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Kirsten appeals to maintain cricket's dignity

Perth, Jan 13 (UNI) Set to become India's head coach, former South African opener Gary Kirsten believes that the controversial Sydney Test between India and Australia has breached the spirit of the game stating that no player or team is bigger than the game itself.

''No individual is greater than the game,'' Kirsten told cricinfo.

''These are two great cricket nations and as players, they need to stand up and say, ''This is the way we are going to go about our business now.'' ''I don't think for one minute that takes away the aggressiveness and competitiveness with which you should play the game. I think there has been an overstepping of the mark and once players breach that anything can happen.'' The former left-handed batsman refrained from taking sides but was unhappy with the whole incident.

''One needs to be a careful. I have got to look at this thing objectively. I have got to be very careful in what I say. To me what's gong on is sad.'' He added that though he was not in the thick of action that went on for five days in Sydney but looking objectively at it, he felt that the image of the game has been tarnished by the whole incident.

''I'm not sitting on the fence. The game doesn't need two nations saying 'I was right'.

''I'm looking at it objectively because I wasn't in the heat of the battle. May be I'd have a different perspective if I was in the heat of battle saying India were unfairly treated, and there were comments made, but the way it's going is not good for the game at the moment,'' he said.

Kirsten who is scheduled to take over as India's head coach from March 1 is currently with the Indian team as a consultant in Perth.

He felt that the captains should sit together and resolve the issue. ''I read that Ricky Ponting and Anil Kumble are meeting up and that is very good. They need to sit down with the players and tell them, 'Listen, we are the custodians of the game at the moment and we've got to make sure we uphold this game and the passion with it should be played.'' UNI XC RAR AB RK1258

Story first published: Sunday, January 13, 2008, 17:33 [IST]
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