Dubai: Legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar, who has been chosen for Indian cricket’s biggest honour — the C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement award — was honoured at a colourful function organised by Danube at the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel on Thursday evening.
Gavaskar, who is the building material company’s brand ambassador, enthralled the audience who attended ‘An evening with Gavaskar’ function with stories of incidents from his career — including an incident when he met Australian legend Sir Donald Bradman for the first time in 1971.
“Zaheer Abbas and I were part of the Rest of the World team that played Australia. We got off at the tarmac at Adelaide and our team led by Gary Sobers was welcomed by none other than Sir Donald Bradman, who had personally selected the Rest of the World team,” Gavaskar recalled.
“Except for Sobers, who had played for South Australia, none of us had met Bradman so we were all very keen to meet up with him. When Bradman came near us, Abbas and I stood on either side of him and Rohan Kanhai, who was part of our team, saw that and told Sobers loudly ‘please look there and you can see the Karachi Bradman, the Mumbai Bradman and the real Bradman’.”
Gavaskar also narrated an incident from his experience as a film actor in the Marathi movie Maalamaal. “I was playing myself in the film and, to be honest, that was far more difficult because I did not know myself except for playing a few shots. What was scary was in one of the scenes I had to land in a helicopter at the Parsi Gymkhana ground bang opposite the Indian Ocean.
“So when the helicopter was flying over the ocean, the helicopter shook a bit for a second. This was before the 1987 World Cup and the way it shook I thought that India would have to look for another opener.”
These instances emerged during the course of a question and answer session conducted by Anis Sajan, the Managing Director of Danube.
Members of the audience where given prizes for knowing Gavaskar’s birthday and his only wicket in Test cricket, which was that of Abbas. However, Gavaskar followed up by asking which was his only One Day International wicket — and after everyone failed he revealed that it was also Pakistan great, Abbas.