Dilip Vengsarkar recalls varsity cricket days

Recalling two former India captains' exploits in inter-university cricket, another ex-skipper Dilip Vengsarkar on Friday stressed the importance of these tournaments in a player's progress up the cricket ladder.

"I saw Ajit Wadekar scoring a triple hundred against Delhi University. Sunil Gavaskar made a lot of runs in inter- university cricket and got selected for the tour of the West Indies (in 1971). This is a very important tournament," said Vengsarkar in Mumbai.

Vengsarkar was the chief guest at the media conference to announce that Mumbai University are hosting the West Zone and All India Women's Inter-University cricket tournament to be organised by Rizvi College of Bandra next month.

The former chief selector, who is also a vice president of the Mumbai Cricket Association under whose overall guidance the inter-university tournaments are to be conducted, said he got a daily allowance of Rs 10 while playing for Mumbai University.

"We used to travel by unreserved second class train compartments and used to sleep wherever we could get a place to sleep. We used to stay in small places, but it was fun and I had enjoyed those days. Rohinton Baria Trophy (inter-university cricket) was very important," he said.

"I scored a near double hundred, 190 or so, against Delhi," recalled the man nicknamed 'Colonel' for the way he resembled one of India's best known cricketers - Col. C K Nayudu - in his batting style. He also said that nowadays the Cricket Board (BCCI) has given a lot of top class facilities like air travel and very good hotels to stay when playing under-16 and 19 events.

"I am surprised this is the first time Mumbai University is conducting this tournament and I assure 100 per cent support from MCA," said the 116-Test veteran.

The West Zone tournament is to be conducted between December 9 and 17, followed by the All India tournament from December 19 to 21.

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