“Arrogance is a very subjective thing. Indians might find our addressing seniors by their first names, and jokingly moving a senior official from a picture frame (for which Ponting was reprimanded by Cricket Australia and apologised later) thoroughly unacceptable, but that is our culture and not a manifestation of arrogance. Many of us view the Indians’ inability to carry their own bags from the team bus to the dressing room as evidence of class distinction, but with repeated trips to this part of the world we understand that this is the way here. Many Indians are at sea outside because they can’t adjust to the do-it-yourself culture abroad, and as a result are reluctant to move out of their hotel rooms. I feel this is why Indians were such poor travelers for so long. But young players are adjusting better these days...”The full piece is thankfully non-acrimonious, especially given Gavaskar’s extremely foolish reference to the death of David Hookes. I enjoy Waugh’s writing, most of which really is his, not ghost-written. His tour diaries as well as his doorstop of a book Out of My Comfort Zone (which I wrote about here) are fine portraits of his personal growth – from a callow, insular young Australian with little knowledge of the world outside the Sydney suburb he lived in to a true global citizen, an ambassador for his country and for the game. Cricket lovers (especially those who have plenty of unforeseen free time now that India’s out of the WC) really should pick that book up. It’s a bit unwieldy in parts (what 800-pager wouldn’t be?) but more than worth it.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Stones, glasshouses, Waugh of words
In a measured column written for a World Cup supplement that accompanied today’s Times of India, Steve Waugh comments on the recent slugfest between Sunil Gavaskar and Ricky Ponting. An extract: