Wankhede diaries: Ex-Mumbai pacer Saeed Hatteea rues lack of role models back in the day

Updated: Dec 09, 2016, 15:19 IST | Subodh Mayure |

Former Mumbai pace bowler Saeed Hatteea (66), who missed out on playing for India in 1971 and 1975, rues the lack of role models during his cricketing days

Saeed Hatteea during his first-class cricket days in the 1970s
Saeed Hatteea during his first-class cricket days in the 1970s

Former Mumbai pacer Saeed Hatteea was back at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday, the venue where he played a few practice games before the Indian team departed for the 1975 World Cup in England.

Hatteea (66) could have made the Indian team in 1971 and in 1975, but he didn't get picked. He played in an era where the pacers were just required to get the shine off the new ball. "There was no role model for us pacers then. Apart from Ramakant Desai, there hadn't been a medium fast bowler.

Today, the Indian team have four good fast bowlers in the squad and two of them are playing this Test. "Yes, fast bowling has changed, but conditions have changed too and so have plans. We now have successful fast bowlers and better coaching too," Hatteea told mid-day.

Saeed Hatteea at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday
Saeed Hatteea at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday

He also dwelled on the change in balls: "The old ball used to get rough very quickly. The balls used now in Tests, Ranji Trophy and other first-class matches are considerably better in terms of quality.

"Ground conditions are better now as well. I remember playing my first game at the CCI and the outfield was brown. There was grass, but it wasn't green so the ball deteriorated much faster," he said.

Is he still hurt about not making it in the 1971 team to the West Indies? "It would've been nice if selected, but selectors have a very difficult job. They have to think about a lot of different things and you have to accept their decisions," he said.

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