‘Your lecture was merely a starting point for an article on hostilities against India’

Dear Tony,

You write like you played! But what a colossal waste of time all this is. I didn't "take you to the cleaners" Tony, I don't come from that school of life. I merely disagreed with some of the points you made because they seemed to assume that all problems start and end with India. That is what I meant when I said people "go after the easy target". They do. In an MCC Spirit of Cricket lecture you mentioned India 57 times and surely you and me have been in this game long enough to know that a line in appreciation thrown here and there is but a sop for what follows.

But your lecture was merely the starting point for an article that worries about the hostility against India. Your points were an illustration of a general theme that I have sadly noticed in my travels and which has concerned me, rather than angered me. And so I have used some of the points you have made to highlight this wider malaise which, as I have often said, leads to the us-and-them attitude which must pain all us cricket lovers. So to that extent, it wasn't a personal statement about you as much as a concern on going after the easy target. That is why there are no quotes. So that should ease most of your concerns.

My opening line on the fact it didn't surprise me that you took off on India but that it took so long coming was because I follow you on twitter and "hammer and tongs" is one expression that comes to mind about your attacks on the way the game is run in India.

And it is true that you love baiting Indian fans. On November 7, you tweeted "Maine jaal fenka aur mere jaal mein aaplog fans aa gaye" which was pretty good Hindi actually but the point wasn't lost. That very day you said "Fish are biting big time. Must put more bait on the hook". And on October 12th "Not hard to reel you Indian guys in — good job you are not fish — I would never go hungry." I could quote many more, it might be easier for people to go through @greigtalks and see for themselves.(for eg: "Cricket's problem is not the ICC - it is the BCCI and their ICC ally's (sic) too dependant or weak to stand up to them who control every decision" )

... contd.

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