CRICKET HERITAGE TOUR-FIRST OF ITS KIND IN INDIA
Rajesh and Pratik with Sunny(Yajurvindra Sing) Sir
With Harsha Bhogale, and with Test Veteran Madhav Apte at CCI
Lord Ganesha at MCA and Ayaz Memon at Press Club
With Amol Muzumdar Milind Rege and Jayantilal and Yajurvindra Singh at MIG
Cricket Heritage Tour -Summarised – Aju Deshpande
Podar college versus Ruia college final at Brabourne stadium, Vengsarkar led Podar and Sandeep Patil led Ruia college final first day was washed was out in 1978 (If I am correct) .
Still, few ‘circuits’ like us waited in the stadium for hours till day was called off. That was craze of cricket we (Me, Rajesh and friends) had , not just passion and definitely not IPL like fashion.
So, It would have been a blunder as much as a catch dropped of Viv Richards, had we missed the cricket heritage tour organised and managed by cool and composed Theo ji , ever helping Marcus ji , energetic and unstoppable Milind Vagle ji and off-course witty Sunny Sing sir as well as others.
Few of the many splendid memories of the tour for you.
The tour was not just organised it must have been visualized before organised keeping in mind the cricket lovers expectations . That was a good toss to win.
The places of visits were not the irrelevant museums and crowded sunset points but galleries, places, grounds where moments were cherished and lived by mightiest and greats not just kings and their palaces.
As if those occasions witnessed by legends have made their permanent home there.
And for one more time Yajurvindra sir played few exquisite shots, as pleasant as the ones he played holding the bat for Maharashtra and India and he put smiles on the face of us with some inside dressing room stories whenever he held a Mike in his hand.
Wankhede dressing room chairs looked as lively as they would look with players sitting on them.
We broke the code of conduct by occupying them. Luckily match refree was not there otherwise organisors would have had to pay one person’s tour fee as fine or ban of few matches ( heritage tours) for our innocently overenthusiatic misadventure.
The speeches from greats Madhav Apte ji and Nari Contractor ji took us to era of 60s and without any audiovisuals to support, those pioneers showed us the roots of a big cricket tree we are seeing now.
Our perception about ‘Brabourne’ name was nicely cleared by Madhav Apte ji who only few years back played against Sachin, put us in confusion as whether he is still in thirties or seventies.
Pranab da from City of Joy and home pitch of Sourav da mesmerised us with his squarely turning emotional outbreak dedicated to Subhash Gupte the magician leg spinner. Pranab ji didn’t allow us to move a feet and ultimately clean bowled us with a lovely flighted delivery.
The artistically designed ambience of CCI made us linger around till the umpires asked us leave the venue and board the bus.
Press club meeting after lunch was joyfull as the two graceful media persons of repute who quickly took away the drowsiness in just few well timed lofted shots and some of them cleared the roof of Bombay Gymkhana perhaps.
Ayaz Memon and Harsha shared the honours, they were aptly supported by ever alert Sunny Sing at short leg who didn’t drop any.
Ultimately we arrived at MIG for exciting last session where Milind Rege, Amol and Jayanti Lal played few cracking cuts and drives speaking about Mumbai cricket, talk gave right color to our drink and added a nostalgic zing without offering any chances to fielders.
At the end of the day we felt as satisfied as one would be after seeing a classy Vishy batting and some on demand sixes from Salim Durani with ease of Chris Gayle.
And would like to end the story with a last ball glance –
The tour deserves more ‘likes’ than the one received by a charming girl, after updating her profile on facebook!!