NEW DELHI: The epithets of colossus and regal were reserved for Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Viswanath but Dilip Vengsarkar has no regrets that he was not as feted as his two illustrious colleagues, saying he cherished an “extremely fulfilling” career.
Vengsarkar, who turned 64 on Monday, was India’s batting mainstay during the mid 80s when he outscored the iconic Gavaskar as his upright stance and ability to play swing and spin with aplomb was a delight for Test afficianados.
In an interview, Vengsarkar spoke about his enriching journey as an India player for 16 years.
“When I look back, it’s been a very happy and fulfilling journey. Playing 116 Tests for India is the biggest satisfaction. Add to it, the 129 ODIs, winning World Cup and World Championship of Cricket. And to top it all, being an India captain. It was a great journey,” the ‘Colonel’ said during an interaction.
Being the only international cricketer outside England to hit three hundreds at Lord’s and raise six centuries at home against the fearsome West Indies attack of the 70s and 80s, does he feel that he did not get the recognition he deserved.
“That’s basically destiny,” Vegsarkar said in a pragmatic tone. “You had to work hard, play honestly and win matches for your team. That should be the goal for every cricketer. Whatever accomplishments that come along the way and whatever recognition you get, whether you got your due or not, it is purely destiny,” the stalwart added.
Vengsarkar did fall out of favour with cricket establishment in 1989 when he played a few friendly matches (‘Masala Matches was the coinage used in Indian cricket) in the United States and was stripped of captaincy.
He missed a series in Pakistan and also missed a series in New Zealand (due to injury). By the time he came back for the Australia series, he was at the end of his career. (AGENCIES)