New Delhi: Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has clarified that he had not sought paternity leave from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to return to India during the twin tours of New Zealand and West Indies in 1975-76.
It was reported in the media that the former India opener had asked for leave but was denied permission for paternity leave.
“While this is correct, the circumstances of that request were not quite made clear and so, here is an attempt to put the record straight. Firstly, I did not ask permission to return to be by my wife’s side for the birth [of the baby]. When I left with the Indian team for the twin tour of New Zealand and the West Indies, I was aware that the baby would come while I was away. I was committed to playing for India and my wife backed me to the hilt,” Gavaskar wrote in a column in the Mid-Day newspaper.
Gavaskar said that he was injured in the third Test against New Zealand and was asked to rest for four weeks and it was for this period of rest that he sought paternity leave.
“The doctors advised a four-week break from the game for recovery. The next Test match was in the West Indies in about three weeks and since I wasn’t going to be able to play in the interim, I asked our manager, the legendary Polly Umrigar, if I could go back at my own expense for a few days and rejoin the team in the West Indies well ahead of the first Test. So, there was no question of me missing a Test match other than for injury. In fact, I played the first Test despite the doctor having advised another week’s rest,” Gavaskar wrote.