Sharing dressing room to birthdays - M.S.K. and Sachin connection

Former India wicketkeeper M.S.K. Prasad, who shares his birthday with Sachin Tendulkar, narrates stories from the tour of Australia in 1999.

M.S.K. Prasad made his debut under Sachin Tendulkar in 1999.   -  FILE PHOTO/K.V.S. GIRI

 

Not many cricketers had the privilege of sharing the dressing room with Sachin Tendulkar. Former India wicketkeeper M.S.K. Prasad also shares his birthday with the cricketing legend. And that makes him proud.

“Very few sportspersons with such phenomenal achievements can still be so modest and down-to-earth. I remember his big role as captain in my Test debut against New Zealand in Mohali in 1999 (1999),” M.S.K. told Sportstar on Friday.

“I joined him at 22/5 after being put in to bat on a wet pitch. I promised him that I will stay unbeaten if he held one end up. But, unfortunately, he got out after hitting a couple of boundaries and then I saw the last three also depart. I remained unbeaten on 16,” M.S.K. went down the memory lane.

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“And, then the best part is that after the innings he walked up to me to say – ‘you lived up to your word and I couldn’t’. This is the kind of humility you won’t see in many superstars,” said the former chairman of the BCCI senior selection panel.

M.S.K. narrated another story from the tour of Australia in 1999.

“We were all sitting in a lounge. He was with his months-old baby boy and daughter. My wife was standing with my daughter when I had to go out for some work. To her surprise, Sachin walked across, picked up the baby and gave my wife his seat. I wonder how many could have done that,” he said.

The former Andhra captain also remembers how Sachin and Ajit Agarkar would practice with wet balls. “There was constant sound of knocking coming from his room and mind you he is always given a suite. Out of curiosity when I went to his room, I found him and Ajit knocking with a wet ball for hours. I mean such passion or madness, if I am permitted to say, is something very rare and that is why, perhaps, he scaled such heights of excellence.”

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“I am honoured and privileged that I saw the fantastic century 116 in Melbourne against the likes of Glenn McGrath, Damien Fleming, Brett Lee and Shane Warne,” he said.

“We all could see the intensity on his face to score big before that Test and he showed his class which even Adam Gilchrist feels is one of the best he had ever seen,” he added.

One of the most treasured moments for M.S.K. is when he receives birthday greetings (46th for him) from the ‘Little Master’ every year.

“It is one of those rare instances when you greet someone of his stature on his birthday and get a return greeting – same to you,” he said.

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