Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar was formally inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on Wednesday in Dubai when he received his commemorative cap from fellow Hall of Famer and team-mate Kapil Dev.
Gavaskar is one of the initial 55 inductees in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame which was launched in January 2009 in association with the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) as part of the ICC’s Centenary Year. He now joins a Hall of Fame* that includes 72 male and female cricketers.
In the presence of ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat and former Pakistan captains Aamir Sohail, Ramiz Raja and Waqar Younis, Gavaskar accepted the cap from Dev in front of a select gathering.
One of the game’s greatest opening batsmen, Gavaskar represented India in 125 Test matches, captaining in 47 of those games, and also played in 108 ODIs. During an illustrious 16-year career, which spanned from 1971 to 1987, the 62-year-old scored 10,122 Test runs at an average of 51.12. He also scored 3,092 ODI runs with his only century coming in the ICC Cricket World Cup 1987 against New Zealand in Nagpur.
He was also a member of the India squad that won the ICC Cricket World Cup 1983 in England, defeating the West Indies by 43 runs.
Gavaskar was recognised, acknowledged and admired for his wonderful batting technique and great powers of concentration. He stamped his mark and authority in international cricket on his every first tour of the West Indies in 1970-71 when he scored 774 runs at an average of 154.80 runs against a bowling attack that included fellow Hall of Famers Lance Gibbs and Garfield Sobers, as well as Keith Boyce and Vanburn Holder.
Gavaskar is also the first Test batsman to complete 10,000 runs and also the first to score 30 Test centuries, achieving the feat against Pakistan during the 1986-87 Test series and against the West Indies in Chennai during the 1983-84 Test series, respectively.
Gavaskar was delighted to receive the cap: “It is a huge honour because it is the peers in the game who decide who is going to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. It has taken some time to co-ordinate the presentation but finally it is there and I am delighted that I have been inducted.
“This means that you are in select company and, therefore, it becomes all the more special. To be an original inductee is an even bigger honour.”
Gavaskar was thrilled to receive the cap from Dev who was his captain at the ICC Cricket World Cup 1983: “Kapil is somebody who I consider as the greatest Indian cricketer and to receive this cap from him is a real big plus, a real big honour.
“Kapil and I have had some wonderful times playing in the Indian team. Being part of the World Cup winning squad is a memory that will always stay with me. Kapil lifting the Cup at Lord’s is something that I will always treasure and, therefore, to receive the cap from him makes this occasion even more special.”
One of the three India inductees in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, Dev, was also happy to present the cap to Gavaskar: “It is a proud moment to be in the same group where Sunil Gavaskar is. In our time, we used to think and even till today we think Sunil is one of the best-ever opening batsman. Sunil was the greatest player in my era and certainly was the best I played with.
“He was the best captain I played under. The team was struggling in those days. We did not have those great players that we have today. But under the circumstances, Sunil was a big influence on the side. He gave us motivation and taught us how to fight.
“It feels great to hand over the cap or award to anyone you admire. I am very happy to have got the honour to be part of this function.”
*ICC Cricket Hall of Fame – initial inductees (55):
Sydney Barnes, Bishan Bedi, Alec Bedser, Richie Benaud, Allan Border, Ian Botham, Geoffrey Boycott, Donald Bradman, Greg Chappell, Ian Chappell, Denis Compton, Colin Cowdrey, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Lance Gibbs, Graham Gooch, David Gower, WG Grace, Tom Graveney, Gordon Greenidge, Richard Hadlee, Walter Hammond, Neil Harvey, George Headley, Jack Hobbs, Michael Holding, Leonard Hutton, Rohan Kanhai, Imran Khan, Alan Knott, Jim Laker, Harold Larwood, Dennis Lillee, Ray Lindwall, Clive Lloyd, Hanif Mohammad, Rodney Marsh, Malcolm Marshall, Peter May, Javed Miandad, Keith Miller, Bill O’Reilly, Graeme Pollock, Wilfred Rhodes, Barry Richards, Vivian Richards, Andy Roberts, Garfield Sobers, Brian Statham, Fred Trueman, Derek Underwood, Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes, Frank Woolley, Frank Worrell.
Herbert Sutcliffe, Steve Waugh, Wasim Akram, Victor Trumper, Clarrie Grimmett.
Rachael Heyhoe Flint, Ken Barrington, Courtney Walsh, Joel Garner.
Belinda Clark, Frederick Spofforth, Curtly Ambrose, Alan Davidson.
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