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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

‘Vasoo will now be discussing cricket with Don Bradman, Len Hutton up there’: Gavaskar on Paranjape

Sunil Gavaskar tells Devendra Pandey that Vasoo Paranjape taught people that cricket was bigger than any player and always provided wise counsel which didn’t seem like a reprimand.

Updated: September 1, 2021 7:34:56 pm
Vasudeo Paranjape (right) and Sunil Gavaskar (File Photo/Getty Images)

We all lost our captain, one of the greatest, one of the most passionate about the game of ours. I was just discussing with (Vasoo Paranjape’s son) Jatin, that he will now be discussing cricket with Don Bradman, Sir Len Hutton up there. He left us with wonderful memories. His discipline – I remember at the Dadar Union ground, he used to be the first one to reach. Never got late.

Amongst the things he told us was that it is a sport, winning and losing are part of it, but the most important part of it is to enjoy the game. Once you enjoy the sport, you play well. Sitting with him, we not only learnt about the game but also laughed a lot because he always used to see the funny side of things.

He was one of the people who had his answers ready. Perhaps among the cricketers who I would have known, the late Vijay Manjrekar used to have ready answers. Vasoo also had ready answers, he was very positive. Even if he had to say something, he would say it in such a manner that you got the message. That was the key, that he would convey what he wanted to without sounding like he was scolding or reprimanding you.

READ | Vasoo Paranjpe passes away, Indian cricket loses its margdarshak

I quite like the way that his Dadar Union cap was there with him during his last rites. I know he will take it up there and wear it.

He loved the game, he used to say that the game is always bigger than you. He always taught us that you must look like a cricketer. One might not be able to play cricket at a high level, but one must look like a cricketer. Turn up well at the ground in clean clothes, clean shoes; in those days, we used to have white pads, and he wanted them to be clean.

He would insist that you should look like a cricketer. These are things that have taught us discipline. You might get zero or score 100, just look like a cricketer. It is not important that each one has to play international cricket, we learnt from Vasoo that one doesn’t need to be an international cricketer to love this game.

I just find it hard to say that I won’t be able to see him anymore. The other day, I sent a message to Jatin, “I’m coming to Matunga’s side, can I come and see him? If only he is in the best of health.” Jatin didn’t reply, later we got to know why. He is in a better place. All of us enjoyed his company and his cricket. His life is meant to be cherished, what he taught our generation will remain with us till our last breath. When his body was taken, I just told him: “Goodbye captain, you will be in a better place.” I’m sure he will have a better time up there like we all did here.

(Gavaskar spoke to Devendra Pandey)

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