Starting off as a leg-spinner and lower-order batsman in Pune, Milind Gunjal rose to become a key batsman for his state’s Ranji team, Tata Sports Club and PJ Hindu Gymkhana on the Mumbai club scene. He rubbed shoulders with the best names in Mumbai cricket and came close to being picked for India’s 1986 tour of England. He revisits his up and down first-class cricket journey which culminated with Maharashtra reaching the Ranji Trophy final against victors Punjab in 1992-93.
Runs by the tons at the junior level caused the Mumbai Ranji Trophy selectors to pick Pravin Amre as a teenager in 1986-87 for a knockout match. While he didn’t set Bangalore on fire in a lost game v Karnataka, he decided to shift to Railways on the advice of his coach Ramakant Achrekar. His new team provided no bed of roses, but he scored enough runs to be picked for India in 1991-92. The following year he got a Test debut ton against SA at Durban. A Mumbai return was part of his destiny and after ending his FC career with Goa, Amre took to coaching. Success as Mumbai coach decorates his cricketing CV, but donning the Mumbai coach’s cap seems unlikely. In this podcast, Amre opens up on his struggles, highs and lows. His story is nothing short of inspirational.
Hailing from Dombivli, Nilesh Kulkarni worked his way up the ranks to represent Mumbai at the junior level before going on to become the Ranji Trophy team’s go-to spin bowler, playing under the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sanjay Manjrekar. He played a big role in several Ranji Trophy triumphs for Mumbai, but the 1996-97 one, whose final was played under floodlights in Gwalior, will remain special. As will the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Marvan Atapattu off his very first ball in Test cricket in 1997. Kulkarni dwells on his beginnings, his Test career and how he was mentored by English fast bowling great Frank Tyson through a bowling scheme in the early 1990s. He also talks about how he made his post-cricket career meaningful by opening a management institute.
India's ex-wicketkeeper, Kiran More played domestic cricket for Baroda, but he came to Mumbai to be part of the inter-office and club cricket circuit. He talks about how inter-office matches were like wars between teams and attributes his India selection to the experience of 'keeping to Mumbai stalwart Padmakar Shivalkar in the Tata Sports Club side. More also dwells on his rivalry with friend and Mumbai stalwart Chandrakant Pandit, for a spot in the Indian team.
Mumbai’s ex-batsman Jatin Paranjape turns back the clock to how he was introduced to the tough yet exciting world of Mumbai’s club cricket by being part of the Dadar Union Sporting Club, before graduating to U-19 cricket for India and a Mumbai Ranji Trophy call-up. An ankle injury proved a spanner in the works a few games into his India ODI career in 1998, but doors opened in the corporate field before becoming a national selector, followed by a post in a BCCI committee to pick the current national selection committee.
Ex-Rajasthan’s Mumbai-based spinner Suresh Shastri reveals that he was one of the first to emerge from the famous Ramakant Achrekar cricket stable and how he progressed every step of the way in the hard world of Mumbai and domestic cricket, playing with the best names on the circuit; his journey encompassing several games against touring teams in the 1970s.
Mumbai’s wicketkeeper-batsman-turned coach Chandrakant Pandit opens up on how he could take his first steps in serious cricket thanks to his coach Ramakant Achrekar, who convinced his dad that he should pursue the game. Pandit, who also figured in the 1987 World Cup, reveals how he got his first leadership role on a train journey to Chennai for an inter-office tournament.
Former India Test cricketer Kenia Jayantilal talks about the emergence of Sunil Gavaskar as a star in 1971 and how Dilip Sardesai infused the much-needed belief to beat the West Indies team in the Caribbean that year. Jayantilal also dwells on how he made Mumbai his home despite playing for Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy; also his role in bringing about a revival in Mumbai cricket during the early 1990s.
Former India Test cricketer and 1979 World Cupper Yajurvindra Singh talks about how Mumbai cricket had a huge impact on his career even though he represented Maharastra and Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy. His stints with Mahindra & Mahindra on the inter-office circuit and Jolly Cricketers in club cricket exposed him to the tough world of Mumbai cricket.
Balvinder Singh Sandhu, a member of India's 1983 World Cup-winning team, talks about his journey from spin to swing bowling, learning to perfect his craft by observing Kapil Dev, a statement from Sunil Gavaskar playing a role in him dismissing Gordon Greenidge in the World Cup final at Lord's and how Sachin Tendulkar's presence made everyone feel vibrant and confident in the Mumbai team that he coached.
29 September,2022 05:32 PM IST
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