Karnataka’s best and Indian cricket’s finest descended upon the Chinnaswamy Stadium’s hallowed turf at the Karnataka State Cricket Association’s (KSCA) Platinum Jubilee celebration here on a Saturday night that glittered with nostalgia, pride and streaks of culture.
However amidst this hoary history, the game’s sense of continuity was also stressed upon as men ranging from Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly to Karnataka’s very own Rahul Dravid spoke about the ‘basics’ that govern cricket.
Earlier, the bowlers club led by the great Sir Richard Hadlee and featuring Roger Binny, Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad also spoke about mastering the varied skills that coated their armour.
It wasn’t also about just holding a bat and hurling the ball. The ‘sense of grace and dignity’, so intrinsic to the sport, was also dealt upon when the KSCA president Anil Kumble spoke about the State’s greats, who were also fine gentlemen, in his welcome address while an audience that featured guest of honour Hadlee, G.R. Viswanath, Bishan Singh Bedi, Chandu Borde, Ajit Wadekar, E.A.S. Prasanna, B.S. Chandrasekhar and Syed Kirmani nodded in approval.
Later, Mohammad Azharuddin, Tendulkar and Ganguly walked in and the venue was brimming with a rich haul of runs, wickets, catches, varied skippers and innumerable anecdotes.
Permanence of technique
Tendulkar spoke about the permanence of technique and in jest he added that “in Twenty20, just go and swing your bat”. Fiery captain Ganguly stressed: “It is always about the team.” Dravid pointed at being honest to yourself, and said: “You got to be true to yourself. I will never succeed if I try to bat like Viru (Virender Sehwag) and Viru won’t succeed if he tries to bat like me. Eventually, it is about scoring runs and taking wickets.”
Evolution too was handled when Tendulkar laughed and said: “In 2003, a laptop came into our dressing room and we were like ‘what’s that doing in here?' Now, it is so important to us!”
For Hadlee, being at the venue, was also about remembering his Test wicket number 374 (the then World record) — Arun Lal in 1988 — besides taking a few pot-shots against the Aussies.
“You see I am a Kiwi and you may not get my accent but we speak better English than the Australians! I wanted Krish (K. Srikkanth) as my record-wicket but I got Arun Lal!” Hadlee said while KSCA secretary Srinath added that ‘mastering length was the most difficult part of bowling’.
Meanwhile, Binny attributed his 1983 World Cup success to ‘movement in the air and off the wicket’ and Venkatesh Prasad attributed his swing to hard-work.
In a well-attended function that had a majority of Karnataka’s cricketing legacy present on the occasion, the highlight was the various awards that honoured everyone associated with the State’s cricket be it players, be it umpires and be it scorers and statisticians.
The KSCA’s ‘Thank You’ to all, was emphatic and that was a fitting tribute to more than 75 years well spent in promoting the game.
Rahul Dravid spoke about the ‘basics’ that govern cricket The bowlers club led by Hadlee and featuring Binny, Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad spoke about mastering the varied skills that coated their armour
Rahul Dravid spoke about the ‘basics’ that govern cricket
The bowlers club led by Hadlee and featuring Binny, Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad spoke about mastering the varied skills that coated their armour