'He secretly encouraged me' - Sunil Gavaskar on why he kept his son's name after West Indies great Rohan Kanhai

‘He secretly encouraged me’ – Sunil Gavaskar on why he kept his son’s name after West Indies great Rohan Kanhai

Gavaskar also claimed that Kanhai used to encourage him while batting in his debut series as well.

Sunil Gavaskar and Rohan Kanhai
Sunil Gavaskar and Rohan Kanhai. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Rohan Kanhai, the Indian-origin cricketer, played 79 Tests and 7 ODIs for the West Indies during his 17-year career. He is still regarded as one of the legendary players to have graced the game and went on to amass 6227 runs in his Test career scoring 15 centuries and 28 half-centuries. Apart from his batsmanship, Rohan was also an inspiration to the former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and the latter has praised him highly for the same.

Moreover, Gavaskar also revealed that he kept his son’s name Rohan after getting inspired by Kanhai only. He stated that the former West Indies captain used to secretly him while batting to score a 100. He also threw light on the race issues within the West Indies between African origin and Indian origin people.

“Apart from his batsmanship, (why I respected Rohan Kanhai so much was because of) how he secretly encouraged me. There’s always been this issue between African-origin people and Indian-origin people in Trinidad, Guyana. Off the field, he (Kanhai) was one of the nicest guys I ever met. Naming my son after him was a no-brainer,” Sunil Gavaskar said while speaking in a recent episode of 22 Yarns with Gaurav Kapur when asked about naming his son after Rohan Kanhai.

Sunil Gavaskar reveals Kanhai used to whisper in his ears while batting

Sunil Gavaskar reminisced his debut series against the West Indies in 1971 when Rohan Kanhai used to whisper in his ears asking if he doesn’t want to score a century after playing a bad shot. Interestingly, Gavaskar went on to slam three centuries and a double century in the series as India defeated the Caribbeans for the first time winning the contest 1-0.

“In my debut series, if I played a bad shot when crossing over me to go to the slips for the next over, if he was not within earshot of the wicketkeeper, he would whisper in my ear: ‘Concentrate! Don’t you want a 100? What’s the matter with you? He’s in the opposition, he’s not swearing at me, he actually wants me to get a 100. Unbelievable!” the 70-year-old further added.