Former Hyderabad captain Bobjee helping the needy in Ireland

He takes care of the elders alongside his daughter Kamini Rao who is the coordinator for Strabane Ethnic Community in Ireland.

Former India cricketer M.V. Narasimha Rao is involved with community activities in Ireland during the lockdown.   -  Special Arrangement

Former India cricketer, M.V. Narasimha Rao, settled in Ireland since 1989, is now actively involved in social service in his community.

He takes care of the elders alongside his daughter Kamini Rao who is the coordinator for Strabane Ethnic Community.

“In UK and Ireland, the senior citizens live alone unlike in India and in the wake of the Coronavirus hitting badly, we felt it our moral obligation to help such needy, elderly people,” said Bobjee, as he is popularly known in cricketing circles, in a chat with Sportstar from Ireland on Friday.

The 65-year-old former leg-spinner, who happens to be the first Indian cricketer to be conferred with the prestigious MBE Medallion of the British Empire (which he, unfortunately, lost during his last visit to Hyderabad when he attended a felicitation function in 2016), says this is a conscious effort to attend to the needy.

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“In view of the lockdown and since we know most of them and have the contact numbers, they will be calling us and we seek the permission of the authorities to drop in the minimum necessities like groceries, medicines at their doorstep,” said the cricketer who coached many leading Ireland cricketers including captain William Porterfield, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Ed Joyce, Tim Murtagh, Boyd Rankin, and Andrew McBrine and also England one-day captain Eoin Morgan when he was 17.

“Yes, having been involved in the past in the community service through cricket in my adopted country during the testing times experienced by the ethnic communities in Northern Ireland. I am quite familiar in contributing in my own little way,” he said.

Bobjee was the captain of Hyderabad when it won the Ranji Trophy only for the second time in 1987 (the first time was back in 1932) and later the Irani Trophy.

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Looking back at his career, Bobjee said it was an honour to play for the country (he played in four Tests between 1979 and 80).

“Winning Ranji Trophy was the best moment of my career and being treated indifferently when I wanted to serve Hyderabad after quitting my job in Ireland was a forgetful chapter (between 2015-17),” he concluded.

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