When Sunil Gavaskar lambasted an India player  for demeaning the India cap

National colours have to be earned. It’s is something Sunil Gavaskar learnt early in his life when he wanted to wear his maternal uncle, Madhav Mantri’s India jersey. Gavaskar was refused. Mantri instilled in his doting nephew the importance of earning India colours. It’s a lesson that stayed with Gavaskar.

Joy Bhattacharya, the Kolkata Knight Riders director, narrated an incident that exemplified the lesson the Little Master learnt as a kid: “Sunil Gavaskar was a commentator on the Indian tour of the West Indies in 2002. One of our younger cricketers had a fairly active night of passion and the lady involved demanded and got one of his India caps as a prize. A day later, she went to sign it from Sunny Gavaskar. He had one look at the cap and asked where she got it from. She refused to tell till he threatened to call the police and have her arrested. After he got the name, he stormed on to the team bus, something he never does, and told the player in question exactly what he thought of the incident, and why he should be ashamed to ever wear an India cap again. Forget that poor man, in five minutes, the entire bus learned more about what playing for India meant than a thousand lectures.”