Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar: PTI

Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar recalled the 1971 debut series against the West Indies when the legendary Rohan Kanhai uttered a few words. He was greatly inspired by these words of Rohan Kanhai and later named his son on his name.

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Gavaskar told about that anecdote that when he was going towards his century, he played a bad shot. Then Kanhai came to him and instead of sledding, he wanted me to score a hundred. Sunil Gavaskar revealed this on Gaurav Kapoor’s show, “22 Yarns”. Gavaskar told,

In my debut series, if I played a bad shot when crossing over me to go to the slips for the next over, if he was not within earshot of the wicketkeeper, he would whisper in my ear: ‘Concentrate! Don’t you want a 100? What’s the matter with you? He’s in the opposition, he’s not swearing at me, he actually wants me to get a 100. Unbelievable!”

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Inspired by this West Indies wicketkeeper-batsman, Gavaskar named his son Rohan Gavaskar. Gavaskar said,

“Apart from his batsmanship, (why I respected Rohan Kanhai so much was because of) how he secretly encouraged me.

There’s always been this issue between African-origin people and Indian-origin people in Trinidad, Guyana. Off the field, he (Kanhai) was one of the nicest guys I ever met. Naming my son after him was a no-brainer,”

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Between 1971 and 1987, Sunil Gavaskar scored 10,122 runs in 125 Tests for India at an average of 51.12. He also played 108 ODIs, scoring 3092 runs at an average of 35.13. Sunil Gavaskar captained 53 Test matches for India.

In a 16-year-long career, Gavaskar holds many records for himself and the country. Gavaskar was the first batsman in the world to complete 10,000 runs in Test cricket and hit more than 30 centuries.