Mumbai. The Mumbai Cricket Association on Friday honored two of India’s greatest cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar at an event held at the Wankhede Stadium here. MCA handed over a hospitality box named after him to 72-year-old Gavaskar. Gavaskar made his Test debut on 6 March 1971 against the West Indies at Port of Spain.
Gavaskar, the former India captain and who has played 125 Tests, completed 50 years in international cricket this year. On the occasion, the MCA also inaugurated the ‘Dilip Vengsarkar Stand’ named after Vengsarkar, former head of the national selection committee and who played 116 Tests. Both Gavaskar and Vengsarkar were present on this occasion. Former India opener and Gavaskar’s brother-in-law Gundappa Vishwanath, champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar, former ICC, BCCI and MCA chief Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and senior MCA functionaries were present.
In his speech, Vishwanath praised Gavaskar and Vengsarkar and relived his memories with both. The MCA also launched ‘Madhav Mantri Centenary Year Celebrations’ on the occasion. Tendulkar recalled his first meeting with Sunil Gavaskar in the 1987 World Cup when he was a ball boy at the Wankhede Stadium. “When I was first selected in the Ranji Trophy prospects, Gavaskar’s name was on the list and I was excited to play with him but that dream remained unfulfilled,” he said.
He told that it was because of the late Vasu Paranjpe that he first met Dilip Vengsarkar who asked Kapil Dev to bowl to him. Tendulkar recalled that he saw tears in Vengsarkar’s eyes after Mumbai’s loss in the 1991 Ranji final. “This stand is an honor for those tears,” he said.