Sports QuoteBook: Yannick Noah, Rafael Nadal, Ian Chappell and Others

Linus Fernandes@mktimeforsportsAnalyst IINovember 26, 2011

Sports QuoteBook: Yannick Noah, Rafael Nadal, Ian Chappell and Others

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    Yannick Noah, Rafael Nadal, Michael Clarke, Ian Chappell and Gautam Gambhir make this edition of What They Said, Really Meant and Definitely Did Not.

    Noah defends his outrageous remarks on Spanish sports persons indulging in widespread doping.

    Gambhir ensures that success does not go to Ravichandran Ashwin's head.

    Nadal terms Noah kiddish.

    Clarke delays a toilet break.

    And Chappell takes a club to Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle.

Ian Chappell ‘Clubs’ Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle

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    What he said:

    “The problem is they also bowl plenty that could be hit to the boundary by a proficient club batsman.”

    Ian Chappell diagnoses the ills plaguing Australia’s pace bowlers.

    Chappell wrote (via ESPNcricinfo):

    Both Johnson and Siddle bowl deliveries good enough to dismiss any Test batsman.The problem is they also bowl plenty that could be hit to the boundary by a proficient club batsman. Johnson’s problem is one of confidence. Consequently, he’s often running up to bowl half expecting something to go wrong and is fighting a battle with himself as much as the batsman down the other end.

    What he really meant:

    “Siddle and Johnson are quite capable of bowling balls of this century—to club players.”

    What he definitely didn’t:

    “Five good balls in an over is good enough.”

Michael Clarke Waits out While Teammates Complete Win

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    What he said:

    “I was dying to go to the bathroom for an hour and a half but I was too scared to move" (via ESPNcricinfo).

    Australia skipper, Michael Clarke, controls his bladder until his team completes a stunning victory over South Africa in the second Test at Johannesburg.

    What he really meant:

    “And I had no liquids (beer) either for those 90 minutes.”

    What he definitely didn’t:

    “If we’d lost, it’d have taken the p**s out of me.”

Rafael Nadal Raps Yannick Noah's Whine

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    What he said:

    “When one kid says something it’s not painful for us" (via BBC).

    Rafael Nadal kids not in his response to Yannick Noah’s allegations of systemic doping by Spain’s elite athletes.

    Noah, writing for French daily Le Monde, said:

    “Today if you don’t have the magic potion, it’s hard to win. How can a nation dominate sport virtually overnight like this?"

    Noah began his article thus:

    When I still milled around on the courts with my racket, we weren’t ridiculous, far from it, against our Spanish friends.

    It was the same on the soccer fields, the basketball halls or on the roads of the Tour de France. Today they are running faster than us, are much more stronger and only leave us the bread crumbs.

    We look like dwarves. Did we miss something? Did they discover some avant-garde techniques or training facilities that nobody before them had imagined?

    Nadal reacted angrily to the Frenchman’s allegations.

    He said:

    "What he said is completely stupid. This guy does not deserve to write in newspapers anymore."

    Nadal added:

    He knows better than anybody that to say that today is a totally stupid thing because you know how many anti-doping controls we have during the season, year by year.

    So in my opinion, the article that he wrote was from a kid, and when one kid says something it’s not painful for us.

    The French Tennis Federation were equally trenchant in their criticism.

    Their statement read (via The Times of India):

    The French Tennis Federation wishes to express its disagreement with Yannick Noah’s comments made in Le Monde newspaper.

    Against the plague of doping in sport, baseless accusations and provocative comments are inappropriate, and the worst attitude would be to give up.

    What Rafael Nadal really meant:

    “Sounds like French whine to me.”

    What Rafael Nadal definitely didn’t:

    “I’m so beefy because Alberto Contador’s butcher is mine too.”

Gautam Gambhir off Breaks Ravichandran Ashwin

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    What he said:

    "There’s nothing to be heartbroken about. A bowler needs to bowl on every kind of wicket. A batsman never says he is heartbroken if it is a green top. They simply play on any wicket" (via NDTV Sports).

    Gautam Gambhir is unsympathetic to Ravichandran Ashwin’s cause. The Tamil Nadu spinner lamented that the Wankhede pitch for the third Test against the Windies was unhelpful to spinners.

    Gambhir added:

    There will be many occasions where he will have to bowl on wickets that are more flat than this one. So there is no need to feel cheated.

    It is a great challenge, and everyone should try to accept it and get the best out of it. 
    That’s what Test cricket is all about. You don’t get a five-wicket haul or a hundred easily. You have to work hard for it.

    The Delhi batsman believes that Ashwin is one for the long haul.

    "He has taken two five-wicket hauls in this series and has a great future ahead,” said Gambhir.

    What he really meant:

    “Good for me—nine times out of 10, wickets in India are batsmen friendly. I’d be groaning too if every pitch was Mohali.”

    What he definitely didn’t:

    “Ashwin, I’d like to roll my arm over if you’re tired.”

Yannick Noah Does Not Care for Rafael Nadal’s Pleasantries

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    What he said:

    “But what do I care if he says hello to me or not?" (via

    Yannick Noah is not regretful—one bit—for stirring up a hornet’s nest with his comments in French daily, Le Monde, accusing Spanish players of systemic doping.

    Noah said that all players, not just Spanish, should have access to this “magic potion” that has Spaniards out-performing their French counterparts.

    Noah defended his last week’s comments saying:

    "If I chose this turn of phrase, it was to address the authorities…in order to start a debate."

    Noah added:

    "I am a bit frustrated that there are two weights and two measures in terms of doping, whether it’s Spain or another country. Of course all Spanish athletes aren’t doped…(But) are (the French) worse than the others? I don’t think so."

    Noah’s remarks have been met with derision and widespread condemnation.

    Rafael Nadal called for a media gag on Noah.

    Noah responded:

    "I went through the same thing 30 years ago, when I was 20. I spoke about doping and drugs and everyone had a go at me. I couldn’t respond to everyone. To Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle, who’s told his nephew never to say hello to me again. But what do I care if he says hello to me or not?"

    Noah pointed out existing cases of Spanish doping including high-profile names such as cyclist Alberto Contador and steeplechase champion Marta Dominguez.

    "The cyclist who ate some meat that helped him pedal faster and who was cleared by his federation, the case of (Dominguez) stopped by the police and then cleared. My question is the following: Is this not all orchestrated? In the Puerto case, I have the feeling that the affair has been smothered, that names have been hidden."

    The Frenchman reiterated his opposition to all forms of drug abuse:

    I am against all forms of doping, but I’m hypersensitive when it comes to injustice. There are too many cheats winning these days. In Spain and elsewhere. At which point is an athlete considered to have doped? When he takes a product that makes him run faster, makes him stronger, helps him recover more quickly? Or when he tests positive? The answer to the question is not the same, depending on the country.

    There are side effects which you never read about on the front pages of the newspapers. We know there have been problems in the past with Italian footballers who are now seriously ill.

    What Yannick Noah really meant:

    “We won’t have much to discuss anyway. I want to talk ‘dope.' He doesn’t.”

    What Yannick Noah definitely didn’t:

    It’s only words 
    And words are all I have 
    To take your pride and titles away.”


    Read Yannick Noah’s full interview to Le Monde here.

    Also read


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