AMOL Muzumdar has come a long way. And that’s not just metaphorically considering the amount of travelling he has done on India’s first-class scene since he made his Ranji Trophy debut for Mumbai — against Haryana in the 1993-94 season.
Muzumdar scored 260 in his debut game — the Ranji Trophy pre-quarter-final — and did not look back.
The 38-year-old stalwart, who shifted to Andhra Pradesh this season, recently became the highest capped Ranji player when he went past Haryana’s Rajinder Goel’s tally of 124 appearances.
MiD DAY caught up with the former Mumbai captain to talk about his extraordinary 18-year-old first-class career in which he represented India at the under-19 and ‘A’ level, but missed out on a Test cap.
One word to describe your journey since your memorable Ranji debut…
Apart from the number of runs you scored on debut, what else do you remember of that Haryana game?
At the end of the day’s play, I was batting on 245 which was a world record and my childhood hero, Ravi Shastri walked up to me, put his arm around my shoulder and said, ‘well played young man’!
The one adage (saying) that helps keep you motivated?
We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then… is not just an act… it’s a habit!
The one captain in domestic cricket you learnt most from?
The one thing that irks you every day of your life?
Waking up half an hour late!
How do you make yourself feel better when you think about not being able to play for India?
I seldom dwell in the past. I always look ahead and keep myself motivated with new goals and new challenges.
A domestic giant who you got inspiration from?
How do you feel every time you wear or feel the Mumbai Ranji Trophy cap?
Simply nostalgic… filled with pride…lion’s pride!
What’s the best thing about being in Andhra Pradesh’s cricketing set-up?
The fact that there is a lot of raw talent which can be nurtured.
Your all-time favourite roommate in your first-class career?
Rahul Dravid. Although we were competing for a spot in the India team, we were good friends and we had a lot of fun in the room.
If you were asked to be critical of yourself as a batsman, what would you bring up?
I wish I had learnt the power-packed game like Virender Sehwag, Adam Gilchrist and Jacques Kallis.
You played most of your first-class cricket in Mumbai. What kind of a feeling did the Wankhede Stadium give you each time you stepped on its turf?
Homely, secure and immense confidence whether I am batting or fielding.
The celebration you remember most in your domestic career?
In 1993-94, Mumbai won the Ranji Trophy after eight years and as youngsters, we celebrated a lot.
In 1999-2000, we beat Hyderabad in the final and the celebrations ended at seven next morning!
Your best match in your 126-game Ranji career?
Not just one. The 2006-07 Mumbai vs Baroda match which Mumbai won despite being 0 for 5!
The 2007-2008 Mumbai vs Rajasthan: All four results were possible as the last was being bowled! And we won. In 1998, when Mumbai beat Australia by 10 wickets.
And the one which you’d never like to remember?
When we lost to Uttar Pradesh in 1997-98.
Your most respected first-class opponent of all-time?
Your most feared first-class bowler of all-time?