Independent India’s first ever Test skipper Lala Amarnath, who is also first century scorer in Test matches was allegedly sent back home from the tour of England in a controversial manner citing disciplinary issues. It was revealed by Amarnath himself and few others from that team that it was due to the politics played by the captain of the team Maharajkumar of Vizianagram.

Initially it was the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram who was named the skipper of the that toured England in 1936. He was given the post by some manipulations and lobbying.  Fortunately for the team, he was sacked from the post of captain after his poor captaincy on the field resulted in British media taking toll on it.

Vizzy was not good with the bat either as it made his teammates split on their opinions on him. Some of the senior players in the squad, including Lala Amarnath, C. K. Nayudu and Vijay Merchant were critical of Vizzy’s playing abilities and captaincy. The controversy occurred during India’s match against a County at Lord’s and Lala Amarnath had been nursing a back injury during the game.

Vizzy had Amarnath padded up, but didn’t put him in to bat after the fall of wickets and the other batsmen were sent in ahead of him, which prevented Amarnath from resting his injury. Amarnath was eventually put in to bat at the end of the day. Visibly angry after returning to the dressing room, Amarnath threw his kit into his bag and muttered in Punjabi, “I know what is transpiring“. Vizzy took this as a reason and conspired with team manager Major Jack Brittain-Jones and sent Lala Amarnath back from home even before the start of the test series. 

It was also alleged that in the 1st Test against England, Vizzy offered Mushtaq Ali a gold watch to run out Vijay Merchant, who was also against him before the start of the series.

Lala Amarnath is also the first Indian to score a Test Hundred when he scored a hundred on debut against England at Bombay (Mumbai) in 1933. He is also the father of former India All Rounder and the man of the 1983 World Cup winning final Mohinder Amarnath. Today is the 103rd Birth Anniversary of Lala Amarnath.


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