Sunil Gavaskar (July 10, 1949 at Bombay, Maharashtra), nicknamed Sunny, was a cricket player during the 1970s and 1980s for Bombay and India. He is considered one of the greatest opening batsmen in the sport's history.
He made a spectacular test debut in 1971 scoring 774 runs in his first test series against the West Indies helping India win for the first time in the Caribbean. From then until his retirement in 1987 he was a mainstay of the Indian batting line-up. In 1983 Gavaskar broke one of the oldest and most prestigious records in the game: Donald Bradman's 29 test centuries. As of 2004, Gavaskar still holds the record for the most number of test centuries (34) and is the only player to score centuries in each innings three times. Gavaskar was also the first batsman to reach 10,000 test runs and held the record for the most number of runs until it was broken by Allan Border.
Gavaskar was captain of the Indian team on several occasions in the late 70's and early 80's though here his record is more mixed. Often equipped with weak bowling attacks he tended to use conservative tactics which resulted in a large number of draws. Still he had several successes as captain especially a 2-0 victory over Pakistan in 1979 and a victory in the World Championhip of Cricket held in Australia in 1985. On the downside there was a heavy defeat against Pakistan in 1982 which cost him the captaincy for a while.
Overall he played 125 test matches and scored 10,122 runs at an average of 51.12. He scored 34 centuries and 45 half-centuries with a highest score of 236 not out.
His solid and defensive style of play was less suited to the shorter form of the game, at which he had less success. He famously scored an ignominous 36 not out carrying his bat through the full 60 overs in his ODI debut in 1974 against England. Overall he played 108 ODI matches and scored 3092 runs at an average of 35.13 with one century and 27 half-centuries and a highest score of 103 not out.
He was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1980 and has also been awarded the Padma Bhushan. He has served as the Sheriff of Mumbai and is now a writer and commentator. He has written an autobiography, Sunny days. His son Rohan is also a cricketer who plays at the national level.