Indian cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar is reportedly set to miss handing over the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which is named after him and former Australia cricketer Allan Border, to India captain Virat Kohli next week.
Either Border or Gavaskar, and sometimes both, have been present to hand over the trophy to the winning captain of India-Australia Test series over the years, but that is unlikely to be the case after the fourth and final Test in Sydney, starting Thursday. India have already taken an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-Test series, confirming that they will retain the trophy they won at home last year.
While Border will be present to hand over the trophy, Gavaskar is set to miss out, reported India Today, because he hasn’t received an invitation from Cricket Australia.
“I was sent a letter by Cricket Australia’s [former] chief executive James Sutherland in May asking about my availability to present the Border-Gavaskar trophy and I would have been happy to go,” Gavaskar, who is commentating for Indian rights holder Sony Pictures Sports Network out of a studio in Mumbai, told India Today. “But he stepped down [in October] and there has been no further contact.”
However Cricket Australia’s head of communications Tim Whittaker told the Australian Associated Press that the board had sent two emails to Gavaskar inviting him to Sydney but had received “no reply to either”.
Cricket Australia’s top management has undergone an overhaul in recent months in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal in March. Amid the fallout from the fiasco, former chairman David Peever quit under intense pressure. Australian cricket’s embattled governing body named Earl Eddings to lead the organisation out of crisis in November.
Former captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner were earlier banned for 12 months, while batsman Cameron Bancroft just finished serving his nine-month suspension, over their roles in the incident. Head coach Darren Lehmann also quit after the scandal broke. A Cricket Australia commissioned report found an “arrogant” and “controlling” culture within the organisation contributed to players cheating in the pursuit of victory.
Kohli and his men won the first Test in Adelaide narrowly before being humbled by the hosts in Perth. However, India fought back well to claim the Boxing Day Test by 131 runs last week to take a 2-1 lead. “I am happy that the Border-Gavaskar trophy is staying in India and very happy with the way team has played,” Gavaskar said.
The trophy for the Test series between India and Australia was first named after Border and Gavaskar in 1996. The legendary cricketers were the first two batsmen to cross the 10,000-run mark in Test cricket.
With inputs from AFP