Former Karnataka all-rounder B. Vijayakrishna passes away

Vijayakrishna was part of the Karnataka team which won three Ranji Trophy titles (1973-74, 1977-78 and 1982-83). Vijayakrishna represented Karnataka with distinction in a 15-year domestic career.

A left-arm spinner and southpaw batsman, B. Vijayakrishna played 80 first-class and two List 'A' matches. In first-class cricket, he scored 2297 runs (at an average of 25.8) and took 194 wickets.   -  The Hindu Photo Archives

Former Karnataka all-rounder B. Vijayakrishna passed away here on Thursday due to a cardiac arrest, the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) stated. He was 71.

A left-arm spinner and southpaw batsman, Vijayakrishna played 80 first-class and two List 'A' matches. In first-class cricket, he scored 2297 runs (at an average of 25.8) and took 194 wickets.

Vijayakrishna was part of the Karnataka team which won three Ranji Trophy titles (1973-74, 1977-78 and 1982-83). Vijayakrishna represented Karnataka with distinction in a 15-year domestic career. Despite his considerable talent, Vijayakrishna could not break into the Indian team, which included stalwarts like B.S. Chandrasekhar, E.A.S. Prasanna and Bishan Singh Bedi.

B. Vijayakrishna grabbed the spotlight in the 1975-76 season, when he slammed the fastest century of the season with a whirlwind 102 against Maharashtra. He scored one more century two years later, against Bihar.   -  The Hindu Photo Archives

 

Vijayakrishna grabbed the spotlight in the 1975-76 season, when he slammed the fastest century of the tournament with a whirlwind 102 against Maharashtra. He scored one more century two years later, against Bihar.

Cricket fans in the city remember Vijayakrishna for his heroics in a Ranji Trophy outing at Central College grounds here in 1971. He sustained a severe ankle injury when batting against Rajasthan, but played through the pain to make an entertaining half-century. The brave knock impressed even the Rajasthan players, who carried a limping Vijayakrishna off the field.

Former India and Karnataka pacer Dodda Ganesh, who played alongside Vijayakrishna for Syndicate Bank, paid tribute to his mentor.

"When I played for Syndicate Bank, our team was like the Indian team. We had (B.S.) Chandrasekhar, Venkatesh Prasad, Sunil Joshi, Sadanand Vishwanath, Sudhakar Rao, A.V. Jayaprakash, Vijayakrishna etc. We had a great rivalry with State Bank of India, which had Syed Kirmani, Roger Binny among others. Vijayakrishna was a mentor to us. We learnt a lot, and we matured under seniors like Vijaykrishna. I am what I am now only because of the likes of him," Ganesh said.

"Vijayakrishna was the State selector in 1998-99. He used to bowl in the nets barefoot. The drift, flight, arm ball - he still had it all, with the same control as before. He was a great human being; a sincere person. Cricket was his passion. He backed all of us, and ensured that all meritorious cricketers got opportunities. His demise is a big loss for Karnataka cricket," Ganesh said.

Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa condoled Vijayakrishna's demise. "We have lost a great cricketer. May his soul rest in peace,” the CM said in a statement.

Former India cricketers Anil Kumble, W.V. Raman, Vinay Kumar and Sunil Joshi paid their respects to Vijayakrishna on Twitter.

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