Gilchrist clarifies his remarks with Sachin

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Adam Gilchrist spoke to Sachin Tendulkar and clarified his remarks that prompted angry reactions from the cricket establishment in India.

Updated: October 24, 2008 14:20 IST
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New Delhi:

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 Sachin 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.

The former Australian vice-captain 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.

V R Manohar, BCCI President Shashank Manohar's father and the lawyer who contested the Andrew Symonds-Harbhajan Singh case in Australia, also came in defence of Tendulkar.

"He was at the centre of the pitch where Tendulkar was the nearest man at the distance of one foot... as a matter of fact, witnesses like (Michael) Clark and (Matthew) Hayden, they have given, what you call as untrue versions, according to me, because they could not have heard.

"They were at such a long distance but they are supporting falsely these accusations. Whereas Tendulkar was the nearest man and it is only requiring common sense that the man nearest will hear the most and that has been accepted by the New Zealand High Court judge (who was heading the tribunal), Manohar said.

Former Cricket Board secretary Niranjan Shah was also highly critical of Gilchrist and accused the wicket keeper-batsman of sensationalising the incidents during the ill-tempered Sydney Test.

"He wants to sensationalise the incidents to sell his book. As everyone knows everything was properly handled by the authorities with the appointment of proper men to conduct the hearing after a proper procedure was put in place," said Shah who was the secretary of the BCCI during that period in January.

"It was like a court hearing and the matter was settled properly. Everything was fine. After the matter is over, to claim these things in the book is nothing but foolishness," he added.

M V Sridhar, media manager of the Indian team during the Australian tour, also felt Gilchrist's remarks were a publicity gimmick.

"It takes me by surprise and I am definitely disappointed that the person who has played cricket at the highest level and who has shown examplary sportsman spirit, comes across and says this," Sridhar said.

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