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Ex-players shocked at Sachin’s exclusion

The cricket fraternity in India on Friday expressed shock at the omission of legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Don Bradman from the all-time Test eleven named by former English umpire Dickie Bird with some former cricketers calling his composition as ‘biased’ and ‘ill-balanced’.

Former captain Sunil Gavaskar was the only Indian included in the controversial team which has Pakistani all-rounder Imran Khan as the captain. Besides the omission of Tendulkar and Bradman, Bird’s team did not have the greats like Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting as well as the West Indian fast bowlers Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner and Michael Holding. Former India captain Ajit Wadekar felt Gavaskar was the right choice in the opener’s slot but said that he was surprised by the exclusion of Tendulkar, Bradman and the West Indian fast bowlers.

‘It’s a bit partial. He has selected only players whom he has seen from close quarters. But the combination is not balanced. Of course, Gavaskar will have to be there. But it is surprising that there is no Sachin Tendulkar, Don Bradman and the West Indian fast bowlers,’ he said.

Former batsman Chandu Borde said leaving out Tendulkar and Bradman from his team showed Bird’s lack of cricketing knowledge. ‘That’s his opinion. He must not have seen Bradman playing.’ he said with a sarcastic tone.

Former India captain Nari Contractor said, ‘These are individual opinions. But I don’t know on what basis he has chosen the team. We all know about Bradman and Tendulkar. Like them, many others like the West Indian quartet (Michael Holding, Colin Croft, Joel Garner and Andy Roberts) are also not included,’ he said.

Another former India player Shivlal Yadav could not believe Tendulkar and Bradman were not there in the all time Test XI. ‘I’m definitely surprised that these two names, Bradman and Tendulkar, don’t figure in his list. By their sheer performance they have shown the world what they are capable of.’

Former India opener and coach Anshuman Gaekwad said somebody should ask Bird why he left out Bradman who has a record average of 99. ‘He has gone in a very traditional and technical way. He has kept technic in mind, that’s how Sunil Gavaskar is there. I guess he has kept the aggression and technique both in mind while choosing the side. But one must ask him why he left out Bradman.’
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