The first superstar of Indian cricket and an opener par excellence, Sunil Gavaskar celebrates his 70th birthday Wednesday.
Born 10 July 1949, Gavaskar set plenty of world records during his career. Most Test runs and most Test centuries scored by any batsman were the two main records held by him for quite some time. The record of 34 Test centuries was intact for almost two decades but later it was broken by another Mumbai legend Sachin Tendulkar in December 2005.
Apart from this Gavaskar’s many achievements
Sunil Gavaskar, the first man to score 10,000 runs in Tests. He has been named as the beneficiary of the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award by BCCI in 2012.
Referred to as “Cricket’s Napoleon”, Sunil Gavaskar has been an inspiration for many cricketers — including Sachin Tendulkar — urging them to be as courageous and enthusiastic about the game.
He is the joint holder of the record for scoring centuries in the both innings of a Test match on three separate events alongside former Australia captain and legendary Ricky Ponting.
He was additionally awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1980.
The trophy named Border-Gavaskar Trophy is named after him and his contemporary, former Aussie skipper Allan Border.
Controversies between Sunil-Kapil:
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar has explained that the generally announced and accepted hypothesis of him assuming a key role in dropping Kapil Dev for the fourth Test against England at the Eden Gardens in December 1984 isn’t right and he had no job in cutting out of the all-rounder despite being the captain of the side. India eventually lost the series 1-2.
What Kapil did to get dropped?
Kapil had been rejected while attempting to play an over-ambitious stroke off Pat Pocock on Day Five of the third Test at Feroze Shah Kotla in Delhi, when the hosts were battling to save the Test. India proceeded to lose that Test and the outcome permitted England to have a fairytale series.
In a move aimed at disciplining the all-rounder for playing that stroke, the selectors dropped Kapil for the next Test at the Eden Gardens. It was accepted then that Gavaskar was dissatisfied with Kapil’s ‘reckless attitude’ and was instrumental in sidelining Kapil. Gavaskar was booed by the Eden supporters and the legendary batsman had said that he would never play at Eden.