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Sunil Gavaskar Straight Drive

Sunil Gavaskar Straight Drive
Item Code: IHL218
Author: Sunil Manohar Gavaskar
Publisher: Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 9788129114976
Pages: 240 (Illustrated Throughout In B/W)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.7 Inch X 5.7 Inch
From the Jacket

Sunil ‘Sunny’ Gavaskar is the idol of millions the world over. His magic with the bat created several records and won the hearts of as many. Even his severest critics had to concede that he was indeed the ‘Little Master’!

His transition from a cricketer to being a critic and a columnist, whom the entire media hankers after, has indeed been a welcome one. As he celebrates his sixtieth birthday, there could be no better tribute than an anthology of ‘sixty’ of Sunil Gavaskar’s best articles. They reflect the man and are like him – ‘no holds barred’! He minces no words and says it like it is. He talks about the greats of yesteryears, his heroes that include the late M.L. Jaisimha and Don Bradman amongst others. He talks about what ails the cricketing world and also how the Indian cricket team is truly a force to reckon with.

Straight Drive is timeless, quite like the man, and is a must read for all die-hard fans of Sunil Gavaskar.

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar (b. 10 July 1949) was brought up in Mumbai where he attended St. Xavier’s High School and St Xavier’s College. He inherited his interest in cricket from his parents and uncle and justified their high hopes when, in 1961, at the age of twelve, he distinguished himself in inter – school tournaments. The College XI, the Irani Cup and the Ranji Trophy paved the way for his selection in Test cricket. In 1971, Gavaskar made his debut in the West Indies where he scored an average of 154.8. With 34 Test centuries to his credit, Gavaskar surpassed Donald Bradman’s thirty – five year – old record of 29 Test centuries. He has played 125 Test matches scoring 10,122 runs; 108 One Day matches and scored 3,092 runs and holds the distinction of captaining India in 47 Tests. Gavaskar has been felicitated with the Arjuna Award in 1975, Padma Bhushan in 1980, and the Maharashtra Bhushan Award in 1999.

Sunil Gavaskar is a TV commentator for Sharjah, BBC, Channel 9 Network, ESPN Star Sports and Neo Sports. He has held several important posts including that of chairman of ICC Cricket Committee, National Cricket Committee and the BCCI Technical Committee. He also has to his credit four books including Sunny Days (1976), Idols (1983), Runs n’ Ruins (1984) and One Day Wonders (1985).


Many years have passed since Sunil’s first ever book Sunny Days was published in 1976 and welcomed by the sports loving public. Since the new always toyed with the suggestion that Sunil wrote a ‘sequel’ narrating further progress in career in his won inimitable style. We broached the subject to him a few times but there was no real enthusiastic response.

Writing, especially an autobiography, is an impulsive passion which requires an appropriate environment. Sunil’s sights were then on television commentary which had just commenced in India on the arrival and progress of satellite television in general. He got fully immersed in it and thoroughly enjoyed it, and still does.

Despite this little diversion, however, his main passion at heart for writing continued in the shape of columns on the various sporting events. Over these years, more then 600 columns have been published in many regional national and international newspapers and magazines, appreciated by the sporting public for his frank and witty appraisal of the events.

Quite a number of biographies have been written on his achievements but not his own after Sunny Days.

When we celebrated our own sixty – first wedding anniversary last year, this suggestion surged in our minds once again and with his consent we decided to publish a book containing sixty – one selected columns written over a period to coincide with his ‘Sixty – First’ birthday.

The selection is an appreciative, emotional, and instructive appraisal of the persons and events around him now that he also reaches his own milestone, ‘Sixty’ on 10 July 2009.


I love writing. Perhaps even more than I loved batting. I love reading too though as the eyes start to him the reading is restricted considerably. During a Test match I would be able to finish two novels easily especially if I got out early. Though the reading has become less, the writing has increased. These is not the slightest doubt in my mind that I am writing too much but then I really do enjoy it.

I write from the heart; very, very seldom with the head and that’s why I get into controversies. Incidents, people, happenings, personalities, which could have been worked differently if I had used my head instead of my heart, would not have offended. It has never been personal though but only the love of the game and my country which makes me write what comes out strongly because I feel strongly about it. I have never been afraid of repercussions simply because I am not interested in positions nor looking for favours and besides it would have curbed my writing.

What I have curbed is the instinct to write a book after One – Day Wonders. Friends and family have tried to persuade me to complete my autobiography after Sunny Days. That and the other books were controversial because they were honest and any autobiography which is honest is bound to generate controversy and I am getting to the age where I don’t want any controversies if I can avoid it. I get enough when I write a strong column.

My parents wanted me to bring out another book. So here it is. All the columns have been selected by my dear father. He loved them when they were written then and felt they should be read again by those who may have missed out when they first appeared years ago.


Acknowledgements IX
Foreword XI
Preface XIII
All class at All England 01
Charity begins at home05
Vijay will always be Vijay 09
Ramakant, Karsan…those two pals of mine 13
Young Manjrekar shows the way 17
Vengsarkar needed a hand21
It’s my 100th 25
Managers…those vital men 29
They all made Ekki’s smile wider 33
Learning from the great Benaud 37
What Kapil Dev needs… 41
Why I am off to South Africa 45
Ali, South Africa’s bread and Bacher! 49
Yorkshire stint will toughen Sachin 53
Long camps don’t come with success guarantees 57
Hang on, Kapil knows best!61
Third eye is a boon 65
Lara has only just begun 69
Why does anyone have to be a Bradman 73
C’mon BCCI, give them a 100 77
In memory of Pumkaka 81
Ultimately, man-management matters 85
Our own Sachin Tendulkar 89
Tiger, tiger so bright 93
Indian badminton could see the light 97
Azhar deserves credit for Abid deed 101
Sad case of Ranatunga 105
Officials need red and yellow cards too 109
Some dress sense, please! 113
Visiting my hero, Jaisimha 117
Everybody hurts… 121
Welcome aboard, refs! 125
Waiting for the dust to clear 129
Give more, take less! 133
Gopi showed his bottle 137
Rash driving and sad exits 141
The problem with cricket administration145
Remember, who started it 149
This dilution is no good 153
Why is it different abroad? 157
Enter Greg Chappell 161
Inspiration…more the merrier! 165
Yet another tragic tale 169
Budhi and the golden age173
Kumble should count himself lucky 177
Lara’s 400 and all that181
Back in the US of A 185
Solid side of Sachin189
Tsunami of cricket 193
The World of bonding and camaraderie 197
Pension and less tension! 201
Greg and Lara show 205
Get smarter, BCCI 209
One and only Agassi 213
Dada of a gesture 217
Bless you, KP 221
No dressing room is perfect 225
BCCI, the eternal target 229
To walk or not to 233
Accident waiting to happen 237

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