Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) honored it’s both past and present champion players on yesterday evening at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, although it was raining yesterday. It was a very good season for the state team as they won the Ranji Trophy, the Irani Cup and the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Former Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy champions and the current side that won a historic hat-trick of titles – Ranji Trophy, Irani Cup and Vijay Hazare Trophy, were felicitated by the state cricket association.
The chief guest was BCCI’s interim President Shivlal Yadav and he along with the office-bearers of KSCA honored the former and current players. All 7 Ranji Trophy winning sides were invited at the Chinnaswamy Stadium ground but as it was rain outside. Some of the players couldn’t make it.
A commemorative cover and stamp was unveiled by MS Ramanujam, the postmaster general of the Indian Postal Services, to recognise R Vinay Kumar’s victorious squad of 2013-14, and members of the team and support staff were presented with silk shawls and peta, a traditional headgear, by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA). Former players, who were a part of earlier Ranji Trophy winning teams, were also recognised on the occasion, being presented with cheques of Rs 1 lakh each by the KSCA. Meanwhile, Shivlal Yadav, the interim president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, also presented miniature silver Ranji Trophy replicas to members of past and present Ranji Trophy-winning teams.
Brijesh Patel, the current KSCA secretary who was a part of three Ranji Trophy winning teams said,“When we won in 1973-74, the KSCA awarded us a sum of 500 rupees, In comparison, this team that has done us proud were awarded (Rs) one crore by the association in addition to the sum announced by the Karnataka chief minister. They deserve every bit of accolades coming their way”
Prasanna of the 1973-74 final recalled, “Salim (Durrani, the Rajasthan star) and I were chatting before the game, like we always used to. We were talking of team strategies when he suddenly told me ‘I’ll get GRV and Brijesh’ I was quite shocked because our game plan revolved around these two. Mind you, Durrani had a history of getting these predictions right. During our 1971 tour of West Indies with the Indian team, he famously predicted that I would dismiss Sir Gary Sobers and I did. That thought was reverberating in my mind. I was scared to tell Vishy and Brijesh about it, and just like he said, he got them [Durrani dismissed only Viswanath] and we were in trouble. Luckily we always found people who could bail the team out of any situation. We didn’t just depend on big names like a (Syed) Kirmani, Vishy, Brijesh or Chandra. That is a trait I observed with Vinay’s team this season.”
However, an incident that jarred was that Mithun Beerala, who was a part of the 1998-99 Ranji Trophy-winning squad, was not called up on stage to receive his honour. Beerala scored six half-centuries and a century in his first-class career, which spanned 24 matches.
Vinay expressed sincere gratitude for the KSCA ground staff. “They deserve a lot of credit for preparing wickets for our matches in Bangalore. They supported us a lot throughout,” said Vinay. He also revealed his team’s “simple” secret formula for success: “The best thing about this team is everyone has a dream of playing for India. When you have that in you, the small things take care of itself. We have it in us to dominate Indian cricket for the next five-ten years”.