SJAM felicitates Gavaskar with Lifetime Achievement Award

The Gavaskar family including his wife Marshneil and son Rohan, India’s head coach Anil Kumble and batting coach Sanjay Bangar, former India players Chandu Patankar, Nari Contractor, Salim Durani, Kenia Jayantilal, Diana Edulji and others attended the felicitation ceremony.

Sunil Gavaskar Madhav Apte, Ajit Wadekar

Former Indian Cricket Captain Ajit Wadekar (R) and former player Madhav Apte (L) present Golden Jubilee Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 to Sunil Gavaskar at CCI in Mumbai on Sunday.   -  PTI

The Sports Journalists’ Association of Mumbai (SJAM) presented Sunil Gavaskar a caricature-collage capturing the different roles he had played over 50 years, a certificate detailing his 34 Test centuries and a silver salver with a citation on the occasion of him being conferred the Golden Jubilee Lifetime Award 2016. Former India Test opener Madhav Apte and Gavaskar’s first India captain, Ajit Wadekar, presented him the certificates at the C.K. Nayudu Hall, Cricket Club of India on Sunday. Austin Coutinho presented the caricature-collage.

The Gavaskar family including his wife Marshneil and son Rohan, India’s head coach Anil Kumble and batting coach Sanjay Bangar, former India players Chandu Patankar, Nari Contractor, Salim Durani, Kenia Jayantilal, Diana Edulji and many former first class cricketers were present at the felicitation function.

Former Mumbai Ranji Trophy all-rounder Milind Rege who was also Gavaskar's classmate at St. Xavier’s school and college said: "He was not a child prodigy at all. He was like any other cricketer, but what set him apart from the rest was his power of concentration. He has never told us how to bat till date!’’

Rohan touched upon his father being loyal to particular things in life and how he sticks to a particular brand (Nike), although he has ceased to work for it. "I am a Manchester United fan and he doesn’t like me buying a product associated with the English Club. Another one of his characteristics is courage. I have to say about an incident that happened during the 1993 bomb blasts which left a real impact on me. We were standing on our terrace and saw a mob that had cornered a family. We realised that they did not have any good intentions towards the family. Dad immediately went down and confronted mob at the gate. Better sense prevailed and the family was allowed to go its way. It takes a special kind of courage to put your life at risk and confront the hate mob and I guess it takes a special kind of courage to sort of face the kind of bowlers which he did in his career without a helmet. Some may call it insanity, but it needs a special courage to do that.’’

Sunil Gavaskar shared interesting anecdotes from the 1971 tour of the West Indies. He recalled how Gary Sobers would come to the Indian dressing room, enquire about the players’ welfare and touch him so that he would return to form with the bat. "All because I went on to score a century after he dropped me. Gary would say, from tomorrow onwards, I am going to touch you for luck. And it worked,’’ said Gavaskar.