The majority of the times Michael Vaughan gets involved in a disagreement with a cricketer, fellow cricket analyst, or even a fan, things become uglier than they should have been and more often than not, it is the former England captain who’s the one to make the deep cut.
Recently, Vaughan spoke about how he feels New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson would have been a greater cricketer than Virat Kohli, provided he was an Indian cricketer, which, as expected, took the cricketing world by storm.
"If Kane Williamson was Indian, he'd be the greatest player in the world, but he's not because you're not allowed to say that Virat Kohli is not the greatest, because you'd get an absolute pelting on social media,” Vaughan had told Spark Sport last week.
"I think Kane Williamson is up there with the great players across the three formats and he certainly matches Virat Kohli… It's just he doesn't have the 100 million followers on Instagram and doesn't earn the $30-40 million or whatever Virat gets every year for his commercial endorsements,” he added.
While many were busy calling him out for his not so humble opinion, former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt also took his shot at him and called his take on the whole matter “irrelevant”.
"Kohli belongs to a country which has a huge population. Obviously, he would have a bigger fanbase. On top of that, his performance is better too. Virat has 70 international tons at the moment, no other batsman from this era has that many.
"And who has compared the two? Michael Vaughan. He was a brilliant captain for England, but the beauty at which he used to bat, his output wasn't on par. He was a good Test batsman but Vaughan never scored a single century in ODIs. Now, as an opener, if you haven't scored a century, it's not worth discussion. It’s just that he has a knack for saying things that stir up a debate. Besides, people have a lot of time to stretch a topic ... What Vaughan has said is irrelevant," Butt said.
Unfortunately, this was not the end of the debate… far from it.
Vaughan decided to draw the big guns and dug up Butt’s past, an infamous incident of match-fixing charges back in 2010 for which he was banned from playing international cricket for Pakistan for five years.
No idea what the headline is ... but I seen what Salman has said about me ... that’s fine and he is allowed his opinion but I wished he had such a clear thought of mind back in 2010 when he was Match fixing !!! https://t.co/EkDWuH7Vi4— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) May 16, 2021
“No idea what the headline is ... but I seen what Salman has said about me ... that’s fine and he is allowed his opinion but I wished he had such a clear thought of mind back in 2010 when he was Match fixing !!!” Vaughan said in a tweet on Sunday.
However, Vaughan critics remember the kind of sympathy Vaughan had shown towards Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft when they were caught in the infamous ‘Sandpaper gate’ during Australia’s tour of South Africa.
“Steve Smith I think is a good guy who made a huge mistake ... He needed punishing but I think this is too harsh ... Bancroft who I don't know was led astray but deserved punishing but again too harshly IMO ... The other guy I really don't care about ..," Vaughan had said back in 2016 when Smith, Bancord and David Warner were found guilty of ball-tampering and were suspended from the Australian side for almost a year.
This pity towards the Australians were called out after Vaughan’s ruthless comment on Butt’s past:May 16, 2021
he's just obsessed with salman cmnt coz it really fired the a** of Michael vaughan that's y he started personal criticism rather and remembering how his team behaved eg. ben stokes drunk and fighting on street...ben stokes and jos butler molesting girl in public with dildo! shame— Sunny More (@ARTHURSCR7) May 16, 2021May 16, 2021
Mr. Vaughan - if you can't handle little banter on twitter than you need to stay away from starting some banter. You said something and salman butt said something, no need to bring in Fixing fiasco in between. You belong to gentleman game behave like one..— Pratik Tantia (@PratikTantia) May 16, 2021