Spirit of game was breached in Sydney: Kirsten | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Spirit of game was breached in Sydney: Kirsten

Indian coach Gary Kirsten says that the feud between India and Australia is not good for the game's health.

cricket Updated: Jan 14, 2008 03:52 IST

India coach Gary Kirsten believes spirit of the game was violated in the acrimonious Sydney Test and welcomed Monday's 'cool-off' session involving rival captains Anil Kumble and Ricky Ponting.

Kirsten, who joined the Indian team here as a consultant, said he was pained by the entire saga. "The spirit was breached and I'm not sitting on the fence. The game doesn't need two nations saying I was right," Kirsten told Cricinfo.

Kirsten, who would become India's head coach from March 1, refused to take sides and said the feud between two major cricket playing nations was not good for the game's health.

"One needs to be careful. I got to look at this thing objectively. I got to be very careful in what I say. To me it's sad what's going on.

"I'm looking at it objectively because I wasn't in the heat of the battle. May be I'll have a different perspective if I was in the heat of battle saying India were unfairly treated and there were comments made, but the way it's going is not good for the game at the moment," he said.

The South African, however, believes that the meeting between Kumble and Ponting was the best way to resolve the issue.

"I read that Ricky Ponting and Anil Kumble are meeting up and that is very good. They need to sit down with the players and tell them that, 'Listen, we are the custodians of the game at the moment and we've got to make sure that we uphold this game and the passion with it should be played'," Kirsten said.

ICC chief referee Ranjan Madugalle, who has been appointed facilitator to ease the tensions, has requested both Kumble and Ponting to attend a 'cool-off' session in Perth on Monday.

Kirsten said the line had been overstepped on a number of occasions in Sydney and both teams now should have a fresh approach to the remainder of the series.

"No individual is greater than the game. These are two great cricket nations that as players they need to stand up and say this is the way we are going to go about our business now.

"I don't think for one minute that takes away the aggressiveness and competitiveness with which you should play the game. I think there has been an overstepping of the mark and once players breach that anything can happen," he said.