"It is condescending" - Sunil Gavaskar lashes out on English commentators for favouritism remark on Indian fans
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar strongly criticized English commentators for their comments on Indian supporters showing favoritism during the ongoing Ashes 2023. Specifically, he pointed out that the English crowd only seemed to cheer when the home team performed well, while the commentators consistently supported the hosts despite Australia's dominant performances in the first two Tests.
Gavaskar questioned the mindset of the commentators, stating that it is natural for local fans to rally behind their home team and suggested that attributing such behavior solely to India is unreasonable. The 73-year-old emphasized that this phenomenon is not unique to India but occurs in every country, irrespective of location.
“It’s only natural that the crowds will support their own team and won’t cheer the opponents, but to suggest that it happens only in India is ridiculous. This is not an Indian phenomenon but happens in every country where home crowds keep silent when a boundary is hit against their bowlers or their batters get out," Gavaskar wrote in his Mid-Day column.
Sunil Gavaskar criticises English media's handling of the controversial Jonny Bairstow dismissal
He further expressed his frustration with the mentality of the commentators, who continuously highlighted the silence of the Indian crowd when an Indian batter was dismissed or when an Indian bowler conceded boundaries.
“Nowhere has it been more apparent than at the current Ashes series. What bugs is the condescending way, overseas commentators, when they come to India, keep saying how quiet the Indian crowd at the ground is when an Indian batter gets out or when an Indian bowler is hit for a boundary," the former cricketer added.
Additionally, Gavaskar criticized the English media's handling of the dismissal of wicket-keeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow in the second Ashes Test at Lord's. He noted that the attention given to England captain Ben Stokes' century far outweighed the significance given to Bairstow's dismissal, which triggered a debate on the 'spirit of cricket'.