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Lot of on-field enthusiasm is for cameras: Bedi

PTI 13 Nov 2014, 9:29:57 AM IST

New Delhi: Not exactly a fan of exuberant celebrations on the cricket field, former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi says the players' display of emotion and enthusiasm these days is mostly for the cameras and cannot be considered gentlemanly.

Recalling the famous shot of former India captain Sourav Ganguly waving his Team India jersey at Lord's after a victory, Bedi said cricket culture changed with television coverage.

Referring to the gesture which is framed in a photograph at the BC Roy Club House in Eden Gardens, Bedi said: "I've seen a picture of him in the Clubhouse taking his shirt off at the Lord's balcony; that was not a gentlemanly thing to do. I tried to lip read what he was saying.

"I know this enthusiasm has a lot to do with TV cameras. I suppose you have to put up with this change, but I'm not convinced it is for the better," said the former left-arm India spinner during a chat show organised by the Cricket Association of Bengal in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Speaking highly about Tiger Pataudi, his former captain, Bedi said: "Tiger would never be provoked. Even if a player scored a hundred or dismissed a batsman, he would doff his cap to him. Never was he jumping around in celebration. That is cricket culture.

"Tiger was at least 100 years ahead of his time. His innate nature gave him an advantage as far as captaincy was concerned. He was a very proud Indian. At initial team meetings he would always make us think beyond Delhi or Bombay or Karnataka.

"He would always stress on the fact that we are Indians. ‘Think we are Indians', he would always say. This togetherness was his greatest contribution. Tiger was very positive."

Bedi also had words of praise for Ganguly.

"I watched him from a distance. He created a flair for winning. Along the way he defied cricketing norms because of changing times, but he was cut out to do it and could also afford that."

On the ICC's crackdown on chuckers, he said they should have acted 20 years ago.

"Remember the Asian subcontinent has four votes.  The doosra and teesras have evolved from the subcontinent. All these doosra and teesras are rubbish.

"I don't know much about match-fixing. No clue about its modus operandi, but chucking is happening under your nose. Cricket is associated with honesty and integrity. Chucking gives unfair advantage to a bowler. You need strong will to clean up the mess."