Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on Monday expressed regret for his ‘not the greatest” comment on the late Shane Warne, saying it was not the right time for comparisons.
“In hindsight, that question should not have been asked and I should not have answered as it was not the right time for any comparison or evaluation,” Gavaskar posted on Instagram, reacting to criticism of his remark.
“Warne was one of the greatest players to ever grace the game. Rodney Marsh was also one of the best wicketkeepers. May their souls rest in peace.”
Gavaskar said all he meant to do was give an honest answer to a question.
“On TV, I was asked by an anchor whether Warne was the greatest spinner and I gave my honest opinion,” he said.
Gavaskar had earlier said that while Warne sent down “magic deliveries” and mastered a difficult craft during his career, he wasn’t the greatest spinner of all time.
Asked if the Australian was the greatest spinner he has seen, Gavaskar said “no”.
“No, I wouldn’t say that no. For me, the Indian spinners and Muttiah Muralitharan were certainly better than Shane Warne,” Gavaskar said on India Today. “Because look at Shane Warne’s record against India. It was pretty ordinary. In India, he got five wickets only once, in Nagpur, and that too because Zaheer Khan swung wildly against him to give him a fifer.”
Gavaskar appears to have mixed up his facts here as Warne’s five-for against India came in the second Test in Chennai in October 2004. Zaheer Khan remained not out on 0 on that occasion.