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Sunil Gavaskar: From batting legend to BCCI boss

Last updated on: March 28, 2014 17:34 IST

Sunil Gavaskar: From batting legend to BCCI boss

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The Supreme Court, on Friday, decided that former India batting great Sunil Gavaskar would take over as interim president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India till the completion of the seventh season of the Indian Premier League.

The batting legend had, on Thursday, said he would be happy to adhere to the Supreme Court's directive and take over from N Srinivasan, as interim BCCI president.

Rediff.com takes you through Gavaskar's career, from a gutsy cricketer to the position of BCCI chief....

The Little Master enjoyed a great career for 17 years. Opening the batting for India in his debut against the might West Indies' bowling attack, the 21-year-old showed promise and guts.

He fearlessly attacked the trio of Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall.

He scored 65 and 67 not out on his Test debut at Port of Spain in 1971, and went on to score 116 & 64 not out in the next match at Georgetown, followed by 1 & 117 not out at Bridgetown.

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Image: Sunil Gavasakar dances with Indian performers at the countdown to the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup on Queen's Wharf in Auckland in New Zealand on February 13
Photographs: Jason Oxenham/Getty Images
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Sunil Gavaskar: From batting legend to BCCI boss

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Gavaskar successfully dealt with some of the most feared names in the field of fast bowling, like John Snow, Bob Willis, Jeff Thomson, Imran Khan, Richard Hadlee, Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts and, of course, Holding.

His 774 runs in four Tests in his debut series against the West Indies in 1971 is still a Test record by a debutant.

His unbeaten 236 against the West Indies at Madras in 1983 still stands as one of the most memorable innings by an Indian in Tests.

Interestingly, it was his only three-figure score of his Test career in the middle-order position -- he batted at number four.

In the final Test at Port of Spain he finished the series with scores of 124 and 220.

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Image: Sunil Gavaskar
Photographs: Adrian Murrell/Allsport/Getty Images

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Sunil Gavaskar: From batting legend to BCCI boss

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Among his other great achievements stands the fact that he was the first batsman in Test history to reach 9000 runs and 10000 runs. He has 34 hundreds, including four double, to his name.

Another noteworthy performance was when he became the only Indian batsman to carry his bat throughout an innings in Tests during his unbeaten 127 against Pakistan at Faisalabad in 1982-83.

He captained India in 47 Test matches and by the time he quit the game, he had a plethora of records to his credit -- most matches (125), most consecutive matches (106), most runs (10122), most hundreds (34), most scores of 50 or more (79) and most hundred partnerships (58).

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Image: ICC World XI chairman of selectors Sunil Gavaskar poses for a photograph in the lead up to the Johnnie Walker Super Series at Crown Tower on September 29, 2005 in Melbourne, Australia
Photographs: Kristian Dowling/Getty Images

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Sunil Gavaskar: From batting legend to BCCI boss

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Although he has scored only one ODI hundred, which came in his penultimate match (his 107th) of his ODI career, he did achieve it in style.

During the 1987 World Cup against New Zealand at Nagpur he blasted an unbeaten 103 in just 88 balls, which included three sixes and 10 fours, reaching his 100 off just 85 balls!.

He finished his ODI career with a fairly decent career strike-rate of 62.28 runs per 100 balls.

He led India in two ODI tournament victories - the inaugural Asia Cup at Sharjah in April, 1984 and in the World Championships of Cricket in Australia in March, 1985.

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Image: Sunil Gavaskar
Photographs: Jason Oxenham/Getty Images

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Sunil Gavaskar: From batting legend to BCCI boss

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Someone who doesn’t shy away from a contest, Gavaskar tasted  a fair share of controversies during and after his career.

In a One-dayer against England in 1975, he opened the batting and scored just 36 not out off 174 balls (scoring just one four). Replying to England's 334 from 60 overs, India managed only 132 for 3 from the 60 overs.

It was alleged that Gavaskar deliberately performed poorly in that match as he was annoyed by the promotion of Srinivas Venkataraghavan to captaincy.

He later claimed that he simply could not adjust to the pace of the game.

In 2000, he became chairman of the ICC cricket committee, which is an honorary position. However his stint with cricket’s parent body was forcefully ended after eight years.

His dual role as the ICC chairman and television commentator did not go well with ICC officials, and in 2008 he was told by then ICC CEO Malcolm Speed, in a meeting in Dubai, to choose between commenting and being on the committee.

He left the committee to continue his career as a broadcaster.

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Image: Former BCCI president N Srinivasan presents Sunil Gavaskar a momento
Photographs: BCCI

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He has also been criticised in the past for supporting changes in rules that favour batsmen.

Also, his role as chief selector for the ICC World XI came under criticism due to some controversial selections, which resulted in one-sided matches against the ICC World champions, Australia.

The legend also served Indian cricket in the capacity of team advisor during Australia's tour to India in 2004.

After the many honours he received on the field through, Gavaskar was bestowed with the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.


Image: Sunil Gavaskar
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani

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