Australians Asked Me To “Get Lost”: Gavaskar on 1981 Walk-out

In his previous interviews, Gavaskar has said that he regretted his decision to leave the field in such a manner.

2 min read
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar was part of the India team that was shot out for 42 by England at Lord’s over 46 years ago.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has opened up about his infamous walk-out during the Melbourne Test of 1981, saying it was the Australian players' "get lost" call, and not his leg-before dismissal, that led him to storm off with his opening partner.

In the 1981 series, that was dogged by some inconsistent umpiring, a Dennis Lillee in-cutter caught Gavaskar plumb in front and umpire Rex Whitehead, standing in just his third Test, raised his finger. But Gavaskar, who thought that the ball had got his bat on the way to the pad, protested by standing his ground long enough.

In his previous interviews on the matter, Gavaskar has maintained that he regretted his decision to leave the field in such a manner.

"The misconception is that I was upset at the lbw decision," Gavaskar told 7Cricket.

"Yes, it was upsetting. But the walk-off happened only because, as I had gone past Chetan (Chauhan) on the way to the change-rooms, the Australians had given me a spray. They told me to get lost, which is where I've come back and asked Chetan to walk off with me."

The former cricketer also slapped his pads with the bat, letting the umpire know about his unhappiness about the decision.

As he reluctantly started to leave, Lillee reportedly made one comment too many and the Indian snapped, returned to the crease and instructed fellow opener Chetan Chauhan to walk off the pitch with him.

A bemused Chauhan did as he was told, but at the boundary rope, the batsmen were met by team manager Shahid Durrani and assistant manager Bapu Nadkarni.

"I got an inside-edge as you can see from the forward short leg fielder. He hasn't done anything, he hasn't moved.

"Dennis (Lillee) is telling me, "It hit you there," and I'm trying to say, "No I hit it." And now you see, I've asked Chetan to walk off with me," said the former India captain narrating the incident on a show where it was played out for him.

(With PTI Inputs)

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