Guha: 'Nayudu-Mankad dispute was akin to Kohli-Kumble’s'

The Bombay Gymkhana celebrated the 84th anniversary of the first Test played in India against England at an event in which cricket historian and author Ramchandra Guha was the chief guest.

Cricket historian Ramchandra Guha shares his thoughts during the 84th anniversary of First Test Match played in India celebratiosn at the Bombay Gymkhana on Friday.   -  Prashant Waydande

The Bombay Gymkhana celebrated the 84th anniversary of the first Test played in India against England at an event in which cricket historian and author Ramchandra Guha was the chief guest and a book written (about Col. C.K. Nayudu) by Aditya Bhushan was launched. The first Test was played at the Bombay Gymkhana located at the Southern end of the Azad Maidan, from December 15, 1933, with the home team led by Nayudu and the MCC team led by Douglas Jardine.The bat used by Nayudu was displayed.

Guha, described Nayudu has the "first super star of Indian cricket’’ and that  he agreed to accept the invitation because the event was about the first Test played in India and also because he was invited by Vijay Nayudu, grandson of Nayudu. The 59-year-old Guha recalled the names of social reformer Shapoorji Sorabjee, Baloo Palwankar, his brother Vithal in the historical and social context and certain events in which the gymkhana held prominence.

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When a  guest asked him about the present cricket administration in India, Guha said: "I resigned from the Committee of Administrators (CoA) six months ago, and this is for the first time that I am commenting in public on cricket. All I can says is that there is a story about a massive dispute between Nayadu and Vinoo Mankad. So essentially Nayadu was the Chairman of  selectors and  Mankad was India’s great cricketer. India was touring England in 1952, and Vinoo had got a contract with Lancashire League. So Vinoo told the board (BCCI), if you assure me that I will be on the England tour of 1952 (with the Indian team), I will not take this contract. (To which) C K Nayadu said we will not give you (an assurance). India lost the first Test (and) Mankad played the second Test at Lord’s, scored 72 and 184 and took five wickets.’’

“My one point on cricket today is that the relationship between C. K. Nayadu and Vinoo Mankad in 1951-52 was akin to between Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli. With this difference, in 1952, the administrators, selectors and managers had an upper hand to the players, abhi ulta hai (now it is opposite)”.

Vijay Nayudu, had invited Sunil Gavaskar for the function, but the former India captain and a media personality left the gymkhana after meeting the author of the book. "Sunil was not told that Ramchandra Guha would be the chief guest and I presume that’s the reason he left the dining hall (where the function was held),’’ revealed a senior member of the gymkhana.

In his resignation letter (from the CoA) last  June, Guha had named Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly in conflict of  interest issues and also Kohli and M.S. Dhoni in other issues.

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