I Told My Players To Sledge In Mother Tongue In My Tenure: Ajit Wadekar
Cricket

I Told My Players To Sledge In Mother Tongue In My Tenure: Ajit Wadekar

Former Indian skipper Wadekar made a startling revelation in an interview with Cricket Country by stating he told his players to sledge the opposition in their mother tongue if they are finding difficult to sledge in English.

“During my tenure I told players that if you do not know words in English to sledge them then use your natural tongue in Marathi or whatever language you are comfortable with,” Wadekar was quoted as saying by Cricketcountry.com

The left-handed batsman Wadekar revealed former Indian cricketer Eknath Solkar was the ‘biggest sledger’ in Indian team after explaining how he used to tell his teammates to sledge the opposition.

“Eknath Solkar was the biggest sledger in the team,” Wadekar added.

Former Indian skipper was the cornerstone for Indian cricket as he was the first skipper who made the habit of winning for India in overseas fixtures before winning the series on Caribbean soil under his tutelage.

“And anyway, they will not going to understand that. Also, the opponent players understood after sometime by the body language and expression of Solkar. The most important thing is that it must vent it out. We are not Mahatma Gandhi. There was no way we would listen to whatever they said to us,” Wadekar further added.

Wadekar is concurrently holding the seat as a President of All India Cricket Association for Physically Challenged players. Recently, India has registered their consecutive T20 Blind World Cup win in February after beating Pakistan which shows.

Wadekar in the past had done an impressive job for India as a player and coach in 1990 before becoming the chief selector of Indian cricket team. During his tenure as an Indian coach, India did not lose a Test series in their backyard in 1990s.

Wadekar scored the solitary hundred against New Zealand at Basin Reserve in Wellington where he scored 143 runs to see his side scripting the history by winning their first-ever overseas series win by 3-1. Wadekar scored 328 runs at an average of 46.85 in the four-match series.

“Before that, we were not winning. It was the first time we started thinking about winning matches overseas. Winning overseas was surely the big thing. It made people believe,” Wadekar asserted.

The 76-year-old Wadekar had also beaten formidable England for the first time in the same season after thumping Windies. However, humiliating defeat against England had put an end to his career as well after registering their victory against Englishmen at home.

“1971 was definitely was my proudest moment. It was not expected of us, which was something great. I was also lucky to have players like Gavaskar,” Wadekar remarked.

In 1966-97 three-match Test series, Wadekar made his international debut against the West Indies in Mumbai which India eventually lost by 2-0.

Wadekar had played 37 Tests in which he had scored 2,113 runs at an average of 31.07 which included one hundred and 14 fifties. However, while leading the packing he became an example to follow particularly in overseas campaign.

Interestingly, Wadekar stated he was scary of injections before throwing some light on the option for career he was playing cricket as his hobby.

“Yes, I was always scared of injections. In those days, we had only two options for career: engineer and doctor. At that time there was no career in cricket. We did not earn much from cricket. So we used to play the game as our hobby. But in future, for a career, one had to choose engineering or doctor,” Wadekar concluded.

The Mubaikar has been epitome in domestic level where he had amassed 15,380 runs in 237 first-class matches which was laced with 36 hundreds and 84 half-centuries.

On the other side, Wadekar had played just two One-day Internationals in which he had scored 73 runs at an average of 36.50 which included solitary fifty.

 

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