~~Envious West~~ find India~~s growing stature hard to swallow: Sunny

Published: Sunday, March 23, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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England&Australia-led West find it hard to swallow the emergence of India as powerhouse of world cricket, says Sunny GavaskarMumbai: England and Australia cannot come to terms with India's growing stature in world cricket, according to Sunil Gavaskar, the International Cricket Council's cricket committee chief.

"Gone are the days when two countries, England and Australia, had the veto power in international cricket, even though the dinosaurs, still trying to voice their prejudiced opinions in the media, may not open their eyes and see the reality," Gavaskar wrote in a syndicated newspaper column published on Sunday.

"The cricketing world has found that India has no longer a diffident voice in the international cricketing community, but a confident one that knows what is good for its cricket, and will strive to get it," the former India captain wrote.

"What may have worried these people was the manner in which India defended its player Harbhajan Singh on the 'racist' allegation made against him.

"When all the technology in the world was unable to prove that he had indeed said anything, these guys, especially those in Australia, having got so used to getting it their way, were unable to stomach it."

India lost the heated four-Test series in Australia 2-1 but won the one-day tri-series after beating the hosts 2-0 in the finals.

India, the financial centre of the global game, is currently second in the ICC Test rankings.

After Indian board chief Sharad Pawar was awarded the ICC presidency for 2010, the shortlisting of Inderjit Bindra as a possible successor to Malcolm Speed as ICC chief executive did not go down well with the British and Australian press, Gavaskar added.

"As soon as Bindra's name was announced there were a flurry of articles in England and Australia that giving him the job would put too much power in India's hands," he said.

The ICC, however, has selected South African Imtiaz Patel as its preferred candidate to take over as chief executive.

"Those worried of the prospect of India's hegemony were conveniently forgetting that only a few years back, there were two Australians at the top of the ICC.

"Once again, it is a misplaced belief that they are the only ones with honesty, integrity and have the welfare of the game at heart, while the 'subcontinentals' do not.

"Every controversy in international cricket has shown that no country has the monopoly on honesty and integrity, and so should not be looking down upon others.

"Still, it is a habit that is hard to get over, and so it is anathema to think that those who were the ruled can one day become the rulers."


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