India’s batting maestro, Sunil Gavaskar‘s ties with West Indies during his glittering career is a well-known phenomenon. He has played some of the most audacious knocks in the Caribbean, which defined his prowesses as a legend of the game.
Now, the ‘Little Master’ revealed the reason why he named his son Rohan Gavaskar, after wicketkeeper-batsman Rohan Kanhai.
During his interaction, Gavaskar spilled beans regarding his bond with Kanhai, claiming that the latter had a soft corner for him, hailing from Indian-origin people in Trinidad and Guyana.
The Mumbai stalwart cited the longstanding differences between the African-origin and the Indian origin people in the West Indies.
“Apart from his batsmanship, (why I respected Rohan Kanhai so much was because of) how he secretly encouraged me. There’s always been this issue between African-origin people and Indian-origin people in Trinidad, Guyana,” Gavaskar said during the recent episode of 22 Yarns with Gaurav Kapur.
During the 70s and the 80s, West Indies fielded one of the most lethal bowling quartets in history, featuring Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner and Michael Holding.
Gavaskar displayed immense character to score tons against the formidable West Indies attack. During his debut series, Gavaskar recalled that Kanhai would motivate him to score a hundred, whenever he played a rash shot.
“In my debut series, if I played a bad shot when crossing over me to go to the slips for the next over if he was not within earshot of the wicketkeeper, he would whisper in my ear: ‘Concentrate! Don’t you want a 100? What’s the matter with you?'” added Sunny.
“He’s in the opposition. He’s not swearing at me, he actually wants me to get a 100. Unbelievable! Off the field, he (Kanhai) was one of the nicest guys I ever met. Naming my son after him was a no-brainer,” concluded Gavaskar.
Meanwhile, Rohan went on to play for India in the 2003-04 season but could not cement his place in the star-studded Indian lineup. He now enjoys a successful stint as a commentator and analyst, following the path of his father.