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Sunny's World Cup go-slow

The first World Cup match was an occasion tarnished by the most bizarre of innings from Sunil Gavaskar

Martin Williamson

February 12, 2011

Comments: 41 | Text size: A | A

Sunil Gavaskar hits out, England v India, Lord's, World Cup, June 7, 1975
Entirely out of character - Sunil Gavaskar plays an attacking stroke during his tedious innings © Getty Images
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One-day cricket is such an established part of the game now that it is sometimes easy to forget that it is a relatively new concept. The first domestic tournament was launched in England in 1963, and the first limited-overs international followed eight years later, almost by accident after a Test match was rained off.

The inaugural World Cup came in 1975 (two years after the ladies held their own tournament). The first match in that competition produced one of the most controversial one-day innings of all time.

In the opening round of games, on June 7, 1975, England, the hosts, were drawn to play India at Lord's. The format of the event - there were two groups of four countries - meant that a defeat would leave the losers struggling to progress.

The scene in London was perfect, with high temperatures and glorious sunshine, conditions that continued throughout the two-week tournament and on through the rest of the summer. It had, however, been a near-run thing. Five days before the start the weather was so grim that snow stopped play in a county match at Buxton in Derbyshire, and another game in Essex was delayed because of biting cold.

Demand for tickets at Lord's wasn't as it would be now - this was, after all, a relatively new idea - but nevertheless the ground was three-quarters full.

The first half of the game went according to plan. England batted and piled up 334 for 4 in 60 overs, at the time the highest total in one-day cricket. Dennis Amiss led the way with 137 (an innings of "calm, simple movements," according to Tony Lewis) and was well supported by a solid 68 from Keith Fletcher. Although England wobbled mid-innings, losing three wickets for 15, the respite was brief. As the Indian bowlers tired in the heat, a 30-ball 50 from Chris Old bludgeoned the match out of their reach.

The competition rules stated that if a group was tied, run-rate would be the deciding factor. So even if India lost, the more runs they scored, the better their chance of reaching the semi-finals. Such considerations or tactics were, however, sadly lost on Sunil Gavaskar, who opened the Indian innings. From the off, it was apparent that he was adopting a strategy known only to himself. At first, his snail-like batting was put down to a desire to see off the new ball. But when he continued his go-slow, frustration among the crowd grew.

India's supporters voiced their desperation, and as the innings drew towards its turgid conclusion a few even ran to the middle to remonstrate with Gavaskar. "Dejected Indians were pathetically pleading with him to die fighting," reported the Cricketer. "Their flags hung limp in their hands. It was a perverse moment of self-inflicted shame." On their balcony in the pavilion, Gavaskar's team-mates made no secret of their frustration.

In the Times, John Woodock wrote: "From the Mound stand, where the police were kept as busy removing rowdies as if it were the Hill at Sydney, anyone who could break the cordon came to plead with the Indian batsmen to play the game properly. But it was no use.

"To understand why India, and especially Gavaskar, batted as they did, It is probably necessary to remember what happened when they last played at Lord's. They were bowled out then for 42. If they could not win on Saturday, as they decided they could not after England's innings, then every effort had to be concentrated on averting another collapse."

"It was the most disgraceful and selfish performance I have ever seen… his excuse [to me] was, the wicket was too slow to play shots but that was a stupid thing to say after England had scored 334" GS Ramchand, India's manager

By the end of the innings, Gavaskar had crawled to 36 not out off 174 balls with just one four. India had scored 132 for 3 and had lost by 202 runs.

The motives behind the innings remain unclear. In a post-match statement GS Ramchand, India's manager, said that Gavaskar had considered the England score unobtainable and so had taken practice. It was an excuse, but not one that anyone believed. "I do not agree with his tactics," Ramchand concluded, "but he will not be disciplined."

In the firestorm after the match, Ramchand grew more bullish, and two days later he told the Daily Express: "It was the most disgraceful and selfish performance I have ever seen… his excuse [to me] was, the wicket was too slow to play shots but that was a stupid thing to say after England had scored 334. The entire party is upset about it. Our national pride is too important to be thrown away like this."

Rumours abounded, the most popular being that Gavaskar was unhappy with the team selection, especially the decision to ditch the team's reliance on spinners (who had been mauled in England the previous summer) in favour of seamers. Others claimed he was annoyed that Srinivas Venkataraghavan had been made captain.

"His cussedness could quite easily have been formed before the match by matters of selection, his hotel bedroom or even the nightly meal allowance," wrote Lewis. "Whatever the motives were, he had no right to force them on the sponsors, who have put £100,000 into cricket this summer, or on the 16,274 spectators, who paid £19,000 to watch."

Ted Dexter, at the time commentating for the BBC, argued that Gavaskar should have been pulled from the field by his captain. "Nothing short of a vote of censure by the ICC would have satisfied me if I had paid good money through the turnstiles only to be short-changed by such a performance," he fumed. But match referees were not introduced for almost another two decades and the ICC at that time did not get involved in such matters.

A spectator pleads with Brijesh Patel as India's innings crawls on, England v India, Lord's, World Cup, June 7, 1975
A spectator pleads with Brijesh Patel to get a move on, one of several pitch invasions as the Indian innings plodded on

And what was Gavaskar's explanation? At the time he said nothing publicly. Years later he admitted that it was the worst innings of his life and claimed he was out of form. "It is something that even now I really can't explain. If you looked back at it, you'd actually see in the first few overs some shots which I'd never want to see again - cross-batted slogs. I wasn't overjoyed at the prospect of playing non-cricketing shots and I just got into a mental rut after that."

"There were occasions I felt like moving away from the stumps so I would be bowled," he added. "This was the only way to get away from the mental agony from which I was suffering. I couldn't force the pace and I couldn't get out."

Team-mate Karsan Gharvi offered a simpler explanation: "Sunil thought it was difficult and impossible to chase this target. Messages were being sent to him but he was just concentrating on his game and it never bothered him at all at the time."

Anshuman Gaekwad, who made 22 off 46 balls, said: "We were all very surprised by the way he was batting. It was difficult to say what he was up to. When I was with him in the middle, we didn't discuss the team's strategy or his or mine. I was too junior to say anything to him. I myself was conscious to prove my own ability." He added that when Gavaskar returned to the dressing room nobody said a word.

Gavaskar also claimed he had actually been caught behind off the second ball of the innings, and admitted he wished he had walked. "I keep tossing and turning around about it now. I asked myself, 'Why the hell did I not walk the second ball? I was caught behind and would have been out for zero. But nobody appealed. I had flashed outside the off stump... it was just such a faint nick that nobody appealed. The bowler went 'ah' and the keeper, Alan Knott, who was standing some way back, did the same. There was no real appeal, no proper 'how's that?' That little moment of hesitation got me so much flak all these years."

On the team's return home he was slammed by the board in response to the manager's report, which claimed that Gavaskar had been "aloof" and had had a detrimental effect on the younger players. But no official reprimand was issued and the matter was quietly dropped.

The newspapers the next day generally concentrated on the epic match at Leeds, where Dennis Lillee had blown away Pakistan, although the Sunday Telegraph led with a headline "Indian stodge follows England's spice".

A fortnight later Lord's staged the inaugural World Cup final between West Indies and Australia, one of the great limited-over matches. It was the perfect finale to a tournament that had risked being stillborn.

What happened next?

  • Gavaskar was not dropped and scored 65 not out and 12 at a decent rate in India's remaining two matches. He played in four World Cups, including India's win in 1983, the only other time he played at Lord's in the tournament, where he made 2 off 12 deliveries against West Indies
  • The authorities announced a clampdown on spectators entering the playing area. Later that summer Michael Angelo was fined £10 for his now famous streak in the Ashes Test
  • On the same day Gavaskar was dropping anchor, Glenn Turner scored 171 not out off 201 deliveries for New Zealand against East Africa

Is there an incident from the past you would like to know more about? E-mail us with your comments and suggestions.

Gavaskar: Portrait of a Hero - Clifford Narinesingh (Royards, 1995)
Summer of Cricket - Tony Lewis (Pelham, 1976)
The Cricketer - August 1975
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 1976

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Longmemory on (February 14, 2011, 22:29 GMT)

I vividly remember that knock and it still defies belief. That one person could act with such indifference to his team, the thousands who were watching and the millions of fans all over the world was just astonishing. How hard could it have been to just miss a straight ball and let it crash into your stumps? Or just get out hit-wicket or run out or handled the ball - anything. There's more to this than we know. And that Sunny got away with it was even more astonishing. I doubt that Sunny has ever scored 36 runs at the end of 60 overs in any form of the game in his entire career. I am sure that had any player played such a knock for another country, he would have faced severe disciplinary action. While its true that one should never judge anyone by a solitary incident or episode, this one was so egregious that its hard not to remember it in any evaluation of Sunny's career.

Posted by   on (February 14, 2011, 17:27 GMT)

I wrote a more eloquent post earlier that is not showing up. Trying again. Martin you seemed to be harsh from the get go and it almost looks like you have an axe to grind. Here I said it again.

Posted by dhurandhar007 on (February 14, 2011, 0:43 GMT)

How would have Luciano Pavrotti fared if he were to sing a cheap Rap song? Sunnny was a Cricketing purist. At that time ODI was to Sunny what Rap would be to Pavrotti. It is Sunny's greatness that he eventually found a way out in the ODIs and started singing so well with the Rap crowd. No other batsman has surpassed Sunny since he stormed on to the Cricketing scene in 1971, not even Viv Richards despite his swagger, or Tendulkar despite his records. Like there is only one Edmund Hillary and the rest of them his followers on Mt. Everest, there is only one Sunil Gavaskar and the rest of them his followers into the 10,000 Runs club. He deserves the Bharat Ratna before anyone else. Salute to the Cricket's Greatest batsman!!!

Posted by RogerC on (February 14, 2011, 0:29 GMT)

Those who call Sunil Gavaskar selfish do not understand cricket. Plain and simple. If you want proof, ask Cricinfo to get the views of Holding, Roberts or Imran Khan on Sunil Gavaskar.

Posted by enigma77543 on (February 13, 2011, 17:34 GMT)

@dhurandhar007, T20 fans should definitely switch to baseball; if seeing a ball getting smacked around in the most ungraceful fashion is their version of "fun" then they'll be way more fun watching baseball than cricket, cricket it needs to be left as it was. Why the hell is ICC hell-bent on making cricket a "global" sport! Who cares how many countries play the game! Cricket's biggest USP is graceful batting & a contest between bat & ball & that must be retained at all costs. What's the point of completely changing a sport into another sport, just to make it more popular anyway! It's like World Tennis Association or whatever deciding that they should start using wooden bats just to get more people from sub-continent involved in Tennis which'd be ridiculous & as is T20-cricket & cricket's transformation into baseball.

Posted by dhurandhar007 on (February 13, 2011, 14:35 GMT)

It is only amusing to see the shallow T20 popcorn crowd passing judgements on Test Cricket greats of the past and expose its shallowness. This crowd should switch to watching Baseball. As I said before, Don Bradman, Sunil Gavaskar, and Sachin Tendulkar are the three greatest batsmen of all times past and present. Two hoots to ODI and T20 cultures.

Posted by   on (February 13, 2011, 14:25 GMT)

I think we can definitely cut some slack on Sunny here. This was undoubtedly a disgraceful innings, but in 1987 WC he did score a century off 85 balls against NZ clattering Ewan Chatfield for more than 20 runs in an over.and I don't think anyone can forget the innings of 96 he played against Pakistan in the Test series in 1986 chasing 216 when India lost narrowly- a gem of an innings in a losing cause similar to Tendulkar's 135 against the same opposition in 1999 in Madras.

Posted by jaanson on (February 13, 2011, 12:44 GMT)

how many remember that his second last innings was the second fastest century in world cup at that time. what this century showed was that he had learnt from his first innings in a orld cup to progrees that much. india in in 1975 were total novices at the one day game and nobody took it seriously. how come nobody talks about that innings? everybody has a bad day and it was one for sunny that day at lords. the photo is evidence that he tried playing cross batted slogs too that day but couldnt connect so it wasnt as if he blocked from the first ball and as someone else has pointed out what were the others doing who got only 96 runs in 190 balls. that is not a great scoring rate either is it? every four years on the eve of the world cup this innings is brought out but nobody brings up that quick century. its as if one bad innings is to define a cricketer and not the many splendid ones he has played. sad sad sad.

Posted by Gerry_the_Merry on (February 13, 2011, 8:56 GMT)

Would also like to point out 5 in 66 balls by Dravid, and 23 in 120 balls (when Laxman reached 50 in 42 balls) in Sydney, both in 2008. He has been playing like this for at least 4 years, and not stepping down despite being an obvious liability, the ultimate expression of selfishness. Or 30 in 120 balls by Gordon Greenidge chasing 170 in 50 overs against Pakistan, when West Indies lost only because of Greenidge (1991). I think Gavaskar made the country proud in a dozen ways, but it is lost on the internet T20 generation. I suppose in time, even a relative old-timer like me will learn to salute Kieren Pollard, who Michael Holding does not even believe, plays cricket, but who has the highest strike rate in T20.

Posted by Gerry_the_Merry on (February 13, 2011, 8:34 GMT)

Jim, why is aspiring for captaincy inappropriate? As far as reports about selfishness are concerned consider this 1) the 447 runs in 3 tests in Pakistan in 1978-79 2) the 221 at the Oval 3) the three centuries against Australia in 1977-78 were all under Bedi's captaincy. I wonder if people remember that Tendulkar made 14 in 75 balls against South Africa in the 3rd test in 2006, and in all likelihood this cost us the series, by completely transferring the momentum away to SA. I wonder if people remember the disgraceful innings played in Delhi by Kapil Dev, where he hit 2 sixes and was out third ball attempting another six, when we needed to bat only 3 hours more to save the match against England. With due respect to everyone else including Laxman, Gavaskar was the most bloody minded batsman India has produced, and was incredibly stable under pressure. THe pressure in the final rest of 1987 against Pakistan, was the greatest Ii have ever seen. See Imran Khan's 2010 MCC Spirit of Cricket.

Posted by pobox1916 on (February 13, 2011, 8:04 GMT)

I remember watching another such inexplicable match featuring Gavaskar. India ended at 192/4 chasing 293 against Australia at the SCG in 1986 -

Gavaskar fared infinitely better though - scoring 92 at a relatively scorching pace of 144 balls. However, the explanation of the scoreline has eluded ever since, primarily since it was a relatively low-key league match of a long triangular series.

Posted by   on (February 13, 2011, 6:57 GMT)

the explanation that he couldn"t getout, even when he tried is silly.all he had to do was stepout n try for a 6.the fact is he is aselfishman . i remember him playing 70no in aodmatchin sharja aganist wi.and also remaining no scoring 80sn90s atthe end of50 overs in manymatches.please dont test our intelligence with such foolish explanations lkie he couldnt getout.

Posted by jimbond on (February 13, 2011, 6:47 GMT)

Those who followed cricket in the seventies would remember that Gavaskar was a born leader. He considered captaincy his birthright (being the best batsman/player in the team). There was also a large bombay lobby which supported him in this. He was a major disruptive influence on the team- especially under Bedi's captaincy, and to a much lesser extent under Kapil Dev and others. He was something like a Dada of the seventies, with less flair of captaincy and a much better batting technique. Yes, one day cricket was in its infancy in those days, and the tools were only getting refined. This also has to be seen in the context of India's test cricket standards in those days- when draws (inspired often by Gavaskar) were seen by Indian supporters as victories, and the standard of Indian cricket was pretty low in general.

Posted by Ganesh_Ramani on (February 13, 2011, 6:23 GMT)

Roger, Being a youngster ( after 4 years of international cricket, not so much as a youngster was he) is no excuse. While there is no dispute to his greatness and achievements, this shameful day will remain as such in his career. He should have been disciplined. I wonder what would be his comments as a professional commentator if some one else does something similar today (another youngster ??)

Posted by   on (February 13, 2011, 5:50 GMT)

@RogerC: That is exactly when getting yourself out is an option. :) When he said that he thought of that sometimes but did not do it even once, it does not make sense. @Subhash Devadiga: Please name one for Sachin. @insightfulcricketer: Please remember that there were "direct" requests from the crowd in the ground for him to play. @Xolile: They won the game. Meaning the required runs were not so high and Peter's innings was warranted. @Nick Cowley: That is when you refuse to play the match or get out.

Posted by Gerry_the_Merry on (February 13, 2011, 5:33 GMT)

The man scored a century in 94 balls against West Indies and the next test, 90 in 120 balls against the same opposition, in Ahmedabad. The Ahmedabad pitch was the worst on which cricket has ever been played in India, and Kapil Dev single handedly destroyed West Indies in their pomp. I would love to hear anyone say that any other batsman, including Viv Richards could have played that innings. No West Indies bowler will make a reference to that innings - imagine being caned publicly on a vicious bowler friendly wicket. But i guess it suits us to (once in 4 years) refer to this innings, but repeatedly making an issue if it leads public opinion in the wrong direction. A couple of decades later, i believe that people wont even remember Gavaskar, and will never believe that there was ever a thing like a West Indies pace attack. Even today, video footage of the visiting 1983 team makes Steyn and Morkel look like a stroll in the park. And that fielding...

Posted by Another_brick_in_the_wall on (February 13, 2011, 5:32 GMT)

Yep, a very selfish act. What was the guy thinking !!??

Posted by rajab_7 on (February 13, 2011, 5:26 GMT)

Was it only this particular world cup.. Still after ages, the 87 semis is haunting me.. If he could bat for such a long time for 36, how could he get out just like that at his home ground for just 4(if my memory is right).. Shame Mr. SG..

Posted by INDRASAI on (February 13, 2011, 5:02 GMT)

It's a great article.But the thing is we have to agree it was just an early stage for one day cricket,that too for INDIA.So we cannot simply blame sunil,more about it.

Posted by RogerC on (February 13, 2011, 0:31 GMT)

One should realise that Gavaskar was a young Indian batsman with just 4 years international experience at that time. We shouldn't confuse that Gavaskar of 1975 with the greatness he achieved at later days. As the author says it was very early days for one day cricket and it was the first ever one-day international match for India. It is quite likely that Gavaskar was not sure of the right approach in his first ODI match when asked to chase a world-record total. One shouldn't blame him without thinking through all possible reasons.

Posted by braindead_rocker on (February 12, 2011, 23:59 GMT)

He was a great batsman of his time and maybe a legend but he was always selfish and out himself ahead of the team. One of the few Indian legends that I do not appreciate.

Posted by dhurandhar007 on (February 12, 2011, 22:47 GMT)

All said and done, the three greatest batsmen of all time - Don Bradman, Sunil Gavaskar, and Sachin Tendulkar, in that order. End of matter.

Posted by Molu14 on (February 12, 2011, 22:13 GMT)

Great article, i had always been wondering what exactly happened that fateful day. the incident has far lowered gavaskar's stature as a cricketer in my opinion

Posted by inderjitvm on (February 12, 2011, 18:34 GMT)

I never liked Sunny anyways, i suppose he is one of the all time over rated sportsman.

Posted by USIndianFan on (February 12, 2011, 17:42 GMT)

I watched a lot of Gavaskar's innings. He was probably the best Indian batsman ever, apart from maybe Tendulkar. His main issue was he came from a different era, and took a long time adapting to 1-day cricket. Towards the tail end of his career he took to it and I still remember an innings (against New Zealand I think) where he hammered the bowling.

He definitely was not a Boycott or a Borde (definitely a class above either of them), and would score at a reasonable clip in tests. He definitely was a great believer in technique and had a very positive attitude.

Seeing the kinds of the comments that I am seeing is disappointing.

Posted by Peter_Walters on (February 12, 2011, 17:16 GMT)

Sunny always thought he was bigger than the game. The Indian selctors or the captain did not have the guts to drop him. Sunny was always self-centered and a bad loser. I remember a Ranji trophy game between Bombay and Karnataka, where Bomaby was losing very badly. This is because they could not play the left arm spinner Raghuram Bhat on a turning wicket. Sunny, instead of taking up the challenge in the second innings, played left hand to counter the spin- and drew the game. Although one could consider it as a very intelligent move, I still feel, it was not done in the right spirit. As far as the world cup match goes, if I were the England captain I would have done these- 1. Got him out for the sake of the crowd and game. 2. If I could not get him out, got all the fielders close in and had some batsmen or even Alan Knott bowl to him and given him runs. 3. Asked Venkat to instruct the other opening batsmen to run him out.

Posted by Something_Witty on (February 12, 2011, 16:22 GMT)

@jonesy2, that's very harsh I think. Sunny had his poor moments (quite a few of them), but he was still a great batsman. Just because he wasn't an angel on the field doesn't mean he shouldn't have been allowed to play. Nobody is perfect.

Posted by   on (February 12, 2011, 14:47 GMT)

Apart from the possible explanations you give, I've also heard the theory that Gavaskar didn't grasp how limited-overs cricket worked in those early days, and thought India could draw the game.

Posted by Vindaliew on (February 12, 2011, 13:37 GMT)

I can't believe he's trying to apportion blame to Knott and Snow for not appealing and getting him out... he's fully responsible for his own actions, and having a mindblank or brainfart doesn't remove any of the resentment, not does it change the records. He's a great batsman, but in the context of this article, sadly, less than a man.

Posted by BellCurve on (February 12, 2011, 13:33 GMT)

Peter Kirsten (Gary's older brother) scored 30 of 123 against the WI in Cape Town in 1993. But SA ended up winning that match. And he was facing Ambrose, Walsh, Patterson and Bishop in their prime on a bouncy, grassy wicket. Nevertheless, almost as slow as Gavaskar's innings.

Posted by insightfulcricketer on (February 12, 2011, 13:00 GMT)

Bizarre as it was I wouldn't label Sunny with anything. We have to understand the mindset of Indian cricket at the time. It wasn't until 1980-81 with the emergence of young talents like Kapil, Patil, Binny etc that the Indian public gave any credence to 50 overs game. In fact there were no ODIs in India till 1982 England tour of India. Look how late BCCI took to warming to 20/20 and now udrs? You have to view the events of that game from the prism of how BCCI and public saw ODI at the time - with dis-dain something akin to net practice. Sunil is an iconic player. When English and Australian best players used to get broken noses and arms from playing West Indian fast bowlers he was battling them without a helmet as an opener to the extent of 10+ test centuries with Roberts, Marshall,Holding in their prime. Class players deserve respect. With no dis-respect to Williamson - dogs will bark it does not diminish Sunny's stature one bit.

Posted by   on (February 12, 2011, 12:02 GMT)

Every Great player Batsman or Bowler how great he maybe there are certain incident in his playing carear he may have been Criticise and Gavaskar is not the only optioned

Posted by jonesy2 on (February 12, 2011, 11:24 GMT)

gavaskar was a disgrace to cricket in general. im sorry but its a fact. some people just shouldnt be allowed to play

Posted by   on (February 12, 2011, 10:10 GMT)

@MiddleStump I agree Gavaskar is India's version of Boycott to an extent. But that Dennis Lilllee incident wasn't his fault. He was continuously abused by Lillee and was protesting that and not the wrong decision. Dennis is one of the most worst behaved cricketers ever. If you want proof watch Miandad-Lillee spat on youtube.

Posted by   on (February 12, 2011, 9:54 GMT)

I still think Sunny was the best and was an amazing stroke maker. This article only looks at the worst moment in what is quite easily the career of a genius. Love you Sunny sir!

Posted by   on (February 12, 2011, 9:07 GMT)

these kind of innings put a black spot on the career of a cricketer like gavaskar...nobody can understand what gavaskar was trying to do in that can be called as of the most selfish innings of all time...

Posted by   on (February 12, 2011, 8:46 GMT)

i still don't understand why is he considered as one of the best opening batsman? we all know how awful he is in ODI n his stat proves it.

Posted by   on (February 12, 2011, 8:44 GMT)

Wish Gavaskar had a chance to play a T20 .

10/0 after 20 overs , lol.

Posted by ns_krishnan on (February 12, 2011, 6:32 GMT)

Alright! Gavaskar was selfish or he lost his mind or whatever.What were the other ten doing ? 96 of 186 ? Barely above 3 when chasing 5.5 ? And the fact that India lost only 3 wickets in 60 overs show that no one was trying to get even close, leave alone win.

Posted by MiddleStump on (February 12, 2011, 5:22 GMT)

Gavaskar was the ultimate self centred cricketer. He had a great technique and a shrewd brain but he continually had skirmishes with captains Venkat, Bedi, and Kapil Dev. Unfortunately India had only two batsmen of class in the early seventies. Being one of them and an opener to boot, he was indispensable. He knew it and held the team and even the BCCI administrators to ransom. He will forever be remembered for this awful performance and his utter disdain for the game of cricket on that day. His distasteful behaviour was again repeated in 1981 Down Under when he was the captain and was wrongly given out. He was even prepared to forefit that test match since he got a bad decision. His team and country were always secondary considerations. His disgraceful record of scoring 36 runs after staying at the wicket for 60 overs will never be broken. He richly deserves it.

Posted by   on (February 12, 2011, 5:02 GMT)

Why people say that cricketers are now under more pressure

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Martin Williamson Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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