Saturday, March 29, 2014

‘I am 24 hours cricket’

(An article of mine in The Gulf Today- March 29, 2014)
SHARJAH: The moment I heard on television that the Indian Supreme Court has placed cricketer Sunil Gavaskar in charge of the troubled Indian Premier League (IPL), my memory went back to the early 1980s when I had a chance encounter with the batting legend. The league is to begin in Abu Dhabi on April 16.
I was a sub-editor in The Times of India and a senior colleague in the sports department, Pradeep Vijaykar, suggested that I write a light piece on Gavaskar’s other sports activities for our evening newspaper. 
He guided me to go to a private company in Worli where I could catch up with the star cricketer. He also gave me the contact numbers.
When I dialled Gavaskar for an appointment, he said there was no way he would give an interview.
But I was a young reporter with fire in my belly.
I merrily boarded a BEST bus and landed at the reception hall of the company.
Within 10 minutes after I sent in my business card, Gavaskar appeared at the reception hall, with a couple of pretty companions.
“Hello Sunil,” I jumped in joy.
“Friend, I told you I am presently under contract with the board not to speak with the Press,” he told me.
“Sunil, please, I am not going to talk to you a word about cricket. I know that you are active in many fields and so 
want to write about that,” I pleaded.
“Gavaskar is 24 hours cricket,” he cut in with a cryptic reply, winked and disappeared.