Herschelle Gibbs off the mark in "To The Point"
It’s in vogue these days to stir a controversy. And least of all we like our sportsmen to remain out of the public scrutiny as much as possible. A sportsman who represents his country and the spirit of sport must consider these roles when he takes a crucial decision such as writing a book. Herschelle Gibbs is not the first sportsman to stir public debate with his outspoken views. Andre Agassi was the last man i can remember who turned the world upside-down with his own book of revelation.
Herschelle Gibbs has not only stirred a storm in South Africa but all over the world by a crude detailing of politics withing the team and the general life of a sportsman. What has grabbed the most headlines are the excerpts that give us insights into the sexual adventures of these players. With the sort of time that these players spend without their families such adventures are commonplace, especially for young impressionable lads. But what is startling about Gibb’s revelations is his “honest” narrative that does not shy away from naming his teammates engaged in some of these encounters. At the same time, Gibbs has been frank about his experiences too.
What makes it really interesting is the timing of the book. Herschelle Gibbs has lost his place in the regular team as youngsters have taken on the baton successfully. This means that his career as a cricketer is more or less over, in such a situation a book raking in the moolah is what Gibbs might have intended.
Gibbs own career has been marked by controversies, he was called for investigation in the booking saga that engulfed players such as HAnsie Cronje and Md. Azharuddin. He has thought twice over before coming to India since for the fear of investigations.
Gibbs has also made startling remarks about the IPL in his book To the Point. Especially, about his stint with the Deccan Chargers in the second season that was held in South Africa, in which his team emerged victorious. He goes on to say that Rahul Dravid, as experienced and as hard a cricketer he is, crumbled under pressure in that game.
There are a couple of things that reveal Gibbs intentions behind the book. Firstly, the book is surely written in awareness that controversy is bound to be raised if not written to give rise to controversy. This becomes clear from the use of language which is offensive in parts when talking of team-mates, former captains or even counterparts. Secondly, Gibbs specific attack on current team members such as captain Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and AB Devilliers.
Here are some excerpts from the book.
1. “To be honest, I still don’t know how we , the Deccan Chargers won the damn thing in 2009″.
2. “I could couch this chapter in a whole bunch of safe-sounding euphemisms, but given the book’s title, I’ll get straight to the point, shall I? Two words: “women” and “booze”.
Whatever else has happened in my life, I can say one thing for sure: I have had a huge amount of fun in my cricket career. Three things have undoubtedly contributed to this: 1) I’m a friendly and outgoing guy who’s comfortable in anyone’s company; 2) I have the gift of the gab, which I get from my dad, and clearly women love it. My open demeanour often comes across as flirting, but that’s just the way I am. I guess you could say I am charming and, as I said, chicks dig it; 3) And this is the double-edged sword – I like to drink, and alcohol has only exacerbated points 1 and 2. It has lubricated some of the best evenings of my life, but it also nearly ended my international career in 2008.”
3. “We were physically fighting while I was driving. I was trying to prevent her from grabbing the steering wheel and hitting me … and in the process I managed to pull some of her hair out,”