Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has reacted bitterly to the absence of Indian cricketers from a World XI side which toured Pakistan for the Independence Cup.
Players and officials from South Africa, England, Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe took part in the three-match T20 series against Pakistan in Lahore. But there was no Indian representation whatsoever in the World XI, a fact which was widely noticed by fans in Pakistan.
Although Pakistan won the three-match series 2-1 but World IX won the hearts of millions of fans in the cricket crazing nation.
“I am not surprised that no Indian player is part of the World XI as India has got its season, they are playing their domestic cricket and also preparing for the ODIs against Australia. So it is totally understandable that no Indian player is playing in that game and anybody other than the top 20 players that we have, I don’t think would actually fit into a World XI,” Gavaskar told NDTV.
According to the legendary Indian batsman, the domestic season and the series against Australia was the reason behind no Indian participation in the series.
â€œI don’t think it is something that we should be giving a lot of thought to and when we talk about Indian players, I think when it comes to Pakistan Super League, have you seen any Indians around in the Pakistan Super League while Pakistanis, particularly commentators have been part of the Indian Premier League. So it is something that’s got to be done both ways and not just one-sided,” Gavaskar stated.
Commenting on whether discarded Indian cricketers like Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh or Gautam Gambhir, who are not part of the Indian team at the moment, could have been a part of the World XI, Gavaskar responded by saying, “But were they picked? Were they asked? That’s the question.
Like I am saying for the Pakistan Super League are India commentators asked to come or Indian umpires come and asked to officiate. They are not. So presumably, if they were not asked, how can they go and how can they play. They can’t turn down and say, ‘Please pick me, please pick me.’ That’s the height of desperation.”
Story first published: 16th September 2017