When Mambalam Mosquitos had an address in Adyar

Since its birth in the 1940s, ‘Mambalam Mosquitos’ has been a conversation starter even before a ball is bowled. After decades of speculation over whether one should think of a boxer or a buzzing insect or both, when this name is called, here is an all-new perspective. The first word of the name and what it means also deserve the same high-brow analysis.

It gives the cricket team the halo of a neighbourhood institution. Now, how long did it stay true to that image?

P.C. Prakash, who played for Tamil Nadu and who is currently head coach of Karaikudi Kaalai in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, is secretary of Mambalam Mosquitos, which plays in the fourth-division.

Prakash’s father P.S. Chander and his uncle P.S. Shanker had founded the team.

“My father would ensure the team got filled up with players from our neighbourhood Mambalam just to make sure local talent was encouraged,” says Prakash. “Then the team was off the League for a long time. It was revived in the late 1970s, and by then, we were no longer residents of Mambalam, having moved to Indiranagar, Adyar. It was interesting to note that a team that practised in facilities around the Adyar area was named after Mambalam.”

Prakash points out that in the revival phase, Mambalam Mosquitos again upheld the core value on which it had been founded in the 1940s: Promoting local talent. So, there was this team with talent drawn almost entirely from the Adyar area, but still choosing to continue with a name whose recall value would not dimnish in a thousand years.

However, Mambalam Mosquitos would evolve just as other neighbourhood teams would, and become more diverse in its composition.

“Unlike in those decades, teams are now formed through academies. Location is hardly a consideration, and teams cut across areas. Just like ours, there is a team that is originally from Gandhinagar — named Gandhinagar Starlets — which represented the locality through its composition. But a time arrived when it was not sustainable; and began to be populated with players from all over."

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 4:32:59 AM |

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