September 2, 2011

India in England, 2011

Hussain sparks storm with 'donkey' remark

Andrew Miller
Indian supporters surround a donkey to register their displeasure at Australia's reported behaviour in the ICC Trophy final presentation, Mumbai, November 7 2006
How long before Nasser has his own personally-branded ass, a la Damien Martyn in 2006?  © Getty Images
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Nasser Hussain has caused a media storm in India after comparing some of the country’s cricketers to “donkeys” after their poor performance in the field during the Twenty20 against England at Old Trafford.

Commentating on the match for Sky, Hussain watched India’s Parthiv Patel drop a catch off Kevin Pietersen at third man, and said: “I would say the difference between the two sides is the fielding. England are all-round a good fielding side. I do believe that India have few... three or four very good fielders and one or two donkeys in the field still.”

Although the word is commonly used in England to describe a lack of athleticism on the sports field, its use in this instance has attracted the ire of the BCCI, with the vice-president Rajiv Shukla telling reporters in Delhi that it was “totally uncalled for”.

“One should adopt restraint while making observations about players,” said Shukla. “Commentators should not make such comments. We will definitely look into it. Every player has to be respected irrespective of his performance. I don't think this comment was appropriate.”

Hussain's choice of word has also sparked off arguments on social networking site Twitter. Notably, Amitabh Bachchan, one of India's most-famous actors, tweeted his displeasure with Hussain's comment. Hussain found support in former team-mate Michael Vaughan, who tweeted: "Just seen that Nasser said the Indians have a couple of Donkeys in the field... How wrong can he be!!!! I have seen at least 4...."

Andrew Miller is the former UK editor of ESPNcricinfo and now editor of The Cricketer magazine

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