Being painted as instigators of Cronulla riot cost us Perth Test: Gilchrist

January 24th, 2008 - 1:27 pm ICT by admin  

Adelaide, Jan 24 (ANI): The furore created by the media after the Sydney Test was such that his team members were made to feel as if they were the instigators of the Cronulla riot, which broke out at a beach side in Sydney in 2005. This feeling subconsciously affected the team during the ensuring game in Perth, which the hosts lost by 72 runs, said Australias cricket vice-captain Adam Gilchrist.

Gilchrist himself was subjected to personal criticism during the Sydney Test, for appealing for a caught-behind decision to Rahul Dravid in the second innings.

Shocked by the public and media reaction to Australia’s performance in Sydney, Gilly said that he was saddened that the controversies overshadowed a victory which he rated among his top-five of all time.

He said that the Australians were affected by the post-Sydney furore. “No one told us to walk out there and settle down and become friendly on the field, (but) maybe subconsciously guys were a bit more aware of all the hysteria that was created, which I will happily go on the record and say, I think was way over the top,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Gilchrist as saying in an interview with Adelaide Radio Station “5AA”.

He added: “Did we start the race riots that happened in Cronulla? No. We won a game of cricket. The way we were hung out I felt like we were the ones who had started some sort of riot that had caused the deaths of people. I know it’s sport and it’s serious business (but) I really felt we were hung out to dry. Everyone will have settled down a little bit emotionally, mentally preparing for the game. All those side issues have pretty much disappeared now, so the guys can just focus on cricket.”

Defending his appeal for the controversial dismissal of Dravid in Indias second innings, he said: “I will appeal if I don’t know and think it’s a chance of being out. I will ask the umpire. Just because I walk and I openly admit it and do it … I don’t lose the right to ask the umpire when I’m fielding if it’s out. If he says it’s not out, I’ll accept that. The one on Dravid, I was behind (and) I was close, but the angle I had, the ball came through, there was a good noise and bat and pad are close together. We haven’t got the replay. So I appeal and I ask Steve Bucknor, who admits now that it was wrong, that it was blatantly wrong. I’ve been hammered a lot for walking; people telling me I’m doing the wrong thing. I’m not going to start calling blokes back when I’m fielding, believe me.”

Gilchrist also felt the issue of sledging in cricket was overblown, and that the current Australian team was still being judged by the actions of previous generations. “There is much, much more talk about sledging than actual sledging going on. It’s so minimal. It’s just that cameras replay it over and over again if two guys exchange two or three words. It’s repeated a number of times and a lot of attention is drawn to it. There’s very, very little of it. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but there is such a little amount it’s unbelievable the interest in it. I just can’t believe the interest in so-called sledging.” (ANI)

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