When Sunil Gavaskar made Ibrahim Ansari feel great

Updated: Nov 14, 2019, 07:46 IST | Subodh Mayure | Mumbai

Ibrahim Ansari recalled batting icon Sunil Gavaskar's kind gesture during a Times Shield match at Karnatak Sporting Association, Cross Maidan in the 1970s.

Ibrahim Ansari (left) and Mehli Irani (second from right) are being felicitated by Farokh Engineer (right) and Nari Contractor at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday. Pic/ Suresh Karkera
Ibrahim Ansari (left) and Mehli Irani (second from right) are being felicitated by Farokh Engineer (right) and Nari Contractor at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday. Pic/ Suresh Karkera

Though Ranji Trophy cricketers today earn around Rs 35,000 a day for figuring in first-class cricket, this was not the case three to four decades ago. However, despite getting just R10 per day the domestic toilers still enjoyed playing the game and performing.

Former Railways wicketkeeper-batsman Ibrahim Ansari, who played 55 first-class games from 1972 to 1983, scoring 2506 runs and claiming 102 victims behind the stumps, was felicitated along with ex-Mumbai wicketkeeper Mehli Irani, 89, by former India skipper Nari Contractor and ex-India stumper Farokh Engineer. Ansari and Irani received a cheque of Rs 1 lakh each at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday during a function called Aamchi Mumbai Aamcha cricket, organised by SKP Athletics Club.

However, Ansari, 67, who played club cricket for Cricket Club of India, Parsi Cyclists and Islam Gymkhana and Western Railways on the inter-office circuit for 17 years, wants the Mumbai Cricket Association to counsel Mumbai's age group players to instill discipline in them.

AnsariIbrahim Ansari

"Youngsters need proper counseling. There should be discipline, especially among players in the age group of under-14 and under-16, who are misbehaving. A lot of money is coming into cricket and MCA should guide them," Ansari remarked.

Talking about his playing days, Ansari recalled batting icon Sunil Gavaskar's kind gesture during a Times Shield match at Karnatak Sporting Association, Cross Maidan in the 1970s. "Sunil Gavaskar scored 220 for ACC [Associated Cement Companies] and I scored 87 for Western Railways. After play, a young girl requested Gavaskar for his autograph, but Sunil said, 'Take Ansari's autograph...he is the hero today.' I was nothing, just a Ranji Trophy player and he was an international great," recalled Ansari.

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