V V Subrahmanyam
`Lots of runs also came by way of too many overthrows'
Kumaraswamy, Venugopal officiated historic matchDisappointment over lack of even a single photo
HYDERABAD : It is a world record without any manipulations, say the umpires. Even as the two schoolboy cricketers - Boddepalli Manoj Kumar and Mohammed Shaibaaz Tumbi - put on unbroken 721-run stand for the first wicket for St.Peter's High School in the Inter-schools Under-13 cricket tournament for Bro.John of God Trophy, the gentlemen who enjoyed the most were the umpires M.Kumaraswamy and A.Venugopal, both from Warangal, who officiated in the historic match.
"It all happened in phases. The targets changed from 50s to 100s, 150s, 200s and finally to the big triple century mark. G.H.Vihari's double century was the talking point for them," the umpires recall. Did they keep a watch on the scoreboard? "We were in constant touch and did tally the scores," they assert.
"St.Phillips High School did not look like a cricket team, playing its first inter-schools match. The bowlers rolled their arm over. The fielders were scared of being hit and never really tried to stop the strokes," say the umpires. "Lots of runs came also came by way of too many overthrows for the fielding was terrible," they added.
Quite amusingly, 13 players entered the field for St. Phillips only to see the umpires eject two extra players. Why did they stop the innings with 10 overs remaining?
"The match started at 10.15 am and had to be completed by 1.00 pm," the umpires pointed out. Did the fielders give up and not even chase towards the end? "No. But they were just too tired and the field placements were ridiculous," Kumar and Venu recalled. In fact, declarations were suggested but the two batsmen simply refused to quit the scene.
But, the umpires were disappointed, like the record-holders, that there was not a single photograph.
With the HCA's internal inquiry revealing that the two batsmen were not over-aged as alleged by the losing team in that great match, everyone involved in it are now proud to be part of cricketing history!