Though glamour and sport are almost one and the same now, the film and cricket fraternities have become divided over the spat between IPL team owner Shah Rukh Khan and cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar.
The controversy erupted when Shah Rukh retaliated to Gavaskar’s criticism of Kolkata team coach John Buchanan’s plan of rotating captains. “If you have a problem then you buy your own team and run it the way you want,” he said in reply to Gavaskar’s view that Buchanan was a “failed former cricketer making a living telling international players to do what he couldn’t do”. There is a difference between now and the time when Gavaskar played, said Shah Rukh.
Former Test cricketer Kirti Azad feels SRK is in no position to teach Gavaskar his cricket. “If Shah Rukh says that Gavaskar doesn’t know about IPL, then I would say he doesn’t know acting. It is stupid and immature to say something like this about Gavaskar.” Former Team India player Sanjay Manjrekar thinks Buchanan’s plan is “too futuristic and abstract”. IPL Delhi team player Glenn McGrath states, “For me, there is only one captain who takes decisions.”
Actress Juhi Chawla, SRK’s IPL partner, counters that every new idea “is at first met by rejection, ridicule… but finally gets acceptance and applause”. Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt feels that blind faith in icons is not good and that Shah Rukh “never meant to belittle Gavaskar.” Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi’s opinion is that Gavaskar was correct “in a way” but that he got “a little too personal” about Buchanan.
Now, let’s wait for round three.
Inputs from Debjeet Kundu