Thu, 18 Aug 2022

I was humiliated to be labeled as a cheat!!


Thirteen years on, Tendulkar openly wrote about the incident in his autobiography Playing It My Way.


The incident

Match referee Mike Denness, pulled up more than half of the Indian team for various wrongdoings. Tendulkar was accused of ball-tampering and handed a Test ban.

Four others Virender Sehwag, Deep Dasgupta, Harbhajan Singh and Shiv Sunder Das were also handed a Test ban for excessive appeal. Captain Sourav Ganguly was banned for a Test and two One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for failing to control his team. All six were also fined 75% of their match fee.

Tendulkar on this controversy

In Playing It My Way, Tendulkar revealed that he felt humiliated then and the team was prepared to abandon the tour.

Here are some excerpts from the book:

On the charge I was shocked, because I had always played cricket with integrity and honesty and would never do such a thing.

On not accepting it It was humiliating to be labelled a cheat.  I informed Mike Denness that I would complain about the allegation and would not keep quiet about it.

We informed the BCCI, led by Jagmohan Dalmiya, stood steadfastly behind us and informed the ICC that the team had lost faith in the match referee.

We were prepared to abandon the tour if need be but we weren’t ready to be labelled cheats. It was about honour and there was no way we would allow a match referee to cast aspersions on our credibility.

On lessons learnt  I should have informed the on-field umpires under Law 42.3 when I was cleaning the seam, but I m afraid it did not enter my mind in the intensity of the moment.

On the crisis Mike Denness decisions had led ended up dividing the cricket world down the middle. It was an avoidable incident and one that left everyone bitter in the end.