Indian cricket great Sunil Gavaskar has slammed BCCI's double-standards for a superstar Virat Kohli and a newbie T Natarajan as he feels they are treated differently. He also added that R Ashwin has also suffered a lot, albeit because of his no-nonsense attitude than poor displays.
Sunil Gavaskar was known for taking tough stands during his heydays when he would never ever shy away from talking on issues that most others hesitated. Now, the former Indian batting great has highlighted the issue of differential treatment for different players owing to their stature than merit in Indian cricket. Indian skipper Virat Kohli will be missing the last three Tests against Australia to be with his family for the birth of his first child. Notably, T Natarajan is yet to see his first child since her birth during the time of IPL.
Gavaskar is irked that the newcomer wasn't allowed to return back home and see his family even though he isn't part of the team and is in Australia merely in the capacity of a net bowler that too after starring in the T20Is.
Talking about different rules for different players, Gavaskar in his column for Sportstar, "Another player who will wonder about the rules, but, of course, can’t make any noise about it as he is a newcomer. It is T. Natarajan. The left-arm yorker specialist who made an impressive debut in the T20 and had Hardik Pandya gallantly offering to share the man of the T20 series prize with him had become a father for the first time even as the IPL playoffs were going on.”
“He had become a father for the first time even as the IPL playoffs were going on. He was asked to stay on for the (Australia) Test series but not as a part of the team but as a net bowler. Imagine that. A match winner, albeit in another format, being asked to be a net bowler. He will thus return home only after the series ends in the third week of January and get to see his daughter for the first time then. And there is the captain (Virat Kohli) going back after the first Test for the birth of his first child,” he added.
Sunil Gavaskar also feels that India's premier off-spinner R Ashwin has also suffered a lot for speaking his mind in the team meetings than performances necessarily.
“For far too long Ashwin has suffered not for his bowling ability of which only the churlish will have doubts, but for his forthrightness and speaking his mind at meetings where most others just nod even if they don’t agree. If Ashwin doesn’t take heaps of wickets in one game, he is invariably sidelined for the next one. That does not happen to established batsmen though,” Gavaskar wrote.
“That’s Indian cricket. Different rules for different people. If you don’t believe me ask Ravi Ashwin and T. Natarajan,” he signed off by writing.
India will take on Australia in the second Test at MCG from December 26 after being 0-1 down in the four-match Border-Gavaskar trophy.