Sunil Manohar Gavaskar, the Little Master, greatest opening batsman in cricketing history turns 63 today as the cricketing world celebrates his birthday remembering the legend's ever-lasting contribution to the game of cricket.
25 years since the greatest Test opener played his last Test, we are yet to find a Test opener of Gavaskar's caliber, who was known for his technique and temperament.
The first cricketer to reach 10000 Test runs and a milestone of 30 centuries, Gavaskar was termed as the Bradman of Port-of-Spain, as he averaged 99.12 at the ground.
Talking about prolific form, one cannot rule out Gavaskar as he maintained an average of 51.12 in Tests with an unbeaten 236 being his highest score. His 96 against Pakistan in March 1987 (his last Test) is still remembered by many, as he bid adieu to cricket while he was at his peak.
Having made his debut against the fearsome West Indies in 1971, Gavaskar started his international career with a bang as he scored 65 and remained unbeaten on 67 in the second innings. He had scored 774 runs in his debut series against Windies at an average of 154.80 which still remains fresh in the minds of people.
Gavaskar, after his retirement in 1987, still remains the only batsman to have scored 6000 runs in drawn Tests. While Kumar Sangakkara surpassed him to become highest run scorer against Pakistan last month, as Gavaskar had held the record earlier.
Though there were many outstanding openers during his era like Gordon Greenidge, Geoffrey Boycott, Glenn Turner, Desmond Haynes, Roy Fredricks, Graham Gooch, none of them reached the heights, as Sunil Gavaskar was the only Test opener who was highly successful.
With plenty of memorable moments, Gavaskar though not seen on the cricketing field, his contribution to the game keeps those memories afresh.
Gavaskar has also served the BCCI after retiring from International cricket, and ICC as he was the Chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee as well.
Having explored other avenues Gavaskar, an expert a cricket analyst has also written four books, including an auto biography, 'Sunny Days'. Hope the coming year also turns out ot be another feather in the Little Master's cap.
Here's wishing the Little Master, Sunil Gavaskara year full of happiness, good health and success.