Sports: We box, we cricket, we win

Sep 15, 2013, 12:51 IST | Sunday Mid DAY Team

In section two of our 32nd anniversary special, we take a walk down memory lane and wonder at how people in Mumbai lived earlier

SUNDAY MID DAY 32nd Anniverary Special, Mumbai

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1985: India wins World Championship of Cricket

Ravi Shastri flaunts his new Audi post India’s win in the World Champion-ship of Cricket in 1985. File photo

Mumbai boy Ravi Shastri is declared Champion of Champions and is presented with an Audi car after the Indian cricket team wins the final against Pakistan in the World Championship of Cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Mogul lane in Mahim where Shastri lives, becomes famous.

1990: Mumbai hosts the boxing World Cup
Mumbai hosts the boxing World Cup at the Bombay Gymkhana. It is a huge success and the Cubans are well- remembered for their exploits.

The Boxing World Cup awed one and all. File photo

Pu Zoramthanga from Mizoram wins a bronze medal in the Light Flyweight category by defeating Jin Yang of South Korea in the preliminaries, and Paul Weir of Scotland in the quarterfinals.

1998: Dhanraj Pillay leads India to victory

Mumbai-based Dhanraj Pillay leads from the front to put the cheer back on the faces of Indian hockey lovers as India wins gold at the Asian Games in Bangkok in 1998. He is also the highest goal-scorer at the Bangkok Asian Games and is the only Indian player to figure in the World Eleven side during the 1994 World Cup at Sydney.

2011: World Cup comes back to India
India wins the ICC World Cup cricket on home turf at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It’s a dream come true for Sachin Tendulkar. But contrary to expectations he is in no mood to say goodbye. His end in one-day cricket comes more than a year later. In November, he is set to play his 200th Test at the same venue.

Then & Now: The ball game
Paras Mhambrey, Cricketer

Cricket has evolved over the years and has changed in every aspect. First and foremost, the support staff provided to the team has undergone a sea change. You have a full team in place, which includes a physiotherapist and a trainer who support players in achieving their goals. There is no off-season in cricket now. During our times, we had no cricket for almost four months in a year. So, some players would move to England just to stay in touch with the game.

Having a full-time physio around helps tackle injuries. This wasn’t the case earlier. We would just take advice from each other. There was no proper diagnosis done. It is a much better situation today.

The game has definitely become more professional in terms of the set-up. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been successful in bringing the money. The best part is that the money is now reaching domestic cricket.

The game has also become more aggressive now. The more you play, the better you become. It is the fastest way to understand your game and improve. Infrastructure, too, has improved. You have indoor academies in almost all major cities. Even Tripura has an indoor facility. With so many indoor academies, one can play cricket round the year. You do not have to wait for the monsoon to start playing.

Players have a designated manager who look after everything. The players always travel by air now. I remember playing the U-19 zonal tournaments and when travelling back from Ahmedabad, we had to travel in an unreserved compartment. So, overall, the game has changed for the better.

Sepia memory: Lajwanti D’Souza

Around the year 2000, I was Chief Reporter with Mid Day and Winnie Mandela was in town. The photographer, (Santosh Harare) and I arrived at a five-star hotel in Santacruz where she was put up, but the security personnel refused to let us enter closer. So, I went out of the reception area, changed my appearance a bit and walked back inside. I took the stairs and reached right outside her room. When the door opened, I ran straight in and told Mandela how important it was that she gave me an interview for SUNDAY MiD DAY. She said I should wait at the reception.

After what seemed like hours, Mandela stepped out of the elevator. She asked me my name and smothered me with kisses. She answered all my questions, but not before she smothered me with some more kisses till the point my face was wet.

But I had a story to file and a deadline to meet. SMD pages had an early deadline. Back in office then, people kept their distance from me, but the exclusive story was worth every kiss.

Lajwanti D'Souza was editor of Mid Day and Sunday Mid Day from 2006 to 2008 

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