Michael Slater’s ‘Slumdog’ connection

February 28th, 2009 - 3:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Slumdog MillionaireSydney, Feb 28 (IANS) Oscar winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire” has left some cricket fans baffled with the inclusion of Australian batsman Michael Slater’s name as a possible answer to one of the TV quiz questions in one of the movie’s crucial scenes.
For those who got a chance to watch the movie, the question was which batsman tops the all-time list of century-scorers in first-class cricket - Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Slater or Jack Hobbs?

For cricket lovers, who know one or two about the game’s history, it had to be Englishman Hobbs although Tendulkar and Ponting would be acceptable guesses, too. But what left everyone surprised was Slater’s name. The cricketer had an explanation for it.

Slater said that the filmmakers wanted to include an answer that was obviously wrong - and his name was the one chosen. Because the movie’s writer, Simon Beaufoy, who is English and presumably follows cricket, happened to see Slater commentating on a cricket telecast around the time he was working on the screenplay, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Though his name his seems out of place, in terms of natural ability, Slater was certainly up there with the other three batsmen.

Greg Chappell said of Slater a while ago: “When he first appeared on the scene I thought he was one of the most exciting batsmen I had ever seen. He was a wonderfully natural player, who was obviously blessed with heaps of talent and heaps of confidence.”

Slater did average a commendable 42.83 in Tests, but he has 50-plus talent.

Slater’s former captain Mark Taylor and now fellow commentator on Channel Nine was once heard saying that Slater was a far more gifted batsman than he himself was.

But what Slater lacked was the blend of application and mental discipline. The batsman once revealed on ABC’s “Enough Rope” show four years ago that he had been diagnosed with bipolar-type depression while still playing.

But since then, Slater has come a long way and after retiring from cricket he has successfully established himself as as a frontline member of Nine’s cricket commentary team.

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