By Sunil Gavaskar “Aaja, aaja, gale mil, after all we are in the mandatory overs of life” was the standard greeting of my opening associate Chetan Chauhan every time we met during the last two or three years.
The conferences had been invariably at his beloved Feroz Shah Kotla floor the place he was in command of the pitch preparation.
As we hugged I might say to him that “no, no we must have another century partnership” and he would snort after which say “arre baba you are the century maker, not me”.
Never in my wildest nightmares might I consider that his phrases about being within the necessary overs of life would come true so quickly. It’s so onerous to consider that his laughter and cheerful banter will not be there the subsequent time I am going to Delhi.
Talking of centuries, I firmly consider that I used to be chargeable for him lacking out on two events, each in Australia within the 1980/81 collection Down beneath.
In the second Test in Adelaide he was on 97 when my teammates pulled me out of my chair in entrance of the TV and dragged me to the gamers balcony saying I have to get there to cheer my associate. I used to be a bit superstitious about watching from the gamers enclosure as then the batsman would get out and so would at all times watch on the dressing room TV.
Once the landmark was reached, then I might rush to the gamers balcony and be a part of within the cheers. However, right here I used to be within the Adelaide balcony when Dennis Lillee got here in to bowl and would you consider Chetan was caught behind the primary ball.
I used to be furious and instructed the gamers off for having received me to the balcony however that wasn’t going to vary what had occurred.
A couple of years later, I did not make the identical mistake when Mohammad Azharuddin was approaching his third consecutive hundred in Kanpur and as quickly as he received to the coveted mark I used to be out of the change room and applauding him from subsequent to the sightscreen.
However, a few of my associates within the media who had the knives out for me then made a giant story of my so known as absence. Amazingly, that they had had nothing to say concerning the absence of some when a yr earlier I received my 29th century to be degree with Sir Don Bradman in Delhi.
The second event that I consider I used to be chargeable for Chetan lacking 100 was after I misplaced my head after being abused by the Australians as I used to be leaving the pitch after a horrible determination. Trying to pull Chetan off the sphere with me should have disrupted his focus and he was once more out in need of a century a little bit later.
There’s one factor that few gamers of my era and the one instantly after that do not know is his contribution in getting tax exemptions for them. Both of us first met up with the late Shri R Venkataraman, who was the Finance minister of the nation then and requested him to think about a tax exemption for charges obtained for taking part in for India.
In this side, should add that it wasn’t only for cricket however for all sportspersons who performed for India. We defined how once we had been junior cricketers we needed to spend some huge cash on tools, journey, coaches, and so forth once we had no revenue in any respect.
Shri Venkatramanji was most thoughtful and in a notification he handed a ruling that gave us 75 per cent normal deduction for a Test match payment then an exemption on 50 per cent of the tour charges which we obtained earlier than leaving for a tour. The cherry on the cake although was the overall exemption on the One-day match charges of 750 which we obtained these days.
Mind you we barely performed a recreation or two of one-day worldwide then. That notification was in place until about 1998 by which period the variety of one-day internationals had elevated dramatically as additionally the charges which had been round 1 lakh or so. So across the mid-90s gamers had been getting about 25 lakh or extra freed from tax. Even after my retirement I might give a replica of the notification to the newcomers within the Indian crew for them to offer to their accountants.
Chetan at all times mentioned that if we’re requested what was our greatest contribution to Indian cricket we should always say that it was getting the exemptions for the cricketing fraternity. His want to assist others manifested in him becoming a member of politics and proper until the tip he was a giver, not a taker.
He had a depraved sense of humour too. His favorite track as we walked out to face a few of the most hostile bowlers within the recreation was “muskura ladle muskura”. That was his method of easing the nerves whereas confronting challenges. Now that my associate is not any extra, how can I ‘muskura’? May your soul have eternal peace, associate.
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