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‘Cricket remains a gentleman’s game’

Calcutta: Off-the-field rows and spats often draw more attention nowadays than cricketers’ on-field exploits. However, it doesn’t go on to conclude that cricket today is no more a gentleman’s game, feels Gundappa Viswanath.

Speaking on the sidelines of the CAB annual awards function, the former India captain, in reference to the Ravindra Jadeja-James Anderson spat at Trent Bridge, said: “Yes, the spat was unfortunate, though there was no concrete evidence of what really happened. But cricket remains a gentleman’s game.

“For instance, I used to walk if I knew I was out. My advice to the modern-day cricketers is No matter what, respect the umpire’s decision and don’t create a scene on the field.”

Talking further about the ongoing India-England Test series, Viswanath feels India should field Ravichandran Ashwin in Southampton on Sunday.

“In my view, India should play a specialist spinner. But you have to accept the decision of the team management since they are in a better situation to understand things better,” he said.

“In other words, the captain and the coach know the situation better.

“You might well term Ravindra Jadeja as a part-time spinner, but India did win the Test at Lord’s. That's what mattered,” he said.

About Sourav Ganguly entering the administrative part of the game, Viswanath said: “Sourav has already proved himself both as cricketer and captain… He’s got tremendous knowledge, we can make it out with the way he analyses things (while commentating).

“Moreover, he knows his job. It’s good for Bengal cricket now that he'll be becoming an official. The Board too can gain from it… The opportunity came calling for Sourav, and he's taken it…”

Viswanath’s advice to budding cricketers was: “Visualise yourself before going to bed on the eve of the game and don’t complicate matters. Don’t think too much about the bowler you will be facing and stay relaxed as it helps to ease your footwork.…”

The CAB, meanwhile, is mulling to use Viswanath’s expertise for Bengal’s junior cricketers. “We do have it in our mind to avail his services for the juniors… We’re sure he would be willing to help,” joint secretary Subir Ganguly said.