Michael Atherton belongs to rare breed of former cricketers who is writes and speaks in a very lucid and authentic manner. He is one of a small number of "experts" who adds value to most debates he participates in. He isn't quite in the league of Nasser Hussain and Michael Slater, but beggars can't be choosers.
It is unfortunate, then, that Atherton has strayed a mile off the mark with his comments on the Sreesanth beamer.
For a man who has never understood what it means to be a fast bowler, it is very rich of him to question a man's integrity over a genuine mistake. Why is it that every other bowler, including Brett Lee who let go a number of beamers in the span of only a few matches, is allowed the benefit of the doubt after making an immediate apology and Sreesanth does not deserve that same treatment?
I watched the post-match show featuring Atherton, Hussain and David Gower and at no time during that discussion did Atherton even suggest that anything on the lines of what he has penned. It leads me to believe that Atherton has merely taken the sensationalist route to sell a few more newspapers.
I sincerely hope this is not the case, but if it is, Atherton seriously needs a rethink of what his real responsibilities are to the fans of the game who rely on him to provide a fair and just account of the day's play.
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