Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja recalls the time when he first met Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar. He told about the slagging he faced from Imran Khan whenever Sunil Gavaskar scored because he was an opener too. Imran Khan would tell Rameez Raja to watch how Sunil Gavaskar was playing so good and used to hurl abuses at him comparing both of them.
Sunil Gavaskar, who was the part of the 1983 World Cup-winning Indian team at that moment was shattering all the records and was considered the greatest cricketer. He recalls Imran Khan saying to the dressing room that Sunil Gavaskar is the best batsman.
You Looked At Him, And I Was In Awe Of What I Saw: Ramiz Raja On Sunil Gavaskar
Ramiz Raja reminisces the time he actually played against the great Sunil Gavaskar and how he was awestruck by his aura.
“When I first came across Sunil Gavaskar and he was like a God in the early ‘80s. And if Imran told you that he is the best batsman or somebody was the best batsman in the world, you looked at him, and I was in awe of what I saw, you know, even though Sunil Gavaskar was on his way out. I am talking about 86-87 series,” Ramiz Raja told Sportskeeda in a Facebook Live interview.
“So I would stand at short leg and Imran Khan would come and try extremely hard to dislodge him (Sunil Gavaskar) during that India tour of ours and Sunil Gavaskar will be so calm in leaving the ball outside the off-stump and he would wait for the opportunities,” Raja further recalled.
‘You Scored Runs But I Got The Flak’
The Pakistani skipper even tells the story now to Sunil Gavaskar that he suffered whenever his Indian counterpart scored runs. He tells how Imran Khan used to tell him to watch how great Sunil Gavaskar played.
“Whenever Imran bowled those banana in-swing deliveries on his pads, Sunil worked it away through the short leg, through where I was and the ball would run and hit the fence,” Instead of getting angry at Sunil Gavaskar, he would look at me because I was an opener as well and he would say, look how he is playing, and then it would be followed by a couple of swear words,” Raja said.
“So I tell this story to Sunil and even now I say, you scored runs but I got the flak, not you…from Imran because he was in awe of Sunil as well,” added Ramiz Raja.
Sunil Gavaskar’s unique technique helped him garner fans from his own as well as other rival countries. Gavaskar played 125 Tests for India, in which he scored over 10,000 runs and smashed 34 Test centuries.