Mumbai: Celebrating cricket and cricketers from previous generations is best done by reading about them. So as Sunil Gavaskar celebrates his 60th birthday on July 10, 2009, a book on his life offers rare insight into the legend's life and times.
More than two decades have passed since the Little Master called it a day but Gavaskar's legion of admirers hasn't reduced. Among them is Devendra Prabhudesai, who has translated that admiration into a book about the legend, but only after Gavaskar agreed to let him write about his extraordinary career.
"It is about my childhood hero, the man who inspired me as a kid not only to play cricket, but also to write about cricket," Prabhudesai, author of SMG, says. "His book Sunny Days, which was released in 1976 was coincidentally the year I was born. It shaped many a life not just in India but in the sub-continent."
SMG comes in Gavaskar's 60th year and attempts to capture the journey of the man from a budding cricketer to the backbone of India's batting, to an administrator and a revered commentator.
"I tried to look at Sunil Gavaskar the phenomenon, not just the cricketer, because his post-retirement career has probably been as eventful and as exciting as his cricketing years. So I tried to take a holistic look at his complete life," Prabhudesai adds.
Rahul Dravid is one modern batsman who has embraced Gavaskar's qualities more than most. So it was only fitting that he was around to launch Prabhudesai's book a few weeks ago.