Dubai: Sunil Gavaskar has been inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. The former India captain and one of the game's all-time greats received his commemorative cap from fellow Hall of Famer and team-mate Kapil Dev.
Gavaskar, 62, represented India in 125 Test matches – he captained in 47 matches – and 108 one-day internationals. In an international career spanning 16 years, from 1971 to 1987, Gavaskar scored 10,122 Test runs at an average of 51.12. In ODI cricket he made 3,092 runs. He was also a member of the Indian team that won the World Cup 1983 in England, defeating West Indies by 43 runs at Lord's.
Receiving his cap from Kapil in the presence of ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat and former Pakistan captains Aamir Sohail, Ramiz Raja and Waqar Younis, Gavaskar said: "It is a huge honour because it is the peers in the game who decide who is going to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. It has taken some time to co-ordinate the presentation but finally it is there and I am delighted that I have been inducted.
"It's a huge honour as it is the peers in the game who decide who is going to be inducted," Gavaskar said.
"This means that you are in select company and, therefore, it becomes all the more special. To be an original inductee is an even bigger honour."
Kapil had words of praise for Gavaskar, whom he termed the best cricketer he played with. "It is a proud moment to be in the same group where Sunil Gavaskar is," he said. "In our time, we used to think and even till today we think Sunil is one of the best-ever opening batsmen. Sunil was the greatest player in my era and certainly was the best I played with.
"He was the best captain I played under. The team was struggling in those days. We did not have those great players that we have today. But under the circumstances, Sunil was a big influence on the side. He gave us motivation and taught us how to fight. It feels great to hand over the cap or award to anyone you admire. I am very happy to have got the honour to be part of this function."
Gavaskar began his career with a monumental achievement, scoring 774 runs in his first Test series, against West Indies in the Caribbean in 1970-71. He was also a member of the Test team that won India its first series in England, the following year. Gavaskar was also the first Test batsman to complete 10,000 runs and also the first to score 30 Test centuries, achieving the feat against Pakistan during the 1986-87 Test series and against West Indies in Chennai during the 1983-84 Test series, respectively.
The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame was launched in January 2008 in association with the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations as part of the ICC's Centenary Year.