Sunil Gavaskar © Getty Images
Dubai: Jun 16, 2014
Cricketing greats Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar never batted alongside each other for India but now there is a possibility of the two playing golf together. This possibility arose after Gavaskar was awarded honorary life membership at The Els Club at Dubai Sports City, something bestowed on Tendulkar when he was here as part of the Mumbai Indians coaching staff during the recent Indian Premier League (IPL).
Gavaskar, the first player in history to top 10,000 Test runs and a World Cup winner in 1983, received the honour from Dubai Sports City Partner Abdulrahman Falaknaz and Dubai Sports City President Khalid Al Zarooni at a private ceremony at The Els Club.
And reflecting on the possibility of linking up with Tendulkar, the top run-scorer in international cricket, on the 18-hole championship golf course managed by Troon Golf, Gavaskar said: “We actually played once together in Chittagong in Bangladesh and he was pretty serious, as you would expect [and] he hit the ball really well.
“Yes, I think at some stage if we are here in Dubai we will certainly look to play together but I think he has got a head start. I believe he has already had some golfing lessons over here at the Butch Harmon School of Golf (at Dubai Sports City) which is a world-famous academy, so I am pretty certain he is going to beat me by a mile,” he added.
Gavaskar did admit that he had never previously been bitten by the golf bug but said there was plenty at The Els Club for him to enjoy away from the action. “When I played cricket I thought I had to work very hard for my centuries but in golf I find you can get a century just like that,” he joked.
“I do not like easy centuries but maybe now I have got this membership I will try to play a bit and get better. I have seen that (the facilities are excellent) and I think that is something that will appeal to me. Maybe at my age, sitting in The Clubhouse and enjoying the ambiance is the thing to do.
“I think it is absolutely fantastic here. I have been here for lunch and for an evening and the atmosphere is really a pleasant one and you can totally relax. I am honoured and really looking forward to using the facilities here,” he added.
Gavaskar is just the latest star name in the recent past to take time out at The Els Club at Dubai Sports City. Before Tendulkar’s appearances came Hollywood superstar Will Smith, who also took lessons at the Butch Harmon School of Golf, and former world number one golfer Rory Mcllroy is a regular visitor.