Former India captain Gavaskar hit a raw nerve here by linking the death of former Test cricketer Hookes, who died after he was punched outside a Melbourne hotel, with the treatment the Australians could expect if they behaved as boorishly in a bar as he claimed they did on the field.
Gavaskar said his Hookes comments were "uncalled for and inappropriate" but he did not back away from his claim that the Australian team would be more admired if they curbed their behaviour in matches.
"I do regret it ... on the breakfast show I do with ESPN, I read out a statement regretting what I had said," Gavaskar told a Melbourne radio station Tuesday.
"On live television and radio, sometimes you respond on the spur of the moment with a remark that can cause hurt and pain to others.
"I realise and I accept that what I said was uncalled for and inappropriate.
"Having said that, I hope they (Hookes' family and friends) have the bigness of heart to forgive me for what I said about David Hookes."
Gavaskar said he has not spoken to Australian captain Ricky Ponting since making his comments about Hookes.
"I am not at loggerheads with Ricky Ponting, I admire him for his batting and for the way he has come back after the (2005) Ashes loss (to England)," he said.
"Cricketers hardly ever hold too much against each other. I'm pretty certain the next time Ricky and I meet up, we'll be fine, we'll be able to shake hands, share a joke and carry on with our lives."
Gavaskar clarified his earlier comments about the Australian team - that they were "not popular winners" because of sometimes "awful" on-field behaviour - which was rebuked by Ponting, currently playing in the Caribbean World Cup.
"What I was trying to say, the West Indies in the 1970s and '80s ... they were winning just about everything, but they were universally admired," he said.
"There are so many champions who are universally admired, like your (Australian tennis great) Rod Laver, today there is (world No.1 tennis player) Roger Federer.
"The Australian team can also be universally admired if they can only curb their behaviour on some occasions."
Australia and India are seeded to meet in a potentially volatile Super Eight match in Antigua on March 31, a repeat of the 2003 World Cup final.