Sunil Gavaskar reveals the reason why he was axed as India’s captain
Gavaskar captained India in 47 Tests and 37 ODIs, guiding them to 23 wins.
Updated - Jun 29, 2020 3:13 pm
Sunil Gavaskar, the former Indian cricketer, was once removed as the skipper of the national team. Recalling the incident, the 70-year-old reckons that it could be because he signed a deal to play in Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket. Interesting, it was after India beat the West Indies 1-0 in the six-match Test series that Gavaskar was removed and S Venkataraghvan was made the captain.
In that series, Gavaskar was the leading run-scorer, notching 732 runs at an average of 91.50 to go with four centuries and one half-century. Quite expectantly, he was taken aback after he was sidelined following the impressive performance.
I signed the BCCI contract before the selection: Sunil Gavaskar
“I was replaced as captain despite India winning the series against the West Indies (1978-79) and in which I got more than 700 runs. I still don’t know the reason for it, but can only surmise that it was because I had been pretty open about the offer to join Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for mid-day.
“However, I signed the BCCI contract before the selection, thereby proving where my loyalties lay,” Gavaskar, who played 125 Tests and 108 ODIs, mentioned.
Gavaskar also talked about how he tried to urge the selectors to persist with skipper Bishen Singh Bedi, who led in the tour of Pakistan. The veteran quipped that he couldn’t change the selectors’ mind about picking Rajinder Goel or Padmakar Shivalkar for Team India.
“The committee decided to drop Mr BS Bedi after three Test matches. They wanted to drop him straightaway after I replaced him as skipper after the series loss in Pakistan. I argued that he was still the best left-arm spinner in the country and so they reluctantly agreed to pick him for the first Test,” Gavaskar added.
As far as captaincy is concerned, Gavaskar had his difficulties in Test cricket. In 47 Tests, he could only guide India to nine victories, seven of which came in home conditions. In ODI cricket, Gavaskar captained the team in 37 games, leading them to triumphs in 14 games. He signed off with five wins on the trot. Gavaskar also boasted of over 13,000 runs at the highest level.