Sunil Gavaskar, the legendary Indian cricketer, is renowned as the first superstar of the sport in the country. Despite his small stature, Gavaskar made a name for himself by competing with a lion’s heart against some of the toughest bowling line-ups in the world. His contribution to the Indian cricket team’s growth and success cannot be understated, and his courage on and off the field is nothing short of inspirational.
During the 1992-93 riots in Mumbai, following the Babri Masjid demolition and a series of bomb blasts, the city was in turmoil. It was in the midst of this chaos that Gavaskar demonstrated his bravery off the field, risking his own life to save that of a Muslim taxi driver and his family. As a mob surrounded and beat the driver, they planned to lynch his family as well. Gavaskar, who was observing the events from his house nearby, quickly intervened.
Without hesitation, Gavaskar rushed to the scene and stood in front of the mob, telling them, “Whatever you are thinking of doing to this man and his family, you must do it to me first. I will not step out of the way.” The former Indian captain’s words and actions prevented the lynching and saved the family’s lives.
Despite his courageous act, Gavaskar has never spoken publicly about the incident in the thirty years that have passed since then. It was only through his son’s retelling of the story that the world became aware of Gavaskar’s bravery beyond the cricket field.
Gavaskar’s courage and determination serve as a reminder that true heroes exist both on and off the field, and that small acts of bravery can have a significant impact on the lives of others. His story is a testament to the fact that anyone can make a difference in the world, regardless of their background.
Gavaskar’s achievements are numerous and impressive. He scored 34 Test centuries, including a record-breaking 774 runs in a four-match series against the West Indies in 1971. He was also the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket and held the record for the most Test runs until it was surpassed by Sachin Tendulkar.
Gavaskar was also known for his integrity and his commitment to the game. He was a strong advocate for fair play and sportsmanship and was respected by both his teammates and opponents.