Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar said that the Indian Premier League (IPL) has emerged as a big reason for lessening the animosity between players from different countries.
He also said there is a misconception that in order to come across as tough, one should not applaud the opponent when the latter comes up with a match-changing performance.
"There is this false belief that you have to be so tough that you must not appreciate the opponent when a batsman reaches a half-century or century, you see players of teams have their hands behind their backs and not even applaud. I am happy to say that the Indian team is not one of them. What does it take to applaud a fifty or a century? Does it make you that tougher?"
"Achievement is an achievement, you should applaud it. The fraternisation that used to take place between teams has lessened, having said that, the IPL has been a huge plus in lessening the animosity between players," Gavaskar told Ravichandran Ashwin on the latter's YouTube channel.
"Before the IPL, the animosity between players used to very high, you now have different players from different countries sharing the same dressing room. That has been the big change, I know people tend to romanticise the old days and stuff like that, but we had a situation where a batting team would always take a break at the end of the day to take drinks to the fielding team's dressing room. You used to be at each other throats while playing cricket, but in the evening, you would get to know players from the other team," he added.
After hearing Gavaskar's comments, Ashwin revealed that during the tour of West Indies, skipper Jason Holder had asked the Indian guys to come into their dressing room and have a drink. "Actually, he (Holder) was sweet and open enough to say that you guys have more experience so can you share drinks with us. I sat with Rahkeem Cornwall and had a chat with him," said Ashwin.
Talking about 'Mankading', Gavaskar said: "I know you have taken a bit of flak for this 'browning' of the non-striker, you see sadly Ash, if I might say that, whenever things like this have happened, I have not been on air. I have said that if this happens next time around where a player claims a catch which should not stand, I am going to take the name of a particular player who was famous for taking catches and he has done that to him."
"Why would you want to malign an Indian cricketer, it was an Aussie reporter to coin 'Mankading', Don Bradman said there was nothing wrong, today we must have beliefs in ourself, an Aussie reporter calls Harbhajan Singh 'Turbanator', how the hell he becomes a Turbanator, he has never worn a Turban on the field," he added.
Upon hearing Gavaskar's comments, Ashwin revealed that he was hurt by Shane Warner's comments after the Indian spinner had 'Mankad' Rajasthan Royals' Jos Buttler in the IPL.
Giving his take on Spirit of Cricket and what it really means, Gavaskar said: "Spirit of Cricket is where you play the game as hard as you can, but without looking to cheat and gain an advantage. It is a notion where you just want to enjoy the sport, you can play as hard as you can but fairness is not taking advantage of what you know can be wrong. If you know you have hit the ball, you can walk, if you know that is not out, you can look to not appeal."
"Sometimes you leave the things to the umpire, I mean what is this? It just slows down the game, it is referred to the TV umpire, you lose about a couple of minutes, the rhythm of play is gone, simple things like that will help the game become better," he added.