Gavaskar always had the air of confidence, setting him apart from the rest: Vengsarkar

Throwback photograph of the great Sunil Gavaskar. Source (X)

In honour of one of cricket’s most iconic figures, Sunil Manohar Gavaskar, who turns 75 today, we reflect on the legacy of a man who redefined Indian and Mumbai cricket. Born on July 10, 1949, in Mumbai, Gavaskar’s journey from the bustling streets of Mumbai to the hallowed grounds of international cricket is a tale of talent, determination, and unyielding passion.

Affectionately known as “Sunny” or “Little Master,” Gavaskar is highly regarded for his exceptional batting skills and his significant impact on Indian cricket’s global standing. With a career spanning from 1971 to 1987, Gavaskar set numerous records, including being the first player to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket.  His technique, temperament, and sheer grit against the world’s most formidable bowlers established him as a cornerstone of Indian cricket and an inspiration to countless aspiring cricketers.

RevSportz caught up with another cricketing great, Dilip Vengsarkar, who has witnessed Gavaskar’s journey up close. He shared his thoughts on the occasion of Gavaskar’s 75th birthday and the profound impact Mr. Gavaskar has had on Mumbai cricket specifically. Vengsarkar reminisced about Gavaskar’s early days and the dedication he brought to the game. “Sunil was always a pioneer, both in technique and temperament. His approach to the game set a benchmark not just for Mumbai cricketers but for the entire nation. His meticulous preparation and unwavering focus were lessons to all aspiring cricketers back in those days.”

Vengsarkar also remembered the early playing days stating “ We used to watch him play at Dadar Union, and even then, you could see his extraordinary talent and determination. Watching Sunil dominate the local matches was a spectacle. He always had this air of confidence and focus, which set him apart from the rest.

“Being a great player is one part of it but ensuring you look to take others up with you as well is a rare quality and Gavaskar possessed that according to Vengsarkar. Vengsarkar highlighted Gavaskar’s mentorship, saying, “Sunil was very considerate and mentored the youngsters in the Mumbai circuit extremely well. He always made time for them, offering invaluable advice and motivating them to achieve their best. His encouragement and guidance have played a crucial role in shaping many careers, and his influence extends beyond his achievements on the field.”

He continued, “Gavaskar’s contributions to Mumbai cricket are immeasurable. He instilled a sense of pride and professionalism that was previously unseen. His records and achievements set the benchmark for every young cricketer in the city, especially at a time when the sport wasn’t as prominent. More than just a player, he is an  inspiration.” Vengsarkar concluded with heartfelt wishes for the maestro, saying, “I wish him all the success and happiness in his life. I’m confident he will reach the milestone of his 100th birthday, just as he rarely got out in the 90s during his cricketing career.”