Gavaskar expresses regret over controversial remarks on Warne, says 'it wasn't right time'

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Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar I AFP

New Delhi: Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on Monday said he regrets the comments made by him last week after legendary spinner Shane Warne passed away.

Warne had passed away on Friday aged 52 due to a suspected heart attack. During an interview with a TV channel, Gavaskar had condoled the demise of Warne, but he went on to say that he does not consider the Australian as the best spinner to play the game.

Since then, the Indian batting great has been criticized for talking about Warne's greatness when the Australian had just passed away.

"Last week was a very traumatic time for cricket fraternity as in 24 hours, we lost two icons of the game -- Rodney Marsh and Shane Warne. On TV, I was asked by an anchor whether Warne was the greatest spinner and I gave my honest opinion," said Gavaskar in a video posted on his Instagram account.

"In hindsight, that question should not have been asked and I should not have answered as it was not the right time for any comparison or evaluation. Warne was one of the greatest players to ever grace the game. Rodney Marsh was also one of the best wicketkeepers. May their souls rest in peace," he added.

Warne was one of the most influential cricketers in history. He almost single-handedly reinvented the art of leg-spin when he burst onto the international scene in the early 1990s, and by the time he retired from international cricket in 2007, he had become the first bowler to reach 700 Test wickets.

A central figure in Australia's ICC Cricket World Cup triumph in 1999, when he was player of the match in both the semi-final and the final, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack recognized Shane's achievements by naming him as one of its Five Cricketers of the Twentieth Century.

Shane finished his international career with 708 Test wickets and a further 293 in One-Day Internationals, placing him second in the list of all-time international wicket-takers behind his great friend and rival Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka (1,347). Shane also captained Australia in 11 One-Day Internationals, winning 10 and losing just once. ANI

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