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Friday, October 7, 2016

Mumbai skittles out TN for 87 at Lahli ... yes !!

The name ‘Haryana’ is believed to  have been derived from the Sanskrit words Hari (Lord Maha Vishnu) and ayana (home), meaning "the Abode of God”.  The state of   Haryana  was formed on 1 November 1966. The Indian government set up the Shah Commission in  1966 to divide the existing Punjab, India and determine the boundaries of the new state of Haryana after consideration of the languages spoken by the people. The area that is now Haryana was ruled by major empires of India. 

Panipat is known for three seminal battles in the history of India. In the 2nd battle in 1556, Akbar defeated the more popular Hindu emperor Hemu who had earlier won 22 battles Punjab to Bengal defeating Mughals and Afghans. Hemu had defeated Akbar's forces twice at Agra and Battle of Delhi in 1556  and had coronoation at Purana Quila.  The river Yamuna defines  Haryana’s eastern border with Uttar Pradesh. Haryana surrounds the country's capital Delhi on three sides.
Rohtak city lies 70 kilometres (43 mi) north west of New Delhi, away from the capital Chandigarh.  It is one of the most populous cities of the State and Lahli is a small place in Rohtak.

Remember seeing the match at Chepauk in Dec 1976, Tamilnadu captained by S. Venkatraghavan played Karnataka captained by EAS Prasanna.  Their bowling was formidable with Prasanna, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, left arm spinner Vijaykrishna and Roger Binny.  TN opened with P Ramesh and V Krishnaswamy, Michael Dalvi followed. There was Abdul Jabbar too.  The tall elegant left hander V Sivaramakrishnan scored 169 and the stylish Thirumalai Echambadi Srinivasan made an unbeaten 130. TN declared at 424/5.  Karnataka was all out for 273.  Brijesh Patel scored 103; while Binny, Gundappa Viswanath, Sudhakar rao, Jayaprakash failed.  Venkat too 5/103 and R Vasudevan 2/92. 

We are reading about Lahli and Haryana because yesterday TN played Ranji match against Mumbai there – yes, you are reading it right !!

All the matches in the upcoming Ranji Trophy cricket tournament are scheduled to be  played in neutral venues, according to the fixture of the Domestic tournaments announced by the BCCI. BCCI’s technical committee, headed by Sourav Ganguly, had recommended to hold the matches of its premier domestic championship at neutral venues to make it more competitive. Neutral venues will take away any home advantage as it will deny the home teams an opportunity to make tailor-made pitches according to their strengths. According to the fixture, the 83rd edition of the Ranji Trophy got underway on October 6 with Chhattisgarh making their first-class debut against Tripura in Ranchi. They are the 10th team in Group C. Group A and Group B  have nine teams each in the 28-team event. Three teams from each of Group A and B and two sides from Group C will reach the quarterfinals to be held from December 17-21. The semifinals will be held from December 27-31 and the final will be played between January 7 and 11.

By moving to neutral venues, the issue of pitches "doctored" to suit the demands of the host team is neutralised completely. Since pitch preparation will be out of the teams' domain, they will be forced to strive harder to pick well-rounded cricketers. One argument against this it will wean away the already thin crowds and matches may be played in front of empty stadiums.  People are unlikely to turn up in numbers to watch a match in which their home team isn't involved.  Those of us who bought tickets and watched TN Ranji matches know it well, that anyway, the crowds haven't been turning up for Ranji games. So when people aren't turning up in any case, the argument that home support is missing at neutral venues becomes moot.  The Cricket Association of Bengal has shown the way by getting people in for the Super League Cup final between two club sides last month. The match was publicised quite heavily in the local media and people were not just made aware of the fact that entry was free but also encouraged to become a part of history. Matches have to be played only in week-ends and perhaps entry fee lowered or made free with some sponsors pitching in ~ BCCI has enough money in its coffers – and in fact is threatening the Court to stop Ranji matches when Court imposes strict actions.

Chaudhary Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium  at Lahli that can accommodate only 8,000 spectators, became famous when Sachin Tendulkar played his last Ranji match in Oct 2013. Yesterday at Lahli, defending champions Mumbai pulled ahead against Tamil Nadu on a 14-wicket day.  All 14 wickets went to the seamers, with debutants Tushar Deshpande and K Vignesh returning figures of 4 for 25 and 2 for 5 respectively. Having been sent in, TN crashed to 87 all out, with only B Aparajith and B Indrajith passing 15.  In the absence of Shardul Thakur, who had been called-up to the India Test squad to replace the injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni made the early running, taking out TN's top three. Deshpande, assisted by Balwinder Sandhu, who took two wickets, then scythed through the middle and lower order. In reply, Mumbai lost their openers Akhil Herwadkar and Jay Bista early, and Vignesh hurt them further, but unbeaten twenties from Kaustubh Pawar and captain Aditya Tare trimmed the deficit to two runs at stumps. Their unbroken 32-run stand was the highest on the opening day.

The stadium is named after former CM of Haryana - Bansi Lal. Lal was elected to the State Assembly seven times, the first time in 1967. He served three separate terms as Chief Minister of Haryana; and served as the Defence Minister from December 1975 to March 1977, and had a brief stint as a Minister Without Portfolio in the Union government in 1975. He set up Haryana Vikas Party after parting ways with the Indian National Congress in 1996.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

7th Oct 2016.

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