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‘Get lost’ comment by Australians, not dismissal, forced 1981 MCG walkout: Sunil Gavaskar

England v India - 2nd Vitality International T20
England v India - 2nd Vitality International T20
ANALYST
Modified 02 Jan 2021, 16:13 IST
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Former Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar has stated that his infamous walkout during the Melbourne Test of 1981 was due to the Australian players' ‘get lost’ comment, and not over his lbw dismissal.

According to Sunil Gavaskar, there has been a misconception all these years that he was upset at being given out lbw despite hitting the ball. As per a Times Now report, the ex-India skipper told 7Cricket:

"Yes, it was upsetting (the lbw decision). But the walk-off happened only because, as I had gone past Chetan (Chauhan) on the way to the change-rooms, the Australians had given me a spray. They told me to get lost, which is where I've come back and asked Chetan to walk off with me."

In the match, Sunil Gavaskar was adjudged lbw for 70 to a Dennis Lillee delivery. The delivery was an in-cutter, which hit the batsman's pad, and umpire Rex Whitehead was convinced enough to raise his finger.

Forward short leg did not move: Sunil Gavaskar

Not happy with the decision, the batsman slapped his pads with the bat to let the umpire know what he felt about the decision. As Gavaskar began to walk off unwillingly, Lillee was seen saying something to him. This angered Sunil Gavaskar further, and he ordered his opening partner Chetan Chauhan to walk off with him.

Chauhan obeyed Sunil Gavaskar’s order. However, at the boundary rope, team manager Shahid Durrani and assistant manager Bapu Nadkarni met the duo. Chauhan eventually went back to bat and the match continued.

Giving further details about the incident on a show where it was played out for him, Sunil Gavaskar added:

"I got an inside-edge as you can see from the forward short leg fielder. He hasn't done anything, he hasn't moved. Dennis (Lillee) is telling me, 'It hit you there,' and I'm trying to say, 'No I hit it.' And now you see, I've asked Chetan to walk off with me."
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Sunil Gavaskar has admitted that he regrets his behaviour following the decision in other interviews. Despite the controversy, India went on to win the match by 59 runs as an injured Kapil Dev picked up 5 for 28. Australia were bowled out for 83 which chasing India's total of 143 runs.

Published 02 Jan 2021, 16:13 IST
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