Published on July 24th, 2012 | by Pradeep1
They got game: Some domestic jewels the IPL team owners would do well to pick
The IPL 5 circus is over. The ringmasters have packed up and left. The dust has settled. The international players now slip on their Ray Bans and hoodies, avoid pesky reporters to make a little stop back home and worry about what island to buy next with the IPL moolah. The uncapped Indian players of course go back to their modest little two bedroom apartments and get ready for the next round of Division ‘A’ games. Well, not really.
The big boys of the BCCI rounded off an IPL 5 run largely on the shoulders of spectacular performances of international crickets by announcing that the uncapped Indian players would have the unseemly carnal pleasure of watching themselves get auctioned next year. Big chops to Parvinder Awana’s incisive seam bowling, Mandeep Singh’s nerveless, on the up, hitting against the fast and the finest and of course the brazen, arrogant, almost Chuck Norris like performance by Manvinder Bisla in the finals. Call that number on the brochure guys, the 20th floor penthouse with a pool is not far away now.
I’m happy for them, I really am. But what really got me wondering is the potential goldmines some of Indian cricket’s domestic legends would’ve unearthed. If only Lalit Modi was around a 100 years ago! You’d think Modi vs Vizzy would’ve been a lot more fun than his tussle with N. Srinivasan. More importantly, these few cricketers would’ve had it good.
I have to start with Bhausaheb Nimbalkar. He could keep wickets, bowl medium pace and score 400+ runs in an innings. He was right on the verge of breaking Bradman’s first class record of 452 not out, when nine runs shy, the opposing Kathiawar captain forfeited the match and took the next palanquin back home. The indiscreet ego of the privileged Kathiawar prince cost the hardworking Nimbalkar a chance to break the record, and subsequently the Indian team. He played first class cricket for 25 years, but never made it to the team after that. You want to right a wrong? Cut him loose in the IPL auctions. I can think of a few teams who could use him. His 443 not out came in Pune. The Warriors need a record breaker. Subroto Roy Sahara, buy him now, thank me later. He’s only 92 by the way.
The year was 1962. India won gold in the Asian Games in a team sport that was not Kabaddi. Hell, it was soccer. Captain Chuni Goswami, born in Kishoreganj (Now in Bangladesh), was a national hero. He won the Best Striker of Asia award. Less than a year later, he was playing the Ranji trophy for Bengal. Over the next 10 years, he led Bengal to two title triumphs, and had one fling with international cricket when he took 6/47 against the touring West Indians. The real point is that he played his first Ranji game with a few hundred thousand fans in his back pocket. After pissing off the bhadralok by trading Saurav Ganguly, Chuni Goswami might be just the right antidote for KKR. Poor Laxmi Shukla has to make way, but for someone who watched Venkatesh Prasad attempt to daintily try and save boundaries on the fine leg fence with his boot, the prospect of Asia’s best striker fielding there instead makes me giddy with excitement. Chuni Goswami sold for $1.4 Million to KKR, 30% of which goes to Mohun Bagan.
The readers will hate me for this, but I’d love to see the Maharajkumar of Vizianagaram in the mix as well. Now, he’s not an uncapped player, no sir. But did he really “play” for India? Got you on a technicality, no?
Vizzy led the Indian team in England in 1936. That’s the least impressive part. He had a support staff of 36 whose express objective was to carry his trunks. Legend has it that he won a record number of tosses on the trip as he always carried a gold coin with him for the toss, which he bestowed on the opposition captain. His Majesty didn’t care much about making hundreds, but he liked winning tosses. Vizzy vs Dhoni at the toss. Quick, who do you think is going to win? Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle, please look away.
Rajinder Goel. Well, of course. Now, you want to pick the guy who’s taken 640 wickets in Ranji trophy but has played no tests. Sunil Gavaskar, who played Lillee, Thomson, Croft, Garner, Holding, Roberts, Imran at their wanton peak says Goel’s the guy he dreaded facing the most. You want him opening the bowling for Kings XI Punjab and see what the fuss was about. He bowled flat and tight lines during the Bedi and Prasanna era and was summarily ignored by the selectors and critics alike. But when Chris Gayle is up at the other end on a Chinnaswamy featherbed, I think I’d like Goel slipping him a faster one.
There are few more names I can think of, like Reuben Paul from Tamil Nadu, an aggressive keeper bat who once smote five sixes in a row, before getting suspended for tampering the pitch. Bhaskar Pillai of Delhi. A ready replacement for the out of depth Venugopal Rao. Sehwag, Warner, Jayawardene, Bhaskar Pillai, Ross Taylor as the top 5 for the Daredevils. It would also be nice to welcome the moustache back into the game.