Former Ranji star Vijayakrishna passes away

B. Vijayakrishna  

Former Karnataka all-rounder B. Vijayakrishna passed away here on Thursday following a cardiac arrest, the Karnataka State Cricket Association stated. He was 71.

A left-arm spinner and southpaw batsman, Vijayakrishna played 80 First Class and two List-A matches. In First Class cricket he scored 2,297 runs (average 25.8) and took 194 wickets.

Vijayakrishna was part of the Karnataka team that won three Ranji Trophy titles — 1973-74, 1977-78 and 1982-83.

Vijayakrishna represented Karnataka with distinction in a 15-year domestic career. Despite his considerable talent, Vijayakrishna could not break into the Indian team, which included stalwarts like B.S. Chandrasekhar, E.A.S. Prasanna and Bishan Singh Bedi.

Vijayakrishna grabbed the spotlight in the 1975-76 season, when he slammed the fastest century of the season with a whirlwind 102 against Maharashtra. He scored one more century two years later, against Bihar.

Cricket fans in the city remember Vijayakrishna for his heroics in a Ranji Trophy outing at Central College grounds here in 1971. He sustained a severe ankle injury when batting against Rajasthan, but played through the pain to make an entertaining half-century.

The brave knock impressed even the Rajasthan players, who carried a limping Vijayakrishna off the field.

Wonderful person

Former India and Karnataka pacer Dodda Ganesh, who played alongside Vijayakrishna for Syndicate Bank, paid tribute to his mentor.

“When I played for Syndicate Bank, our team was like the Indian team. We had (B.S.) Chandrasekhar, Venkatesh Prasad, Sunil Joshi, Sadanand Vishwanath, Sudhakar Rao, A.V. Jayaprakash, Vijayakrishna, etc. We had a great rivalry with State Bank, which had Syed Kirmani and Roger Binny among others.

“Vijayakrishna was a mentor to us. We learnt a lot, and we matured under seniors like him. I am what I am now only because of the likes of him,” Ganesh said.

“He was a great human being; a sincere person. Cricket was his passion. He backed all of us, and ensured that all meritorious cricketers got opportunities. His demise is a big loss for Karnataka cricket,” Ganesh said.

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa condoled Vijayakrishna’s demise. “We have lost a great cricketer. May his soul rest in peace. I pray to the Almighty to give strength to his family members and fans,” the CM said in a statement.

Former India players Anil Kumble, W.V. Raman, Vinay Kumar and Sunil Joshi paid their respects to Vijayakrishna on Twitter.

(With inputs from N. Sudarshan)

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 2:46:17 PM |

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