Free Press Journal

Cricket’s Lost Talents! Rohan Gavaskar: Always under the shadow of father’s legacy


The son of former Indian great Sunil Gavaskar, Rohan, never lived the celebrated life that his father did. His career got lost somewhere amidst the heavy burdens of being the son of a legend. The father-son combination is a curious case of the history of the sport. There have been cases where a son has out shadowed his father in the field of sports. Being a left-handed batsman and an orthodox left-arm spinner, Gavaskar played for the Indian side in 2003/04. Although he was never able to make his opportunities to count, his performances at the domestic level have caught the eye of one and all.

Rohan Gavaskar’s family has some India’s greatest cricketers. Besides being a son Sunil Gavaskar, he is the nephew of former India wicket-keeper batsman Gundappa Vishwanath. Meanwhile, the former Indian batsman MK Mantri is his great uncle. But it seems to be very odd to refer Rohan as ‘Gavaskar’ as he did not resemble his father in any way. Sr Gavaskar was an aggressive batsman who was a delight to watch; he used to bowl left-arm spin that often resulted in wickets for his domestic side, West Bengal.

Rohan’s average in first-class cricket keeps him forever on the fringes of higher honours, and he was a serious contender for a national one-day slot for quite a while before he finally got his chance, against Australia in the 2003–04 VB Series.

Rohan made his ODI debut against Australia at Brisbane in 2003/04. The match was important win for India as they India notched 19 run win. However, Rohan batted for only couple of minutes and score just 2 runs. In the same match, Rohan bowled 9 over conceding 56 runs and picked up one wicket. Interestingly, the wicket of Andrew Symonds is Rohan’s only international wicket. Rohan Gavaskar has played just 11 ODIs for India. Interestingly, none of these ODIs have been played on Indian soil. He has toured Australia, England and the Netherlands with the national side.

Rohan played with success in the shorter version of the sport and made it to the East Zone Deodhar Trophy side. Consistent performances earned him a place in India A’s tour of Pakistan; in a match at Gaddafi Stadium Rohan scored 115 not out against a side consisting of Aaqib Javed and Shahid Afridi, adding an unbroken 227 for the sixth wicket with Sanjay Raul.

In 2007, Rohan signed a contract with Indian Cricket League for the Kolkata Tigers which was later declared unauthorised by BCCI. After breaking his links with the league, and returning to mainstream Indian domestic cricket, he was selected to play in the third season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). He played in his last first-class match in 2009 and retired in 2012. Rohan announced his retirement from first-class cricket on February 9, 2012. Rohan, played first-class cricket for Bengal side and scored 5073 runs in 75 matches at 51.24.

After retirement, Rohan followed his father’s foot-steps and started a career in commentating.