Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cricket in the 1970s- KS Narayanan packs off Kalli

KS Narayanan packs off an injured Kalyanasundaram from the IC Foundries to the Marina
A freak meeting outside the Chariman’s office at the India Cements headquarters in Madras led to B Kalyanasundaram (Kalli), arguably the greatest TN fast bowler being directed to turn into whites despite a fractured finger to bowl to the likes of Sunil Gavaskar.  It was a Buchi Babu match of the early 1970s. India Cements was to play ACC with the match starting on Wednesday at the Marina Ground. The strong ACC team comprised stars such as Polly Umrigar (captain), Ramakant (Tiny) Desai, Sunil Gavaskar and Karsan Ghavri, among others. 

In a match over the previous weekend at the Gandhinagar ground in Adyar, Kalli had fractured his left hand while taking a return catch.

It was by chance that Kalyanasundaram, then working at the foundries division, was present at the headquarters of India Cements in Madras that Monday morning. He was there for an official work related meeting ( he was there to meet the uncle of N. Srinivasan). 

As he was waiting outside, KS Narayanan, the co-promoter of India Cements, who was to leave Madras that day came out of his room on his way to the airport and saw an injured Kalli standing there with a plaster in his left hand. On enquiry, Kalli narrated the details of his injury and his inability to play in the Buchi Babu match starting on Wednesday as a result of the fracture on his little finger.

Kalli was stunned at the immediate response of Narayanan: 'I thought you were a right arm fast bowler. You don’t bowl with your left hand, do you? I want to see you at the ground when I am back from Bombay’.

The passion for the game then took over and Kalli was promptly at the ground on Wednesday morning to take the new ball. Bowling with one hand (without active participation from the other), he took two important wickets and played a crucial role in the draw with India Cements clinching the win by toss of the coin.

Recounting that incident, Kalyanasundaram says, ‘Such was the interest of Mr. Narayanan that he would be at the ground before the players. They were so supportive of us and wanted us to give our best and play in the true spirit of the game. He pushed and motivated me to play that match. But for him, I would have returned back to the foundries and continued with my work.’

' Looking back, I feel happy that he helped me make an important contribution in that match which we ultimately won. Those are moments that you really cherish. All the pain in my left hand was forgotten in that win.' 

Kalli B Kalyanasundram:  http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2011/08/kalli-b-kalyanasundaram.html

1 comment:

dinesh said...

Ha! This is about my father and I had no idea that an incident like this happened. Nice read.