Appalled at the International Cricket Council's all-time greats' list, the legendary Kapil Dev on Friday said that the ratings made a mockery of players like Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar who "served the game with unmatched devotion".
"I am appalled at the International Cricket Council's methods of devising the best batsman and the best bowler. It is all the more disappointing when I see that the names of Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar do not figure on the top," Kapil told PTI.
"The ICC has mocked at the greatness of those who served the game with unmatched devotion. When batsmen like Gavaskar, Tendulkar and (Rahul) Dravid and bowlers like (Dennis) Lillee and (Wasim) Akram languish at the bottom there must be something seriously wrong with the judgment.
"It is similar to the Duckworth-Lewis, who came up with a devise that only they understand," he added.
The ICC came out with its list of all time greats of the game with Matthew Hayden at 10th and 18th places in the Tests and ODIs list while Tendulkar and Gavaskar languished at lower rungs.
"I don't want to go into the nitty-gritty of this needless ranking but the ICC should have known what it was indulging in when it made the list public.
"I think some ill-informed officials in the ICC have little regard for history and the efforts that go into an individual attaining greatness by playing the game over a long period of time and that too with distinction," he fumed.
"What is the criteria that goes into deciding who is the best. I am not casting any aspersions on the abilities of those whom ICC thinks are good enough to be ranked above Gavaskar and Tendulkar but I am sure even those players must be embarrassed," said the only World Cup winning captain from India.
Making a case for Gavaskar, Kapil said it was because of him that India could avoid many defeats as the team managed draws because of his knocks.
"What are the parameters that the ICC uses to come to such ridiculous decisions? Does a batsman become big or important only if he helps the team win a match? What about the matches he helps to draw.
"Look at the statistics of Gavaskar and look at the quality of bowlers he faced. How can you take away the credit of a Gavaskar taking on the likes of Marshall, Lillee, Thomson, Hadlee, Garner, Roberts, Holding, Willis, Botham, Underwood, Imran, Sarfaraz, Qadir," he said.
Kapil, who recently turned 50, felt Tendulkar's only place is next to Don Bradman of Australia and putting him anywhere below that mark was an injustice to the batting maestro.
"Take Tendulkar's case. All modern bowlers agree that he has been the most outstanding opponent in all conditions. Brian Lara comes closest to him. To be told that Tendulkar is not among the best 20 of all time is indeed laughable. We all accept Don Bradman as the all time best but there can be no other candidate for the number two slot than Tendulkar", he said.
"How about Rahul Dravid, who averages 60 overseas, the best by any batsman in the history of the game after Bradman," Kapil said.
Kapil, who is ranked 34th on the bowling list, said he was embarrassed to be placed ahead of tearaway Pakistan speedster Wasim Akram.
"The same goes for the bowlers too. Most modern batsmen would confess to having nightmares facing Wasim Akram, who is listed at 59th spot. I am listed 34th but I rate Akram better than me. Akram will always be the first choice in my all time XI.
"But the ICC has a different opinion. Who would you agree with in such a case. The batsmen who have suffered at the hands of Akram or the ICC which has some ludicrous method to draw up its list of best all time 20," he said.
Kapil also wondered how ICC would rate some great players from weaker teams, who struggle to win matches.
"What will happen to a batsman from, say, Zimbabwe. He makes runs against the best teams in international cricket but fails to win matches because his team is weak. How do you rate him?
"Do you consider the runs he had made or the wins his team has notched? I know India was not good enough to win matches but Gavaskar, hitting century after century, ensured that we did not lose," he asked.
ICC Officials Have No Regard for Greats: Kapil
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