Manchester: India's cricket legend and former captain Sunil Gavaskar had a miraculous escape in a road accident while traveling from Manchester to London on Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of the fourth Test in Manchester which India lost by an innings and 54 runs.
Sunil Gavaskar in a car. Pic for representation only
The great opening batsman, who is commentating in the ongoing India-England Pataudi Trophy series, saw his driver suddenly swerve to the right in an unsuccessful bid to avoid a collision with another vehicle that came zooming towards their Jaguar.
Gavaskar was seated on the left side of the back seat with his London-based friend Chandresh Patel to his right. English commentator Mark Nicholas, who was reading a newspaper, was seated in the front beside the driver.
It was raining heavily and Gavaskar had cautioned the driver of their car to be careful. No sooner had he finished instructing him than he yelled 'oops' on seeing a car approaching them.
Acting on instinct, the driver swerved to the right and the impact of the collision ended up seriously damaging the Jaguar. The vehicle coming from the opposite side hit Gavaskar's car on the very side he was seated.
A couple of minutes before the accident occurred, Gavaskar sent his wife Marshniel a text message that they were on the highway and he would be reaching soon. She was waiting for him at their flat in London.
Speaking to mid-day after reaching London, a mighty relieved Gavaskar said: "My God! God has saved us. There was torrential rain and our car was being driven very fast. Thankfully, no one was hurt although the accident was very, very scary."
The occupants of the Jaguar were forced to abandon it. They walked up to East Midland Parkway railway station from where they boarded a train to London. When mid-day spoke to him on Monday morning, Gavaskar sounded calm, but admitted that every time his mind went back to Sunday afternoon's incident he was frightened. Once again, he was grateful that no one suffered any injury.
Gavaskar has been been a regular in England since 1971 when he was part of Ajit Wadekar's team which beat England in a series on their home soil for the first time since 1932.