When Sunil Gavaskar relied on glucose biscuits to thwart the West Indies pacers
Sunil Gavaskar was renowned for his impeccable technique and rock solid temperament. However, the secret behind the Mumbaikar’s success also involved something commonly found in most Indian households.
The legendary batsman’s younger sister, Nutan, revealed his fondness for glucose biscuits during overseas trips. Speaking to reporters at an event organized by Legends Club at the Cricket Club of India to celebrate Gavaskar's birthday, she opened up on the great man’s secret weapon against the fearsome West Indies pacers.
Nutan said, “He used to like those biscuits – Parle G glucose biscuits. West Indies was a long way off and (it was a) long tour. So he would like to have those biscuits for his tea or coffee, so whoever was travelling there, we would try and send those packets of biscuits for him.”
She added, “He would pack (the biscuits before the tour). They often used to get over in three weeks or a month. Wherever he travelled, and whoever travelled to that place – some journalist, or someone we knew, or relatives, some friends (we used to send biscuits with them).”
Jesting about the 67-year old's sweet tooth, Nutan enthused, “Now he is a little worried about diabetes and those biscuits are little sweet. So he tries and avoids them, (but) he still likes them.”
The right-hander represented India in 125 Tests and became the first cricketer to breach the 10,000-run mark during the course of an illustrious career. Upon retiring from the sport in 1987, Gavaskar extended his extensive knowledge to the commentary box as well.
But, it was his inspiring mastery of the menacing West Indies fast bowlers that cemented him as one of the most accomplished batsmen to play the game. In fact, no one scored more runs against the Caribbean side than Gavaskar.
Shedding light on the respect that Gavaskar earned from the cricket community, former Mumbai opener Shishir Hattangadi remembered, “t was at Ravi Shastri's house where during some tournament (for charity). All the fast bowlers had come in, and they were having few beers at Ravi's place.”
“Sunny (Gavaskar) walks in his pyjama-kurta, little late, the moment he walked in through that door, all four (bowlers), over six feet, got up saying 'hi master, how are you’. I mean that (is the kind of) respect and reverence the four great bowlers (had for Gavaskar) and they were all great - (Micheal) Holding, (Joel) Garner, (Malcolm) Marshall, (Andy) Roberts.”