Gavaskar, Ganguly slam Vaughan on 'vaseline controversy'

Michael Vaughan had alleged that VVS Laxman might have used vaseline on the edge of his bat to avoid detection by the hot spot technology Getty Images

By Ashish Shukla

Nottingham: Jul 31, 2011

Former Indian captains Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly on Sunday slammed Michael Vaughan for kicking up the ‘vaseline controversy’ unnecessarily, terming the comments by the ex-England skipper as “ridiculous” and aimed at a psychological game against the visitors.

“It’s ridiculous to suggest for someone who has played international cricket. To say so about Indian players and more so about VVS Laxman is absurd,” Ganguly said in an angry reaction.

“There has been sharp reaction within the commentator’s box with Sunil Gavaskar suggesting Laxman would be within his right to haul Vaughan to the court. I have a feeling this issue could linger,” said Ganguly.

Vaughan had yesterday tweeted that Laxman might have used vaseline on the edge of his bat to avoid detection by the hot spot technology after a caught-behind appeal against the batsman was neither supported by the umpire nor by the Decision Review System.

England’s hat-trick hero Stuart Broad later said that he even had a feel of Laxman’s bat to check if there was vaseline or any liquid in it but found nothing.

Ganguly was scathing in his attack on Vaughan, saying that the former England skipper was trying to play a psychological game against the Indians which he said will no longer work on the world number one visiting side.

“It’s an important series and an attempt to go after the Indian batters. We know where it is coming from and why it is coming from. If you want to win the series, you got to be fair. This sort of press works in Australia and you are trying to do the same. I hope India has the last laugh,” he said.

“It’s been there in the past. I had this issue while I was captain. I stood up. I still remember the Flintoff issue at the Wankhede Stadium. You go to Australia and there is this word in the press that Indians don’t travel well and they are difficult to work with. I hope this wakes up India and they are competitive. India should use it as a push to compete even harder,” said Ganguly who is here as commentator.

Vaughan later tried to play down the controversy by suggesting that his tweets were written in jest but showed no signs of backing off, giving out sarcastic comments on the talk of taking him to court.

Responding to the talk of he being taken to court, Vaughan tweeted, “I think their has been a slight over-reaction to Vaseline gate. Taken to court? Sense of humour required for many I think.”

Ganguly had his own tweet in retort: “Vaughan has got what he wanted attention.”

Ganguly said it is becoming difficult for the rest of the world to come to grips with the fact that India are world’s number on Test side and they are also the world champions.

“It’s an attempt to put the Indian team down. Indian cricket has gone up, they are the world’s best Test side, they are the world champions, we have the IPL where players are well looked after. It doesn’t go down well with everyone.

“It’s easy to make claims. It would not look right, if suppose somebody said that England won the Ashes in 2005 because there was something wrong with the reverse swing England’s pacemen managed,” he said.

Talking about Broad’s reaction at the end of the second day’s play, Ganguly advised the youngster to rather concentrate on his cricket.

“Broad has just played two Tests. Before this, there was talk of him being dropped. He should not only try to earn world’s respect but also the respect of fellow players,” said Ganguly.

There was also an altercation between Nasser Hussain and Ravi Shastri when both were on air. While Shastri felt that Nasser had overstepped his brief by criticising India’s stand on DRS, the former England captain retorted back by saying “He had every right to express his views” as that is what he has been paid for by the official broadcasters.