Sports QuoteBook: Dale Steyn, MS Dhoni,Mohammad Azharuddin Et Al

Linus FernandesAnalyst IINovember 18, 2011

Sports QuoteBook: Dale Steyn, MS Dhoni,Mohammad Azharuddin Et Al

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    Dale Steyn, Mohammad Azharuddin, James Milner,Baichung Bhutia and MS Dhoni strut their stuff in this edition of What They Said, Really Meant and Definitely Did Not.

    Steyn cannot recall namesake Deeb's *shock* name!

    James Milner reluctantly  forsakes cricket.

    Mohammad Azharuddin is 'holier than thou' to Vinod Kambli's histrionics.

    Baichung Bhutia tends to his footballing sheep.

    And MS Dhoni packs up second home Test against Windies with a packaged sound byte.

    First published at Sporting Times-Make Time For Sports.

Dale Steyn Has Wickets, Not Names, on His Mind

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    What he said:

    “Listen, I got your name wrong, but you didn’t have to drop the catch.”

    Dale Steyn is disbelieving that Dale Deeb, Under-19 substitute fielder, could put down a sitter , denying Steyn a fifer in the second Test of the ongoing home series against Australia.

    Deeb dropped Nathan Lyon, Australia’s No.11 batsman, in the covers.

    What he really meant:

    “Listen, hold catches. You’ll be gratefully remembered.”

    What he definitely didn’t:

    “I’m superstitious. Catches have names too. “

James Milner Dare Not Be Yorked

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    What he said:

    “I’d love to still play — but you can’t risk a yorker on the toe!”

    Manchester City’s James Milner would love to play cricket again but dare not risk a broken toe.

    The electric midfielder was a useful bat for Horsforth in the Airedale and Wharfedale League in Leeds.

    Milner said:

    I got a couple of hundreds for Horsforth, I’ve got a lot of friends there and I’d love to still play — but you can’t risk a yorker on the toe!

    The most important thing for me now in summer is rest but I hope I’ll be able to go back to cricket again once I’ve finished playing football.

    What he really meant:

    “I’m a footballer—I put foot to ball.”

    What he definitely didn’t:

    “What’s a shattered toe or two? I could always be keeper.”

Mohammad Azharuddin Questions Vinod Kambli’s Class

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    What he said:

    "What Vinod is saying is absolutely rubbish! He must have been sleeping in the team meeting."

    Former India skipper, Mohammad Azharuddin, rubbishes teammate Vinod Kambli’s allegations that the 1996 World Cup semifinal against Sri Lanka was fixed.

    The match was forfeited by the home side due to crowd violence; the Indians were on the verge of a humiliating defeat.

    Speaking to Star News, Kambli said:

    I’ll never forget the match because my career ended after it. I was stunned by the decision to field.I was standing on one side and on the other end my fellow batsman was telling me that we would chase the target. However, soon after they quickly got out one by one. I don’t know what transpired.

    Something was definitely amiss. However, I was not given a chance to speak and was dropped soon after. Our team manager at that time, Wadekar, was aware of everything.

    Ajit Wadekar, the then team manager, contested Kambli’s version of transpired events, saying:

    I did not even think there was anything suspicious in that loss. It was purely because we misread the wicket and were slightly overconfident after beating Pakistan in the quarterfinal. 
    Why did he wake up suddenly after 15 years? During my four-and-half year stint (with the national team), I used to frequently have dinner with Vinod. Had he told me about his suspicions then, I would have requested the board to probe the matter.

    Wadekar added:

    “During the team meeting, only (Navjot Singh) Sidhu and I felt the wicket would deteriorate and that we should bat first. However, a majority of the bunch felt a wicket couldn’t deteriorate much.”

    Mohammad Azharuddin, speaking to CNN-IBN, defendedhis decision to bowl first:

    We decided to field. It was discussed and a team decision. It was a collective decision. I don’t have any regrets, no reason to shy away from this. What Vinod is saying is absolutely rubbish! He must have been sleeping in the team meeting.

    We wanted to field first and chase against Sri Lanka, wanted to do something different in the match. Very sad that people are questioning the decision. For Kambli to talk like this, it shows his class (pedigree).

    Vinod Kambli on so many occasions has said that I was the best captain he has played under. It’s very annoying the way the statement was made.

    The former India skipper’s fight against the life-ban handed out by the BCCI  in 2000 continues in the Hyderabad high court. Azhar’s cricketing career was cut short at 99 Test matches.

    Azhar said:

    "The match-fixing case is going on in the High Court. When my name is cleared, everybody will come to know the truth. I am not affected by the allegations. Kambli has made a fool of himself.”

    What Azharuddin really meant:

    “By way of explanation, we enjoyed a cosy dressing room atmosphere.”

    What Azharuddin definitely didn’t:

    “What kind of query is that? Sleepwalking through our innings?”

Baichung Bhutia Takes Time off to Pen His Sporting Views

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    What he said:

    “I’d have been tending to my little children and new club instead of writing this.”

    Baichung Bhutia comes out in support of the proposed National Sports Federation bill seeking restricted tenures for administrative heads.

    Bhutia’s views were published by the Hindustan Times, the second article in a continuing eight-part series dissembling the issues tackled by the Sports Bill.

    Bhutia wrote:

    Fifa, despite allegations of corruption, is run more efficiently than sport in India. That means you can’t compare us and them where them also includes the IOC and its tradition of long-serving presidents. The truth is, 64 years after Independence, sport in India is not on the right track. And proof of that lies in the underwhelming international performance of a nation of over 1 billion people. 
    My point, therefore, is this: the current system of administration has failed and that means there’s something definitely wrong with it. There’s no point saying Brazil’s football isn’t run properly — well, they still win five World Cups and are expected to win one every time it comes along. If we won as many gold as China in Olympics — and they started participating regularly only in 1984 — or even 20 less than them, I’d have been tending to my little children and new club instead of writing this.

    The Ajay Maken (India’s sports minister) sponsored bill has been opposed by both the Board For Cricket Control in India (BCCI) and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

    Bhutia added:

    Why not restrict federation presidents to a maximum of 12-year terms and secretaries to eight? If you haven’t been able to make a difference in that time, chances are you never will.

    And if you have been a game-changer, I am sure you will be asked to stay and contribute in some capacity even after your term’s over. Making tenures time-bound is also one way of increasing transparency and accountability because you can’t manipulate votes.

    What he really meant:

    “I care.”

    What he definitely didn’t:

    “I’m the retiring type, in every aspect.”

MS Dhoni Is a ‘Package’

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    What he said:

    “I am more of a package than a specialist. I’m neither an extraordinary batsman nor a specialist keeper.”

    Mahendra Singh Dhoni is abashed at being described as an “excellent package” by West Indian cricketing great, Jeffrey Dujon.

    Dhoni said:

    It’s a big compliment for me. I am more of a package than a specialist. I’m neither an extraordinary batsman nor a specialist keeper. It’s all about doing things right. It does not matter how you catch the ball, take the edges and affect stumpings. It’s important to score at that point of time when it’s really good for the side. I hope I will be a specialist one day.

    What he really meant:

    “Modesty’s my forename.”

    What he definitely didn’t:

    “Fedex, same-day delivery?”