Michael Vaughan may have done V.V.S. grave injustice but he has given the Vaseline company a shot in the arm as far as advertising and marketing is concerned.
The former England captain made a rather unkind joke on the Indian batsman when he suggested that it could be Vaseline applied on Laxman’s bat that helped the non detection of the edge that England claimed coming off Laxman’s bat off James Anderson’s bowling in the second Test of the India England series at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.
That remark set off a serious of controversies and debates not only about Hot Spot, the technology used as part of the Umpire Decision Review System ( UDRS), but also, of what prompted Michael Vaughan to make such a remark and if he himself had insight of how to beat the system. Naturally while Vaughan played it down as a joke, even as Stuart Broad brashly claimed to check Laxman’s bat, there is no denying that had the shoe been on the other foot, it would have opened a whole new hospitality concern from the England contigent.
England are no strangers when it comes to controversies involving Vaseline. John Lever was accused of using Vaseline to affect the movement of the ball by Bishen Singh Bedi during the 1970’s although Lever did recently comment on the controversy that Vaughan ignited by stating that using Vaseline would constitute going against the spirit of cricket. More than four decades ago, he was accused of a similar allegation although he still states that the Vaseline was used on the face and the eyebrows to keep off the sweat and not for purposes of ball tampering.
Vaseline, however, was woken up a little late in the debate to use it to their advantage. With the Indian cricketers seething under their breath but refusing to make it an issue that would spin out of proportion, Vaseline could have sprung a little faster to add spice to the debate. The owners of Hot Spot, BBG Sports, were quick to jump at the allegation and even conducted tests to ascertain that Vaughan’s claims held no water whatsoever. While Hot Spot is said not to be influenced by Vaseline, Vaseline is hoping that the controversy will help put them in the spotlight.
That certainly seems to be case as they took out newspaper advertisements while simply state that Vaseline has several used but the cricket bat is not one of them. The badge displaying the icon to the effect has become another appendage for Facebook users interested in joining Vaseline in the campaign against the slur.
While Vaseline has seen the opportunity to garner mileage from the controversy, particularly since the slur is against a reputed Indian cricketer without basis, fuelling the passionate anger of the billion strong followers, it would seem to be a case of a little too late. Both teams have since moved past the issue, although Laxman is yet to give his full version of how he interprets the situation and allegation. The cricket fans appear more concerned about the state of affairs with regard to the Indian cricket team and their position as the no.1 Test team rather than worry about the off the cuff remark from a former captain who seems to have plenty of time on his hands.
Why not apply some Vaseline, Vaughan? That should keep the hands off the keypad for a while and prevent some more unpleasantness. Vaseline does have other purposes. Surely, Vaughan can see the humour in it all.