Former India opener Sunil Gavaskar on Saturday (May 26) highlighted the significance of club cricket and termed it as the ‘life and soul’ of the sport.
As per the reports in PTI, Gavaskar inaugurated the Hemant Waigankar Study Room of Dadar Parsi Zoroastrian Cricket Club in Matunga, Central Mumbai wherein he addressed a group of budding cricketers and said: "Club cricket is the life and soul of cricket and everybody comes up from club cricket."
"... Today when a cricketer becomes big, it is only because of club cricket. If club cricket is not there, the he (the player) won't become big, we all started (in the same way)," he added.
The 68-year-old cited his own example, saying: "Even I started in the same way. After school, I played for the Club (Dadar Union), then when I made runs in the Club, I got a chance to go ahead, as the selection committee understood that he made runs. I will only tell you that, play matches passionately, as you have to win, but play with happiness."
Gavaskar, who has represented India in 125 Tests and 108 ODIs, also urged young cricketers to play the game in a fair manner.
"This game of cricket also teaches us that we need to win, in a fair manner. There is no benefit in cheating as you will be caught sometime. Take pleasure of cricket and that happiness will help you improve your game," he concluded.
Sunil Gavaskar attended the prize distribution of Kalpesh Govind Kohli Memorial Cricket Tournament on the same day.
The batting legend also narrated anecdotes of his maiden Test tour to the West Indies in 1971 where his then skipper Ajit Wadekar locked him inside a bathroom so that the great Garfield Sobers was unable to touch him.