Gavaskar on Procter January 25, 2008

'That's a shocker'

ESPNcricinfo staff
Sunil Gavaskar's comments seemingly accusing Mike Procter of racism in the Harbhajan Singh-Andrew Symonds hearing after the Sydney Test have created a fair few ripples

Alter ego: the conflict of interests between Gavaskar's roles as chairman of ICC Cricket Committee and columnist is causing concern © Getty Images

"Millions of Indians want to know if it was a white man taking the white man's word against that of the brown man. Quite simply, if there was no audio evidence nor did the officials hear anything, then the charge did not stand. This is what has incensed the millions of Indians who are flabbergasted that the word of one of the greatest players in the history of the game, Sachin Tendulkar, was not accepted."
The original comments in a newspaper column by Sunil Gavaskar that sparked the furore

"Sunil Gavaskar manages to operate as the chairman of the ICC's cricket committee while also acting as peppery columnist and media provocateur [...] this senior officer [Gavaskar] of the ICC has launched an attack on a referee of the ICC that can do nothing, but damage to the organisation, to the relations between countries, and to the game itself."
Gideon Haigh in a column on Cricinfo

"Procter would have been one of the world's greatest allrounders and now he is getting mud thrown in [his] face, and I'm very angry about it because he can't defend himself. We made a stand in our country - we couldn't take a more public stand than what we did - but now everybody pretends it didn't happen and Procky is being labelled something he is not."
Barry Richards defends Mike Procter, citing the protest against apartheid that Procter was a part of

"That's a shocker. He [Gavaskar] should decide who he's working for. In his position he's not supposed to be on any side. He's supposed to be neutral."
John Reid, former New Zealand captain and an ICC match referee for ten years

"He [once] wrote a letter to Supersport [the South African broadcaster] demanding that I be sacked because I was a racist. I don't know why this [race] card is played all the time. It is fragmenting the cricket world."
Richards recounts an incident from the past

"Conflicts of interests pervade our sport. 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."
David Morgan, the ICC's president-elect reveals his concerns over Gavaskar's double role

"All I'm saying is, I got heaps of calls from people in India, and emails, and they were asking that question. Literally millions of Indians were wondering why this decision was made with no substantiated evidence. Is it because Mike Procter is a white man and he is taking the word of a white man and not Sachin Tendulkar? I haven't called him [Procter] a racist at all."
Gavaskar presents his defence