ANDHRA PRADESH

`Batting legend Jai occupies a special place in my heart'

FITTING TRIBUTE: Former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar releasing a biography of M.L. Jaisimha in Hyderabad on Monday. Seen with him are author A. Joseph Antony, co-author Jayanti Jaisimha and cricketer V.V.S. Laxman. — Photo: P. V. Sivakumar

FITTING TRIBUTE: Former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar releasing a biography of M.L. Jaisimha in Hyderabad on Monday. Seen with him are author A. Joseph Antony, co-author Jayanti Jaisimha and cricketer V.V.S. Laxman. — Photo: P. V. Sivakumar  

Special Correspondent

Hyderabad: Former batting legend Sunil Gavaskar took a walk down memory lane, recalling his childhood days when he idolised former Test cricketer M.L. Jaisimha to the time when he played with "Jai" who was widely regarded as one of the most popular players ever to have graced the greens.

The occasion was a function held in connection with the release of a biography of Jaisimha titled

Golden age

"My Way" written by A. Joseph Antony, special correspondent, The Hindu , and Jayanthi Jaisimha.

"It doesn't matter how old you are, your childhood hero always remains a hero," said Gavsakar. "I used to admire Kanhai, Sobers and Hanif Mohammed but Jai occupied a special place in my heart. When we were children my friends and I sneaked into the Brabourne Stadium to get a glimpse of Jai and his team-mates. They seemed to be having so much fun even while practising seriously. I believe that the 1960s and 70s were the golden age of Indian cricket. I got a chance to play with Jai later when I represented VST Colts in the Moin-ud-Dowla tournament.

Today, I can imagine Jai up there, smiling and happy," said Gavaskar. Test player V.V.S. Laxman who was the guest of honour echoed similar feelings and said that "Jai uncle" had been an inspiration to many players of his generation and continued to be an icon of Hyderabad cricket.

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