only last week, the prosecution was handed yet more evidence for the bulging file of crimes against common sense committed by decommissioned flannelites. Still bleary-eyed with festive cheer, I turned on my computer one sunny afternoon and was jolted from my complacency by the following headline:

“SUNIL GAVASKAR ALLEGES NEXUS OVER STUART BROAD NON-ACTION”

It sounded dramatic. It invited the concerned, dressing gown-wearing citizen to read on. I read on.

“Stuart's father Chris is one of the ICC's match referees, and so the umpires are reluctant to make a complaint against the youngster.”

Crikey! Heavy stuff. Now when you read a sentence like that, it’s easy to get distracted by all the verbs and nouns and things, but look a little closer and you see that the hardest working part of that sentence is the word “and”. That brave conjunction is carrying a heavy load on its little shoulders.

See, what you've done there, Sunil, old chap, is to seat one undeniable fact next to one slightly smelly allegation, hoping they'll hit it off. Any normal journalist might be expected to come up with some teensy piece of evidence to back up that accusation. I mean Woodward and Bernstein would have had an easy time of it if they’d just been able to scribble: “Nixon. Dodgy. Watergate. Stands to reason, don’t it?”

But there’s more.

“Remember the umpires and match referees are used to hanging out together in the evenings since they are in a foreign country and so forge a good relationship and obviously the umpires are not looking to spoil that by citing the young Broad for a violation of the code of conduct."

Mmm. So sensitive wallflower Steve Davis deliberately goes easy on Broad junior because he and Broad senior have struck up something beautiful and Steve doesn’t want to jinx it. After all, Chris Broad is quite a catch. Who hasn’t bent the rules a little for the sake of romance?

Or is there something else going on here? Is Chris Broad running a protection racket? Has he incriminating photographs of Billy Bowden’s crooked finger? Come on, Sunil, tell us more, don’t leave us hanging in suspense, spill the beans. You’re an insider; you know where the bodies are buried. Surely, a respected former cricketer wouldn’t be throwing this kind of mud around without good reason. So let’s hear it. Sunil? Sunil, where are you?

But Sunil has moved on.

"He knows he can get away with it and indeed he has. Stuart has been quoted as saying he didn't think he had done anything wrong in questioning the umpire’s decision to refer the appeal to the third umpire… and therein has confirmed again that he thinks he is a special case and not on par with the rest of the cricketing world."

Come again? Cricketer says he hasn’t done anything wrong. Got that bit. Bleating that you haven’t done anything wrong is hardly rare. It is particularly common in people who have just done something wrong. But once again, Gavaskar S attempts to jam square peg A into round hole B, steps back and declares the thing a perfect fit. Is protesting your innocence now an indication not just that you think you are innocent, but that you think you are innocent because you are a special case? Apparently so.

In short then, Sunil’s catalogue of conspiracy includes just the three facts. 1. Stuart Broad is a cricketer. 2. Stuart Broad’s father is a match referee. 3. Stuart Broad didn’t think he did anything wrong in Centurion. Let’s be honest, Sunny, this one was a bit thin.

I’ve got a conspiracy theory of my own. It’s not flashy and it isn’t going to sell many papers but it goes like this. Former Indian cricketer, contracted to produce yet another article, is faced with those twin horrors: a blank page and a looming deadline. There are two ways out. One of the finest batsmen the game has ever seen can give us something interesting, uplifting and insightful. Or he can peddle idle, rabble-rousing gossip, ripe with unpleasant smears and entirely devoid of evidence.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Himanshu@Zeecric on January 5, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    Indeed a beautifully written article but I think we should wait for Sunil's version again.

  • Dinakar on January 5, 2010, 17:07 GMT

    Andrew missed one additional fact about the double standards maintained by umpires and the match refrees. Keeping aside Sunny's allegations on Stuart - the fact is that the match refrees have double standards and serious bias.Most of the cricketers from Australia, England and SA walk free even if they are the ones who are the agressors and initiators of most of these conflicts on field. It's high time that we take the person who provokes a conflict to task before acting on the provoked. Time to have tough standards like what we have in FIFA and/or other major american league sports.

  • OptimusPrime on January 5, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    Funny Article Andrew ... So what are you trying to say here ... when a batsman is given out, he can stand his ground and ask for the decision to be referred to the third umpire? Tell us one instance where a non-English or a non-Australian player did such thing and got away with it ? And when someone points it out, you attack the author .. what else can you do ? It would have been better if you came with an article defending S.Broad instead of attacking Mr. Sunil Gavaskar.

  • Said Chaudhry on January 5, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    Woah!! hahaha . . . great read Andrew. You always manage to make me laugh with your witty articles. Although I can clearly sense the bias in your analysis. I'm now anxiously waiting for your next article which I hope will be on why former English captain Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussein (or was it Atherton?) publicly expressed concerns about Stuart Broad's behavior towards the officials and how little Stuart keeps getting away with it. Its not a mystery to anyone, if Stuart Broad was from the subcontinent, he would have been banned quite some time ago. Sunil Gavaskar's theory may be irresponsible, but it is one that gives us something to think about. Hey, try writing something funny on the following conspiracy theory so we can stop smelling the bias from you:

    1. The day England learned the art of reverse swing and won the Ashes, and no one ever muttered tampering (i.e Ian Botham).

    Said (Lahore, Pakistan)

  • Said Chaudhry on January 5, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    Woah!! hahaha . . . great read Andrew. You always manage to make me laugh with your witty articles. Although I can clearly sense the bias in your analysis. I'm now anxiously waiting for your next article which I hope will be on why former English captain Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussein (or was it Atherton?) publicly expressed concerns about Stuart Broad's behavior towards the officials and how little Stuart keeps getting away with it. Its not a mystery to anyone, if Stuart Broad was from the subcontinent, he would have been banned quite some time ago. Sunil Gavaskar's theory may be irresponsible, but it is one that gives us something to think about. Hey, try writing something funny on the following conspiracy theories so we can stop smelling the bias from you: 1. The day England learned the art of reverse swing and won the Ashes, and no one ever muttered tampering (i.e Ian Botham).

  • ashtung on January 5, 2010, 16:17 GMT

    (Contd.) Mr. Hughes, I am neither the 'patriotic, touchy' Indian who will burst in to flames the second a harsh word is spoken nor do I endorse or support every word that Gavaskar or Shastri speaks (in fact I hate Shastri's sight)

    I just like your column too much to see one being wasted over this. I mean, I would have enjoyed it if you had made it funnier, which, I am sure beyond doubt, you can...

  • ashtung on January 5, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    Seems it really irked you Mr. Hughes, and so many other Englishmen... But do you have a better theory for the let off?

    Also, such form of nepotism is quite common in India - extra marks to fellow teacher's son, cop letting you off for a minor offence if he knows your uncle, family doctor seeing you ahead of queue - and hence, these allegations are not as far-fetched as you make them out to be..

    Common sense tells me that such things would not be out of place in the more polite English world too, albeit they would not be as apparent or blatant.

    It's good that Sunny did not accuse Broad sr. of racism, while his inconsistent rulings point to that. If he had, you would have wasted another article on that, in stead of the good humor you provide without fail. Hope you return to chuckling ways with the next one...

  • Safro on January 5, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    Are you going to defend Broad's irrefutable ball-tampering in the test match today as well?

  • Omar on January 5, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    Genius Hughes, genius. Best (and funniest) article I've read in a while, brightened up my day.

  • Naresh on January 5, 2010, 15:48 GMT

    Hah - laugh as much as you want at Mr G, but I'll tell ya Mr H, both those "Broads" will now be thinking. Perhaps Broady senior will become a selector, just like "Procty" did for SA.

  • Himanshu@Zeecric on January 5, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    Indeed a beautifully written article but I think we should wait for Sunil's version again.

  • Dinakar on January 5, 2010, 17:07 GMT

    Andrew missed one additional fact about the double standards maintained by umpires and the match refrees. Keeping aside Sunny's allegations on Stuart - the fact is that the match refrees have double standards and serious bias.Most of the cricketers from Australia, England and SA walk free even if they are the ones who are the agressors and initiators of most of these conflicts on field. It's high time that we take the person who provokes a conflict to task before acting on the provoked. Time to have tough standards like what we have in FIFA and/or other major american league sports.

  • OptimusPrime on January 5, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    Funny Article Andrew ... So what are you trying to say here ... when a batsman is given out, he can stand his ground and ask for the decision to be referred to the third umpire? Tell us one instance where a non-English or a non-Australian player did such thing and got away with it ? And when someone points it out, you attack the author .. what else can you do ? It would have been better if you came with an article defending S.Broad instead of attacking Mr. Sunil Gavaskar.

  • Said Chaudhry on January 5, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    Woah!! hahaha . . . great read Andrew. You always manage to make me laugh with your witty articles. Although I can clearly sense the bias in your analysis. I'm now anxiously waiting for your next article which I hope will be on why former English captain Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussein (or was it Atherton?) publicly expressed concerns about Stuart Broad's behavior towards the officials and how little Stuart keeps getting away with it. Its not a mystery to anyone, if Stuart Broad was from the subcontinent, he would have been banned quite some time ago. Sunil Gavaskar's theory may be irresponsible, but it is one that gives us something to think about. Hey, try writing something funny on the following conspiracy theory so we can stop smelling the bias from you:

    1. The day England learned the art of reverse swing and won the Ashes, and no one ever muttered tampering (i.e Ian Botham).

    Said (Lahore, Pakistan)

  • Said Chaudhry on January 5, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    Woah!! hahaha . . . great read Andrew. You always manage to make me laugh with your witty articles. Although I can clearly sense the bias in your analysis. I'm now anxiously waiting for your next article which I hope will be on why former English captain Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussein (or was it Atherton?) publicly expressed concerns about Stuart Broad's behavior towards the officials and how little Stuart keeps getting away with it. Its not a mystery to anyone, if Stuart Broad was from the subcontinent, he would have been banned quite some time ago. Sunil Gavaskar's theory may be irresponsible, but it is one that gives us something to think about. Hey, try writing something funny on the following conspiracy theories so we can stop smelling the bias from you: 1. The day England learned the art of reverse swing and won the Ashes, and no one ever muttered tampering (i.e Ian Botham).

  • ashtung on January 5, 2010, 16:17 GMT

    (Contd.) Mr. Hughes, I am neither the 'patriotic, touchy' Indian who will burst in to flames the second a harsh word is spoken nor do I endorse or support every word that Gavaskar or Shastri speaks (in fact I hate Shastri's sight)

    I just like your column too much to see one being wasted over this. I mean, I would have enjoyed it if you had made it funnier, which, I am sure beyond doubt, you can...

  • ashtung on January 5, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    Seems it really irked you Mr. Hughes, and so many other Englishmen... But do you have a better theory for the let off?

    Also, such form of nepotism is quite common in India - extra marks to fellow teacher's son, cop letting you off for a minor offence if he knows your uncle, family doctor seeing you ahead of queue - and hence, these allegations are not as far-fetched as you make them out to be..

    Common sense tells me that such things would not be out of place in the more polite English world too, albeit they would not be as apparent or blatant.

    It's good that Sunny did not accuse Broad sr. of racism, while his inconsistent rulings point to that. If he had, you would have wasted another article on that, in stead of the good humor you provide without fail. Hope you return to chuckling ways with the next one...

  • Safro on January 5, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    Are you going to defend Broad's irrefutable ball-tampering in the test match today as well?

  • Omar on January 5, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    Genius Hughes, genius. Best (and funniest) article I've read in a while, brightened up my day.

  • Naresh on January 5, 2010, 15:48 GMT

    Hah - laugh as much as you want at Mr G, but I'll tell ya Mr H, both those "Broads" will now be thinking. Perhaps Broady senior will become a selector, just like "Procty" did for SA.

  • Raghu on January 5, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    "After all, Chris Broad is quite a catch. Who hasn’t bent the rules a little for the sake of romance?"

    I don't understand this term. Is Andrew suggest that by not levying match ban to Aussies, C.Broad hasn't bent the rules?

    We have seen them all and the match fees for Aussies and 'no plays' for likes of Indian and WI players.

    If English / Aussies are doing a bit more , they are excited but with in the line and if others does the same thing, they are over reacted? Don't know whether these are the rules for Match referees.

  • Roger on January 5, 2010, 15:19 GMT

    @FallsDown: Going by your argument, I can say that all people supporting Andrew Hughes here are Englishmen with a misplaced sense of patritism. Also Andrew Hughes is supporting Stuart Broad with a misplaced sense of patriotism.

  • crktcrzy on January 5, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    I agree with "R", but only to the extent of Sunil's comment- the same logic applies with this guy, as he has given nothing solid either to counter-argue Sunny's point, like examples or instances to nullify the claim. To me both are nothing but void, illogical arguments just to fill a few more pages of cricinfo.

  • AJ on January 5, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    Well this happens, there is nothing new in it. If Flintoff takes off his shirt nobody says anything.. but if Ganguly does same hes fined... and on numerous other occasions this kind of biasness is seen in cricket. So I think Sunil is right in making the allegation..

  • Roger on January 5, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    Sunil Gavaskar was dead right in this case. He also achieved what many umpires and match referees couldn't. From now on, on Stuart Broad will be extra careful with his behaviour, at least to prevent another such criticism coming out. In this article, Andrew succeeded in ridiculing Gavaskar's English, but couldn't prove his points wrong.

  • Jay on January 5, 2010, 12:38 GMT

    Okay. Gavaskar should have given evidence. It is inappropriate to accuse someone without giving any evidence. Agreed. But he is doing so because Stuart Broad keeps getting away with stuff like this.

  • Cunnas on January 5, 2010, 12:30 GMT

    i agree with the fact that sunil's articile on stuart broad was a little 'thin' but it is still an issue that needs to be taken seriously, nontheless, especially when one considers the ways in which other players are suspended for 2 matches for the slightest of reasons. However, the ways in which you have decided to reply to Gavaskar's implications, through stupid humour and pointless discussions on the use of certain conjunctions really shows how well thought out your debate for this topic was. And where did you get that whole protection racket ridocule, its one thing being funny and its another being just plain idiotic and immature. The latter unfortunately is what i found of your article.

  • Magnum_Octopus on January 5, 2010, 12:18 GMT

    Here we go again - a facetious comment directed at someone from the subcontinent from someone outside the subcontinent is de facto motivated by racism. Unlike, of course, a similar comment in the reverse direction, which is de facto motivated by righteous indignation. Ho-hum! Andrew, pick your battles with more wisdom if you want to crack an invitation to the subcontinent any time...

  • Tull on January 5, 2010, 12:14 GMT

    What Gavaskar said, may not be palatable. But Chris Broad does show a clear bias against the Indian subcontinent in his judgements. In fact one can go so far as to say the ICC referees punish non-white (and I am not a racist) nations' players a lot more while the white playing nations get away with a gentle rap on the knuckles. Suleiman Benn from West Indies is the most recent example. And we all know what happened to Gautam Gambhir after Sean Watson provoked him abusing him and eventually standing in his way and Gautam got banned for retaliating with a tap from his elbow! It was a farce. And this farce plays out repeatedly. The best team that intimidated was the West Indies in 1980s and they did it without abusing or cheating.

  • Ahdil on January 5, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    Sure Sunil did not show too much evidence. But that does not make it true. Broad steps over the line, and it's true, he does not get punished. Perhaps it is in the back of the umpire's minds, as an incident like this pops up.

  • Gc on January 5, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    Agreed R. It appears that tee original Post about SG comments is commenting on a specific passage of reporting only. It is not commenting on whether Broad is the first player to push the acceptability of behaviour, or whether SG is the only reporter not to construct a watertight argument. What it appears he is doing is commenting on the overall mistake by publishers to use retired professionals as reporters, and he provides new evidence with the SG article. It is afterall the publishments editor who should have overall say over what goes in or not. Andrew's and to a certain extent SG's article is ok because it leads people on a tangent to discuss other areas. However strictly these should be taken to another post.

  • devilliers on January 5, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    gavaskar may be pushing it with calling it nepotism, but it must be said that broad is like a petulant child.

  • HB on January 5, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    Gavaskar's comments hit a raw nerve because there is no question that there seems to be a double standard in handing out sanctions to Aaian/WestIndian players on the one hand and player from England and Australia. Maybe the match referees are all fair and impartial and are privy to facts and context that are not avaialable to fans and viewers, but there seems to be a double standard, notwithstanding Andrew Hughes' sarcasm and ridicule

  • Theju on January 5, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri ramble on and on with without making much sense.They rarely try to back anything they say with facts. I really love the article

  • SR Kannan on January 5, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    There's a difference between evidence and proof. SMG does offer evidence when he says: "questioning the umpire’s decision to refer the appeal to the third umpire" and that did happen. If the umpires did wait for 35 secs as somebody mentioned before the appeal was referred, then it's a matter that the captains and the respective Boards to take up with the Match referee and the ICC and definitely not the player's place to point it out. In a game when players get punished for the slightest show of dissent/unhappiness such as walking slowly off the field, such behaviour by Stuart definitely deserves a reprimand. That none was forthcoming is the point made by SMG...It's painfully clear that different yardsticks are used in pulling up players and awarding punishments as was apparent in the recent Benn case. I for one think that Johnson deliberately moved into Benn's outstretched arm...leave alone sledging provocations by the Oz going unpunished. And Cardus who? :P

  • Pakistani on January 5, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    Mr. Hughes, hats off to you. With no disrespect to anyone, SG was a sign of an excellent cricketer.

    However, there is a saying " Even monkeys fall off the tree".

  • Max on January 5, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    Me thinks Andrew is enamoured with the younger Broad! And so has sprung to his defence! (even though Broad was clearly out of line this time, as even the commentators had noted live on air)

  • Aussie Bloke on January 5, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    Sunny Gavaskar can bat, can't think. Someone tell him to shut up, his opinion is driven by his relevance deprivation syndrome.

  • GD on January 5, 2010, 11:32 GMT

    Andrew, I didn't expect you to misrepresent the facts. You fail to acknowledge that in the same article Gavaskar points out the criticism by Vaughn and Hussain of similar antics by Broad in the past. Even the commentators for that match suggested that Broad could be in trouble for what looked like dissent. Can't side with you this time, Andrew.

  • Venkat Krishnan on January 5, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    Most of the Indians who are protesting Mr. Hughes's article are jingoistic and still believe that any word uttered against an Indian by an Englishman is an act of imperialism. Grow up, Indian middle class.

    I think Sunny went way too far with that one. When some English or Australian or just simply a white guy acts petulant, he throws the kitchen sink at them, sometimes with really wild allegations.

    Remember when Gavaskar was captain, he made sure that Suru Nayak and Ghulam Parkar (both from Bombay) made it to the Indian team touring England (1982), at the expense of Surinder Amarnath and Brijesh Patel who were trying to get back into the Indian side after having stellar Ranji seasons.

    It is also important for Mr. Hughes to realise that because of the Indian tradition of nepotism, Sunny's instinct works accordingly, just like most other Indians - we love to allege all sorts of conspiracies, dont we. Let us accept it and stop reacting as if our national pride is wounded.

  • Maverick on January 5, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    Andrew, you have used long handle to good effect.. probably you could never do that in a cricket field

  • Abhishek on January 5, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    Nice article Andrew. Gavaskar is an embarrassment when he talks. How he can make stupid claims without any evidence is beyond me.

  • knight on January 5, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    Since the day gavaskar left his bat and pick up pen or mic he is always looking for some sort of controversy. In this case his allegation was baseless. He is a cricket writer not a showbiz , entertainment writer. His argument should be backed by concrete evidence. I don't think in broad case we can see any evidence that he was let off because he is son of Chris broad.

    Many players are let off by umpires and referees despite worse behaviour. Nobody cares about that.

    Does stuart broad gets all the lucky decisions from umpires while he is bowling simply because of his dad? Does he get not out decision in his favor while batting even when he is plumb in front of wicket? I request sunny to stop working on conjecture.

    Mr. Gavaskar at least you don't have right to talk about bad behviour. Did you forget MCG 1981 when you walk out with the team simply because you didn't get decision in your favour.

  • R.Sankar on January 5, 2010, 11:18 GMT

    Most of the comments seem to have missed the point of Andrew's article which is that Gavaskar's claim of a nexus between umpires and Chris Broad is tenuous and is not supported by evidence. It is not about Stuart Broad's behaviour or Chris Broad's refereeing impartiality. And Gavaskar does have a bee in his bonnet. He thinks the white cricketing world is implacably ranged against the sub-continent. This colours his world view, makes him tilt at imaginary windmills and go over the top in his assessment of matters cricket.

  • Rashid on January 5, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    I guess Indian cricket is powerfult today not only becasue of money but the kind of blind support that Indian fans offer to their present and ex-players. Good for Indian criketers but not good for sports. Doubting professionalism of all the umpires is like discrediting the whole game.

  • auggie on January 5, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    Gavaskar is a legend. Hughes has a good case but is annonymous. Still the damage is done. Broad will be 'suspicious' for some time. Its like the 'throwing' allegations. Once the media highlights a wiff of a suspision the unfortunate victim bears the stigma. Hard to remove, tough!

  • bhavin on January 5, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    Who is Andrew? Does anyone even knows him? I do not think whatever Mr. Gavaskar has said is wrong.

  • Ghazi Aurangzeb on January 5, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    Trust Sunil G to try and tarnish any player who has remotely got a chance of turning into a great player. Broad has all the capabilities. It is just an Asian perception as corruption is ripe in this part of the world.

  • ShaheedChicktay on January 5, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    Seems like Mr. Gavaskar hit a sensitive spot, hey Mr Hughes. Well.. English and Australian players should not be immune to criticism.. and should start receiving the same levels of punishments meted out to predominantly non-white teams for similar offenses.

  • Gerald on January 5, 2010, 10:58 GMT

    Look, I really doubt Stuart Broad is getting special treatment, but he has gotten off lightly. I prefer to think he got some slack due to the unfamiliar circumstances caused by the review system they are trying to use. The only fact here is that Broad is a whiny brat but that in itself doesn't warrant punishment.

  • Anand on January 5, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    Hahaha, I found this piece really hilarious.

    Yes Sunny does need to shut up a bit and go easy on his theories.

    Also, as someone has commented earlier, Sunny and Shastri are both getting quite unbearable.Stating the obvious seems to be the 'in' thing to do. Of course this is only while commenting.

  • Ravi Kumar on January 5, 2010, 10:43 GMT

    I think Sunil Gavaskar has called it right no matter how eloquently Andrew Hughes tries to attack him for saying it. Considering that Chris Broad is an ICC official and hence a colleague of the umpires, and he along with these colleagues is supposed to be overseeing the conduct of cricketers (one of whom is Stuart Broad) it is hard to escape the feeling that there is a conflict of interest. What is funny is that the same Sunil Gavaskar was asked by the ICC to choose between criticising them and writing for the papers - if the ICC can see the conflict of interest, what toadstool is Hughes hiding under? And I love the comment from Spidey, but I suspect Hughes has no time for such niceties!

  • Suresh on January 5, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    Its brilliant!!

    Add to this... I have always been in awe the way he starts to criticize players in one day internationals about the slow strike rate of the batsman especially if itys the Indian team and more so if their in the losing side.

    Its so funny coming from of the player who has scored at the slowest rate of 36 runs in 180 odd balls and in a World Cup too!!

    Fellow Indians .. Gavaskar is a master batsman (in Tests) and I do respect that, but you need to clean your eyes and look at him as a commentator/jounalist. For that I would rate him at the lowest as he is only trying toi keep his job afloat

  • Arm chair critic on January 5, 2010, 10:32 GMT

    This is typical of westerns journos who accuse someone of not sticking to the facts whilst doing the same.It is widely acknowledged that Chris Broad uses different yardsticks for different teams when making decisons on dissent.This was quite obvious during the recent Aus vs W.Indies series. 'They slapped two fellas on the wrist and they killed the other fella ' - Joel Garner There are a number of instances of Stuart Broad behaving in a puerile manner only to be let off the hook.His reaction to the review by the SA team is one in recent memory.Speaking of nepotism,the English invented it and the Indians perfected it !!

  • Nilesh on January 5, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    I thought this page was supposed to be fun,"AND" not controversial... Cricinfo must look into the article and decide what it is of the two...!!

  • Sachin on January 5, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    Nice one Andy. You finished your article in nick of time and also were bang on, on only touching the circumference of the topic. Move on Andy!!

  • R on January 5, 2010, 9:54 GMT

    All Andrew is saying is that Sunil should have included a bit more evidence to back up his claim. Whether the claim is tall or not isn't the point here.

    If I wrote about one of you and said you had stolen a Cornetto from the nearby 7-11, I am stating 2 probable facts - that you like ice-cream (who doesn't?) and that there is a 7-11 in the neighbourhood (likely). But wouldn't you like me to produce some sort of evidence (maybe CC-TV footage of you walking out with ice-cream in your pockets and a sheepish grin on your face) before I go around calling you a thief?

    Good article by Andrew.

  • FallsDown on January 5, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    Good stuff Andrew. Gavaskar in his columns or in the commentary box is frequently an embarrassment and should give up both. The only people supporting his latest installment of rubbish are Indians that have a misplaced sense of patriotism...there are more than enough of those, it seems, to keep people like Gavaskar employed.

  • chandrasekhar on January 5, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    Whatever S.G. is pointing the right thing. Its always Asian Cricketers were fined for unnecessary reasons but Englishmen never, but the way he presented is wrong. Dragging some relations into Gentlemen sports.

    BCCI always been fighting for such acts and double standards maintained by the ICC

  • ken on January 5, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    As I immediately noted when Mr Gavaskar's article first appeared,not only is there a different set of rules and punishments for non-Australian/non-English players when match referees from these countries are adjudicating,it would be worth the trouble to review Chris Broad's adjudicating history to assess whether an apriori claim of clear bias can be made out.Mr Hughes's article does not address Gavaskar's arguments,it chooses instead to make ad-hominem attacks against its author.What qualifications does one need to be Cric-Info columnist?

  • Yorvik on January 5, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    I'm not sure Gavaskar really knew what he was commenting on. Broad was not questioning the decision of the umpires, for their ultimate decision was correct. The question he was asking was is it fair a team can wait up to 35 seconds and maybe have the dressing room look at a couple of replays on lap tops before deciding to ask for a review. The game just stopped for 35 seconds with everyone just staring at each other. After a wait of 5-6 seconds the umpire should have simply said ''play'' and got the game moving. That the new ruling is so vague regarding how much time should be allowed is a fault of the ICC but the on field umpire should have used a bit of back bone and forced Smith to make a decision or a non-decision a lot quicker. How much time was he going to be given? We could still be there now if the umpire is going to allow players as much time as they want or the back room staff need to review the action.

  • Jiji Jacob on January 5, 2010, 9:44 GMT

    Well..Chris Broad once smashed the stumps with his bat after getting out and it happened here in Australia.These incident curtailed his international career too.How come this guy be the match referee of ICC.Its really a shame to cricket.And his son Stuart is also not a saint in the field as we all know..

  • Phil on January 5, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    To all those who are saying something along the lines of "it just seems a bit suspicious", we are talking about allegations of corruption here and allegations that are only based on circumstantial evidence.

    All Andrew Hughes is doing is accusing a journalist of lazy journalism. I don't think allegations of lazy journalism would ever be slanderous.

  • prasanna on January 5, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    yawn !!! can someone summarize it up !!! feeling sleepy reading half way through !!!

  • Shyam on January 5, 2010, 9:40 GMT

    Sunny was not the first one to write on Broad pushing the limits of acceptable behavior. As one of the readers (Spidey) has pointed out, Vaughan and Botham have already written about it and those articles have found mention on Cricinfo as well. Andrew Hughes either chose to ignore these articles or he is unaware of their existence, only he would know, but it is a bit rich on his part to question a former cricketer's right to write on matters of cricket the way he sees it.

  • Hetal on January 5, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    I think what Sunny said was spot on ! Of course we re not convinvced that this is the case that match refs are scared of jinxing their positions however one does need to look at some of Chris Broads dubious antics and recent decisions where non anglo saxons always seem to come off worse ? All the english n aussies here will cry race card again but the recent Benn-Haddin-Johnson incident deserves some scrutiny .Broad senior drinking with the aussie team does wonders for his seemingly objective behaviour .Basically now that England and Auatralia no longer run the game it seems any opinion apart from theirs is invalid .

  • Sanjay on January 5, 2010, 9:21 GMT

    Why does Mr Gavaskar believe that he can say whatever he likes, and simply reply that the Australians and the English are prejudicial. For someone who tried to abandon a test match because the decision didn't fall his way, he is hardly someone to be talking about sportsmanship. Why can't he be more moderate like Sachin, who is the most respected player in the world. I am sick of our ex players pointing the finger at other countries, than rejoicing at our success in becoming world number 1

  • Kapil on January 5, 2010, 9:21 GMT

    Gavaskar merely stated his opinion and everyone is entitled to it. In my opinion, Gavaskar has perfectly executed his job/plan. Stuart will think twice before questioning umpires and oh yeah umpires and match refrees will look at his actions again. They will be giving some extra thought about reporting his incidents. I think if the comments of Gavaskar can seed some doubts in the minds of Stuart(i doubt it) or Chris (hope he calls and tells everyone that it is ok to report his son ... but I doubt this as well ... power only corrupts) or other umpires, he has served cricket again and again in the right direction. Somehow I think cricket reporting needs some urgent change. It needs to be multi-lingual. Currently it is dominated completely by English. BCCI for all its financial might can not dare to change this - just like India. The day that happens, I am sure this article and this author will be nothing more than e-junk.

  • imran dada on January 5, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    i go with Sunil Gavaskar assessment.

  • Glinn Mgraw on January 5, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    A number of people seem to have missed the point, too blinded by their view that the Western world is always against them.

    Well written, Andrew.

  • Sundar on January 5, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    I do believe we are losing sight of something else here. The fact is that Broad has gotten away with some behavior for which a sub-continental cricketer would have been pilloried (Mike Denness as match referee anyone?. SMG linking that to Broad's parentage admittedly is thin and he ought to be more circumspect about such allegation. His own relatively thin skin where Caucasians are involved (or his own antics of the past for that matter) are well known. That said, he has raised a valid concern about double standards. Why is no one responding on that?

  • Brother Pom on January 5, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    Hmmm .... Put simply Broad the younger probably did have a case to answer but it was hardly the worst crime in crickets long list of poor behavious ... Also Sunny dosent exactly have an unblemished record himself ... ordering my partner off the ground in a test match because i didnt like the LBW ? anyone see a current player getting off that one ?

  • Gideon on January 5, 2010, 8:30 GMT

    Bottom line: If questionning the umpire decision is unlawful (maybe a debatable issue), Broad junior should have been punished.

    If players who clearly should be punished, are not punished, then officials leave themselves open to criticism and all sorts (justified or not) speculation, such as that proposed by mister G.

    Rules should be applied consistently

  • SVXX on January 5, 2010, 8:13 GMT

    I thought you were supposed to be funny..? This article shouldn't be on Cricinfo Page 2, sounds more like an article whinging at Gavaskar, as Gavaskar whinged at Broad as Broad whinged at the SA dressing room. Whingers these days.

  • Anupam Ajmani on January 5, 2010, 8:11 GMT

    There is no comparison b/w you and Sunil Gavaskar, the great, Andrew. I to a certain extent agree that it doesn't suit Gavaskar to write such articles but he being one of the greatest still has some right to speak his mind as he knows much more about anything related to cricket than you can even imagine. What about you sir??

    BTW Who are you?

  • ash on January 5, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    Your sarcastic defence of young Brood belies your thesis. I hadn't seen Gavaskar's comments before, but after reading your article, I'm inclined to believe him - strange, huh?

  • poms on January 5, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    This is like saying the spoon is little longer. Stuart can never win a world cup/england can never win a world cup/i will never pay to watch england play/minus the SA and foreighn cricters england team in play is the highest punishment in hell.....watch england play cricket... Mecca of cricket lords..what a term,

  • SR Kannan on January 5, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    Andrew has tried to be flippant in his write-up in an attempt to completely ignore the broader charge made by SMG. Let's hit on the nail on the head. Why on earth would a player want to question an umpire's decision to refer an appeal to the third umpire? I don't see Andrew providing any justification for this, while he ridicules SMG insinuation. There's a basis to the insinuation for afterall the umpires didn't act on an event which led to the questioning by a player of the umpire's decision to check with another umpire. Quite obviously the player didn't know his place and IMO neither does Andrew for mocking SMG, the way he does, for raising the 'issue'. Kannan - Chennai.

  • Kamal on January 5, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    Andrew who...?

  • Davo on January 5, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    Chris Broad is inconsistent as a match referee. That's problem number 1. He should be given the flick. I still remember the day C.Broad smashed his stumps in the Bicentenary test. Talk about the pot being employed to call the kettle black!

    What Stuart Broad did was coincidental in timing, but its the context of what was said. If he showed dissent, he should have been punished. If he was getting an understanding of the referral system, fair enough.

    As for Sunny, good on him for saying what a lot of people were thinking. I for one would have liked to have been made public what Stuart Broad was talking about.

  • the longer handle on January 5, 2010, 8:03 GMT

    Mr Hughes, its so wonderful of you to stand upto little Stu. And its all the more mind boggling when you consider the fact that you actually write Broady jr. is innocent without even bringing out the facts of his recent misdemeanours!! Care to put in some of Broad's history of misbehaving (facts) here before dishing out trash that you expect your readers will believe?

    I have a theory too. Journalist sits before his laptop to type a story. Racks his brains for a good one. Cant get one. Decides to go with the option of attacking former Indian cricketer that fulfils three things. One, its a clever attack on something Indian (everyone and their dog seems to indulge in it nowadays. Makes you feel good, eh Hughesy?). Two, you support your wonderful countryman allrounder in the making. Three, you got your story!

    Come now Hughesy, you can surely do better than this.

  • Raj on January 5, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    I believe Hughes got it right on the second count on what made Sunny write something like this for his newspaper column. What I find hilarious is that the very same man decided once to forfeit a match as captain because he thought the umpire had hard-done him in the nineties. It is time our Mr. Clean should realize that it is behavior like this that gave birth to the concept of Match Referees in the first place. And coming from India, he must know better than to cast nepotism related aspersions on other countries, for India is probably the hotbed of such a mindset. We are a country where teams are selected based on region, language, caste, community and a score of non-cricketing reasons. Sunny... it is high time you give up commentating and writing. Maybe, you can try a second innings on the celluloid screen.

  • SarmadR on January 5, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    Hear hear!! brilliant...Gavaskar mightve been good with the bat but he was always a cry baby and cringing is what he does!

  • Hari on January 5, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    Have to agree with Sunny here. There are many international cricketers who have done far less and got fines/bans.

    Andrew - yet another point that you forgot to mention - Broad junior in his column confessed his behaviour is not all that great and he was striving to improve.

  • Mushfique on January 5, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    haha...former cricketer faced with a blank page..lol.

    I also think Sunny can get overboard sometimes with his accusations. This is not a first time

  • Konga on January 5, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    Come now, Andy....Broad's fan...or lawyer! :P

    I don't love Sunil and was immune to the so-called claims or/and innocence......But Andrew, you just made an allegation on Gavaskar, nothing else!

    I am not blaming you for trying to write a funny thing.....but you got a bit personal in there, lol.....not a soul cares what happens from such gossip, unless you profess that someone does :D....I am smiling at how the allegation affected you....I don't mean its unfair, I only thought it didn't warrant a mention, leave alone a whole article.....

    I've always liked your articles....go on

  • Angad Sethi on January 5, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    Whoa! What shot.. rather, what a delivery! SG would do well to not poke at it!

    Nevertheless, both - SGs and Andrew's - are still theories, unless they're proved otherwise.

  • man1 on January 5, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    redundant, too verbose and lengthy, fragmented, boring, not defensive but more like retaliating.

  • sheshu on January 5, 2010, 7:56 GMT

    why do i feel like sunny wasn't the only one with the looming deadline and decided to write something petty ??

  • Anonymous on January 5, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    This article is total rubbish.

  • confused on January 5, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    Was a referral system on in the Test? If not, then Sunny is right to question Broad being let off lightly.

  • Neel on January 5, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    Something tells me that you can't stand an Indian pointing finger at your white mate. Hopefully I m wrong but you seem to be just the type. What is more interesting however is the convenience with which you chose to ignore the point sunny has raised which is "Stuart Broad gets away with antics for which other players would get fined" doesn't that seem fishy to you ? "and" a reasonable conclusion could be a father son nexus. Is this really so hard to figure or u just don't want to ?

  • Asha on January 5, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    Best form of defence is attack! The truth hurts, doesnt it.

  • Satyajeet Thakur on January 5, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    Spot on

  • kunal on January 5, 2010, 7:50 GMT

    Shut your mouth up,Andrew

  • SSChicago on January 5, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    Yeah buddy, Indians aren't as good in mincing words as English gentlemen in their lofted and inherited cockiness. But simplicity of words is not something you are used to in your grammar, because it misses the gentle tinge of subtle sarcasm that often tends to pick politeness over embarrasment. In England, there is a solution to every public embarrasment. Here is a guy who has played more cricket than your age altogether, and you are still trying to teach him English. The Berlin wall is down and the Cold War is over. You tell me, who knows better between the two of you. What happened with Broad is a cricketing matter and requires a cricketer's understanding to take account of ground realities. The fact that it reached your ears is good enough to prove the words explain just what they need to and nothing more or less. Today, any Tom Dick and Harry can be a columnist. And why are the eight parts of speech so important suddenly to distract the reader away from the topic. Grow up man.

  • Santhana on January 5, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    I totally concur with this article. Sunil Gavaskar has been making some platry comments off late. He talked rubbish about Hookes' death being linked to Australian aggression. He is not the old Sunny he used to be.

  • Tank on January 5, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    Hmm, so basically you are saying that no-one should believe Sunil, they should believe you? And every-one who agrees with Sunil is an idiot. I am older than 10 so I already have numerous examples of when things that seemed to have no truth in them turned out to actually be true. You are doing exactly what Sunil has done, using your position to write an article defending your viewpoints. Pray tell why he is not allowed to do it but you are?

  • Krish on January 5, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    Who is this Andrew Hughes, in comparison to "The Sunil Gavaskar"? It seems the Aussie/English journos can't face up to the dual standards in dealing with poor onfield behavior of players from these countries versus Windies/Asian players. Writing silly stuff as a rejoinder to a pertinent issue is not enough to shove under the carpet the match refereeing rubbish that we are getting to see these days. When a legendary player like Sunil Gavaskar bluntly points it out it seems to touch a raw nerve in these countries. This man did not have anything of substance to counter what Gavaskar said, so he resorted to a load of loose talk.

  • Krish on January 5, 2010, 7:43 GMT

    Who is this Andrew Hughes, in comparison to "The Sunil Gavaskar"? It seems the Aussie/English journos can't face up to the dual standards in dealing with poor onfield behavior of players from these countries versus Windies/Asian players. Writing silly stuff as a rejoinder to a pertinent issue is not enough to shove under the carpet the match refereeing rubbish that we are getting to see these days. When a legendary player like Sunil Gavaskar bluntly points it out it seems to touch a raw nerve in these countries. This man did not have anything of substance to counter what Gavaskar said, so he resorted to a load of loose talk.

  • vikram on January 5, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    Heheheheh....

  • Nandu on January 5, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    Andrew

    Did you watch the present test match going on in SA? Are you saying what we (and the whole world) saw on TV of Stuart Broad questioning the umpire and the TV commentators saying anxiously 'he has to be a little careful here. he does tend to get carried away' not evidence?

    Are you saying Stuart Broad does not do what other players don't do or are you saying that he does get reprimanded for it? We can see the evidence thank you!

  • Spidey on January 5, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    Are the decommissioned seniors Hussain and Vaughan idle, rabble-rousing gossip-mongers smearing the young Broad without a smidgeon of evidence? Writer's block right back at you Hughes.

  • Dilip on January 5, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    Typical reaction from a western world . Why he is not talking of what actually happened on field and compare the same with action of other cricketers who have been reprimanded / punished for much lighter offence.

  • Tanmoy on January 5, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    Bravo. Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri need to be banned from public life with immediate effect. They have become unbearable peddlers of inanity. I find it nauseating each time Shastri walks up to the presentation podium these days. Even Arun Lal is better. Gavaskar was so much better, but like a Cricinfo article suggested the other day, he too has now become an 'employee' rather than a neutral observer. However, I think there is a general case to be made against the mushrooming of cricket columns by the so-called 'insiders': most of them say NOTHING new or insightful or even slightly interesting. If it is the captains writing, the columns read like an extension of their post-match chat (most likely with Shastri). If it is an ex-cricketer, it is mind-numbing pedantry. We need more ex-cricketers like Eddo Brandes, who can take up chicken farming and other such productive pursuits after their playing days.

  • Indian on January 5, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    I am really surprised you just didnt thrust a broken wicket down Sunny's throat in words. It is wonderfully penned the way you are lodging your protest against one of the best batsman ever, without saying anything bluntly. Imagine Ian Botham saying something of this kind about say Gautam Gambhir. It would have been a circus in Indian media and Botham would have been fried to hell on Indian Streets(effigies) and almost instantly a soap opera about this would be on the telly. To nail my thoughts, you have been too kind to Sunny in protest againt the mudslinging on an upcoming Englishman. There lies the double standards for Indian media :-) Loved your article, Sunny has lost his marbles!!

  • Ray on January 5, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    Very nice. :)

  • Karan on January 5, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    Agreed! Gavaskar is a bitter man. And if Nepotism could work as well as he suggests then his own son would be batting for India.

  • Aditya Kuber on January 5, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    Hurts to read ill of your countrymen? Hm. Sounds familiar. So because Mr G wrote about it, it needs to be rubbished, is it? Ok. I'll move on from this column too!

  • Pete Haslam on January 5, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    If Mr Gavaskar wants evidence of nepotism, perhaps he should look at the fact that one Rohan Gavaskar was selected to play for India 11 times despite a no more than moderate record.

    An old Hungarian proverb "When you point a finegr at somebody, remember that there are three pointing back at you"

  • D Joshi on January 5, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    Every man is entitled to their own opinion and be able to express it and certainly Gavaskar has done that in this case. Of course the English won't like it and so Andrew tries to belittle his comments. Hardly surprising. But the issue here is not just Broad, in general English and Aussie cricketers get away with a lot of bad behaviour compared to other teams because it is seen as "normal"

  • Vikas Jain on January 5, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    Mr Hughes, Infact what Sunny refers to can have lot of support in terms of live instances where Mr Broad has shown his "fairness". Maybe Sunny got it wrong on Stuart's case, but look at the recent example in Australia and you will get what it means. Match Referees have a very important role to play and one-sided decisions ruin that faith in the role.

  • Bloo on January 5, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    Headlines tommorow: "Whiney journalist defends whiney cricketer"

  • Aditya on January 5, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    Perfect.

  • 25BAR on January 5, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    Brilliant! It was about time somebody, anybody spoke about Sunil's frequent rants. Well done, lad!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • 25BAR on January 5, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    Brilliant! It was about time somebody, anybody spoke about Sunil's frequent rants. Well done, lad!

  • Aditya on January 5, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    Perfect.

  • Bloo on January 5, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    Headlines tommorow: "Whiney journalist defends whiney cricketer"

  • Vikas Jain on January 5, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    Mr Hughes, Infact what Sunny refers to can have lot of support in terms of live instances where Mr Broad has shown his "fairness". Maybe Sunny got it wrong on Stuart's case, but look at the recent example in Australia and you will get what it means. Match Referees have a very important role to play and one-sided decisions ruin that faith in the role.

  • D Joshi on January 5, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    Every man is entitled to their own opinion and be able to express it and certainly Gavaskar has done that in this case. Of course the English won't like it and so Andrew tries to belittle his comments. Hardly surprising. But the issue here is not just Broad, in general English and Aussie cricketers get away with a lot of bad behaviour compared to other teams because it is seen as "normal"

  • Pete Haslam on January 5, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    If Mr Gavaskar wants evidence of nepotism, perhaps he should look at the fact that one Rohan Gavaskar was selected to play for India 11 times despite a no more than moderate record.

    An old Hungarian proverb "When you point a finegr at somebody, remember that there are three pointing back at you"

  • Aditya Kuber on January 5, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    Hurts to read ill of your countrymen? Hm. Sounds familiar. So because Mr G wrote about it, it needs to be rubbished, is it? Ok. I'll move on from this column too!

  • Karan on January 5, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    Agreed! Gavaskar is a bitter man. And if Nepotism could work as well as he suggests then his own son would be batting for India.

  • Ray on January 5, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    Very nice. :)

  • Indian on January 5, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    I am really surprised you just didnt thrust a broken wicket down Sunny's throat in words. It is wonderfully penned the way you are lodging your protest against one of the best batsman ever, without saying anything bluntly. Imagine Ian Botham saying something of this kind about say Gautam Gambhir. It would have been a circus in Indian media and Botham would have been fried to hell on Indian Streets(effigies) and almost instantly a soap opera about this would be on the telly. To nail my thoughts, you have been too kind to Sunny in protest againt the mudslinging on an upcoming Englishman. There lies the double standards for Indian media :-) Loved your article, Sunny has lost his marbles!!