Gaekwad’s guts, Umesh Kulkarni’s debt recalled

Gaekwad’s guts, Umesh Kulkarni’s debt recalled

Gaekwads guts d - Gaekwad’s guts, Umesh Kulkarni’s debt recalled

India opener Anshuman Gaekwad, who took several blows on his body during India’s 1975-76 WI tour, on Saturday recalled the ‘bloodbath’ during the fourth Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica.  

Gaekwad was speaking at the Ageas Federal Life Insurance felicitation function where former India left-arm pacer Umesh Kulkarni and he were felicitated by ex-India captain Dilip Vengsarkar and pacer Karsan Ghavri at the Lokmanya Seva Sangh in Vile Parle on Saturday.

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Record chase

India had drawn level in the previous Test at Trinidad where they chased a record 403 to win by six wickets. The hosts clinched the opening Test at Barbados. The second Test which was also held in Trinidad since rain ruined the scheduled game at Georgetown, was drawn.

Gaekwad, 69, was India’s highest scorer with 81, before getting severely injured when speedster Michael Holding’s bouncer struck his ear. The injury put him in the ICU for the next three days. 

Bruised all over

“There were four pace bowlers, who all were bowling at a speed of 150-160 kmph. So there was no respite; you could not relax. But we [Sunil Gavaskar scored 66] had a very good start and batted the whole day [171-1]. Yes, I got hit on the body several times. My left side was badly injured. When I reached the hotel I was icing it the whole evening,” Gaekwad said when moderator Dwarkanath Sanzgiri asked him about the incident.

The aftermath was even terrible as Gaekwad had to be rushed to hospital without an ambulance. Meanwhile, Kulkarni, 80, who dismissed Australia opener Bill Lawry for a first-ball duck in the second innings of the 1967-68 Adelaide Test, revealed how Vinoo Mankad praise his performance in the Harris Shield when he claimed nine wickets for Maratha High School, Girgaon against King George HS and asked him to practise under him. “I hailed from Alibag and it was my first game. Later, Vinoobhai asked me whether I want to play cricket. His second question was about my cricket trousers, shirt and boots. I told him I don’t have anything, but I want to play. The very next day, he taught me how to run up and how to bowl over the wicket. He watched every ball and guided me how to bowl. It helped me to increase my speed and accuracy,” Kulkarni recalled.

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