The philanthropic side of Sunil Gavaskar

By Kersi Meher-Homji

All cricket lovers know that Sunil ”˜Sunny’ Gavaskar was one of the greatest opening batsman in Test cricket. According to me, he remains THE GREATEST opening batsman in Test history.

In 125 Tests he scored 10,122 runs at an average of 51.12, hitting 34 Test centuries, highest score 236 not out. Most of the runs were scored without a helmet and against the fastest and most frightening pace bowlers the world has seen: Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall and Joel Garner from the West Indies; Jeff Thomson, Dennis Lillee and Len Pascoe from Australia and John Snow from England.

Now look at the other side of Sunny, the philanthropic side.

In April this year Sunil donated one lakh rupees for each of his 59 centuries (scored for India and Mumbai) for the COVID-19 relief funds in India. That is 59 lakh rupees.

Now there is more. On his 71st birthday this July, he sponsored heart surgeries for 35 children at Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital for Child Heart care, Kharghar in Maharashtra. These children are born from financially poor parents.

Why 35 children? This figure represents one more than his 34 Test centuries.

Gavaskar who works for Heart to heart Foundation told The Times of India, “While there are many areas of need that one can serve, children have a special place of importance. They remain the joy of every family and usher in hope of a bright future.”

He adds in Pressreader, “Sadly, congenital heart disease is the commonest defect at birth in India. Many have no chance to survive.”

But thanks to Sunil Gavaskar, some of them will survive. Well played Sunil, bravo. Your happy birthday will make disadvantaged children happy too.


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