Ever since the Mumbai Cricket Association built the Wankhede Stadium in 1974, the pillars of the association like former India players Polly Umrigar and Madhav Mantri (both deceased) ensured Mumbai greats were honoured with stands and gates named after them even while they were alive.
Vijay Manjrekar. Pic/Getty Images
The two gates at ‘D’ Road, Churchgate were named after Polly Umrigar and Vinoo Mankad. The Sunil Gavaskar and Vijay Merchant stands on the east and west sides of the stadium were unmissable to anyone visiting the Wankhede.
The change rooms were called the Vijay Manjrekar dressing rooms. However, while the stands still have the famous names at the new, renovated Wankhede Stadium for the 2011 World Cup, the association seems to have forgotten to name the dressing rooms after Manjrekar. Daily Dossier has made several enquiries with those who have been to the dressing rooms since 2011 but no one has seen a board honouring the former Mumbai and India batsman.
If this miss is true, the Mumbai Cricket Association ought to set it right soon. At one point in time, in the 1990s, there was a sponsors’ name attached to the Vijay Manjrekar dressing rooms. This time, they probably don’t need sponsorship, only the name to perpetuate the memory of one of the finest batting technicians to grace the cricketing turf.
Manjrekar was great in the truest sense of the term and that has been aptly endorsed by the greatest commentator ever — John Arlott — who wrote in his book, 100 Greatest Batsmen three years after Manjrekar’s 1983 death: “He leaves behind a reputation for courage and for rising to the challenging occasion.”