Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Delhi captain Gautham Gambhir has made it clear that Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary’s claims of him making racist comments about Sourav Ganguly and Bengalis are completely “baseless”.
According to Tiwary, Gambhir made the remarks when they were involved in an on-field altercation during their Ranji Trophy match.
However, Gambhir dismissed these allegations, and said in a statement: “On Sunday, Manoj Tiwary stooped to a new low by claiming that I made racist remarks about Bengali community and my favourite India captain and one of the best cricketers I have played under Mr Sourav Ganguly whom I fondly call Dada. Let me categorically state here that these allegations are baseless and Tiwary’s way of sensationalising things through his figment of imagination.
“First of all I am a proud Indian who respects all religions, communities and sexes. Then, ever since I have had the honour of leading Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL I have been humbled by the love and affection showered on my team and me by Bengali community.
“I have said in numerous interviews that Bengal is my second home and the support of the fans is the biggest X factor for KKR. I can’t thank them enough for helping us win IPL title twice.”
Gambhir also insisted that he would never speak about Ganguly in such a way as he is a legend of the sport and also helped him get integrated into the Indian team when he made his international debut in April 2003.
“Dada taught Indian cricket to play aggressive brand of cricket and modelled the team to win outside India,” he said. “His contribution to Indian cricket is unparalleled. Personally, I made my India debut under Dada’s leadership and can never forget the way he eased me into the team dressing room.
“Besides, I have picked up a lot of things from Dada’s leadership ways and put them in practice for KKR. It is unfortunate that Dada’s name was dragged in by Tiwary perhaps to gain cheap publicity.”
It was also reported that Gambhir had been fined 70 per cent of his match fee, while Tiwary was docked 40 per cent. However, Gambhir pointed out that there was another reason why he was fined such a large amount of his match fee.
“Media reports also attributed Tiwary claiming that I was fined 70 per cent and he 40 as I was the prime offender,” he said. “This is far from truth. I was fined more because this was my second offence in consecutive games (I was fined 10 per cent for showing dissent against umpire’s decision in the last game against Haryana). It had nothing to do with the nature of the offence, something that can be verified by the BCCI match referee.”
Gambhir also had some words of advise for Tiwary, saying: “I’d also like to question why didn’t Tiwary bring this up yesterday? In the end I’d like to wish sanity in life for Tiwary and being his senior would like to advise that he should concentrate on his game rather than making sensational claims.”