U.S. Stadium to be Named After Cricket Legend Sunil Gavaskar
Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar is set to have a ground named after him at Louisville in Kentucky, United States, next month. The venue, which will be called Sunil Gavaskar Field, will be inaugurated by the former Indian cricketer.
With this honour, the legendary batsman joins West Indies cricketers Vivian Richards (Sir Vivian Richards Stadium) and Darren Sammy (Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium) as cricketers who have grounds named after them. The difference, however, is that Richards and Sammy have stadiums located in their hometown at North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda; and Gros Islet, Saint Lucia. As for the “Little Master”, there is a stand named after him at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
“It’s a wonderful honour to have a ground named after you especially in a country where cricket is not the premier sport,” the 68-year-old former player told the Times of India.
The project is led by Kentucky-based Jai Bokey, a former employee of the sports marketing company, Professional Management Group.
With the suspension of the USA Cricket Association in 2015 by the International Cricket Council, the sport in the country suffered a big setback. This development shows the popularity of Gavaskar across the globe even if it isn’t clear how many international games will be played at the venue.
In India, the concept of naming stadiums after sportspersons is foreign as they are usually named after politicians. “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,” Gavaskar said to the publication.
He added: “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 honor of naming the ground after the person.”