Sunil Gavaskar to inaugurate stadium named after him in USA

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Sunil Gavaskar to inaugurate stadium named after him in USA

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SportsCafe Desk

09/29/2017

Sunil Gavaskar will be present in person to inaugurate a stadium in the United States of America, which will be named after him as the Sunil Gavaskar Field. It is the first venue, which will be named after an Indian cricketer as the proposed Sachin Tendulkar Stadium in Antigua is still in doubt.

The first man to get 10,000 runs in Test cricket, most numbers of Test hundreds (34) before Sachin Tendulkar overtook him, was one of India's and Test cricket's greatest openers. Gavaskar was the first superstar in Indian cricket, whose game was built around a near-perfect technique and enormous powers of concentration. He was the one who took Indian batting to a world class level when he tonked the dangerous Caribbean pacers to submission on his way to score 774 runs in the very first series as an Indian player. So, it was only fitting that he became the first Indian cricketer to have a stadium named after him.

The stadium, which is being built in Louisville, Kentucky, will be named as Sunil Gavaskar Field. With this, the `Original Little Master' will join the club of West Indians Vivian Richards (Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua) and Darren Sammy (Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia), as cricketers who've grounds named after them. While both Richards and Sammy have stadiums located in their hometown, the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Gavaskar's home ground, has a stand named after the Indian legend.

"It's a wonderful honour to have a ground named after you especially in a country where cricket is not the premier sport," an elated Gavaskar told TOI. 

The concept of naming stadiums after sportspersons is pretty alien to India and here grounds are named mostly named after politicians. Gavaskar believes that is fair enough in one way.

"While it is always preferable to have sports facilities named after sportspersons, there are plenty of other non-sportspersons who make a contribution to the growth, development and betterment of sports so the grounds can be named after them too, but yes ideally, grounds should be named after those who have made a contribution to sports," said Gavaskar.

"However, once the ground is named after an individual there should not be any sponsor's name before or after it, for that completely dilutes the honour of naming the ground after the person."

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