Battle-lines drawn beyond the playing field

Updated: 31 July 2011 19:12 IST

There is a battle raging in England. Yes, cricket, but not the one being fought on the ground. This battle is not even being fought by the players. Television commentators and former players are locked in direct verbal combat, airing opposing views on cricket-related issues, in international media and on social networking sites.

New Delhi:

There is a battle raging in England. Yes, cricket, but not the one being fought on the ground. This battle is not even being fought by the players. Television commentators and former players are locked in direct verbal combat, airing opposing views on cricket-related issues, in international media and on social networking sites.

The main issue in contention is the Decision Review System (DRS). Former England captain Nasser Hussain had said on Saturday, that the non-usage of DRS by India in the ongoing series was a dis-grace. His opinion was directly lambasted by an animated Ravi Shastri who hit-back saying England are jealous of India. "What right does he have to say disgrace? it's for both teams. There are certain things that can be corrected. England is trying to hit at everything that the BCCI does," he said adding that the jealousy has crept up because of the success of the Indian Premier League, the World Cup victory and the money being made by the Indian Board.

On Saturday, Day 3 of the second Test, Hussain clarified his position on air saying that he had every right to express his opinion. He said the issue of jealousy is not valid as he would have said the same had it been any other team as well.

While tempers were flaring in the commentators box, it was another former England skipper in Michael Vaughan who took off on another tangent, claiming that  vaseline on VVS Laxman's bat helped him escape from a faint edge reviewed by England but rejected by the Hot-Spot technology. "Has Vaseline on the outside edge saved the day for Laxman?" tweeted Vaughan on Saturday, after Stuart Broad had actually walked up to Laxman and inspected his bat. While many feel Broad had little authority to do so, Vaughan clearly trained his gun against the veteran Indian batsman.

Laxman however found support in Sunil Gavaskar who said that a question had been raised on the integrity of the a batsman who has 16 Test centuries to his name. "If I was VVS Laxman, I would have my lawyer to have a look at that. You are questioning my integrity as a cricketer by saying and even suggesting that I put vaseline on the outside edge of my bat," he said in the pre-match show. "I think there is a very good case for VVS to take Vaughan to court."

Vaughan, on his part, continued to clarify his position on the micro-blogging site although angry fans unleashed a flurry of abuses on his account.

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