Srinivasan: 'Indian cricket got noticed after emergence of Gavaskar'

There could be debates on what was the turning point for Indian cricket, but former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, N. Srinivasan, believes that Sunil Gavaskar's arrival changed the dynamics of cricket in India.

Former BCCI president and managing director of India Cements, N. Srinivasan, at an award ceremony in Chennai on Friday.   -  PTI

There could be debates on what was the turning point for Indian cricket, but former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, N. Srinivasan, believes that Sunil Gavaskar's arrival changed the dynamics of cricket in India.

Speaking at the TAKE Award ceremony for Indian golfers, Srinivasan admitted that there was a time when nobody took Indian cricket seriously. “There was a time when no foreign teams would come to India. Australia was not interested in coming to India. Even when Australia and England came on those days, they would not get the first team. Len Hutton did not visit India, Don Bradman did not come to India. There was no respect for Indian cricket,” Srinivasan said.

But things changed over the time. “The turning point was the coming of Gavaskar. He was the first person who said we can play fast bowlers. From there, all other talents developed, slowly, slowly, till the 1983 World Cup win. Now suddenly you have a flush,” the former BCCI chief stated.

Having seen Indian cricket from close quarters, he said the Indian team was now respected all over the world. “The Indian team is now respected in all conditions, even South Africa being one of them. They landed only two days before this time, their planning was wrong. But they recovered by the third Test. It took India 80-90 years to reach this stage,” Srinivasan said.

An ardent golf enthusiast, Srinivasan believed Indian golf would grow in another 10 years. “In golf, our golfers are playing well outside. Support will come. That is not far away. There will be challenge, and it would also take a little time. Ten years from now, you’ll see things have changed completely.”

Drawing reference to erstwhile India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s rise, Srinivasan said: “In such a large country, there are so many talents. You might bring them to the fore. Who heard of Mahendra Singh Dhoni? He was in Jharkhand, only when cricket went to districts he came up. Otherwise, where was he? We would not even have discovered him. Talent is there, it will come. Next few years, you will see golf occupying top spot.”