'Completing 10,000 runs was like climbing Mt Everest' - Sunil Gavaskar revisits historic knock

"I was very keen to get it done fast. It was getting to me, everybody meeting me going 10,000, 10,000 – so I am really happy that’s past now," Gavaskar said.

Sunil Gavaskar
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Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo by David Munden/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

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England batter Joe Root reached the milestone of 10,000 Test runs on June 5 (Sunday), against New Zealand at Lord’s. He became the 14th player to achieve the feat. Former India batter Sunil Gavaskar, the first player to achieve the landmark, called it “magical” and compared it to climbing Mount Everest.

Gavaskar, in his innings where he got to his 10,000th Test run, needed 57 runs at the start to get to the milestone. He said that he did not use to look at the scorecard, but when he received applause from the Ahmedabad crowd after reaching his half-century with a single, he realised that he needed seven more runs to get to the historic landmark. Once he completed 10,000 runs, he said that it was magical because it had never been achieved before.

‘It was a slightly dazed feeling’ – Sunil Gavaskar on achieving the landmark

Revisiting his historic knock in 1987, Gavaskar told how the then India captain Kapil Dev arranged champagne with a “special” permission to celebrate the achievement. He joked about how it is unlikely today that the support staff and sports nutritionist would let players sip champagne in the middle of a Test match.

Although Gavaskar also was the first batter to go past 9,000 runs in Tests, he said that reaching the five figures was special and relieving. Gavaskar also became the first player to score 30 centuries in Tests. He played 125 Tests and finished with 10,122 runs and 34 hundreds at an average of 51.12. He was also part of the India team that lifted the World Cup in 1983 in England.

“I knew that I needed 57 runs. I normally don’t look at the scoreboard. But once you reach a 50, you get an applause. At that stage you realise,” said Gavaskar in an interaction with The Indian Express.

“10,000 is a five-digit number, so it was almost like climbing Mt Everest for the first time. I was very keen to get it done fast. It was getting to me, everybody meeting me going 10,000, 10,000 – so I am really happy that’s past now.”

“The thing I remember most is that we were in Ahmedabad. And it’s a dry place. But Kapil somehow managed to get some champagne! That was amazing. He was the captain, and he organized, with special permission of course, to get some champagne. I am not too sure whether today’s support staff and sports nutritionists would allow us to have even a sip of champagne in the middle of a Test match,” he added.