Our ‘Men In Blue’ have been acing at their game in the moment. With domestic as well as overseas success, the Indian team is much adored and celebrated by its legions of fans. However, in spite of remaining in the public glare for ever, the cricket dressing room guards some deep secrets that will surely shock you with their unexplored, dark contents. Read on to discover 11 best kept secrets Indian cricket has kept hidden from the public eye-
John Wright- Virender Sehwag tussle
Virender Sehwag is one cricketer who is known for his unfazed attitude and his cool demeanor. However, during the 2002 Natwest Trophy, Sehwag was having a dry run with the bat and was asked by the then coach John Wright to up his game.
Sehwag’s performance however did not improve considerably. An angry coach Wright was very upset by this attitude. He went into the dressing room, grabbed Sehwag’s collar and shouted at him. This incident was very much talked about inside and outside the dressing room.
Underworld’s attempt to rule over the gentleman’s game
The underworld’s attempt to intrude into the world of cricket would undoubtedly be a dark episode of India’s sporting history. During the Sharjah Cup tournament in 1987, underworld don Dawood Ibrahim entered the dressing room of the cricket team and told them that he would gift them a car if they beat the Pakistani team in that match. Kapil Dev however was unfazed by the mafia’s words, promptly telling him ‘Chal Bahar Chal’ without any fear or afterthoughts.
Sachin Tendulkar- Rahul Dravid issue
In 2004 during the Multan Test when Rahul Dravid was the captain, Sachin Tendulkar was batting on 194 when the skipper decided to declare the innings. This despaired Sachin as he missed out on a very deserving double century. The upset master blaster stormed angrily into the dressing room and was visibly hurt. And though other players expected Tendulkar to make a scene, the player managed to gain composure and shouted on other players pointing Dravid and even asked the captain to just leave him alone. Coach John Wright and Ganguly later apologized to Tendulkar about the incident.
Suresh Raina- Ravindra Jadeja spat
The India- Sri Lanka- West Indies tri- series of 2013- 14 saw an unusual altercation between two team members. Ravinder Jadeja was apparently unhappy with the fielding of Suresh Raina after the latter had misjudged a couple of catches. After the match, the dressing room had a heated atmosphere as the duo got into a verbal spat.
Sunil Gavaskar- Kapil Dev allegations
The row between two of Indian cricket’s greatest legends Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar had surely been one of the darkest eras the sport has witnessed in the country. During the 1984- 85 Test series between India and England, Dev’s reckless play in the second Test cost him his place in the national team as well as infuriated then then captain Gavaskar.
As allegations and counter allegations come to be levelled against both of the cricketers, things started turning ugly. Kapil accused Gavaskar for his omission, while the latter refuted all such charges. The in- focus fighting extended to the dressing room as well and Gavaskar vowed to not play at the historic Eden Gardens again after he was pelted with rotten vegetables and fruits by the audience.
Sourav Ganguly- Greg Chappell saga
The rift between then captain Sourav Ganguly and coach Greg Chappell has to be another dark cloud shrouding Indian cricket. The infighting in the team between Ganguly and Chappell some time during 2005- 2006 is a dark, open secret. The subsequent removal of Ganguly as captain and the ensuing disputes over the charged up emotions really had stirring impact upon the cricketing atmosphere in the country.
Over ruling match fixing threats
Match fixing has forever been a threat that has been aiming at dismantling cricket from the pedestal of gentleman’s game. During the 90’s Sachin Tendulkar felt that the matches could have been fixed. Taking Sourav Ganguly into confidence, Tendulkar ensured that no matter what would happen, they would ensure that the fixing of matches does not become an issue to malign the image of the game. The dedicated batsmen both scored centuries the next day to ensure team India a dignified victory.
Kapli Dev’s teary eyed reaction to match fixing allegations
When the Indian cricket team was caught in the infamous match-fixing scandal in 2000, veteran player Kapil Dev was accused of indulging in the immoral act for money. Dev was so devastated at the allegations that he ended up in tears in an interview relating to the incident. A highly perturbed Dev sobbed throughout as he said “I will commit suicide before that rather than taking bribe from somebody. Take all my money, I don’t want it. I come from a family where pride is the most important thing.”
Parthiv Patel reprimanded after sledging Steve Waugh
Legendary Australian player Steve Waugh’s swan song match happened to be against India. In 2004, Waugh was playing for one last time at the Sydney Cricket Ground in anticipation of a sweet last victory. However,
19-year-old Indian wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel, went a bit too far and ended up sledging the batsman.
Parthiv called out to Waugh from behind the wickets, “Come on Steve, just one more of your popular slog-sweeps before you quit.” That certainly wasn’t the way to respond to a veteran player and the young Parthiv got reprimanded by his teammates, including Sachin Tendulkar for his behavior against Waugh.
Yuvraj Singh ragging MS Dhoni
The Indian team prankster Yuvraj Singh might share a wonderful bond with Mahender Singh Dhoni now but Singh had been taunting Dhoni ever since he got inducted into the dressing room. From calling out Mahi as Bihari to taunting him by saying that smashing fours and sixes are no big deal but playing match-winning innings are, Yuvraj indeed summed up a deep secret of the dressing room.
Virat Kohli’s ‘team ritual’ on debut
Current Indian team captain Virat Kohli had also been party to the dark humor in the dressing room. Kohli was asked to take the blessings of veteran Tendulkar by touching his feet in continuation of the team ritual. What turned out to be a prank after had indeed left Virat teary eyed as the young boy was only making his debut!