Is there something to be learned from public utterances of our sporting heroes, their coaches and the administrators?
Let's find out.
Five feisty quotes from Andrew Strauss, Rahul Dravid, Alec Stewart, Farooq Abdullah and Andy Flower.
From the tennis world, we have Li Na and Andre Agassi making waves with their pearls of wisdom.
What our heroes said, what they really meant and what they definitely did not.
What he said: "No one has a God-given right to play in the XI.”
Andrew Strauss is faced with a problem of plenty for the first test against India at Lords.
What he really meant: “The starting XI is to be the best form players of the moment. A place in the XI has to be earned, it’s no gift.”
What he definitely didn’t add: “Not even me.”
What he said: “We are still getting used to his sense of humour. But he has got one—a very good one when you get to know him.”
Rahul Dravid and the rest of his buddies in the Indian squad are getting to know the Indian coach, Duncan Fletcher, better, beginning with his sense of humour.
What he really meant: “Fletcher’s sense of humour is growing on us. It’s like sushi—an acquired taste.”
What he definitely didn’t: “Fletcher’s a stand-up comedian.”
What he said: “Politicians have keys to open doors which others do not have.”
Dr. Farooq Abdullah is sanguine about the role of politicians in sports administration. Abdullah has headed the Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) for over 30 years. He was quoted responding to media queries following Dilip Vengsarkar’s loss in the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) elections.
What he really meant: “Yeh hai India, meri jaan, where politicians feel it’s their birthright to have their fingers in every pie.”
What he definitely didn’t: “Dilip would make a wonderful chief minister.”
What he said: “So his job is not to rough up the opposition. It is not to be this ridiculous enforcer.”
Andy Flower feels Stuart Broad should reinvent himself for the series against India. He ought to be more than just a bounder who bounces out the opposition.
What he really meant: “Enforcer? What kind of trash talk is that? Cricket is a gentleman’s game.”
What he definitely didn’t: “'Stuart the Enforcer’ had a great ring to it.”
What he said: "What a joke team. No Viv Richards, Gary Sobers, Malcolm Marshall, to name but three."
Alec Stewart cannot but scoff at the notion of an ICC Greatest Team that omits Gary Sobers, Malcolm Marshall and Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards. The team was chosen via online polling.
What he really meant: “Man, if I were to choose an all-greats team second to this, my team would triumph.”
What he definitely didn’t: “Stuff it, guys.”
What she said: “My ultimate goal is to become a housewife.”
Li Na is not burdened by public expectations and will feel content if she fulfils her ultimate goal of being a housewife.
What she really meant: “Now, that my husband’s not my coach, maybe it’s time I was a good wife to him.”
What she definitely didn’t: “How do you like my house-hubby?”
What he said: "They know already what it took me decades to find out: to shine in secret, and to give when there’s no one applauding. It’s not to late to be inspired. It’s not too late to change. It’s not too late."
Andre Agassi points out the needy children he built a school for need no lessons in life from him. They know the importance of doing their best with or without an audience.
What he really meant: “There’s much to learn outside the tennis court. And in the strangest places.”
What he definitely didn’t: “Read Open to discover more such gems.”
What he said: "I fell in love with tennis far too late in my life, but the reason I have everything I hold dear is because tennis has loved me back."
Andre Agassi admits he was not always pleased with having to grind his way on the tennis circuit. He learnt to love the game as he grew older.
What he really meant: “Tennis and Steffi (Graf) loved me back, man. They sure did.”
What he definitely didn’t: “Haven’t you read Open yet?”