Ghulam Ahmed – a genius that strode the cricket world

Ghulam Ahmed.

Ghulam Ahmed. | Photo Credit: File Photo

“Genius” is P.R. Man Singh’s summation of former India captain and off-spinner Ghulam Ahmed on the eve of his birth centenary.

“A gentleman cricketer, great administrator and a master of subtle flight and variation of length and line,” says Man Singh, former HCA secretary.

“A product of Madarsa-I-Aliya and later Nizam College, Ghulam was selected to play for Madras University in the all-India inter-University tournament for the Rohinton Baria Trophy. He later made his First Class debut for Hyderabad against Madras in 1938 and never looked back. He went on to lead India, in the Hyderabad Test against New Zealand,” Man Singh said.

“With Vinoo Mankad and later with Subhash Gupte, Ghulam formed a formidable spin combination for India. Mankad and Ghulam played a pivotal role in India winning its first ever Test, at Madras against England in 1952,” he said.


“In the middle of the 1958-59 series against the West Indies, during the third Test at Calcutta, Ghulam resigned as India captain following a controversy. The same year he relinquished Hyderabad captaincy and quit First Class cricket with 179 Ranji wickets at 18.18 apiece,” Man Singh said.

Once Ghulam gave up playing, he moved to administration. He was honorary secretary of the Hyderabad Cricket Association from 1959-76.

“Thanks to him, the Moin-ud-Dowlah Gold Cup, which was a local event, was revived as an all-India tournament ensuring that the cream of Indian cricket featured in it,” Man Singh said.

Slew of achievements

Ghulam was also India manager and, most importantly, chairman of the national selection committee that picked the Indian team which won the 1983 World Cup. As BCCI secretary he organised the Board’s golden jubilee celebrations before going on to become vice-president, Man Singh said.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2022 4:35:24 pm |