The gentleman’s game has always been regarded as a ‘team game’ where no individual has the right to overshadow his teammate. Since the inception of the game, the sport has witnessed many team moments and selfless acts which have etched a lifelong memory in the hearts of fans. However, on the contrary, there have also been some instances where the concept of ‘team game’ has been disrupted.
There have been instances when a captain or player was accused by his teammate for being ‘selfish’ for his on-field decisions. Be it for his captaincy decisions, batting approach or team selection– many players have been tagged as ‘selfish’ by players with whom they shared the dressing room.
Personal agendas, personal records or envy– many factors are responsible for disrupting the atmosphere of the dressing room and cause a rift between two players. Hence, many legendary players and their on-field decision have often been called ‘selfish’ by their own teammates. Many controversies have sparked due to such comments and here, we take a look at five such instances when a player was called ‘selfish’ by his own teammate.
Here are five such moments:
1. Shane Warne – Steve Waugh
Shane Warne hogged the attention by making a startling revelation in his book- ‘The Spin’. In his book, the Australian legend lashed out at skipper Steve Waugh and revealed that he was the most selfish player Warne ever played with. The leg-spinner also added that Waugh was selfish to the extent that he only cared about his average being 50.
Warne also revealed that Waugh completely changed as a person after donning the skipper’s hat. Furthermore, Warne was upset after Waugh dropped him for the fourth Test of the West Indies tour in 1999.
“He became a completely different person when he took over as captain. It wasn’t that he dropped me. I have no issue about being dropped if I’m not performing; if you don’t perform, out you go. But there was more to it than my performances – I think it was jealousy,” wrote Warne in his book.
Warne also revealed in his book that Waugh started looking at his diet and started interfering in the leg-spinner’s lifestyle. The equation between both the players was never the same again after that series and the rift between both the Australian legends is still fresh in the mind of every cricket fanatic.
2. Kapil Dev – Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar has been an indispensable part of the game and his hailed as ‘God of Cricket’ by many cricket fans. In an illustrious career, the Master Blaster etched many records to his name and established himself as one of the most decorated cricketers. Tendulkar is the only batsman to have 100 international centuries under his belt.
However, many fans still censure him for getting dismissed in his 90s on several occasions. Many fans also believed that the Indian legend only played for improving his personal batting record rather than focusing on the team’s total. Kapil Dev also added fuel in the fire when the former Indian skipper stated that Tendulkar only knew how to score hundreds.
“Sachin was a much better cricketer but somewhere along the line he just knew how to score hundreds. He didn’t know how to make it a double hundred, or a triple or even 400s. He [Sachin] had the ability. He was technically sound but I felt he was there to get his hundred and that’s it. Unlike Viv Richards, Sachin wasn’t ruthless, he was more of a perfect or rather correct cricketer,” said Kapil Dev.
The statement of Kapil Dev infuriated many die-hard Sachin Tendulkar fans as they criticized the World Cup-winning skipper for his statement. Dev had also said that Sachin didn’t do justice to his talent as he didn’t apply to himself to play ruthless cricket.
3. Gautam Gambhir – MS Dhoni
The rift between Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni has not been a secret in the cricketing fraternity. The former India opener has been vocal about MS Dhoni’s performance and decisions on multiple occasions. However, in 2012, Dhoni had complained to the BCCI about Gambhir being selfish.
Dhoni had felt that the left-hander had put his interest above the team and that has resulted in his poor form. “Of late Gambhir has gone into a shell and focusing on just to save his place in the team. His prolonged poor form has resulted in low self-esteem and he’s cut off from other issues pertaining to the team,” Dhoni had said.
Reportedly, the Indian skipper from Ranchi was irked because he felt that Gambhir was playing for himself rather than focusing to contribute to the team. In the Mumbai Test against England, Dhoni felt that Gambhir was more interested in staying not out rather than protecting the tailenders and keeping the scoreboard ticking.
4. Imran Farhat – Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi’s age has been a much-debated topic since his international debut. In his book– “Game Changer”, the former Pakistan skipper revealed that he was not 16 years old when he broke into the national side. Afridi’s revelation drew the attention of Imran Farhat and he lashed out at the Pakistan veteran for keeping this as a secret for 20 long years.
In a series of tweets, Farhat took on Afridi and urged other Pakistan cricketers to come out and speak the truth about Shahid Afridi. Farhat said that Afridi destroyed Pakistan cricket and he has lied about many things in his book.
Farhat also added that he had a fair few stories to tell the world and reveal the truth in front of everyone. Farhat made a bold statement that Afridi was a ‘selfish’ player and he was responsible for ruining many careers for his own benefit.
5. Kevin Pietersen- Alastair Cook
Kevin Pietersen’s England career was marred with many controversies. From falling out with Andrew Strauss to censuring Alastair Cook– Pietersen’s stint with England always sparked up controversies every now and then.
Pietersen hogged the headlines in 2014 after he slammed skipper Alastair Cook for playing down his side’s chances of winning 2015 World Cup. Pietersen stated that Cook was interested in a low-key approach for the marquee event to avoid the pressure to mount on his own shoulders.
“I think it is selfish that the captain is not talking positively about winning the World Cup,” Pietersen had said. He had also added that the possibility of England lifting the World Cup was far fetched because of Alastair Cook’s attitude and he needed to step down from the limited-overs captaincy.
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