In what was a rare reversal of roles, former India opener and current head coach of the women's cricket team W.V. Raman donned the hat of a journalist in a candid chat with veteran cricket writer Vijay Lokapally, during an Instagram Live session jointly hosted by Sportstar on Thursday.
The conversation touched upon many topics, including the future of Test cricket, diminishing importance of the Ranji Trophy, and the sport's record when it comes to administration. Lokapally rated former PCA and BCCI president I. S. Bindra one of the best administrators in the country, while also lauding the efforts of N. Srinivasan and late Jagmohan Dalmiya.
"Bindra always saw to it that the players' interests were taken care of. I remember, during the 1987 World Cup (in India), he hosted a party and you had all these West Indies cricketers there; it was then that I realised how excellent a host Bindra was..," Lokapally recalled.
"Not only Bindra, Srinivasan, too, put a lot of emphasis on the financial security of the players. Even Dalmiya and Raj Singh Dungarpur... were great administrators," he added.
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The discussion then veered towards how sports reporters back in the day had to make do with fax machines while acknowledging that communication is the least of the problems now.
Reminiscing his 1991 tour to Sharjah, Lokapally said, "India vs Pakistan match report was memorable because I met the deadline! Instead of sending the report from the stadium, which had only two fax machines, I took a cab and rushed to the nearby telecom centre, where there was no one, and filed my report. I made it to the first edition the next day and got a big compliment from my editor."
Lokapally and Raman also spoke about the camaraderie and kinship that journalists and players openly displayed off the field in the early days as the latter seamlessly switched his role to that of a reporter, on an evening filled with nostalgia, cricket and more.
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