Conflict of interest debate resurfaces March 24, 2008

Gavaskar slams Anglo-Australian 'dinosaurs'

Cricinfo staff

Sunil Gavaskar, who polarised opinion with outspoken comments during the recent Australia-India series, has hit out at England and Australia, describing their approach to the global game as being akin to "dinosaurs".

Gavaskar has a foot in two camps, working as a journalist and also as chairman of the ICC's cricket committee. In his syndicated newspaper column at the weekend, he said that England and Australia needed to come to terms with the new world order.

"Gone are the days when two countries, England and Australia, had the veto power in international cricket, even though the dinosaurs may not open their eyes and see the reality," he wrote. "The cricketing world has found that India has no longer a diffident voice but a confident one that knows what is good for its cricket, and will strive to get it.

"What may have worried these people was the manner in which India defended Harbhajan Singh on the 'racist allegation made against him [in Australia in January]. When all the technology in the world was unable to prove that he had indeed said anything, these guys, especially those in Australia, were unable to stomach it.

"Those worried of the prospect of India's hegemony were conveniently forgetting that only a few years back, there were two Australians at the top of the ICC. It is a misplaced belief that they are the only ones with honesty, integrity and have the welfare of the game at heart, while the 'subcontinentals' do not."

In January, Gavaskar's remarks about Mike Procter, the ICC match referee during the infamous Sydney Test, were commented on by David Morgan, the ICC's president-elect. "Conflicts of interests pervade our sport," Morgan said. "In terms of Gavaskar, within the ICC, there is a concern now that he's chairman of the cricket committee and a journalist who has expressed some fairly outspoken comments."