The Incident That Changed The Indian Cricket Scenario
This incident that occurred in Mumbai decades ago heralded a new era in Indian Cricket and gave a new dimension to the whole of Cricket scenario in India.
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This incident that occurred in Mumbai some fifty five years ago heralded a new era in Indian Cricket and gave an all together new dimension to the whole of Cricket scenario in India…At that moment,none of the persons involved in this incident knew that they have just written the first page of an epoch making chapter in the history of Indian Cricket..In fact..It all began so very casually..
Please go through..
It was a mid summer late evening some time during 1954 or 55…
After attending a function organized by the Board Of Control For Cricket In India(A private club consortium,originally registered as a Society in December,1928 under the Tamilnadu Societies Registration Act, B C C I today is the National governing body of all cricket in India)at the celebrated Brabourne stadium of Bombay,a Cricketer returned to his home in Dadar..
That Cricketer was a popular player in Bombay Cricketing circles those days and in fact played a few tests for India too.That particular evening,there was a grand official function at the head quarters of Indian cricket.
Beaming with smiles and walking with pride the Cricketer entered his home.His whole family was waiting to receive him and the moment he entered,they gathered around him to see what he had brought and to hear what he had to say..
With great joy he started narrating about everything that happened in that function and also explained how the luminaries of Indian Cricket have spoken about the various aspects of Cricket and what did they say about the measures that are needed to be taken for the future of Indian Cricket.
Everyone in the family was listening to the Cricketer with rapt attention….
There was also a five year old boy in that room..standing silently in a corner and observing the Cricketer in all admiration..
The boy,the nephew of that Cricketer,was listening to his Mama’s(Uncle)narration and was more particularly watching his colorful new Blazer..
The boy was the darling of that whole house and was the pet of his Mama(Uncle),the Cricketer…
The boy at that time was paying more attention to the Indian Cricket logo printed on that Blazer..The Cricketer suddenly saw the boy observing him,paused for a moment..smiled at the boy and stretching his hands forward asked the cute curly haired boy to come closer to him..
The boy who was waiting in anticipation of that invitation from his beloved Mama(Uncle),rushed to him immediately..
Pulling the boy closer to him,the Cricketer picked up the boy in his hands and made him sit comfortably in his lap…
Observing the boy’s curiosity the Cricketer then started paying attention to the boy by explaining him everything about the function.
Without paying much attention to what his Mama was saying,the boy was observing the sheen of the Blazer his Mama was wearing and was also paying a special attention to the Indian Cricket logo printed on it.Seeing his nephew paying more attention to the blazer,the Cricketer then started telling the boy about the blazer and its significance and importance.
Keenly observing the blazer the boy in a shy filled voice very hesitantly asked his Mama in his native Marathi language..
“Mama, haa coat kitee mast aahe. Mee toh..ekdaa..ghaalun baghu ka?.”(Mama,this coat..is..so..beautiful…….May..I…wear this…..once and see”)
Patting on the cheeks of the cute boy the Cricketer smiled and said..
“Ho ho baala..bagh..ek tar haa coat naahiye,hyaala blazer mhantat blazer…Tu haa jaroor ghaalu shaktos,pan asaach konaa kade maagun naahi ghalata yenar to tula,to swatahacha swataha milwaawa laagel.. tarach tya ghaalanyala kaahi arth aahe!”(”My dear,look,this is not a coat but blazer..yes..you can definitely wear this but not just like that..you have to earn this first and wear this next..”)
With smiles on their faces,everyone in the room was watching the conversation between the Cricketer and the boy..
Particularly the boy’s mother was more attentive to the conversation and was waiting for her son’s reply……
The boy was hurt with his Mama’s(Uncle)reaction but still composed himself and asked his Mama(Uncle)in a further lower tone..”Pan Mama,mee haa kasa milwoo shakato?”(”But Mama,how do I earn this”)
With the same smile the Cricketer replied
“Baala,tyaa saathi tula khoop kashta ghyaave laagtil,kathor mehnat karaavi lagel, satat zagdaave laagel…tevhaa kuthe tulaa Bharataasathi khelanyaachi sandhi milele…aani tya nantar kaay,haa blazer aapoaap tuzya angavar chadhavla jaail.Ek lakshaat thev baala,ase blazer kadhi maagoon milat nastat,te jinkunach ghyaave laagtat…”(My dear,for that you need to work very hard..you also need to play for India,then this blazer will automatically come to you..Remember my child,you should not beg to wear such blazers but you need to win and wear them”)
The boy silently nodded his head..The whole conversation ended in smiles..One after the other every one kissed the boy and left the room….
Only the boy and his Mother were left in the room..
This conversation had a big impact on the boy’s mind..With all the innocence in the world,he told his mother”Mom,I will play for India and win this blazer..”
Like any Mother in the world the boy’s mother too felt very happy with her son’s statement.With a gentle kiss on the boy’s cheeks she lifted him up and took him out of the room…
Except the boy,everyone else forgot that incident almost immediately.Later with the support of his Mother,the young boy did all the hard work needed to become a great Cricketer.He practiced and struggled hard,did everything that he can to implement what his Mama told him.Finally,everything the boy did became a part of history.In a spree,the cute curly haired boy played for his school,played for his college,played for his university,played for Bombay and West Zone and finally realized his dream of………………
P…l…a…y…i..n..g… f..o..r.. I..n.d.i..y..a..a..a..a.a…
After that he never looked back and went on creating new records…
The whole of India just stood up in absolute awe and watched his supremacy over the most lethal and the most dreaded fast bowling in world Cricket
In the process that no more cute little boy not only won many such blazers but also earned a special name for himself and for the country and got his name specially imprinted in Golden letters in the history of Indian Cricket and World Cricket..
While that cute curly haired young boy went on to become the legendary Sunil Gavaskar,unfortunately his Mama the Cricketer in the above incident could only play four tests for India and went into oblivion and remained a lesser known Cricketer called Madhav Mantri..
While Madhav Mantri is the oldest test cricketer living today (17th of January,2012) his nephew Sunil Gavaskar had gone from strength to strength there after and gave an all together new dimension and new direction to Indian cricket.
In 1987,at the age of 38,the legendary Sunil Gavaskar retired in style by scoring 97 in the last test he played for India against Pakistan at Bangalore.
After his retirement Gavaskar never quit Cricket and contributed a lot for the promotion of game among the youth and in the sub continent..
He also stood by Sachin Tendulkar in his budding days in international Cricket and did everything to make Sachin Tendulkar what he is today.
Currently,Gavaskar plays a major role in world Cricket and ICC and in fact it was he who questioned the supremacy of some nations in international Cricket and openly criticized the lop sided attitude of the ICC.
All in all,this paved way for a classic Indian domination in world Cricketing affairs today.However,the so called Indian domination is only confined to non playing activities, finance and administrative matters.