When NKP Salve failed to convince Bradman

Apr 02, 2012, 07:39 IST | A Correspondent
NKP Salve, the former BCCI president who passed away in New Delhi yesterday, is worthy of credit for bringing the 1987 World Cup to India. Pakistan was the joint host.

Don Bradman

However, he regretted the fact that cricket legend Sir Don Bradman did not agree to his request to come down to Kolkata to attend the tournament's final contested by Australia and England.

Here is a book extract from Cricket Beyond the Bazaar by Mike Coward (Published by Allen & Unwin) which dwells on the 1987 World Cup and the late Salve's eternal regret:

India's (World Cup) triumph in 1983 was so stirring that the president of the BCCI, Narendra Salve, and his confidants in cricket and the political arenas soon developed and nurtured a master plan to stage the event on the subcontinent in 1987.

NKP Salve with Salim Durrani (centre) and Bishan Singh Bedi in

After discussions which at times threatened to polarise the global cricket fraternity, the International Cricket Conference (as the ICC was known then) departed from convention and awarded the fourth World Cup to India and Pakistan, the most uncordial of neighbours.

There was a good deal of wailing when Sir Donald (Bradman) opted to remain in the sanctuary of his home at Kensington Park in Adelaide rather than be paraded before the masses at Eden Gardens on 8 November 1987.

'The only endeavour in the entire World Cup in which I have failed is to get Sir Donald to accept an invitation to India,' lamented Narendra Salve, the effusive chairman of the World Cup organising committee and a senior and influential member of Rajiv Gandhi's government. 

'The whole of India is greatly disappointed. It is difficult for me to explain the sentimental feelings of the people of India for Sir Donald. We in India look upon him not merely as a legend, but something far beyond that.' 

When I met Salve at his residence in Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi on the eve of the World Cup, he concluded an interview with an impassioned plea: 'If there is anything you want to do for India, please get Sir Donald to visit us on any occasion.'

Don declined
Salve was overwhelmed when he met Sir Donald at Adelaide Oval in June 1987 and when writing to him the following month, said: 'It is difficult for me to express how much the people of India would feel captivated with joy and gratified in having you on their soil. Fervently, I appeal to you to accept this invitation.'

 Politely but firmly Sir Donald explained to Salve that Lady Bradman's health would not permit him to make the journey and that in previous years he had also declined invitations to visit New Zealand, the West Indies, Canada, Pakistan, SA and England.


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