All those who have played the Thane Vaibhav Summer inter-office tournament know him as the grand old man of cricket.
Gujarathi has conducted the tournament for the last 38 years in the industrial belt of Thane, which brings together the employer and employees on the same platform.
|Prabhakar Narayan Gujarathi|
Nevertheless, former Test player Balvinder Singh Sandhu is sad that the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) is so engrossed with other things that they have failed to recognise people like Gujarathi who have been working selflessly at the grassroots level.
“He is dedicated to the Thane Vaibhav cricket tournament in the industrial belt that has produced many cricketers like me. He has worked without any expectations, but for me he is my unsung hero. There are many people like him who are working, but are hardly recognised. I strongly believe that the MCA should at least honour them,” said Sandhu.
Praising Gujarathi, Sandhu added: “He has never entered the MCA nor held any post. But he has been an administrator who has produced the next generation of administrations like Prahlad Naqve to continue his legacy, and that’s what it should be like.”
Wishing him a happy 75th birthday, Sandhu said: “We feel proud of him that he gave people like me a platform to grow. I wish him a very happy birthday and hope that he lives long and want to tell him that even if the world doesn’t recognise his contribution we do. Thank you, Sir.”
Inspired by the local county papers after his visit to England, Gujarathi was one of the pioneers who started a daily named Thane Vaibhav dedicated to local news on 25th August 1975. He is also the founder member of Pune District Cricket Association.
Gujarathi who hails from Pune graduated from Fergusson College in Pune and now resides in Mulund.
Earlier the tournament was held in a league format but now it is held in a limited over (45over) knockout form.