Kanga hero Vikram Dutt now plays mentor
ANIL Kumble is Indian cricket’s most famous all-10 man because of his incredible 10 for 74 against Pakistan 14 winters ago in New Delhi.
But where Mumbai’s Kanga League is concerned, Vikram Dutt claims similar recognition with his 10 for 20 for Dadar Union against a strong Rajasthan Sports Club in 1982. Dubai-based Dutt was in Mumbai recently with his Dutt Cricket Academy under-13 team that played several games in suburban Mumbai.
He also coaches Delhi Private School in Sharjah. Regular tours to Mumbai as well as the United Kingdom afford his boys an opportunity to play on turf wickets. “We play on cement tracks in the Gulf so the experience of playing in Mumbai is invaluable. I am grateful to Sanjay Gaitonde from Payyade Sports Club, Pingulkar of Virar CC and Mani Iyer and Nilesh Bhosale from Chandrakant Pandit Cricket Clinic for extending a helping hand whenever I am here,” said Dutt, who represented Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy.
5 am nets
Cricket in the UAE is buzzing and Dutt is proud to reveal that several of his boys get picked year after year to represent UAE in various age groups. “We practice only on Fridays and Saturdays at my academy; start as early as 5 am because it gets too hot later in the day. While cricket is a religion in India, it is a passion in the Gulf,” said Dutt.
'The 10-wicket haul for Dadar Union in 1982 evokes a ‘won’t-forget-it-all-my-life’ response. Dutt recalled: “Dilip Vengsarkar was leading us and I couldn’t get a wicket for two overs, but then everything fell into place. It was a crack Rajasthan outfit and I can still picture Suru Nayak’s (who had just returned from India’s tour of England) stumps flying. I also cannot forget the top-class fielding effort my teammates dished out. Veteran Suresh Tigdi’s diving was unbelievable. Ditto the late Ramnath Parkar.
“Dadar Union were the true kings of Mumbai cricket. We won all there was to win. We could even win with nine players because we had that ‘opposition ko jeetna dena nahin’ attitude. Cricket was different those days. At times, watching cricket today, you feel sorry. I believe in performance. I keep emphasising that with my boys. In our day, if Sunil Gavaskar or Dilip Vengsarkar threw the new ball to you, they expected you to get wickets within a short time, else, you were not considered good enough. We learned it the hard way,” he said.
Dutt’s all-10 helped Dadar Union bowl out Rajasthan for 37 just 10 minutes before the scheduled close of play on September 5, 1982. Earlier that day, Dadar Union scored 98 for three declared with former Mumbai players Sridhar Mandle (42 not out) and Avinash Karnik (36) being the main contributors.
Dutt became only the third bowler to claim 10 in an innings of a Kanga League match. Aby Abraham (for Sunder CC in 1952) and Bharat Dalal (for Fort Vijay in 1956) are the others.