Sunny Days: Sunil Gavaskar

 
Sunny Days is part of the Sunil Gavaskar Omnibus printed by Rupa & Co..
Name: The Sunil Gavaskar Omnibus
Author: Sunil Manohar Gavaskar
Publisher: Rupa & Co.
First Printed: 1999

As the book is a Omnibus it didnt contain any formal "foreword" and the first chapter starts just after the contents.. As expected from a biography the book is arranged in the chronological order of the events happened in Snnyr's life.. However, the first chapter starts with the most weird incident happened just after Sunny's birth.. because of a serious goof up  by the hospital authorities, Sunny was taken by fisher-woman. Sunny just exclaims what would he be doing had he remained with that fisher woman!
The first four chapters contains about the details of Sunny's stint with his school as well as college teams and the keenness of  school boys towards their club teams and Ranji trophy.. Regarding the inter university tournament, Sunny hasnt got any hesitation in expressing his disgust towards the treatment received by the players of the club teams when they tour outside their native places.. It shows the other side of becoming a cricketer as the fact that young cricketers are made to sleep on floor without proper mattress or a blankets.. Hope things  have changed by now. While illustrating his debut in Ranji Trophy Sunny recollected the booing of the crowd after his five ball duck against Mysore.. Sunny took that booing as the result of propaganda that Sunny was in the team because of his uncle Madhav Mantri who was then a member of the selection panel. However, with the century against Rajasthan in his second match people realised that Sunny chose his bat to answer all the propaganda! In the same note he explained his tour to Sri Lanka as a member of the Indian Universities team.
Starting from the fifth chapter named as the "Caribbean Journey", the next four chapters contains Sunny's experiences in the 1970-71 Carribbean tour which is  Sunny's first tour as the member of the Indian team. It was in this tour that Sunny declared his arrival to the world. With an aggregate of 774 runs at a startling average of more than 100 it was Sunny's way of saying "Ram Ram Saib" to the cricket world.. Dedicating four chapters to one series of his career shows what that series means for the individual. In the starting of the ninth chapter Sunny proudly presents the calypso which has been prepared on his name!

"It was Gavaskar
The real master
Just like a wall
We couldn't out Gavaskar at all
Not at all
You know the West Indies couldn't out Gavaskar at all."

Then there was a mention about India's first triumph on English soil which happened just after the Caribbean victory. As expected Sunny was pleased to make a note of this..After these glorious days he mentioned his OZ trip as part of the Rest of the World team and made quite a few remarks about his interaction with greats of that era.. there was a mention of many incidents in this chapter but the best of them was regarding Ackerman, I dont wast to write my view about it but rather want to present it un altered. Here you go:

Tony Greig and Ackerman had flown in from Soth Africa, and were received at Adelaide airport by Gary Sobers and an elderly looking gentleman. Gary mumbled an introduction and Greig and Ackerman, both tired from the long journey sleepily mumbled 'hello' and sat down for a cup of coffee. While waiting to go to the hotel Ackerman asked the gentleman to hold his overnight bag while he went to the toilet to freshen himself up. When he returned, he made some polite conversation and then asked the gentleman if he was connected to the Australian Cricket. The gentleman replied in affirmative. Ackerman asked him if he had played cricket, to which the reply was again a yes. Since Ackerman had caught the gentleman's name properly, he asked him "What did you say your name was?" The answer was "DON BRADMAN!"

Not only the above mentioned one there are several interesting incidents which Sunny narrated. These all things will definitely help the readers understand the cordial relations existing in the cricketing community. Also, few of the unpleasant events were also mentioned in the book. The most unfortunate one was the verbal spat between Bishen Singh Bedi and Ajit Wadekar at some one's house in England. In Sunny's words this has did a lot of damage to the team spirit of the touring Indian team..Apart from these, Sunny took a dig at the English media as well as the English Cricket more than often. Sunny gladly expressed his love towards Trinidad where he averages more than 100. As a mumbaikar Sunny has done justice to his native by dedicating a whole chapter to Bombay and the passion of the Bombay players. Just to remind, staring from late 1950 Bombay have won 14 straight ranji trophies..No wonder Indian cricket was ruled by Bombay cricket in 70s and 80s.
Overall, the book never makes you feel bored and was a pleasure to read!

Sarvejana Sukhinobhavantu

-Karthik

Next to come: My Country, My Life-L.K. Advani.


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