When Sunil Gavaskar was about to retire after the India tour of England, Imran Khan had this to say. “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.”
According to Gavaskar, while having lunch in 1986 in London he made the decision. He would make his announcement of retirement from International cricket. Pakistan had won the final Test match and had beat India for the first time in India.
According to Gavaskar, he knew Imran since 1971. They met when they were tryig to qualify for the Worcestershire County team. Gavaskar also said that Imran at that time was just a scrawny kid. He was a medium pacer who had little to no control over his open-chested inswing bowling action.
As Gavaskar continued he talks about how impressively Imran grew and learned. Gavaskar recalled how Imran single-handily destroyed India in 1982-1983. Imran was able to get 40 wickets and also ended the career of India’s best batsman of the decade.
While talking about Imran as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Gavaskar talked about Imran coming to India. He talked about how he came as an ordinary citizen and interacted with both the high-class society and the local street fans the same way.
Gavaskar also spoke about how he welcomed Imran to the ‘Puri Club’. When Gavaskar met Imran after he had retired, Imran was losing his hair, the top part basically. Gavaskar jokingly welcomed him to the ‘Puri Club’ as Gavaskar called it. Puzzled, Imran asked what was the ‘Puri Club’? To which Gavaskar replied that the bald spot atop his head looked like a puri. Imran obviously chuckled to this.
Gavaskar also told him they both should not let the puri turn into a paratha. Gavaskar also talked about how both nations wanted Imran to usher in a new era of friendship between the two nations. He also said how much both nations love and respected Imran.
At the end of the interview Gavaskar mentioned, he sadly will be unable to attend Imran’s swearing-in ceremony but wishes his friend all the best in his future endeavors and challenges.