New Delhi: Former captain Sunil Gavaskar today expressed surprise at the "fabricated stories" about him questioning N Srinivasan's silence in the match-fixing scandal while reacting to the Mudgal Committee report.
Gavaskar was quoted by 'India Today Group' as having said in Melbourne that Srinivasan needs to explain why he didn't act against players if he knew their involvement in match fixing, but the former captain stated that the report was not "based on what has actually been said".
"It was a memorable evening and the euphoria was still there next morning till I was jolted by totally erroneous headlines attributed to me about my reactions to Justice Mudgal report. I spoke to several channels about significance and honour of the evening and even accommodated questions on just released Justice Mudgal report, though it had nothing to do with the event at the MCG," Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar was in Australia at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend a special reception at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which was hosted by Australian PM Tony Abbot. "To wake up the next day to read fabricated headlines and stories was galling indeed. I did express my views that there should be zero tolerance with those involved in match-fixing.
I do understand the need for sensational headlines and stories to attract eyeballs but surely they should be based on what has actually been said. It spoilt what had been an extremely memorable three days Down Under," he said in a column. Gavaskar said he was privileged to have been invited by Modi whom he said was full of "energy".
"It was a huge honour to be invited to be part of dinner hosted by the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was the first time that any Indian PM has thought of having sportspersons with him for an official visit to another country," said Gavaskar. "The honourable Prime Minister had got a standing ovation for his address to Australian parliament and at the dinner at the MCG's Olympic room it was no different.
The energy that he brought to the evening had to be seen to be believed. "The Indian team has a tough tour ahead, but if they are struggling to get wickets they should request the services of the Prime Minister. He would bowl over the Aussies in a jiffy like he has done on his just concluded visit," said the former captain. Gavaskar also mentioned about Modi placing his hand over the 2015 ICC World Cup trophy during a photo session.
"There was the photo-op on the famed ground (MCG) where the two Prime Ministers first posed with the ICC World Cup and the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Significantly, our Prime Minister had his hand on the World Cup and the Australian Prime Minister on the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Both, of course, are currently in India's possession," he said.
"When I mentioned to Modi that he had his hands on the right trophy he laughed heartily. He knows that the World Cup comes every four years while the Border-Gavaskar trophy is contested every other year, and so the world cup is definitely more precious.
"When he later presented a memento to Abbott, he explained the significance of the charkha and talked about the signatures of Kapil, Laxman and myself on the white balls on the trophy, and it was left to Kapil to add that the third ball which carried our Prime Minister's signature was the most important, as it carried signature of the captain of India in its truest term," he added.