V. Sivaramakrishnan: ‘We were passionate about the game’

“It was an honour to play Ranji Trophy, especially against some of the legends of our game,” writes V. Sivaramakrishnan.

My most memorable moment, however, came in 1988 when Tamil Nadu won the Ranji Trophy.   -  THE HINDU PHOTO LIBRARY

I came from a cricketing family and was very passionate about the game from a young age. Back then, there was no age-group cricket. Good performance in the very competitive university cricket, the Senior Division League if you were from Tamil Nadu, and the Buchi Babu tournament could get you a place in the Ranji Trophy side. The big challenge was we played most of our cricket on matting wickets, and we had to adjust playing on turf quickly.

I made my debut for TN against a strong Karnataka side that included legends such as E. A. S. Prasanna and B.S. Chandrasekhar and made 53 in the second innings.

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During the 1975-76 season, I got a job in TISCO, Jamshedpur, and played for Bihar, which reached the final of the Ranji Trophy where it lost to Bombay. I got selected for the East Zone team for the Duleep Trophy and the Deodhar Trophy. I had very good seasons in 1976 and 1977 and was among the probables for the Australia tour in 1977-78.

In 1976 I scored a century against Karnataka. My fiancee Hastha was at the ground, making it a memorable occasion for both of us.

A few years later, in 1981, I scored four centuries in the Ranji Trophy and came close to being selected for the England tour. We were so passionate about cricket and it didn’t matter if it was league cricket or first-class cricket.

My most memorable moment, however, came in 1988 when Tamil Nadu won the Ranji Trophy. I had retired before that season and did not play in the league stages. But I was recalled for the knock-outs and scored 60 in the second innings against UP, followed by a century (127) versus Punjab in the semifinals. In the final against Railways, I made 94 and we finally won the title after more than 30 years. It was an honour to play Ranji Trophy, especially against some of the legends of our game.

Ranji performance — Matches: 80; Runs: 5039; Highest score: 177; Average: 43.06.

As told to S. Dipak Ragav

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