Sunil Gavaskar to skip Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony as Pakistan PM


New Delhi: Former Indian cricket team captain Sunil Gavaskar said he will not be able to make it for Imran Khan's oath-taking as the prime minister of Pakistan on August 18. The cricketer-turned-politician and chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party is set to be sworn in as prime minister next week.

The former greats have squared off against each other several times during the 1980s and 90s as cricket captains but still, share a mutual friendship till today. However, Gavaskar confirmed that he spoke to Imran about attending the event but won't be able to attend it due to his broadcasting commitments.

"Yes, I did speak to Imran himself. He was inquiring if I'd be able to make it. I said to him that unfortunately because of my commentary commitments I won't be able to do so. But my best wishes are with him and I'm hoping to see him sooner rather than later. I think I've known him for plenty of years. I think it's a huge moment for the cricketing fraternity that one of theirs has gone on to become the prime minister of a country so I wish him very well," he was quoted as saying by India Today.

The 69-year-old further stated that Imran could improve the strained ties between India and Pakistan.

"He is the only prime minister [of Pakistan] who has actually spent a lot of time in India. He is probably the only Pakistani after partition who has been to India several times has met with the common man apart from all the dignitaries and therefore understands India better than any other prime minister. And therefore I'm hoping that with that kind of understanding, he will have an outlook towards India which is perhaps different than the other prime ministers," he added.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Kapil Dev and Navjot Singh Sidhu have accepted Imran’s invite and are waiting for the government’s decision.