Sunil Gavaskar, a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning cricket team, paid a visit to the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA) in Bengaluru to meet the youngsters on Thursday.
"He had a meeting in Bengaluru and decided to meet the young aspiring kids of the academy. Badminton and cricket are two of his favourite sports. He was here with us for about an hour," Vimal Kumar, co-founder, director, and chief coach of the PPBA, told PTI.
Gavaskar later posted a picture with Lakshya Sen on Instagram and captioned it: "My new badminton hero Lakshya Sen, after the one and only Prakash Padukone."
Sen expressed that he was star stuck to react.
"It feels good to hear such things from such big personalities. Honestly, I was too star stuck to react," Sen told PTI.
The 21-year-old won gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the India Open. He was also a member of the historic Thomas Cup victory. He bagged silver at the All England Championships and is also the winner of the 2021 World Championships bronze medal.
"Gavaskar sir spoke about the Thomas Cup win. I have heard so much about him from my parents and all the seniors. Also when I watched the movie '83', I got to know what went behind that epic win," he said.
"I can relate to it now, essentially after the Thomas Cup win because back then they were the underdogs and in Thomas Cup, it was us."
Asked what did Gavaskar discuss with the budding badminton players, Vimal said, "He also gave some tips to the youngsters, asking them to analyse what went right in a day to get the best out of training.
"Gavaskar and Prakash are two self-taught heroes of Indian sport, so coming from him means a lot."