CRICKETERS OF INDIA – SUNIL MANOHAR GAVASKAR
INDIAN CRICKETER – SUNIL GAVASKAR
Sunil Manohar “Sunny” Gavaskar (born 10 July 1949) is a former cricketer who played during the 1970s and 1980s for Bombay and India. Widely regarded as one of the greatest opening batsmen in cricket history, Gavaskar set world records during his career for the most Test runs and most Test centuries scored by any batsman. He held the record of 34 Test centuries for almost two decades before it was broken by Sachin Tendulkar in December 2005. Gavaskar was widely admired for his technique against fast bowling, with a particularly high average of 65.45 against the West Indies, who possessed a four-pronged fast bowling attack regarded as the most vicious in Test history. His captaincy of the Indian team, however, was less successful. The team at one stage went 31 Test matches without a victory. Turbulent performances of the team led to multiple exchanges of captaincy between Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, with one of Gavaskar’s sackings coming just six months before Kapil led India to victory at the 1983 Cricket World Cup.
Growing up in Mumbai, Gavaskar was named India’s Best Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in 1966. After scoring 246*, 222 and 85 in school cricket in his final year of secondary education, before striking a century against the touring London schoolboys. He made his first-class debut for Vazir Sultan Colts XI against an XI from Dungarpur, in 1966/67, but remained in Bombay’s Ranji Trophy squad for two further years without playing a match. He is the first batsman to score 10,000 runs. Gavaskar was also a fine slip fielder and his safe catching in the slips helped him become the first Indian (excluding wicket-keepers) to take over a hundred catches in Test matches. In one ODI against Pakistan in Sharjah in 1985, he took four catches and helped India defend a small total of 125.
Gavaskar has also been awarded the Padma Bhushan. In December 1994 he was appointed the Sheriff of Mumbai, an honorary post, for a year. After retirement, he has been a popular, if sometimes controversial commentator, both on TV and in print. He has written four books on cricket – Sunny Days (autobiography), Idols, Runs n’ Ruins and One Day Wonders. He also served as an advisor to the India national cricket team during the home series against Australia in 2004. He was the Chairman of the ICC cricket committee until the time he was forced to choose between commenting and being on the committee. He left the committee to continue his career as a broadcaster. His son Rohan is also a cricketer who plays at the national level in the Ranji Trophy. He has played some One Day Internationals for India, but could not cement his spot in the team. The Border-Gavaskar Trophy has been instituted in his (co-)honour. Gavaskar also tried his hand at acting on the silver screen. He played the lead role in the Marathi movie “Premachi Saavli”. The movie did not receive much appreciation though. After many years he appeared in a guest role in a Hindi movie “Maalamal”. He has sung a Marathi song “Ya Duniyemadhye Thambayaala Vel Konala” which was written by noted Marathi lyricist Shantaram Nandgaonkar. The song depicted the similarities between a cricket match and real life. It had become popular.