Former Indian opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar has recalled one of the most interesting incidents from his playing days. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced all cricketers to stay indoors, giving them more than enough time to spend on social media. Staying on the social media has handed them opportunities to engage in conversations with their teammates and recollect some past events.
Needless to say, Sunil Gavaskar was one of the potent openers during his era. The 70-year-old Gavaskar featured in 125 Tests between 1971 and 1987, having scored 10122 runs at an average of 51.12 with the best score of 236 not out. Gavaskar was the first batsman to reach 10000 runs in the format.
Speaking of one of the incidents from his playing days, the Mumbai batsman was forced to wear Ajit Wadeker’s pads to bat. Wadekar, who served as the captain, had injured himself during fielding practice before the toss while Gavaskar was the 12th man.
Being the 12th man, he hadn’t carried gloves or pads in his kit bag, and Sunil Gavaskar came to know that his team were batting first. Having called his mother to bring the pads for him also proved futile. Hence, the emergency situation caused him to wear his teammates’ gear instead.
“I had missed one Ranji game because I was in Sri Lanka and somebody else had got runs so there was no place for me. So on the morning of this match where I was just a 12th man, our captain Ajit Wadekar got injured during fielding practice. This happened before the toss and so I was picked to play in his place,” Gavaskar said as quoted by Hindustan Times.
“These days everyone carries these big kit bags but back then we had a little bag in which we put our shoes and socks and maybe a change. And so I hadn’t carried my pads or gloves and now what to do! So I called my mother up and asked her to please bring my pads. At that stage we didn’t know if we were batting and it later turned out that we were batting first. So then, I used Ajit Wadekar’s pads.” Gavaskar added.
Sunil Gavaskar admits it was not the most comfortable option:
At the same time, the former right-handed batsman accepted that it wasn’t the most amicable choice since he endured challenges while batting. Gavaskar conceded that Wadekar was a southpaw due to which the portion of the pad that secures the front calf wasn’t quite present. Despite that, he was able to muster a ton in that game.
“So the portion of the pad which protects your front calf wasn’t quite there but somehow I managed to get a hundred in that game..” he added.