Greg Chappell, Waqar Younis, Giovanni Trapattoni, Martin Crowe and Sanjay Manjrekar light up this edition of "What They Said, Really Meant and Definitely Did Not."
Chappell is his acerbic self in his autobiography, "Fierce Focus," setting the blogosphere afire with his comments on his stint with the Indian cricket team.
Crowe does a W.G. Grace in our time, returning to first-class cricket at the ripe old age of 49.
Manjrekar proves it's all good fun in the commentary box.
Younis has had enough of Shahid Afridi's motormouth.
And Trapattoni has Estonian cats to skin.
What he said:
“Be careful of the cat. Don't say you have the cat in the sack when you don't have the cat in the sack.”
Republic Of Ireland manager, Giovanni Trapattoni, warns his players not to take their upcoming game against Estonia lightly.
Ireland will take on their East European opponents in a two-legged playoff, first in Tallinn and then at home at the Aviva stadium.
What he really meant:
“In other words, don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched. I wish I had remembered this saying earlier.”
What he definitely didn’t say (but implied):
“I’d rather have a sackful of goals.”
What he said:
“Courtney found it a little more difficult than me, but trust me Test centuries are not easy to get.”
Former India batsman, Sanjay Manjrekar, taking a playful dig at fellow commentator, Courtney Walsh, points out that Test tons are not facile.
Sachin Tendulkar missed out on his 100th international hundred once more in the first Test against West Indies at the Ferozeshah Kotla.
Tendulkar has not scored a ton in his last five Tests; he averages one in three.
What Manjrekar really meant:
“Courtney made it a lot more difficult—for most.”
What Manjrekar definitely didn’t say:
“Courtney was the best night-watchman you could wish for.”
What he said:
“Well, people think I’m having a mid-life crisis. And I can only say ‘too right!’”
New Zealand’s finest batsman ever, Martin Crowe, returns to club cricket in his 50th year.
“Call it a silly little selfish challenge, just like someone trying to run a marathon at 49. Well, I can’t do that because of my knees so I’m going to have a bit of fun with a bat in my hand again.”
Crowe terms his comeback “a long-shot experiment to see if a 50-year-old can still wield a bat.”
The Kiwi hopes to turn out for the MCC against English county champions Lancashire in Abu Dhabi next year.
“That game’s being played with a pink ball, which I’m a big supporter of as a member of the MCC World Committee, who have been driving the idea for three years. To be selected would make all the hard work worthwhile for me.”
Crowe feels up to fresh challenges:
“I was bored. When you reach 50, you’ve got to think about doing things to keep on top of your health. I was tired of the gym; I don’t swim, cycle, climb or run, so I thought ‘why not do something I love?’”
The maestro feels that he still retains the hand-eye co-ordination of his heyday.
Actually, I feel just as good as a batsman now. I’m playing late, playing straight and timing it. It’s just a case of how the body can cope with a long innings; the fatigue factor just kicks in a lot quicker.
But I had my hand-eye co-ordination and balance tested by the optometrist who did it back in 1992 and he’s found I’m 20 per cent faster than back then. I’m finishing every session with a smile on my face.
Here’s one cricketing great who has no complaints about the improvements in technology:
“Today’s equipment? Unbelievable. I dread to think of the damage that Ian Botham and Viv Richards would have done with them.”
What Martin Crowe really meant:
“Well, at least, I’m not spending it all on a sports car and a fresh wife (Crowe is married to former Miss Universe Lorraine Downes). Isn’t that customary?"
What Martin Crowe definitely didn’t say:
What he said:
“It was so hierarchical, it made Australian teams look like commune.”
Former India coach, Greg Chappell reveals the bureaucratic nature of the Indian dressing room during his tenure.
Chappell, in his autobiography “Fierce Focus,” salutes current Indian skipper, MS Dhoni, as his “go-to man” and the voice of young players.
The Australian maintains that the young players were overawed by their seniors and would not contribute in team meetings for fear of incurring their (seniors) displeasure.
“The real ray of hope for the Indian team was Mahendra Singh Dhoni, one of the most impressive young cricketers I’d ever worked with. He was smart, and able to read the game as perceptively as the best leaders," Chappell wrote.
If I wanted to know what was going on in the middle, Dhoni became my go-to man. He would eventually break down one of the biggest problems in the India teams.
…the youngster would say, ‘I can’t speak before so-and-so. If I speak up before a senior player, they will hold it against me forever.’ Some were petrified, flat out refusing to say a word in a meeting before, say, Tendulkar had spoken.
Chappell elaborates on his relationship with Saurav Ganguly, the stormy petrel of Indian cricket.
His idea was probably ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours’.
He expected I would be so grateful to him for getting me the job that I’d become his henchman in his battle to remain captain. I, on the other hand, took on a job with the primary responsibility to Indian cricket and the Indian people.
There were a billion of them and only one of Sourav. I wanted to help India become the best cricket team in the world.
If that means eventually they could only become that team without Sourav, then so be it.
Chappell adds,that on the field, "there was no bigger panicker than Sourav."
Chappell is none too pleased with Indian players aversion to confrontation:
When I sat down and talked with him about it, he would agree to everything I asked, but then go his own way. Some other senior players were similarly expert at Gandhian passive resistance: saying ‘Yes yes yes’ before doing the exact opposite. Each time he agreed, then didn’t do it.
What Greg Chappell really meant:
“Indian bureaucracy was truly alive and kicking in the national cricket side.”
What Greg Chappell definitely didn’t say:
“Now, you know why us Ozzies love visiting Goa.”
What he said:
“It is time he just kept his mouth shut and focused on his cricket.”
Waqar Younis renews the war of words with Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi.
Afridi announced his comeback to international cricket following the exit of former PCB chairman Ijaz Butt.
Afridi is a staunch critic of Butt and former coach of Waqar Younis.
Younis was evidently responding to Afridi’s latest claim that Younis did not quit as team coach but was sacked by the PCB.
All the time he is criticizing somebody and using distasteful language. It is time he just kept his mouth shut and focused on his cricket.
To me it seems as if he always on the lookout for cheap publicity by making unwarranted and unhealthy comments about somebody or someone.
The former fast bowler added:
For months now he has been criticizing Ijaz Butt and saying all sorts of things like Butt is old and he should go home, this is not the way to talk about a former player and head of the board. He has problems with everyone and wants the world to believe he is the victim.
Afridi, surprisingly, fore-swore responding to Younis’ latest remarks:
“I don’t want to make any comments on Waqar has said. I just want to play cricket for my country.”
What Younis really meant:
“Afridi can’t bat and bowl with his mouth open, can he? The mouth should come into play while fielding—queries (and cricket balls).”
What Younis definitely didn’t say:
“I’ll keep my mouth open and focus on my commentary.”