Bengaluru, Oct 26: The war of words between captains Gautam Gambhir and Manoj Tiwary continued as the former issued a media statement dismissing allegations against him as "baseless" and said the Bengal batsman had "stooped to a new low".
Delhi skipper Gambhir and his counterpart Tiwary almost got into a physical fight during their Ranji Trophy match recently. After Tiwary claimed that the Gambhir had made racist comments about Bengali community and Sourav Ganguly, the former India captain, the left-hander has come out with his version.
Gambhir praised Ganguly for helping him during his international career and said it was "unfortunate" that his name was dragged into the controversy by Tiwary.
Here is the full statement of Gambhir
"On Sunday, Manoj Tiwary stooped to a new low by claiming that I made racist remarks about Bengali community and my favourite India captain and one of the best cricketers I have played under, Mr Sourav Ganguly, whom I fondly call Dada. Let me categorically state here that these allegations are baseless and Tiwary's way of sensationalising things through his figment of imagination.
First of all, I am a proud Indian who respects all religions, communities and sexes. Then, ever since I have had the honour of leading Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, I have been humbled by the love and affection showered on my team and me by Bengali community. I have said in numerous interviews that Bengal is my second home and the support of the fans is the biggest X factor for KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders). I can't thank them enough for helping us win IPL (Indian Premier League) title twice.
Dada (Sourav Ganguly) taught India to play aggressive brand of cricket and modelled the team to win outside India. His contribution to Indian cricket is unparalleled. Personally, I made my India debut under Dada's leadership and can never forget the way he eased me into the team dressing room. Besides, I have picked up a lot of things from Dada's leadership ways and put them in practice for KKR. It is unfortunate that Dadas name was dragged in by Tiwary, perhaps to gain cheap publicity.
Media reports also attributed Tiwary claiming that I was fined 70 per cent and he 40 as I was the prime offender. This is far from truth. I was fined more because this was my second offence in consecutive games (I was fined 10 per cent for showing dissent against umpires decision in the last game against Haryana). It had nothing to do with the nature of the offence, something that can be verified by the BCCI match referee.
I'd also like to question why didn't Tiwary bring this up yesterday? In the end I'd like to wish sanity in life for Tiwary and being his senior would like to advise that he should concentrate on his game rather than making sensational claims."