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Saturday, July 23, 2011

The tale of Sachin and the unwritten ones of Sippy, Madhavan. Salil Ankola.. and more

In game Cricket, just as in life, dame luck could play a great part – but even with much luck it requires great talent to survive and remain at the top. Sachin is epitome of fame – he epitomizes the greatest of the achievements in the game.  Now whatever he does is news and becomes a record.

If you feel like disputing, first read the following few paras – examples of two Indian cricketers :  Alan Nanik Sippy now 49+  played alongside Shisir Hattangadi and Lalchand Rajput – both were acclaimed as good prospects.  Those days they represented Mafatlal (or was it Nirlons) and played in the Buchibabu tournament in Chennai under Ashok Mankad.  Rajput did play the visiting West Indies and failed against the great pacers at Trivandrum.  Sippy scored 127 against Gujarat and must have felt elated thinking of a green future……..

In 1984, England toured India and played Indian Under 25  lead by Ravi Shastri in the tour opener at Ahmedabad.  Krish Srikkanth made a flamboyant 92;  the team lead by David Gower lost to the Juniors by an innings and 59 runs.  In the only innings that he got, a classy left hander from Chennai – Rangachari Madhavan who was hardly 24  remained unbeaten on 103 – though he did not bowl in that match, he was considered a good left arm orthodox spinner.  Laxman Sivaramakrishnan sprang to prominence and made a name against the visitors. 

There was a berth in the middle order and this century did not earn him that.  That was to be taken by Mohammed Azharuddin  who also scored a century, got selected and went on to score 3 consecutive centuries in debut is all history.  Madhavan, whom I have heard to be a Chartered Accountant never could break the ranks thereafter, played in 39 first class matches and went for greener professional pastures, which denied him further cricketing opportunities. 
Going back to that Ranji match in the WZ league in Dec 1988, Rajput made 99; Sippy 127 and a small boy of 15 made a century on debut – those who played alongside could hardly have imagined his meteoric rise but sure would have seen the difference in class which catapulted him so high.  That was young Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.  He did not have to wait long and in Nov 1989 made his debut at National Stadium, Karachi against Pakistan in Test 1127 under the captaincy of Krishnamachari Srikkanth, who had a good tour as a Captain but a very ordinary one as a batsman.  It was never a bed of roses – on the  last day of the last Test of his first Test series, in Sialkot,  Sachin was  hit on the nose by Waqar Younis, was downed – wiped away the gushing blood and continued showing no signs of fear – a Star had born ………   now at Lords more history beckons him as he is on the threshold of yet another milestone – 100 International tons – 51 test tons and 48 ODI tons in his kitty already and looks he would get more…  At Sialkot, he was not to be intimidated by the flurry of bouncers of Imran, Akram and Waqar. He battled for three and quarter hours.

Now even before the Lord’s Test started, there was news of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)  getting shock of their life upon discovery that  Monty Panesar  had a long bowl in the nets.  The British press reported that the private session was not arranged by ECB or Panesar's county Sussex.  Not much sense could be made out from what Mudhusuden Singh Panesar, popularly called Monte could have improved Sachin’s technique or whether he could have passed out some tricks of English plans. !!!!

Then there was news about a girl bowling to Sachin in the nets..  her grandfather Chimanlal Lakhtaria had played for Kenya in the 60s and this Bengali origin girl is only 18.  Sachin faced a few deliveries from Raveena Lakhtaria, an A-level student and a young cricketer, who plays for Middlesex and the England women’s academy.  The champion batsman is an honorary life member of the MCC, a status which entitles him to ask for the club’s help with his preparations for the England tour.  Lakhtaria is on an MCC young cricketer’s scholarship and her ambition is to play for England, but given her Indian roots, she has only one hero: Sachin Tendulkar.

Incidentally, her middle name is Rajnikant – “Raveena Rajnikant Lakhtaria”

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

PS : Salil Ankola, Shahid Saeed and Waqar Younis all made their debut in the same test alongside Sachin.  For Salil Ankola and Saeed that was to be their only test.

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