Melbourne: Walking out of the pitch is not the kind of stuff that cricketers practice, but Sunil Gavaskar once did exactly that. Speaking up after 40 years on that episode, Sunny Paji has shared what really transpired when he and Chetan Chauhan were out in the field.
It all happened in 1981 at a Melbourne Test where India and Australia were clashing against each other. A tour that back then had been dotted with controversies. The decision to walk out was one of them which turned out to be an infamous one.
As per grapevine in one of the deliveries of Dennis Lillee, Australia’s legendary bowler, the ball hit Gavaskar’s pad and umpire Rex Whitehead raised his finger declaring dismissal.
Left in shock and awe, Gavaskar, opened up both arms to gesture protest that he was not out. His point was that the ball hit the bat first before hitting the pad. The umpire refused to give in to Gavaskar’s appeal. Gavaskar though has repeated in the past he regretted walking out.
In a recent show on 7Cricekt, the Australian official broadcaster, Gavaskar said it was actually a comment from an Australian cricketer to “get lost” that really egged him to walk out.
The footage still in the archives clearly show s that both were headed to the change-room but then he turned around and insisted Chetan Chauhan to return to the pavilion.
Gavaskar said misconception was he was upset at the LBW decision. With the cat now out of the bag, now the suspense is over.