Last week was a week for awards. First there was the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) awards where there was the Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi Memorial Lecture, too. There was the CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award, and by sheer coincidence two of the most aggressive batsmen India has produced were central figures in that. My partner Krishnamachari Srikkanth was given the lifetime achievement award and the M. A. K. Pataudi lecture was delivered by Virender Sehwag, who wrote a completely new chapter of how to open the batting with his swashbuckling batting. There were other awards too, and the ones given to the youngsters were eye-catching for they could be the future of Indian cricket.
Looking at the names of the awards, one wonders if it’s only a departed player that one will be named after. Otherwise one wonders why there is no award named after Chandu Borde, one of the finest all-rounders India has produced. Why is there no award or tournament named after Vijay Manjrekar? Will there be one named after Ajit Wadekar for the best captain in Ranji Trophy cricket? Will there be an award named after Eknath Solkar for the best fielder in Indian cricket, and will there be an award named after G. R. Viswanath for the sportsmanship after the little genius’ decision to recall Bob Taylor, the England batsman, who had been given out caught behind?
Questions, questions, questions. But hopefully now that Sourav Ganguly is the president of BCCI, there will be a move to recognise Indian cricketers be they still with us or dearly departed from this world.
The day after the BCCI awards, the Sportstar Aces Awards were held, where again it was an evening to cherish and remember. There were so many achievers from all sporting fields that it felt as if there was a mini galaxy down in the hall. To top it all, the incomparable Vijay Amritraj came over for the second half of the evening to take over from the beautiful and well-versed-in-sports Ridhima Pathak to regale the audience with his sense of humour and gently probing questions of the winners. It was an evening to remember as the stars mingled with each other and most of the best in Indian sports were together in one place at the same time.
After a series of relatively easy opposition, India found the Aussies a bit hot to handle as the visitors began the One-Day series with an easy win, winning the game with all wickets in hand with 74 deliveries to spare.
That’s as massive a win as any and suddenly the Indians had a fight on their hands. The Indians had experimented with their prolific skipper Virat Kohli dropping himself down the order to bat at No. 4. When Australia overhauled their total without losing a wicket, the blame was being put on that batting-slot change when really it was the bowling that had to be looked at.
Be that as it may, India came back well in Rajkot to win and set the stage for a humdinger of a decider in Bengaluru, which it won quite convincingly to clinch the series 2-1.
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