Dean Jones, Vikram Raju revisit Chepauk thriller

Two prominent characters in the 1986 tied Test in Chennai meet again.

Dean Jones (left) with Vikram Raju, at a chance meeting at the KPL on Wednesday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Dean Jones and Vikram Raju, two principle characters in the famous 1986 Chepauk India-Australia tied Test, had a chance meeting here during the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) on Wednesday.

Jones, whose marathon double hundred at Chepauk is the stuff of legend, was at the Rajnagar Stadium here as part of the Star Sports commentary team for the KPL. Raju, the umpire who gave No. 11 Maninder Singh out leg-before, was at the venue here as the KSCA match referee.

Bat or pad?

“I was telling Raju that Ravi Shastri (Maninder’s batting partner) shouldn’t have taken that single which exposed Maninder. But that was Ravi’s call,” said Jones, recalling the events that led to the leg-before decision won by offspinner Greg Mathews. Both Maninder and Shastri maintain that the ball had hit the bat before hitting the pads, while Raju himself has always said that the bat was nowhere close to the ball.

Read: Ravi Shastri hails India's performance at Trent Bridge

Jones, meanwhile, took a picture with the 84-year-old Raju and sent the photo to Allan Border, his skipper in that Test. “Allan was thrilled to see the photo,” said Jones.

‘Taken aback’

Jones was surprised to learn that the Madras Test was Raju’s last. “When Raju told me that he had umpired in just two Tests, and that Madras was his last, I was taken aback. Back in Australia, he’s well respected,” said Jones.

The Australian added, “That match brought the two countries together. That’s what cricket can do. See how our ties have improved since.”