Gundappa Viswanath honoured in Chennai

It was a night of nostalgia and celebration of cricketing greatness when Gundappa Viswanath was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement award by the Rotary Club of T. Nagar here on Monday.

Gundappa Viswanath said Chennai was like his second home.

It was a night of nostalgia and celebration of cricketing greatness when Gundappa Viswanath was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement award by the Rotary Club of T. Nagar here on Monday.

Speaking on the occasion, Viswanath said, “Chennai is my second home. I have played some of my most memorable innings here. This award is special for me.”

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The former India middle-order batting ace said, “The crowds in Chennai are so knowledgeable. They appreciate little things. And they cheer both teams.”

Viswanath said, “People in Chennai still talk to me about my 97 not out against the West Indies at Chepauk in the 1974-75 series. I have got so much love here. Let me tell you, I have played on some quick wickets in Chennai. The wickets were not like this in the rest of the centres.”

Dr. Mohan Rajan read the citation and then Viswanath was honoured with the award by tennis great Vijay Amritraj.

Chief Guest on the occasion Amritraj said, “Viswanath symbolised the best of Indian cricket. And he has so many fans. For all of us sportspersons, the greatest privilege is to play for the country. The great thing about sports is that it brings people together.”

Former India opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth said, “I was a schoolboy watching from the ‘D’ stand at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium when Viswanath made that great 97 not out against the West Indies, facing Andy Roberts. He is not only a great cricketer but also one of the finest human beings I have come across. He is my all-time hero along with Vivian Richards and Dennis Lillee.”

It was also a night when professional golfer Raghujit Singh Randhawa was presented with the Vocational Excellence award by the Rotary Club of T. Nagar.

Randhawa said, “I feel honoured. It is a heart-warming occasion for me.”

The night ended with Viswanath catching up with many of his old Chennai friends including his former team-mates from State Bank.