‘Determination, dedication and discipline can bring instant success when coupled with sincerity and honesty'

Syed Mujtaba Hussain Kirmani, who kept wickets for India for more than a decade in the 1970s and 80s in both Test matches and one-day internationals, was on a different wicket at SASTRA University on Friday.

After taking the mike, Kirmani, who was the chief guest at the XXIX Sports Day at SASTRA, quickly struck a chord with the students who had occupied every inch of the auditorium, stumped them with much ease in his 45-minute address, with anecdotes from his personal life.

The students who gave him a standing ovation when he entered the auditorium flanked by S. Swaminathan, Dean-Sponsored Research of the University, heard him in rapt attention, although he concentrated mostly on motivating the students, instead of talking about his and their much favourite subject — cricket.

Being a “team man” throughout his cricketing career, Kirmani categorically stated that only team work would help achieve success. No one at any point of time could claim that he achieved success all along by his own initiative.

He said that three ‘D’s – determination, dedication and discipline — would bring instant success to the youths. If total sincerity and honesty was coupled with the three ‘D’s, it would provide a boost to their successful career. The best way to progress was to question yourself on a day-to-day basis and analyse what went wrong, Kirmani, one of the stars of the 1983 World Cup win, said.

Referring to the importance of the present day youths in nation-building activities, he said that much depended on bringing about the needed transformation and changes in society. Motivation would do a world of good to students, he said and added that the best motivation was self-motivation.

Narrating his success, Kirmani said that he started as an athlete and being one of the three sons of a government employee, he lacked financial support for pursuing a sporting career. “My father could not even afford me canvas shoes because of which I had to compete in the sprint events on barefoot even at the State level,” said Kirmani, who is one of the very few Test cricketers in the world to score a century as a night watchman.

“But you have wonderful sports infrastructure facilities in the university and I firmly believe you all are taking full advantage of the same,” he said.

Mr. Swaminathan, while introducing Kirmani, said he was always a “man for crisis” and an out and out teamman. He said the university accounted for football turf ground, two basketball courts (including a indoor court), two volleyball courts of international standards, four badminton courts, and so on, and they were fully used by students.

V. Paramasivam, Physical Education Director, presented the annual sports report, explaining the achievements of the students in sports field.

Kirmani gave away prizes to winners of different sports events held during the year.