Fantastic! Kedareshwar Hukkeri makes it to Pune ODI despite bypass surgery
Kedareshwar Hukkeri, 79, has never missed a game at the venue and has travelled a distance of 350 kms each time
Cricket lovers from Pune city will think twice before venturing to watch an international match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association's stadium in Gahunje since it is around 26kms from the city.
Apart from the distance, the most time-consuming aspect is the entry and exit from the ground as there is only a single road to enter the stadium. However, difficulties like these do not matter for a passionate fan like Belgaum's Kedareshwar Hukkeri, 79. He has never missed a game at the venue and has travelled a distance of 350 kms each time. Despite undergoing a bypass surgery last June, Hukkeri was in his seat at the North Stand well before the scheduled start of the Saturday's ODI between India and West Indies.
"The doctor found two blockages in my routine check-up so I underwent a bypass surgery in Bangalore. However, watching the Indian team playing gives me so much joy. It also helps me to be stress-free and enjoy life the way I want to, after a major operation," Hukkeri told mid-day on Saturday.
Six-footer Hukkeri represented Belgaum's Lingaraj College cricket team as an all-rounder and got attracted to the game by listening to cricket commentary in the 1960s and 1970s. While doing his MA in sociology from Bombay University in 1964, he thrived on an opportunity to watch the 1964-65 India v Australia Test at the Brabourne Stadium where India won by two wickets in a thrilling finish.
"It was a great experience to watch captain MAK Pataudi score two half centuries in the Test in which spinners BS Chandrasekhar and Bapu Nadkarni claimed most of the wickets," recalled Hukkeri.
Hukkeri believes the game has changed for the better. "The big positive is that even girls and women's teams get good facilities. It is so good to see equality in this game," he added.
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