Saturday, February 11, 2017

IOB honours Ananthapadmanabhan

A Memorable Day in Ananthapadmanabhan's career
Becomes First Cricketer from the Bank to be honoured on the Founder's Day
'Great Gesture by the Bank to felicitate Ananth' - V Krishnaswamy (former GM, IOB/ TN Opener)
Ananthapadmanbhan being felicitated by R Subramania Kumar, MD and CEO, IOB

It was late evening on Monday (Feb 6).  Former Kerala Ranji leg spinner and now a top BCCI umpire (he umpired this year's Ranji Semi Final), KN Ananthapadmanabhan (http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2016/09/ananthapadmanabhan-kn.html) an IOB staffer for almost 25 years was ready to hit the bed for there was a coin counting exercise at the Anantha Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram (http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2009/11/anantha-padmanabhaswamy-temple-in.html the next morning.

He had heard of K Parthasarathy, GM (Treasury) and Head HR, IOB as being a strict disciplinarian and tough on implementation of rules and hence a call from the head quarters in Madras made him a little tense but by the end of the call, Ananthapadmanabhan had been left speechless and stunned.

Parthasarathy's call was to inform him that he had been chosen exclusively as the only cricketer in the last many decades to be officially felicitated by the Bank’s MD on the occasion of the founder's day celebrations for his tireless contribution to the bank's cricket as well as his recent achievements in Umpiring.

Cricketers from the era gone by here in Tamil Nadu considered it a great achievement to be noticed and recognised by their institution. To them, receiving a praise from the Chief in their organization meant a lot more than financial incentives. 


For the MD of such a large Public Sector Bank that has been renowned for several decades for promoting cricket to be personally felicitating him and for him to be the first such recipient on the founder's day made it a memorable evening for him. 

B. Kalyanasudaram, former TN fast bowling great, always considered it an honour to be playing for Chemplast watched from the sidelines by his chairman KS Narayanan and in fact contributed to the success (http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2013/07/cricket-in-1970s-ks-narayanan-packs-off.html). The motivation to perform in front of them was huge. He was once told by the chairman to go and play a Buchi Babu match citing that Kalli only had an injury in the left hand where as he was a right arm fast bowler!!!! And Kalli duly obliged.' … 

'Through the 1990s, Ananthapadmanabhan was a great source of inspiration and leader of the team. He was very hard working and bowled long continuous spells. He brought in lot of youngsters into the team and helped them develop. He developed very good relationship with players like Amit Pathak, Rajesh Kannan and Subbiah among others. He has contributed immensely to the team and was to a good extent responsible for IOB being one of the leading teams in TN cricket by the turn of this century.'

His batting against MRF 
Recollecting a particular performance of Ananthapadmanabhan on a matting wicket at the Anna University ground, Krishnaswamy says ‘I vividly remember that match against Globe Trotters comprising of top fast bowlers from the MRF Pace Foundation as it showed the value of Ananth to the team and the confidence others had in his abilities.'

'After having taken 4 or 5 wickets with the ball, Ananthapadmanabhan was promoted in the batting order by his captain S Satish Kumar (Ramar Satish) ahead of 1-2 pure batsmen after IOB was tottering at 4 wickets down. Reposing his captain's faith in his batting abilities, Ananth batted with grit and determination and put on a century partnership with Satish against quality pacers on that matting wicket to ensure first innings lead for IOB.'

In fact, he credits some of those early batting performances for IOB for the big centuries that he scored later for Kerala in the Ranji Trophy.

Welcoming Ananthapadmanabhan at the 80th founder’s day celebrations, Parthasarathy said, ‘Ananthapadmanabhan made a big career jump in the early 1990s as a youngster and took a bold call to join IOB from a top cricketing club such as Chemplast. Since then, his contribution to our cricketing team has been immense. He has also now become a top umpire of the BCCI. We wish him well with his umpiring career and we hope that he will soon make the bank proud by becoming an international umpire.’  

On the idea of honouring Ananthapadmanabhan, Parthasarathy, who himself was a cricketer in the 1970s and 80s says ‘He has made a significant contribution to the bank over the last two decades, both with his personal achievements as well as bringing the team together, especially in the 2nd half of the 1990s and we felt he deserves this honour to be felicitated by our MD.'

Interestingly, Ananthapadmanabhan joined IOB in the early 1990s from Chemplast after being spotted and identified by former IOB great V. Krishnaswamy  (http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2016/08/krishnaswamy-v.html). Since then, he played first division league cricket for IOB for around 15 years amassing a tally of around 500 wickets in the Palayampatti Championship. He also captained IOB for 6 years during this period, a phase when IOB did particularly well in the league.
Former TN Ranji opener V Krishnaswamy, who retired as the GM of IOB a few years ago is credited with mentoring many youngsters at the bank from the late 1970sand was instrumental in roping in Ananthapadmanabhan into IOB in the 1990s.  ‘I think it is a great gesture on the part of the bank in felicitating K N Ananthapadmanabhan for his cricket contribution to the bank. It is not just a recognition of his cricket abilities but also his umpiring skills as he is one of leading first class umpires in the country now.’

On being felicitated personally by the bank’s MD in front of a large audience that comprised of the bank’s top many decades old customers, industrialists from the city and Dr. V. Shantha, the chief of the Cancer institute, a delighted Ananthapadmanabhan told prtraveller 

‘It is really a great honour to be recognized by my institution for my cricketing contribution. This ranks as one of my best moments in cricket, especially since this has come almost a decade after I stopped playing. In my early days as a cricketer, Kicha Sir used to call me and convey his appreciation after every special performance. That really boosted my confidence and spurred me on to the next level. Similarly, Parthasarathy Sir appreciating my umpiring and wishing me to become an international umpire is a great confidence boost coming as it does from a well respected person in the management.’

KN Ananthapadmanabhan was felicitated by R Subramania Kumar, MD and CEO, IOB at the 80th Founder's Day on Friday ( Feb 10, 2017) evening held at Vidhyodhaya School in T. Nagar.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic Story. excellent read.

Vineet.K

Anonymous said...

Nice and Interesting!!

Anonymous said...

Nice one sir 👍

Anonymous said...

Hope he makes an international debut in his second innings as an umpire !!
Super story Prabhu, as ever...

Anonymous said...

Well-written and insightful piece - gives us a peek into the minds and lives of some truly committed cricketers. Best wishes to Mr. Ananthapadmanabhan.