Reminiscing his glory days, former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar rated Kris Srikkanth as the best opening partner he had, saying that the right-hander "liberated" him as a batsman.

"As my opening partner, Srikkanth somehow liberated me as a batsman. He used to encourage me to play the shots that I wouldn't otherwise offer. He had a positive influence on me," said Gavaskar.

Replying to a query on IPL at an event in Toronto to promote cricket, Gavaskar said the event was good for the game.

"Previously players could not think of cricket for livelihood, unless they had played at the national level but now they can," he said.

Asked to name the best opening pairs in the world, Gavaskar said he felt the honour is shared between the Australian combos of Bobby Simpson-Bill Lawry and Matthew Hayden-Justin Langer.

Gavaskar was in the Canadian capital to promote cricket among the Indo-Canadians. "I am willing to spend a couple of days every year in Canada to give the young cricketers professional training so that they can compete globally," he said.

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Keywords: Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar , Kris Srikkanth , batsman,IPL, Toronto , cricket, Australian combos , Bobby Simpson,Bill Lawry , Matthew Hayden,Justin Langer, Canadian capital , Indo-Canadians,Canada ,cricket news,sports news