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Stumped, Gilly backtracks

Under attack for questioning Tendulkar's honesty, Gilchrist says his statement was taken out of context and then blown out of proportion.

cricket Updated: Oct 25, 2008 01:26 IST

Under attack for questioning Sachin Tendulkar's honesty in the racial row during India's acrimonious tour of Australia, Adam Gilchrist on Friday spoke to the champion batsman and clarified his remarks which has prompted angry reactions from the cricket establishment in India.

Though Tendulkar himself refused to comment on the issue at a function in Pune, television channels reported that Gilchrist called him to say that the media had misquoted him.

Gilchrist, whose remarks generated a huge controversy, said his statement was taken out of context and then blown out of proportion. He said he had written four pages on the incident in his autobiography True Colours but the media chose to quote just two sentences.

Gilchrist also said that he would clarify his side of the story in an article to be published on Saturday.

In his autobiography to be released next week, Gilchrist has hinted that Tendulkar was a sore loser and questioned his honesty in the racial row involving Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds that threatened to go out of hand during India's tour Down Under early this year.

Gilchrist said Tendulkar had initially told the hearing that he could not hear what was said because he was "a fair way away". But during the appeal which followed, Tendulkar said that Harbhajan used a Hindi term that sounded like "monkey" to Australian ears.

Gilchrist's remarks prompted angry reactions from the cricket establishement in India with former players and administrators describing the remarks as "unfortunate and uncalled for" and said it was only a marketing gimmick to sell his book.

Former Chief Selector Dilip Vengsarkar described Gilchrist's remarks as just a "marketing strategy".

"You have to write something sensational to sell a book. I think it's a marketing strategy that Adam Gilchrist has adopted. Very unfortunate, but a fact," Vengsarkar told a private TV Channel.

Rajiv Shukla, Chairman of the BCCI Finance Committee, also took strong objection to Gilchrist's comments, saying the remarks were uncalled for.

"I think Mr Adam Gilchrist should think twice before making any observation about Mr (Sachin) Tendulkar," Shukla said.

"He is widely respected and now the kind of reputation he commands throughout the world, I don't think he will stoop to this level. So the observations made by Mr Gilchrist are uncalled for and I don't think he should comment on a person like Tendulkar in this language. I think it is better to ignore his remarks," he said.

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