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Sunil Gavaskar recalls when Imran Khan’s ‘challenge’ pushed him to reconsider retirement

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 18-08-2018
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With Imran Khan swearing in as Prime Minister of Pakistan on Friday, former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar on Saturday remembered the time when the former Pakistan captain threw him a ‘challenge’ to make him extend his plans to retire. In a column written on Times of India, the former Indian batsman talked about the incident which took place while the two were having lunch in London in 1986 when Gavaskar told him he plans to retire at the end of India’s tour of England.

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“‘You can’t retire now. Pakistan is coming to India next year and I want to beat India in India. If you aren’t part of that team, it won’t be the same. Come on, let’s have one last tilt against each other,’ Imran Khan replied when I told him I planned to retire at the end of the India tour of England,” Gavaskar wrote in the column.

The 69-year-old further recalled telling Khan that if the tour was not announced before the final Test against England, he would make the announcement. “I said if the announcement of the tour wasn’t made before the final Test, I would go ahead and announce my retirement from international cricket. The tour was indeed announced in a few days,” Gavaskar wrote.

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“Pakistan won the last and final Test of that series after the earlier Tests were all drawn and thus beat India for the first time in India,” Gavaskar added.

The cricketer-turned-commentator further went on to praise Imran Khan’s ‘vision’ during the World Cup 1992, in which he lifted the trophy as Pakistan captain. “He had a vision before the 1992 World cup started that Pakistan would win the trophy and that’s exactly how it turned out. His belief despite Pakistan’s slow start to the tournament was unshakeable,” he wrote.

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Speaking about his role as Pakistan Prime Minister, Gavaskar said that most Indians would want him to succeed in the role. “He is the only Prime Minister of Pakistan who has come to India several times as an ordinary citizen and has interacted not only with the high societal types but also the man on the street who met him as a fan. He should, therefore, be well aware that most Indians would want him to succeed as a Prime Minister and usher in a new era of friendship, and look forward not back,” he wrote.

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(Provided Sportskeeda)

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