Sunil Gavaskar    CC archive
Sunil Gavaskar CC archive

Having stadiums named after cricketers is an unusual concept in India. With most of parks and stadiums named after politicians, cricketers have just stands named after them in cricket stadiums. West Indies already have Sir Vivian Richards and Darren Sammy stadiums. Soon Little Master Sunil Gavaskar will also be having a stadium after his name. Gavaskar has been bestowed with several awards over the years. In what can be termed as a first for the former Indian, Gavaskar will inaugurate a stadium on his name at Louisville, Kentucky at the US. The venue will be called Sunil Gavaskar field.

An elated Gavaskar spoke to the Times of India (TOI) on this occasion and said, It’s a wonderful honour to have a ground named after you especially in a country where cricket is not the premier sport. The project would be handled by Kentucky-based Jai Bokey, a former employee of sports marketing company Professional Management Group (PMG). Recently, ICC had suspended the membership of US Cricket Association. So there is no clear picture on how many matches would be held at the venue. However, India and New Zealand have played T20s against West Indies in Florida earlier.

When asked if India too should have stadiums named after cricketers, here is what the former opener had to say, While it is always preferable to have sports facilities named after sportspersons, there are plenty of other non-sportspersons who make a contribution to the growth, development and betterment of sports so the grounds can be named after them too, but yes ideally, grounds should be named after those who have made a contribution to sports.

However, once the ground is named after an individual there should not be any sponsor’s name before or after it, for that completely dilutes the honour of naming the ground after the person, he concluded.