It is not easy analysing anyone sitting faraway. But he does look as if he is jittered, he said during a panel discussion at the Raj Singh Dungarpur World Cricket Summit Monday night.
Brearley,who is also a psycho-analyst,was replying to a query on whether the hype surrounding his long awaited century of centuries has affected him.
Brearley,who led England to a then record of 18 Test wins,also recalled India’s 2006 tour to England when Tendulkar was going through a lean patch.
One of the things that I have admired about him is that during the Indian team’s last tour to England (in 2006) he was not fully fit coming from an elbow injury. He was not in the best of form too. But he struggled and made a few 90’s in the tour, he said.
Its a fantastic tribute to a batsman who can make cricket seem so easy as to how he is willing to struggle it out, he added.
Brearley was also full of praise of veteran Indian batsman Rahul Dravid,who has gone on to score over 1,000 Test runs in the calendar year after being written off.
Rahul strikes to me as a first class man and a cricketer. He is very courageous and is willing to battle it out. His character must be very strong and he looks very determined, he added.
Brearley felt the use of technology in cricket has made players too narrow-minded and they were not keen to learn about the game overall.
Brearley has favoured a lenient approach towards Pakistani pace bowler Mohammad Aamer,convicted for his role in the spot-fixing scandal.
I don’t think the whole truth has been told yet,or can be told. The 18-year old Mohammad Aamer,who was subject to pressure and was,I believe,uninterested in any illegal financial gain,should have been,and I think should now be,treated much more leniently, he said.
Aamer,who was convicted,along with teammates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif,had been sentenced to six months jail term for his role in the spot-fixing scandal.
Brearley,who is the chairman of the MCC World Cricket Committee,also felt that many cricketers were pressurised to get into match-fixing by others and deserved a second chance,especially if they were willing to admit their guilt.
We need to recognise that the pressure put on the young player by criminal bookies or their agents,or by their corrupt team-mates,can be appalling. As a result,some of those involved might need to be treated with compassion,especially if they admit their guilt and are willing to be enlisted in the battle against corruption. Deterrent and retributive justice,tempered with mercy and discrimination is vital in sentencing and punishing, he said.
Like all secret organisations that recruit the naïve for illegal activities,the criminals linked to gambling draw people in by involving them first in activities that seem of a minor importance like pitch report,players fitness etc. once in,threats against the player or his family may make it extremely difficult to get out. In the strenuous search for exemplary punishment,there has to be a room for giving a misguided young player a second chance. However,Brearley also added that whistle-blowing should become an absolute duty for everyone in the game if corruption has to be weeded out from the game.
The Englishman felt that cheating in the game had led the public to view the game cynically.
Due to match-fixing the public becomes disillusioned. They feel,how can they trust any players. Poor cricket happens from time to time without anyone trying to do so but the mistrust is difficult to go, he said.
Giving an example,Brearley recalled the comeback of left-arm pacer R P Singh,who was holidaying,in the Indian team for the fourth Test at the Oval earlier this year.
India had not done well and were down 0-3. R P Singh had last played in January. In the first over he bowled five balls went down the leg side. To this a distinguished commentator said ‘Anyone betting on five balls on the leg-side today might have made some money’. It was an explicit comment.
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