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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

S Badrinath reaches 10000 runs in First Class Cricket - what is success !!

Not many would have been following the Ranji Trophy, Group C: Chhattisgarh v Hyderabad –match  at Valsad !   .. Many Pakistanis also may not remember Ijaz Faqih who played 5 Tests and 27 One dayers – but is part of history !!

According to Warren Buffet, principles of life and investing often parallel each other.  He says ‘you only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong”. One should feel sorry for today’s children – for often they are pressurised into doing or becoming whatever their parents wanted to achieve [but never achieved perhaps] in life. From the times when children were desperate in capturing the attention of elders, the present day parents try to have the child’s attention all the times.  Matching the parental expectation becomes the single most arduous task for the child. In the city, you find so many Sports training  / coaching camps – cricket camps have mushroomed in every open area. The coaches talk of nurturing the cricketer from their childhood, making them mentally tough, making them hungry for accomplishment and more.. 

Their eyes glisten in seeing their kid in cricketing flannel – a dream of becoming Sachin Tendulkar. There is a story that everyday tens of villagers get down at Chennai Central or Egmore railway station dreaming to become a star in cinema ……. How many of them live to realise their dream is too well known.  So, what is accomplishment in Sports  ?   The first ever ODI was played in 1971; India played theirs in 1974 and only in 1983 – the first century by an Indian was registered – Kapil Dev’s magnificent 175 n.o at Trentbridgewells.  Sachin did not make a ton in his first 80 ODI matches but today he has more than 50. Before the advent of IPL & T20, cricketers rose from domestic tournaments – premier amongst them being the Ranji Trophy & Duleep Trophy – Deodhar later. 

The run to top started with Charles Bannerman who with 239 topped the list for a while; then naturally he was taken over by others which included Billy Murdoch, Joe Darling, Clem Hill, Jack Hobbs, Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey, and then Garfield Sobers with 8032 runs.  At that point of time, scoring 8000 runs in Test Cricket was considered Himalayan achievement.  Geoff Boycott broke that and in that Test went on to play Golf without caring to be with the team. 29  years ago, the little Master’s nudge took him past 10000 runs which was remarkable achievement those days; he ended up with 10122 and was overtaken by Allan Border, then Brian Lara – now Sachin is at the pinnacle of glory with 15921 runs.    It was  on 7th March 1987, Sunil Gavaskar nudged through the slips off Ijaz Faqih moving on to 58 runs at  Motera – Sardar Patel Stadium which sent the crowd erupting.  It was the first time ever a batsman had scored 10,000 runs in Test Cricket.   Indian Wicket Keeper Kiran More was the non-striker and he was reported as saying that Gavaskar celebrated it as he never did earlier – Sprinting, waving the bat and enjoying the moment.  Gavaskar raised his bat in triumph even as he was mid way completing the run. To the millions watching the TV, that was a feat which nobody else can ever acquire…. Records are meant to be broken, first by Alan Border and happily we have Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar perched on top. 

Gavaskar was a supreme accumulator of runs and would wait patiently when things were not easy – he scored 63 in that match.  He was certainly one Indian batsmen who redefined the art of run scoring and accumulating runs, putting a value tag to the wicket.   Now in that 10000 Test runs club, we have Sachin, Ponting, Kallis, Dravid, Sangakkara, Lara, Chanderpaul, Jayawardene, Alan Border, Steve Waugh, A Cook and Sunil Gavaskar.

There is another man with appetite ~ but never as successful – a run-hungry S Badrinath has been the mainstay of the Tamil Nadu batting since the mid-2000s, and has also captained them. Badrinath stands tall at the crease, and plays with a correct technique. He was pitchforked into the national consciousness in 2005-06 when he nearly topped the batting charts, scoring 636 runs from seven matches at almost 80, missing pole position by 36 runs to Amol Muzumdar, who played one match more.  At Valsad, with his 32nd  first-class century, Subramaniam Badrinath went past 10,000 runs in first-class cricket. Leading Hyderabad in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season, the batsman scored 134 against Chhattisgarh in the seventh round of the tournament to reach the milestone.  With this Badri became the 47th Indian to complete 10000 runs in first class Cricketer.

Read it again – it is first class Cricket and not Ranji Trophy !!!  Badri made his Test debut against SA in Feb 2010 scored 56 in his first outing, then had another 2 innings to play !  He batted in another 6 ODI innings too.  In Ranji, at the top is Wasim Jaffer with 10143; then Amol Mazumdar, D Bundela, Mithun Manhas, H Kanitkar, Amarjit Kaypee, Pankaj Dharmani, SH Kotak, RR Parida and Badri with 7516 runs.
What does it take to succeed in life – Playing for India would ever remain the highest priority for any cricketer.  With such prolific scoring and abundant talent, Amol Mazumdar was never selected to play for the Nation despite a first class average of 50+   Heart-broken he considered quitting the game in 2002 but somehow continues to play in the Ranji format.  Amol overtook the other great scorer Amarjit Kaypee – who again never played for India in a Test of an One dayer.  There are some others in that list, who nevert were close to playing for the Nation.   Incidentally, the highest wicket taker in Ranji, Rajinder Goel with 637 wickets never played for India.

So what is success, is it good performance, reaching  higher echelons,  abundant talent or easy recognition……   one can have enormous talent but still might go unrecognised is what the lives of Amol Mazumdar, Kaypee, Dharmani, Goels – all represent …….. there are many many more who never got their due credit or never attained the heights they deserved in life… do we call them unsuccessful !!

Anbe Vaa, the movie starring M. G. Ramachandran and Saroja Devi released in 1966  had the Q ‘Test match puriyuma ?’ ~ do you understand Test match, which at that time was considered to be understood only  by elites.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

22nd Nov 2016.

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