Gavaskar’s walk out at Melbourne in 1980-81
Sunil Gavaskar had been woefully out of touch during the series in Australia in 1980-81. Going through the worst patch of his long and illustrious career he had managed just 48 runs in five innings going into the final outing of the series in the third and final Test at Melbourne.
Finally he got going, had reached 70 and with Chetan Chauhan was laying the foundation for a strong fightback after India had finished 182 runs behind on the first innings. At this stage he was adjudged leg before to Dennis Lillee. Gavaskar protested that he had played the ball and again and again tried to get this point across anxious as he was for a big score and for India to get into a winning position.
Even as this little drama was going on Lillee went up to him, pointed to his pad and then as Gavaskar related later used foul language. This was too much for Gavaskar who admitted that ''something in me snapped.'' By now furious Gavaskar went to Chauhan and told his partner to accompany him to the pavilion.
Chauhan seemed reluctant whereupon there was the strange spectacle of Gavaskar pushing Chauhan towards the pavilion. Even as the bewildered spectators watched and the Australian team remained on the field Gavaskar walked off the field in a huff with a hesitant Chauhan still trailing a few steps behind.
Gavaskar was so upset that he was even willing to concede the match. The situation was fast turning out to be the most embarrassing episode in Indian cricket but the timely intervention of Wing Commander Durani, the manager, prevented matters from getting out of hand.
Even as Gavaskar reached the boundary line Durani came out and signaled for Chauhan to stay on the field. After a few words with the agitated Gavaskar he asked Dilip Vengsarkar to go out and join Chauhan and play continued.
In Image: Former Indian cricketer of 1983 World Cup winning team Sunil Gavaskar (L) shares a light moment with the other team members during a function organised in New Delhi on June 25, 2008, to felicitate the 1983 Cricket World Cup winning team.