Like the calypsonian sang, Sunil Gavaskar was the real master!
Lovely day for cricket. Blue skies and gentle breeze
Sunil Gavaskar with grandson Vivaan at Cricket Club of India where the batting legend was felicitated on Sunday. Pic/SURESH KARKERA
"A Lovely day for cricket. Blue skies and gentle breeze …" The opening lines in Lord Relator's calypso on Sunil Gavaskar held true at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
Later in the evening, the words "Gavaskar, the real master" which form the meat of the calypso, sat well with Gavaskar's acceptance speech after he was conferred a lifetime achievement award by the Sports Journalists' Association of Mumbai (SJAM) at the Cricket Club of India. Relator's calypso was played out before the curtains opened on the function.
Gavaskar had his run-ins with the media in his playing days, but he was appreciative of their efforts in the game's promotion. He remembered his first newspaper clipping when he was mentioned as G Sunil for his unbeaten 30 while representing St Xavier's school.
The SJAM is celebrating its half century and it's 50 years since Gavaskar played his maiden first-class match. Members of Gavaskar's family were in attendance at the CK Nayudu Hall.
His childhood friends too, among them, Milind Rege who recalled how his friends and he tried everything to get young Gavaskar out in their Grant Road gully games. Son Rohan — eloquent and emotional — admitted that he had to say there was no pressure whenever someone asked him about the cricketing burden he carried being the son of a cricket legend. But there was no pressure from his iconic dad. That 'papa' is a very caring grandfather was also revealed by Rohan, who credited him for always remembering to wish his grandchildren — Reha (11) and Vivaan (6) on their birthdays.
Guts and Gavaskar went hand in hand and Rohan provided an apt example of his bravado when 'papa' stopped a hate mob from attacking a family at Worli Sea Face during the 1993 riots. The family emerged unhurt when Gavaskar challenged the mob to do to him what they wanted to do to the innocent ones.
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