Autobiographies and controversies go hand in hand
Pour your heart out, narrate a plain real life story or just carve it in a glossy way. An autobiography is all this and more. It has the power to create ripples across the world when one goes beyond just deriving sentences from the book of life. And in the making of a delicious one, the recipe turns out to be a bit spicy for the readers to digest.
Pour your heart out, narrate a plain real life story or just carve it in a glossy way. An autobiography is all this and more. It has the power to create ripples across the world when one goes beyond just deriving sentences from the book of life. And in the making of a delicious one, the recipe turns out to be a bit spicy for the readers to digest. Why does one do that? May be to sell it like hotcakes or simply find it the easiest way to get away with the guilt of an incident. Is it the same case with Shoaib Akhtar's "Controversially Yours"? His autobiography is having a bumper sale ever since some controversial excerpts from it are out. He has talked about the vulnerability of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, ball-tampering, match-fixing, Pakistan dressing room squabbles and many other topics which will have people curious and furious. Let's take a look at some other autobiographies which made everyone say – "It's different".
<p>Former Australian player John Buchanan joined the bandwagon of those authors who once held cricket bats for their nations. It must have been immense pleasure for him in bringing the lifetime experiences, feelings and on-field antics on paper, isn't it? But it was definitely not very amusing for some renowned Indian cricketers. </p> <p>His stint with Indian Premier League's Kolkata Knight Riders didn't fetch him the desired laurels but certainly got some of those critical eyes rolling in at him. And now it is his latest book that has sent shock waves among cricket fraternity. According to the Australian, the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid were not suited for the shortest version of the game. Buchanan also said that Harbhajan often dishes out treatment but then finds an appropriate means to camouflage his action. </p> <p>Surprisingly, Buchanan seemed a bit mellowed down when it came to Sourav Ganguly. He has described the Bengal Tiger as the 'model for the new breed of confident and combative Indian cricketers' and has compared him to Ian Chappell who stood up for what he believed and was not afraid to take on the administration. At the same time, he didn't leave the chance to hit out at left-hander saying he tries to compare himself with the Australian greats like Warne, Ponting and McGrath. Hmm...well thought out strategy to bring about a bunch of papers that talk about big names in the business... Interesting!</p>
<p>The man who was known to stand up by the truth on-field and off-field shook the world with some stark revelations. Adam Gilchrist called the legendary Sachin Tendulkar a sore loser and a dishonest man. The episode he refers to is the racism row during Sydney Test where Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds were involved. The fact remains that Adam Gilchrist never attended the hearing because he was unwell then how in the world he knows Harbhajan Singh was guilty when he heard nothing himself and in turn suspicious about Tendulkar's character. </p> <p>And what better way to sell a bunch of papers by pointing out finger on the player who has more followers than the rest of the cricketers combined. But, Gilly wants you and me to believe an illusion. Most importantly, the autobiography gets released in the middle of Australia tour of India '08. Now that can surely not be a co-incidence. </p> <p>He even went on to call veteran spinner Muttiah Muralitharan a chucker and that he had a suspect action of bowling. </p> <"As much as I like Murali, my sympathies lay more with those batsmen, from every other nation, whose careers suffered because of a bowler who was in technical breach of the rules and seemed to enjoy a kind of political protection.", said the Aussie great. Those were real jumbo allegations on jumbo personalities. Seems like a deliberate action for a pre-conceived result. It worked. The book made big profits but definitely turned out to be a big loss to Mr. Adam Gilchrist's long-lived reputation. </p> <p>And we are left with a simple plain question. Has the retired Australian wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist really shown his 'true colors'?</p>
<p>Kapil Dev's piece on his life is a well-thought out and structured one. It definitely gives an idea of self-defense and a planned approach towards influencing reader's mind over certain grave issues that surrounded the veteran player. </p> <p>From representing an era of Indian cricket to romancing his wife Romi, the Harayana Hurricane has touched almost every important aspect of his life. His love life sounds as good as a bollywood flick's larger than life script and gives an insight of Kapil – a family man. </p> <p>Former World Cup winning Indian skipper has also cleared air about his relationship with legendary Sunil Gavaskar. He blamed media and journalists for misinterpreting his bond with the renowned batsman. Kapil has spoken highly of Gavaskar, his guidance and making him realise that Team India can be best in the world. </p> <p>While, some pages are dedicated to a critical issue like match-fixing. Kapil has made no mistake in gifting himself a chance to present his side of the story and how he was dragged into a controversy with no fault of his. He has lashed out at some big names like writer Shobha De for saying, "I never call cricketers to my party" and Manoj Prabhakar for being a part of the match-fixing scandal. Kapil also accused media for harassing his family at the time of his crisis. </p> <p>No surprises. May be the only intention behind coming out with an autobiography was to clean his linen in the public. And the readers are left guessing, like always.</p>
<p>He was India's spinner who discovered his niche for Tests in early 80s. Dilip Doshi had turned 32 by then. Guess, it was too late for him to continue his form of art. Although he was a proud owner of 114 Test wickets, his entry and exit in the world of cricket was rapid enough. </p> <p>The controversies that surrounded his autobiography weren't meant for a quick exit from the minds of the readers and critics. The book carried his disliking for the commercialization of cricket and money-mindedness. He had no qualms in being vocal about the humungous amount of currency involved in the game and was bold enough to call it "disgusting". Dilip also stated that he declined writing newspaper column since he thought it would lead to disclosure of team's confidential matter. </p> <p>Dilip's flamboyant attempt to criticize legendary Sunil Gavaskar made his piece unexpectedly popular. Without any hesitance, the spinner lashed out on Sunny's attitude towards cricket saying he "bogged down in personal likes and dislikes", referring to an incident when he instructed Doshi to take more time to complete his overs against England in 1981-82 and later stepped back to take the blame of India's awful over-rate. He even went on to accuse the "stalwarts" who, according to him, used to stand in the slips and do nothing but gossip. </p> <p>Point taken, but the question still remains the same – Why only popular cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar are always at target?</p>
<p>In 2000, Team India found its first foreign coach in John Wright. And so was the case with the new BCCI employee. Before his stint with India, Wright never coached any international team. His first day at office saw him banning tea and biscuits at practice sessions. Gradually, he discovered Indian cricket and made necessary alterations in the much-ignored fitness regime. </p> <p>John Wright surely took a beleaguered Indian cricket team to a world-class level. Men in blue were a troubled lot then. But under their new coach's guidance, India reached their World Cup final in 2003. </p> <p>His piece drew lot of criticism from the common readers and not so common ones. Former World Cup winning skipper Kapil Dev lashed out at Wright for his insensitive approach towards the players and their dressing room chats. The strong reaction by the ex-Indian pacer was on the excerpt wherein Wright has explained how he got annoyed at Virender Sehwag when he gave away his wicket in the NatWest trophy match against Sri Lanka.</p>