Sridhar and the memories of 944

In 1994, Sridhar hammered 366 to take his team to the grand total; two of his team-mates, Noel David and Vivek Jaisimha, slammed double centuries as well to create history.

MV Sridhar (right) with his team-mates Noel David and Vivek Jaisimha after Hyderabad scored a mammoth 944 against Andhra Pradesh in a Ranji Trophy match in 1994.   -  The Hindu Archives


This generation of Indian cricket enthusiasts would perhaps remember Maturi Venkat Sridhar as one of the able cricket administrators, who served the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for long as its General Manager, Cricket Operations.

He would also be remembered for the smooth handling of the infamous ‘Monkeygate’ during India’s tour to Australia in 2008 as the team manager. But as the fraternity mourns Sridhar’s sudden demise, the players — both past and present — remember him as one of the smartest captains of Hyderabad.

Read: Former BCCI general manager M.V. Sridhar passes away

And of course, for the mammoth score of 944, that Hyderabad piled up against Andhra Pradesh in a Ranji Trophy game.

That was in 1994, and Sridhar hammered 366 to take his team to the grand total. Two of his team-mates — Noel David and Vivek Jaisimha — too slammed double centuries to be part of that history.

On Monday evening, David — one of the Sridhar’s batting partners in that knock — felt devastated. “He was one of the smartest captains we ever had. In that game, I would have never scored a double century had he not supported me,” David told Sportstar. After returning from his ‘best friend’s funeral, David remembered that moment when M.V. (as he was fondly called by his team-mates) encouraged him to go for the shots. “He told me to convert ones into twos and set small targets. Hyderabad cricket always had stars but he knew how to handle things smoothly,” David said.

Jaisimha — who also scored a double century to stitch a huge partnership — believes that Sridhar was a master in stitching big partnerships. “In that particular match, there was nothing much to play for and we just kept on motivating each other,” Jaisimha said, quickly adding that most of his big knocks have come in partnership with M.V. “Even as a captain, he was very shrewd. He exactly knew how to get job done,” he said.

When Jaimsimha met Sridhar for the last time — some six months ago — he was surprised to see his old friend putting up so much weight. “When he played for Hyderabad, he was around 70-76 kgs, and lately, he seemed to have gained. I even told him that, reminding him about his fitness during that knock of 944,” Jaisimha said.

After all, some moments do make memories!

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