I thought dad’s time had passed, says Roy junior

Pranab Roy, son of former India cricketer Pankaj Roy, thought his father would never be recognised once he saw cricketers junior to him bag the lifetime achievement award.

Former India cricketer Pankaj Roy amassed 2,442 runs with five centuries in 43 Tests.   -  THE HINDU PHOTO ARCHIVES

 

A little less than 18 years after his death, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has nominated Pankaj Roy for the prestigious C. K. Nayudu Lifetime achievement award for the 2016-17 cycle.

The Bengal batting legend played 43 Tests for India and 185 First-class fixtures in between 1946 and 1968.

While his family in Kolkata is elated with the news, Roy’s son, Pranab, admits that there was a time when he thought that his father might have missed out on his turn.

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“During the BCCI award functions every year, I would see players much younger to my father getting lifetime achievement awards. That made me realise that perhaps, dad’s time had passed. I thought he would never get the award,” Pranab, also a former India cricketer and an erstwhile national selector, told Sportstar on Saturday.

As the BCCI conferred the prestigious award to Syed Kirmani in 2015, Pranab was convinced that the likes of Roy would not be considered for the top honour.

“Kirmani definitely deserves the award. But seeing someone far junior to my father getting recognition, I was rather convinced that my father’s turn was over,” Pranab said.

“The family has always felt that my father always got his recognition late. He last played for India in 1960, and retired from the game in 1967. He was conferred the Padma Shri in 1975. It was a long time! But I am happy that the BCCI decided to recognise him. It’s better late than never,” Pranab added.

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Pranab also makes it clear had he been alive, Roy would have been extremely happy. “He was always shy and a down to earth person, who would never complain about not getting any recognition. He would never say, why not me. He would have really enjoyed this,” Pranab said, quickly adding: “May be, he could have got this much before. It’s quite unfortunate.”

Just like any other cricket enthusiast, the Roy family also wants to preserve his memorabilia and the gear, but Pranab insists that the state cricket association or the BCCI must show some initiative to take it forward. “If there are any such proposals, we will definitely think about it. There has to be some interest. I am not blaming anyone but it is important for the board or the state association to show keenness,” Pranab said.

In the 43 Tests that he featured in, Roy amassed 2,442 runs with five centuries. He, however, will be remembered for his world record opening stand of 413 runs with Vinoo Mankad against New Zealand in Chennai in 1956. The record stood firm for 52 years, before South African Neil McKenzie and Graeme Smith shattered it in 2008, against Bangladesh.