Can't erase history

May 21, 2013, 00:18 IST | Bipin Dani

Anil Kumble's suggestion to delete records of tainted players doesn't find acceptance from cricket statisticians

Former India captain Anil Kumble’s suggestion of wiping out records of tainted players has not gained acceptance from the game’s statisticians. 

Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble

On Sunday, 43-year-old Kumble, who is the president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), suggested (via a video conference to the BCCI’s working committee) deleting records of the tainted players just like how disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong’s records have been erased by cycling’s world governing body, (Union Cycliste Internationale) following doping charges against him.

“Cricket is different from cycling where, if you find the winner using illegal means, you can pass on the prize to a player who finished second and so on,” said Rajneesh Gupta, a noted Indian statistician from Delhi.

“Removing the tainted players’ names from the scorecards/records will mean that we’ll have missing entries in scorecards in different sections. Batting and bowling entries won’t tally at all. This will leave us in a complete mess as far as statistics are concerned. They will be rendered meaningless. Also, what will you do with the result of such a match,” he added.

Sudhir Vaidya, a former BCCI statistician, said: “Awards and trophies of tainted players can be recovered in physical forms, but Man of the Match and Man of the Series mentions have to be retained in scorecards as they were obtained in a team-game. These players’ names can’t even be deleted from the career list.”

Gupta added: “Nowadays, statistics are not just limited to plain runs scored and wickets taken. Player vs players records, ball by ball data, fielding lapses are also being recorded and analysed. How will you do that for a tainted player or for that matter for a player who batted/bowled against that player?

“Just expunging a player’s name and believing as if he never appeared in that game won’t serve any purpose. What if tomorrow we find some more players were involved in fixing in a particular match? Shall we keep on carrying out the same exercise again and again?

Can we remove Hitler and Stalin from the history books because they were the worst dictators? Their deeds may be totally against humanity, but the fact remains they existed. Whatever they did is part of history now. Similarly, the fact that the tainted players appeared in a particular game cannot be ignored. So, it will be better  to leave the record books as they are.”

They don’t agree too....

Ajay Sharma
Ajay Sharma (Life-banned in 2000)

I don’t agree with Kumble’s suggestion. Whatever players have achieved on the field, how can their scores be erased? The runs scored and wickets taken by them (tainted players) should remain.
What punishment can I suggest for these players when my own appeal is pending with the BCCI? My case is pending in court. I am waiting for judgement day. Mohammed Azharuddin has been cleared and I am waiting for my turn to come. Let Kumble explain how records can be deleted.

Manoj Prabhakar
Manoj Prabhakar (Banned for 5 years in 2000)

Let Anil Kumble explain how the players' records will be erased. No comments on punishment issue. Let it be decided by the Board.

Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja (Banned for 5 years in 2000)

There is a law in this country. Let it decide the fate of these players. How does my opinion matter? If Kumble has said something, it is his opinion. I don’t want to offer comments on someone else’s views. 

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