Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar turned 71 today. On the occasion, the former India skipper will sponsor heart surgeries for 35 children at Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital for Child Heart Care in Kharghar.
This is a repeat of his actions last year, which will be a life-saving moment for these children as their parents can't afford the treatment, reported 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 that all look forward to," TOI quoted Gavaskar.
The entire cricket fraternity took to social media to wish 'Little Master' on his 71st birthday. Gavaskar, who is regarded as one of the finest batsmen ever to play the sport, held numerous records and the fact that he was also a World Cup winner, puts him in elite company.
Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar referred to Gavaskar as his idol and wrote on Twitter: "I got to meet my idol Gavaskar sir for the first time in 1987. As a 13 year old I couldn't believe my luck that I was meeting the person I looked up to and wanted to emulate. What a day that was. Wishing you a very happy 71st Birthday sir. Have a healthy and safe year ahead."
Current Team India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane Tweeted: "Wishing a very happy birthday to Sunil Gavaskar sir. Wish him loads of happiness!"
Former India cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar wrote on Twitter: "Why did I want to be a batsman and play for India? Answer: Sunil Gavaskar. Happy Birthday sir!"
Former India speedster and member of India's 1983 World Cup winning team Madan Lal also wished Gavaskar on Twitter and wrote: "Happy Birthday to one of the best opening batsmen the world has ever seen! Sunny bhai wishing you the best of health and happiness. Have a wonderful day! #SunilGavaskar.
Current BCCI Secretary Jay Shah tweeted: "From being the first batsman to score 10,000 Test runs to India's batting mainstay in the 70s and 80s, his contribution to Indian cricket is unparalleled. Wishing the legend Sunil Gavaskar ji a very happy birthday. Praying for your good health and longevity."
ICC highlighted Gavaskar's greatest achievements as they wrote on their Twitter handle: "First batsmen to score 10,000 Test runs. First batsmen to score centuries in both innings of a Test thrice. Held the record for most number of Test tons till 2005. First India fielder to claim 100 Test catches. Happy Birthday to the legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar."
With inputs from agencies