Sunil Gavaskar is a huge name in Indian cricket. In an India that had not yet dared to dream in terms of its cricketing imagination, Gavaskar was the nation’s batting superstar. Over a decade before Sachin Tendulkar was to hold the cricket bat for the first time, on Gavaskar lay Indian hopes and more often than not, he was India’s best bet against hostile fast bowling of the top quality in an era of uncovered pitches.
It wasn’t a surprise then that he shattered several world records. Not only had he ended up as the leading run-getter in the longest format- accumulating 10,122 runs in 125 Test matches but he even had the most number of hundreds when he was done from the game, crossing the three-figure mark as many as 34 times in his career.
However other than his cricketing achievements alone, his biggest gift to the sport would be how he inspired the next generation of cricketers to represent India at the highest level and shine with the bat. Later legends like Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid admitted that the legendary Gavaskar was their growing-up hero.
And once in a stunning revelation, the 72-year-old said that he had in fact never announced retirement from cricket. While his last international appearance came way back in 1987 when he played an ODI against England in Mumbai and it was popularly believed that he decided to retire after that, the truth it seems, differed.
I didn’t announce my retirement: Sunil Gavaskar
“No, I didn’t announce my retirement. I was asked by an English reporter in a press conference how important it was to score a century at Lord’s when I was unbeaten around 80-85. I told him that ‘since it was my last match, I would love to score a hundred, the venue didn’t matter at all’,” Gavaskar had said on this episode which premiered on YouTube on March 5, 2021.
Well, if that makes Gavaskar an active cricketer, who knows he might still have it in him to score with a few Indian batters struggling for form in Test match cricket. With opener’s slot more or less booked, Gavaskar might have to adjust in the middle order and he won’t quite mind that as a double hundred at number 4 against the mighty West Indies suggests.
Currently, the former India skipper is part of the broadcast team covering India’s tour of South Africa.