Sunil Gavaskar Reveals Why He Was Removed as Captain After Beating West Indies

Sunil Gavaskar Reveals Why He Was Removed as Captain After Beating West Indies

Sunil Gavaskar believes he was dropped as India captain in 1979 because he was open about getting an offer to join the Kerry Packer World Series Cricket.

Gavaskar had led India to a home series win against West Indies and had scored more than 700 runs yet was replaced as skipper by S Venkataraghavan after the series.

“I was replaced as captain despite India winning the series against the West Indies (1978-79) and in which I got more than 700 runs. I still don’t know the reason for it, but can only surmise that it was because I had been pretty open about the offer to join Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket. However, I signed the BCCI contract before the selection, thereby proving where my loyalties lay,” Gavaskar wrote in his Mid-Day column.

Gavaskar also spoke about how he had to convince selectors to stick with Bishan Singh Bedi, who was on the chopping block because he led India when they lost a series in Pakistan.

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He further added that he was unable to change the selectors’ minds about picking Rajinder Goel or Padmakar Shivalkar for the Indian team.

“The committee decided to drop Mr BS Bedi after three Test matches. In fact, they wanted to drop him straightaway after I replaced him as skipper after the series loss in Pakistan.

“I argued that he was still the best left-arm spinner in the country and so they reluctantly agreed to pick him for the first Test.

“Kapil Dev had just come on the scene then and along with Karsan Ghavri had formed a potent new ball pair for India. The spinners therefore didn’t get the kind of spells they were used to.

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“The pitches were absolute beauties to bat on with little help for the spinners. The selectors wanted to leave out Mr BS Bedi for the second and third Test too, but I managed to convince them not to.

“Kindly remember the India captain is co-opted to the selection committee but has no vote. However, after the conclusion of the third Test and anticipating that the Chennai pitch was going to be one with more bounce, the selectors went for Dhiraj Parsana, who like Ghavri could bowl both seam and spin.

“This is where I couldn’t convince the committee to pick either (Rajinder) Goel Saab or (Padmakar) Shivalkar.”

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