In India, cricketers are often worshipped and they are literally treated like Gods by fans. The Indian fans have left no stone unturned in pleasing the cricketers and doing their bit in encouraging their heroes. In return, the cricketers are often pleased by such humbleness displayed by their fans. It is the magic of such love that motivates the players to give it their absolute best and excel on the cricket field.
This tradition of worshipping cricketers has been a part of the Indian culture for several generations. While the grandfather idolized Sunil Gavaskar; the father looked upto Sachin Tendulkar whereas the son seeks inspiration from Virat Kohli. This has been the trend in Indian families for three generations. The players though can vary from individual to individual.
However, there are some fans that go over the top while encountering their beloved cricketers. Such fans at times, take to negative measures, in order to get notified by the cricketer. In return, the players try their best to keep their cool, but then being humans, they too lose their temper. Such sights are surely not pleasing for anyone. Sunil Gavaskar, the Indian batting icon was one such cricketer who lost his temper because of an annoying fan cum reporter.
Gavaskar was addressing a press conference in Mumbai Oberoi’s Hotel just before the 1992 cricket World Cup. Gavaskar had cordial relations with several journalists and was speaking to two such reporters whom he knew very well. One of the journalists casually asked Gavaskar “Tell me, your money is on which team winning the World Cup?” Sensing the presence of several strangers and other journalists, Gavaskar gave a highly diplomatic answer. The batting maestro replied shrewdly, “I’m not the betting kind.”
Gavaskar surely did his best to maintain his positive image in front of the Indian media and fans. Had he casually taken a team’s name, then surely some negative elements of the society would have dealt severely with Gavaskar. In India, along with fans, there is no shortage of hardcore critics as well. Such brash critics would have then mentioned that Gavaskar being a legend should have answered diplomatically rather than being casual.
In the same press conference, a drunk journalist did his best to attract attention. The journalist was never seen before in the cricketing circles and even the batting icon wasn’t aware about the unknown journalist. What the drunk man committed ahead was a sheer blunder. The intoxicated fellow, had the audacity to ask Gavaskar, “But we heard your uncle bets on matches.”
That was the tripping point for Gavaskar’s temper. The usually calm batsman flew in a rage and was scathing with fury. The inebriated journalist knew there and then that he had made the biggest blunder of his life.
Gavaskar, in complete anger and disgust yelled at the journalist and said, “Do you know my uncle? Do you know what it means to earn an Indian cap?” The busy conference hall immediately turned into a sort of a meditation centre as everyone simply froze.