BCCI nominates Roy, Gaekwad, Edulji, Shah for lifetime achievement awards

Edulji and Pankaj Roy have been chosen for the 2016-17 period while former India opener Anshuman Gaekwad and former Indian women’s team captain Sudha Shah will be honoured for the 2017-18 cycle.

Diana Edulji is overseeing the affairs of the BCCI as a member of the Committee of Administrators.   -  AFP

Pankaj Roy, who held Test cricket’s world record opening partnership of 413 with Vinoo Mankad for a little over 51 years was conferred the Col. C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award (posthumous) on Saturday.

The phlegmatic, but stylish opener from Bengal, scored 173 and Mankad, 231 during the world record stand against New Zealand in the Madras Test of January 1956. Their record was broken by South Africa's Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie, who put on 415 against Bangladesh in Chittagong in February 2008.

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Roy was also national selector for six years; 1974-77, 1982-84 and 1986-87. He passed away in February 2001.

The BCCI’s special panel comprising acting president C.K. Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, N. Ram (chairman of The Hindu Group) and Saba Karim (BCCI GM, Operations) met in Chennai on Friday to choose four cricketers (male and female) for the honour; Pankaj Roy, Anshuman Gaekwad, Diana Edulji and Sudha Shah.

The cash prize for the award is Rs. 25 lakh each.

The four-member panel also chose Naren Tamhane and Budhi Kunderan (both posthumous) and Abbas Ali Baig in the special award category. The cash prize the special award category is Rs. 15 lakh each.

Talking to Sportstar, Khanna said: “I was in Delhi and I joined the other three on phone. The award function will be held during Afghanistan’s inaugural Test match against India to be played in Bangalore in June.’’

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Roy played 43 Tests from 1951 to 1960, scored 2,422 runs (2,220 as an opener and 222 at No. 3) with five centuries in four cities (Bombay, Madras, Calcutta and Kingston). Apart from the 413 for the opening wicket with Mankad, he was also involved in a 237-run stand for the second wicket with Vijay Mankrekar against the West Indies in Kingston during the 1952-53 tour.

Gaekwad, 65, played 40 Tests from 1974 to 1985, scored 1,974 runs with a highest score of 201 against Pakistan in Jalandhar in 1983. He was the national selector for four years (1992-96) and the national coach from October 1997 to September 1999, and again in 1999-2000. Gaekwad also played 15 ODIs. He has been an office-bearer of the Baroda Cricket Association.

“I am really honoured. This recognition gives me a strong feeling of satisfaction for the contribution that I have made to Indian cricket all through my life. I would earnestly thank BCCI for this coveted award, which will push me further to serve Indian cricket in time to come,’’ said Gaekwad.

Diana Edulji is India women's highest wicket-taker in Tests (1976 to 1991); she bowled left-arm spin and took 63 wickets at 25.78 from 20 Tests. She scored 404 runs. Diana, also, played 34 ODIs, scored 211 runs and claimed 46 wickets at 16.85. She was India’s captain in both formats. Currently, she is a member of the Committee of Administrators.

Sudha Shah played 21 Tests from 1976 to 1992, scored 601 runs and took five wickets at 64.20. She also played 13 ODIs, scored 293 runs and took two wickets at 78.00. She has also been India’s coach.

Tamhane was India’s distinguished stumper from 1955 to 1961, followed by Kunderan from 1960 to 1967. Kunderan was also a dashing batsman.

Baig played ten Test matches from 1959 to 1966 and scored 428 runs, including a century (112 in the second innings) on debut against England at Old Trafford.

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