Sunil Manohar Gavaskar Celebrates 60th Birthday At Sathya Sai Baba Ashram – News 2

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar Celebrates 60th Birthday At Sathya Sai Baba Ashram – News 2


‘I’m fortunate to celebrate birthday with Sai Baba’
11 Jul 2009, 0121 hrs IST, Pradeep Vijayakar, TNN

MUMBAI: For those who know Sunil Gavaskar, it didn’t come as a surprise that he celebrated his 60th birthday at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi on Friday. He hasn’t spoken much about Sathya Sai Baba in public but, last year, when he was conferred the honorary doctorate by DY Patil University, he declared: “All this is because of Baba. I know he is around all the time.”

A Gavaskar confidante explained that the Little Master revered Baba because he got inspiration from him to do the right things and keep away from the wrong things, to anticipate the grey areas and steer clear of them, meet the right people and go in the right direction.

A news report from Puttaparti quoted Gavaskar saying, “I am extremely fortunate and happy that I celebrated by birthday here at Puttaparthi at Baba’s Ashram.”

Gavaskar also said he missed his fans on the occasion and thanked all of them for their greetings and good wishes. “What attracted me to Puttaparti today was the presence of Baba and his teachings of peace and love,” he added.

Gavaskar once wrote:

“Since the day my mother got the vision of Bhagavan, my family has been a Sai devotee. Like any middle class family, we too believe in God. We have a small Mandir where idols of various Hindu gods are kept and prayers are offered daily. However, in 1970, things changed suddenly. My mother was in the kitchen and there she saw a vision of Swami on the wall.”

Gavaskar related an incident about the Vibhuti (sacred ash).

“We were in Australia and in one of the tour matches, I slipped and tore a thigh muscle. The local state team’s physiotherapist examined me and announced that it would take about three weeks of therapy and one more week of training before I would be able to play again.

With the first Test due to start in just over a week’s time, this was a huge blow. As soon as this news reached my family, they sent me packets of Swami’s Vibhuti. These arrived just three days before the D-day. Despite regular physiotherapy, the improvement had been marginal. However, after I started applying Vibhuti, there was marked improvement. On the morning of the match, as I stepped onto the ground for my fitness test, I realised that the stiffness was gone. I went on to play the Test.”

Times Of India Reference


Gavaskar celebrates 60th birthday amid pouring tributes

New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Manohar Gavaskar turned 60 Friday and spent the day at the Satya Sai Baba ashram in Puttaparthi near Bangalore.
The little master was accompanied by his family members, including brother-in-law Gundappa Viswanath with whom he has shared many Indian innings.

Gavaskar burst onto the international scene in the away series against West Indies in 1971, aggregating 774 runs in four Tests. That saw the beginning of a sparkling career as he went on to become the first player to cross the milestone of 10,000 runs in Test cricket.

Indian media Friday was full of glowing tributes paid to Gavaskar by his contemporaries, some of the greats of the game who played alongside him.

Gavaskar’s huge contribution to the game and especially to Indian cricket was acknowledged by both his colleagues and the current crop of players.

Sachin Tendulkar, who idolized Gavaskar in his growing up days, led in paying the tributes, calling Sunny an “institution” in himself and one who fired the imagination of cricketers not only of his generation but later too.

Tendulkar, who broke Gavaskar’s record of 34 Test centuries, said he was privileged to have shared some great moments with the legend and has learnt many aspects of the game from him in every step of his career.

Former India skipper Ajit Wadekar, who led India to a historic victory against the West Indies in Gavavaskar’s debut series in 1971, recalled how the opener had shown gumption and played a stellar role in the tour.

“Sunny was made of legendary stuff. He is India’s greatest batsman,” Wadekar said.

Gavaskar’s contemporary and another great of the game, Clive Lloyd, too, said the 1971 series heralded the arrival of a star.

“I saw all those runs from a very close quarters. The talent aspect highlighted my first impressions of him. I admired his concentration skills and the ease with which he played,” Llyod said.

“He had so much time to play the ball and that is always a sign of a great player. He made a lot of runs against us and we knew for sure that here is a star for the future.”

Thirteen of Gavaskar’s centuries came against the West Indies’ fearsome pace attack. The audacity the little master showed in facing the fire from the West Indian quickies without a protective headgear made him one of the most admired opening batsman.

“Thirteen hundreds against the West Indies is no mean feat. It was always a challenge to play against him because of his sheer skills,” said Lloyd.

It was against West Indies in the 1983-84 series at home that Gavaskar surpassed Sir Donald Bradman’s record of 29 Test centuries.

Another West Indies great, Rohan Kanhai, said: “I still remember his first tour in the West Indies. He played brilliantly and went on to become one of the greatest Test batsmen.”

Former England captain David Gower said: “You could see the pride in the way he represented India all those years earning the respect of all those who came up against him. He remains one of the shrewdest judges of the game of cricket.”

Gavaskar, the perfect copy-book executioner, scored 10,122 runs from 125 Tests in a career spanning 16 years.

He was part of the 1983 World Cup winning squad and later led India to victory in the World Championship in Australia.

Thai Indian Reference


Legends wish Sunny happy birthday

India’s various cricketing icons wish Sunil Gavaskar on his 60th birthday and share some unforgettable memories.

As one of India’s favourite son, ‘Little Master’ Sunil Gavaskar, turns a milestone today, his former colleagues wish him all the best.

Gundappa Rangnath Viswanath:
We are all celebrating his birthday at Puttaparthi, seeking the blessings of Saibaba. All the family members have gathered here. I personally wish Sunny a very happy birthday. I wish Sunny, who scored many tons in cricket, a complete a century in his real life. He is a true legend. I think the whole life will not be enough to discuss his exploits.

I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to play alongside him. We played top level cricket together for over a decade and a half. It was pure joy to watch Sunny handle the finest of the fast bowlers. I don’t remember if there was any bowler who could really trouble him. He was a truly gifted cricketer.

It is very difficult to single out a particular innings of the great man. But if I were to mention two of his special knocks, I think it would be the hundred he made in Manchester on a grassy wicket and his 221 at Oval when India came nine runs short of making history.

The greatest aspect of Sunny is that even after 22 years of hanging up his boots he continues to be the role model he was. He is the true blue icon. He is highly respected everywhere for the simple reason that he has been a disciplined person all through his life.

Ajit Wadekar:
There was a time when people feared facing the West Indies pace battery. And that was the time when Sunil shattered the myth. His extraordinary batting skills as an opener, who could unnerve the fastest of the lot, Sunil scored most of his centuries against the West Indies. It is not ironical that with 13 centuries against the West Indians he puts to shade the six tons scored by English opener Len Hutton.

I remember, as the captain of the historic squad, we all were praying in the dressing room that Sunil should not score a century on debut.

That was because Indian batsmen were caught in the Test debut jinx till Gundappa Vishwanath came along.

Shivlal Yadav:
It was an honour to play along side a living legend. I remember an innings in Adelaide when I partnered him as a tail-ender and helped India avoid a defeat.

When I look back, I feel it was my good luck that I played with the finest of the cricketers in Sunny and Vishy.

I never had the opportunity to bowl to Sunil Gavaskar, one of my childhood heroes, in big matches. But I remember I bowled to him in some exhibition matches. I think he was the most difficult batsman to get out.

Thank God, I got the chance to play with him and bowl to him.

– As told to Sudeer Mahavaadi

ESPN Star Reference


Gavaskar celebrates 60th birthday in Puttaparthi

Mumbai (PTI): Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar on Friday celebrated his 60th birthday by paying a visit to Sathya Sai Baba at his ashram in Puttaparthi near Bangalore.

Gavaskar was accompanied by his entire family and Gundappa Viswanath, his brother-in-law, on the visit.

The first batsman ever to reach 10,000 runs in the history of cricket, Gavaskar had a distinguished career adorned with many landmarks.

Playing with his bat very close to his pads, Gavaskar was the epitome of copybook batting as he scored 10,122 runs from 125 Tests with a then record of 34 Test tons in an international career spanning 16 years.

The diminutive cricketer-turned-columnist and commentator was also the first batsman to surpass Sir Donald Bradman’s 29 centuries in Tests, an achievement which acquire more significance as it came in the era of tearaway West Indian bowlers.

He and Viswanath were the backbone of the Indian batting line-up when the batsmen were not protected with modern-day protective equipment like helmet and there was also no restriction on number of bumpers that could be bowled in an over.

The Hindu Reference


Gavaskar celebrates 60th b’day in Puttaparthi

Mumbai: Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar today celebrated his 60th birthday by paying a visit to Sathya Sai Baba at his ashram in Puttaparthi near Bangalore.

Gavaskar was accompanied by his entire family and Gundappa Viswanath, his brother-in-law, on the visit.

The first batsman ever to reach 10,000 runs in the history of cricket, Gavaskar had a distinguished career adorned with many landmarks.

Playing with his bat very close to his pads, Gavaskar was the epitome of copybook batting as he scored 10,122 runs from 125 Tests with a then record of 34 Test tons in an international career spanning 16 years.

The diminutive cricketer-turned-columnist and commentator was also the first batsman to surpass Sir Donald Bradman’s 29 centuries in Tests, an achievement which acquire more significance as it came in the era of tearaway West Indian bowlers.

Indopia Reference


Gavaskar celebrates 60th b’day in Puttaparthi

Mumbai, July 10: Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar celebrated his 60th birthday by paying a visit to Satya Sai Baba at his ashram in Puttaparthi near Bangalore.

Gavaskar was accompanied by his entire family and Gundappa Viswanath, his brother-in-law, on the visit.

The first batsman ever to reach 10,000 runs in the history of cricket, Gavaskar had a distinguished career adorned with many landmarks.

Playing with his bat very close to his pads, Gavaskar was the epitome of copybook batting as he scored 10,122 runs from 125 Tests with a then record of 34 Test tons in an international career spanning 16 years.

The diminutive cricketer-turned-columnist and commentator was also the first batsman to surpass Sir Donald Bradman`s 29 centuries in Tests, an achievement which acquire more significance as it came in the era of tearaway West Indian bowlers.

He and Viswanath were the backbone of the Indian batting line-up when the batsmen were not protected with modern-day protective equipment like helmet and there was also no restriction on number of bumpers that could be bowled in an over.

Bureau Report

ZeeNews Reference


Turning 60 no worry for Gavaskar
10 Jul 2009, 0022 hrs IST
Pradeep Vijayakar, TNN

MUMBAI: Sunil Gavaskar isn’t a blogger. So the world won’t know his thoughts on becoming a sexagenarian today. But The Times of India got lucky to
get his thoughts on reaching yet another milestone. Of course, it isn’t one that Gavaskar will care much for, knowing his penchant for hundreds. The kind of ton Prof DB Deodhar hit in life, always beckons.

So will it get difficult for Sunny Gavaskar to maintain the three Ds — discipline, determination, dedication — virtues which brought him massive success on the field and off it too, in life after 60?

Said Gavaskar, who will spend his birthday seeking the blessings of Sathya Sai Baba with his entire family at Puttaparthi, on birthday eve, “These things have been a part and parcel of my life. So it won’t be difficult. I have applied these virtues to every aspect of my life, not just cricket.”

Now that he has reached 60, Gavaskar’s adversaries won’t be Wes Hall, John Snow, Andy Roberts or Dennis Lillee, but aches and pains, the battle of the bulge, fading sight and hair loss. How does he fancy facing them? “The battle of the bulge will be the most formidable. When I don’t do my regular things like playing badminton and some drills when I am in Mumbai, I tend to put on weight, especially abroad, where the discipline in my food habits, goes for a toss.”

When Gavaskar quit cricket, he weighed 74. Today he weighs 78. “My weight fluctuates between 77 and 79. It got to 80-plus on one tour.”

As far as eyesight goes, Gavaskar used to pride himself on having 2020 vision. That was when he got them tested in Dubai. Time has caught up. “I am using reading glasses for the last two years.” The secret of Gavaskar’s good eyesight was he never read anything in a moving vehicle.

Sir Don Bradman, the Gavaskar of an earlier era, had an interesting tale on this eyesight business. When he read about praise from critics that the secret of his greatness was that he saw the ball early, Sir Don decided to check it out and tests revealed his eye reflexes were indeed slower than normal!

Turning sixty-plus means a walking stick beckons sooner rather than later. Does that worry Gavaskar? “I used a walking stick as a style statement on the tour of Australia in 1981. But I batted like an old man in that series and chucked the stick away!” said the legend, who had a trademark swagger, swaying from side to side.”

So how have his emotions evolved from being the highest run-getter to being a grand-father? “It’s over 20 years since I gave up an active sporting career. My energies have been focussed on life off the field. It has been thoroughly enjoyable and terrific.”

The latter is one word is The Little Master uses as regularly as the flick off his toes. He said his constant travel meant less time to spend with the family. “But when I am in town, I spend every evening with my grand-daughter Rhea, who is now four years old.”

Any grandpa stories — ones that he’s heard and ones he relates to? Gavaskar ducked that one just like he would do against a Lillee bouncer. He had had a hectic Wednesday while chairing the BCCI’s technical committee meeting and the mind was beginning to turn blank.

He couldn’t even remember the incident which gave his parents an inkling of his amazing concentration which was instrumental in making him a legend. The story goes that it was mom Meenal’s task to narrate not one, but two stories every night to the young Gavaskar. But often she got so tired after the day’s chores that narrating the second tale became quite a task. It so happened that she introduced Arjuna in the mythological tale, Ramayana, only to be pulled up by Sunny about what a merry mix-up she was making.

Papa Manohar said his son’s memory and recall had their genesis in the bedtime stories.

Celebs are famous for their indulgences and crave for gizmos. Gavaskar’s most famous indulgence has been glucose biscuits and he can never have enough of them. Will that continue now that he is 60? “My delayed medicals are due. They will give me an idea.”

Gavaskar and his badminton buddy, the late Gautam Thakkar, would take their medicals together every year. It was an unfailing annual ritual in May. Gautam’s tests were delayed the last time around. Else, the cancer that claimed him, may have been detected.

As for gadgets, Gavaskar said, “Some of these are very basic. But I don’t use cellphones, except when I am abroad.”

When in Sri Lanka, in 1995, one had told him of a computer where words appeared on the monitor when you spoke into it. One told him it would make his task as a columnist easier. Gavaskar left that one alone outside the off-stump. Famous for penning his thoughts on a single sheet for his column, Gavaskar does use the laptop these days.

When you age, your temper tends to get the better of you. So who bears the brunt of his anger these days? Wife Pammi or son Rohan? “The reflection in the mirror,” said the birthday `boy’.

One age hazard that Gavaskar won’t have to worry about is being snubbed for giving unsolicited advice. Gavaskar doesn’t proffer any, unless asked.

Also, he doesn’t chase dreams any more. He just enjoys living a ‘normal’ life. ‘Normal’ for him is living out of a suitcase. From Puttaparthi, he flies to England for the ICC History Conference. A tour of Europe follows and also the US.”

Turning 60 won’t change his hectic lifestyle. Because Sunny Gavaskar won’t behave like a 60-year-old.

IndiaToday Reference

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2 Comments

  1. murali kruthiventy
    Posted July 21, 2009 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    Sairam
    I was reading a book by Shammi Paranjpe( Gavaskar’s sister in law )and in it was mentioned that Swami said’I will perform your sashtipoorti,’ so that was done. Swami said this about 10 years back! That the divine wish.
    Thanks and glad to hear the news, all the best Sunil.

  2. murali kruthiventy
    Posted July 21, 2009 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Sairam
    All the best Sunil
    Murali from NZ