Sunil Gavaskar to Prakash Padukone
You are the greatest Indian sportsman ever
It is bound to make everyone sit up, and take notice when two of India’s greatest sport stars share the stage,. That’s what happened when legendary Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar was called to present the lifetime achievement award to the country’s shuttling great, Prakash Padukone at a impressive ceremony to celebrate 40 years of Sportstar magazine yesterday.
Earlier than presenting the award, Gavaskar admitted: “It is a fan boy moment for me. With no disrespect to other sporting heroes of India, you [Padukone] are the greatest Indian sportsman ever. In those days, All England was like the World Championships.”
Looking a bit embarrassed , Padukone the All England champ in 1980 said , “I don’t deserve so much praise. I accept this award. I dedicate it to fellow players for the growth of Indian badminton. I played badminton at a time when not many knew about it. Ball badminton was quite popular. I had to say shuttle badminton. From there to where we are, I am delighted to play a small part in evolution of India badminton when we are amongst the top four. The time has come that Chinese and Indonesian see whether they are playing an Indian first,”
Jasprit Bumrah the Indian pace bowler, the joint recipient of the Indian cricket sportsman of the year award with Virat Kohli, was thrilled over India’s historic victory Down Under. “India is a country of legends known for batting. To win abroad, we had to do well as a bowling unit. So, at the start of the year, we decided to work on that,” he said.
Sanjay M Bhaire
(Editor-In-Chief , Across States,Across Mumbai News)
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