New Delhi, August 16
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar pens a shifting tribute to his longest-serving opening companion Chetan Chauhan, who died of COVID-19 associated issues on Sunday.
By Sunil Gavaskar
“Aaja, aaja, gale mil, after all we are in the mandatory overs of life” was the standard greeting of my opening companion Chetan Chauhan each time we met during the last two or three years.
The conferences had been invariably at his beloved Ferozeshah Kotla floor the place he was accountable for the pitch preparation. As we hugged I’d say to him that “no, no we must have another century partnership” and he would chortle after which say “arre baba you are the century maker, not me”.
Never in my wildest nightmares might I consider that his phrases about being within the obligatory overs of life would come true so quickly. It’s so laborious to consider that his laughter and cheerful banter gained’t be there the subsequent time I’m going to Delhi.
Talking of centuries, I firmly consider that I used to be accountable for him lacking out on two events, each in Australia within the 1980/81 sequence Down beneath.
In the second Test in Adelaide he was on 97 when my teammates pulled me out of my chair in entrance of the TV and dragged me to the gamers balcony saying I need to get there to cheer my companion.
I used to be a bit superstitious about watching from the gamers enclosure as then the batsman would get out and so would all the time watch on the dressing room TV.
Once the landmark was reached, then I’d rush to the gamers balcony and be part of within the cheers. However, right here I used to be within the Adelaide balcony when Dennis Lillee got here in to bowl and would you consider Chetan was caught behind first ball.
I used to be furious and informed the gamers off for having received me to the balcony however that wasn’t going to alter what had occurred.
A couple of years later, I didn’t make the identical mistake when Mohammad Azharuddin was approaching his third consecutive hundred in Kanpur and as quickly as he received to the coveted mark I used to be out of the change room and applauding him from subsequent to the sightscreen.
However, a few of my pals within the media who had the knives out for me then made an enormous story of my so known as absence. Amazingly, that they had had nothing to say concerning the absence of some when a 12 months earlier I received my 29th century to be degree with Sir Don Bradman in Delhi.
The second event that I consider I used to be accountable for Chetan lacking 100 was once I misplaced my head after being abused by the Australians as I used to be leaving the pitch after a horrible resolution.
Trying to tug Chetan off the sphere with me will need to have disrupted his focus and he was once more out wanting a century just a little later.
There’s one factor that few gamers of my era and the one instantly after that don’t know is his contribution in getting tax exemptions for them.
Both of us first met up with the late Shri R Venkataraman, who was the Finance minister of the nation then and requested him to contemplate a tax exemption for charges obtained for enjoying for India.
In this facet, should add that it wasn’t only for cricket however for all sportspersons who performed for India. We defined how once we had been junior cricketers we needed to spend some huge cash on gear, journey, coaches, and so forth once we had no earnings in any respect.
Shri Venkatramanji was most thoughtful and in a notification he handed a ruling that gave us 75 per cent commonplace deduction for a Test match payment then an exemption on 50 per cent of the tour charges which we obtained earlier than leaving for a tour.
The cherry on the cake although was the overall exemption on the One-day match charges of 750 which we obtained these days. Mind you we barely performed a sport or two of one-day worldwide then.
That notification was in place until about 1998 by which period the variety of one-day internationals had elevated dramatically as additionally the charges which had been round 1 lakh or so.
So across the mid-90s gamers had been getting about 25 lakh or extra freed from tax. Even after my retirement I’d give a replica of the notification to the newcomers within the Indian staff for them to provide to their accountants.
Chetan all the time stated that if we’re requested what was our greatest contribution to Indian cricket we should always say that it was getting the exemptions for the cricketing fraternity.
His want to assist others manifested in him becoming a member of politics and proper until the top he was a giver, not a taker.
He had a depraved sense of humour too. His favorite music as we walked out to face a number of the most hostile bowlers within the sport was “muskura ladle muskura”. That was his means of easing the nerves whereas confronting challenges.
Now that my companion is not any extra how can I ‘muskura’?
May your soul have eternal peace, companion. PTI