Of all qualities that we have come to associate with Sunil Gavaskar, being subtle, on the field or off it, is not one.
He says what goes on in his mind; sometimes even with a lot of risks, and his new opinion piece for The Hindu makes that abundantly clear.
To give you a perspective on why his article is being deemed controversial, I must mention one important fact: That even before India went to Australia for the tour, it was announced that Virat Kohli will come back for the birth of his first child.
People had a lot of opinions on the same, but it came down to the Indian captain's choice. Challenging that notion, Gavaskar writes that while Virat gets to go back, another cricketer, T Natarajan, had a daughter during IPL playoffs and hasn't seen her since then.
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 was taken to Australia directly from UAE.
Looking at his brilliant performances, he was asked to stay on for the Test series but not as a part of the team but as a net bowler. Imagine that...and there is the captain going back after the first Test for the birth of his first child.
Gavaskar also pointed out how R Ashwin pays for his 'forthrightness' in the meetings where 'most others just nod even if they don’t agree'.
Any other country would welcome a bowler who has more than 350 Test wickets and not to forget four Test match centuries, too. However, 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...for Ashwin the rules seem to be different.
It's been 3 days since Gavaskar's write-up went online but today, it started trending on Twitter and has become a matter of discussion across the country. Here are some opinions which you may want to read.
Different people make different choices bcos no matter how genuine the reason may be, the consequences are different for them, as per Gavaskar.— ToThePoint (@2DPointt) December 23, 2020
Think about ur job. Does ur tenure in the company decide whether u can apply for paternity leave? The governing body decides it.
Sunny Gavaskar is dead right about the differences in treatment by the board amongst the players— [email protected] (@learnzonepluss) December 24, 2020
Why a net bowler like Natarajan was not allowed to go back ?
It is high time BCCI end its colonial practices and unleash an " equal opportunity " in its policy page..#BCCI . pic.twitter.com/JYUAcmJ9pG
Gavaskar writing in the Sportstar.— Arnab Ray (@greatbong) December 23, 2020
The reason Kohli is different from Natarajan is that the former has the power of advertisers, the freedom to set rules in the BCCI, a pliant BCCI admin, social media troll army, and media sucking up to him for access. The latter has a yorker. pic.twitter.com/QrGjocedJ4
Unnecessary to take Nattu name here...He just came let him play and take his own decisions 🙏 In any work a senior will obviously have advantages and cricket is no different...No one shud b blamed here other than Gavaskar who is speaking about this unwantedly... https://t.co/8ipu3mMO6X— Prithvi krishna (@prithvikrish) December 24, 2020
Very grey area to comment upon tbh. Obviously Natarajan can't be compared to Kohli.— Don Mateo (@Mateofucknows) December 24, 2020
Only issue here is the situation in which the captain has decided to jump the ship, any other scenario, his departure is completely justified.
We might miss out on WTC final now 😔 https://t.co/NOkBpYOgBK
With all due respect to Gavaskar, Kohli enjoys the equivalent stature of Sachin Tendulkar in World Cricket, and he is an automatic selection, whenever he is available.. Did he have the guts to question Sachin, when he had opted out of several International series? #Natarajan https://t.co/U96qCP6yYb— Satish (@perfect_indian) December 24, 2020
We don't know if @Natarajan_91 applied for leave & was denied by @BCCI and asked to travel/stay back in Oz. Don't think he even applied as who would give up an Indian debut in Oz. His call. Just like #Kohli's decision is his own. Applied in adv, granted leave— Karan Jaidka (@karanjaidka) December 24, 2020