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Sunil Gavaskar reveals why he was axed as Indian cricket team captain after beating West Indies

  • Sunil Gavaskar mentioned that he was open to the prospect of playing in Kerry Packer World Cricket Series.
  • Sunil Gavaskar also revealed that he batted for Bishan Singh Bedi to be included in the Indian cricket team
Abhinav Singh
TOP CONTRIBUTOR
News
Modified 29 Jun 2020, 15:56 IST
Gavaskar had scored 700 runs in the series before he was stripped off the captaincy
Gavaskar had scored 700 runs in the series before he was stripped off the captaincy

Indian cricket team legend Sunil Gavaskar on Monday revealed why he was removed as the skipper, despite beating West Indies in the 1978-79 home series.

Sunil Gavaskar, who is fondly called the 'Little Master' had scored over 700 runs in the series prior. Despite such a stellar show in the Indian cricket team's victorious series win, Gavaskar was dropped as the captain of the Indian cricket team because he was pretty open about the offer to join the Kerry Packer World Series Cricket.

"I was replaced as captain despite India winning the series against the West Indies (1978-79) and in which I got more than 700 runs. I still don't know the reason for it, but can only surmise that it was because I had been pretty open about the offer to join Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket. However, I signed the BCCI contract before the selection, thereby proving where my loyalties lay," Gavaskar wrote in his Mid-Day column.

S Venkataraghavan replaced Gavaskar as the captain of the Indian cricket team

Ultimately, Sunil Gavaskar was replaced by Srinivas Venkataraghavan as captain of the Indian cricket team in 1979.

The Kerry Packer World Series was a breakaway competition as it challenged the hegemony of conservative cricket boards at the time. The matches ran in opposition to the established international cricket order.

Though its run came to end in 1979, World Series Cricket had drastically changed the nature of cricket and its influence can be felt today as well.

Sunil Gavaskar batted for Bishan Singh Bedi too

In the newspaper column, Sunil Gavaskar also revealed how he convinced the selectors to retain Bishan Singh Bedi for the three Tests against the West Indies. The selection committee wanted to axe the left-arm spinner after he led India on the unsuccessful tour of Pakistan in 1978.

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“The committee decided to drop Mr BS Bedi after three Test matches. In fact, they wanted to drop him straightaway after I replaced him as skipper after the series loss in Pakistan. I argued that he was still the best left-arm spinner in the country and so they reluctantly agreed to pick him for the first Test." wrote Gavaskar in the column.

Sunil Gavaskar played 125 Test matches for the Indian cricket team in his career and scored 10,122 runs with 34 centuries and 45 half-centuries to his name.

Published 29 Jun 2020, 15:56 IST
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