An innocous conversation and an innocent joke took an awry turn on social media when former South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs’ reply to R Ashwin didn’t get the desired result many would have expected. To make things more awkward, it brought in match fixing aspect which brings the game into disrepute.
As Ashwin promoted a shoe brand on his Twitter handle and emphasised on their comfort and ability to ease running, Gibbs replied, “Hopefully you will be able to run a bit faster now ashwin 😂”. Clearly a joke aimed at Ashwin who isn’t the fastest in the field and the quickest between the wickets. However, the off spinner’s response to this joke left a sour taste for many concerned.
Ashwin replied, “Surely not as fast you did mate, unfortunately I wasn’t as blessed as you were. But I was blessed with a wonderfully ethical mind not to fix games which put food on my plate.” Clearly left with little to respond, Gibbs stated it was best to move on from the topic, “Can’t take a joke i see😉 anyway moving swiftly on..”
Later Ashwin claimed he had been joking all along. Ash said, “I totally believed my reply was a joke too, but look how people and yourself perceived it. I am totally game for this sort of fun mate, we shall dine over this sometime.😂”
Gibbs was implicated in the match-fixing scandal during South Africa’s tour of India in 2000. The team was led by Hansie Cronje and he played the leadership role in the conversation with the bookies. After being approached by Cronje, with money, to fix matches and score according to the bookies’ orders, Gibbs didn’t follow through. But he was suspended for six months and fined for their involvement in the scandal.