Monday, November 25, 2019

Bharath Reddy The Player’s Man

In the summer of 1979, a once in a life time opportunity presented itself before him  to create cricketing history but Venkataraghavan asked him to ‘shut shop’ – Sadly it turned out to be his last innings in Test Cricket

His Unbeaten 2nd innings in Cricket that has lasted over three decades has seen him make a huge contribution to TN cricket - Spotting and Developing hitherto hidden talent and helping them showcase their prowess to the Cricketing World

It is one of the rarest occurrences in the Indian domestic cricket. Even as the Indian Schools captain was on the flight back to India from the trip to the UK in the summer of 1973, Vijay Manjrekar the legendary Indian Batsman from the 1950s and 60s, who was the manager on that tour, was so impressed with the young boy’s performance that he remarked “After Farooq, Bharath”.  

Coming as it did from a well respected voice of Indian Cricket, the national selectors could ill afford to not include the teenager in the domestic season opener. And thus he made his debut in first class cricket playing for Rest of India against Bombay in the Irani Cup match in the 2nd week of November 1973 and had the honour of keeping to Prasanna and Chadrasekhar in his first big match on the national scene. Having played and performed well in the prestigious Irani Cup match, the South Zone Selectors picked him for the Duleep Trophy opener that followed a week later. And to complete the rather bizarre sequence, the Tamil Nadu selectors then included him alongside PK Belliappa (who played as a batsman) in the Ranji Trophy team.

Thus in three dramatic weeks, end of 1973, Bharath Reddy had made his debut in three different formats in a lopsided sequence and one that had possibly not been witnessed in the previous four decades in domestic cricket for the scale up to the national level had for long been through a progressive chain starting with the Ranji Trophy and moving up the ladder through the Duleep and Deodhar Trophy,  with the Irani Trophy being the final door that a budding cricketer had to knock on before his entry on the international scene. But this was one episode when an aspiring cricketer played the Irani Trophy and Zonal Tournament before his State debut.

Bharath Reddy had actually experienced what teenagers his age would have only dreamed of - that of keeping to four legendary spinners – Venkataraghavan, VV Kumar, Prasanna and Chandrasekhar and that within the first month of arriving on the domestic scene in India. 

Wicket Keeper by Chance
For all this excitement at such a young age, he had taken up to keeping only by chance. He was in his early teens and was part of the junior team at the Madras Christian College School, Chetput. For an important match in the Leather Trophy, the senior team was a keeper short and Bharath Reddy was roped in as a stop gap. His performance behind the stumps in the tournament surprised everyone for he seemed to be a natural wicket keeper and there was no looking back since. In the next few years, he scaled up rapidly. An extrovert, who proactively reached out to teammates, he also seemed a natural leader and soon donned the captain’s role of the Indian Schools team that toured England in 1973.
TT Srinivasaraghavan, MD, Sundaram Finance is the same age as Bharath Reddy and played alongside him for MCC School (in the late 1960s), a team that was quite strong those days in school cricket in Madras. He saw the talent in his wicket keeping very early on even as a young school boy and says that ‘Bharath was a gifted stumper.’

Stiff Competition in the South
Following his debut season in 1973, Bharath Reddy had to encounter stiff competition even for a state place with H Sundaram close on his heels. And at the Zonal level, he had to constantly fight for a spot with SMH Kirmani (Karnataka) and Krishnamurthy (Hyderabad). Tamil Nadu failing to qualify for the knock outs two years in a row immediately after Bharath’s debut meant opportunities in domestic cricket were limited. And yet, he managed to hold off competition and within 4 years of his state debut was on flight to Australia with the Indian team as the understudy to Kirmani.

During that period, he captained the Madras University team to a victory against a strong Bombay team in the final of the Rohintan Baria Tournament.
Former Ranji Trophy winning captain and his teammate at College, University and State for many years, S Vasudevan rates Bharath Reddy as the 'Best Wicket Keeper' he had seen in Tamil Nadu.

While he did not play a test on that tour, he did gain significant exposure playing most of the tour matches against sides that included Test stars from Australia. Even at that young age, the extrovert character was on show as he made friends with many Aussie cricketers, the first real exhibition of his networking skills.

A great opportunity to make history in England?
A couple of years later, with the Packer rage catching up even in India and with rumours of Kirmani making his way to the WSC, the Indian Selectors made the surprise choice of Bharath Reddy as the lone keeper for the high profile tour of England, interestingly under the captaincy of S Venkataraghavan, his state captain for over 5 years.

He played in all the four tests on that very challenging tour that was played in very chilly conditions. Yet it was quite a successful one for him with 11 dismissals, a record at that time for an Indian wicket keeper. He learnt a lot from Bishen Singh Bedi with whom he shared the room through the English tour in 1979 and who has been a close friend ever since.

Shut Shop Bharath, says Venkat
In the last test of the series at Oval, he featured in the final dramatic moments of what could have become a legendary test in history. India were going after a record run chase on the final day and were set up well by a double century opening stand between Gavaskar and Chauhan. India was 8 down when Bharath Reddy came in. He had been a natural stroke maker all his life and none would have known that better than Venkataraghavan but as fate would have it, the stern Venkat directed the young keeper to shut shop. It would have been a once in a life opportunity for Bharath Reddy and it fell on his lap for the situation suited his style best. A couple of big hits and Bharath Reddy would have become a household name in Indian cricket. But destiny decided otherwise. He defended under his skipper’s instruction before the match was finally called off with a ball to go with India falling tantalizingly short of the 438 that they had to score in the fourth innings. 

It probably remains one of the very few regrets that Bharath Reddy has had in cricket “It was a great opportunity to win. No team had ever chased such a target in almost 100 years of Test Cricket and we were so close to it. I felt that we should have gone for the target at the cost of losing the test match for we were already one down in the series.”
(Venkat lost his captaincy to Gavaskar even as the team was on board the flight back to India)

Another day, he may have gone for it but not that evening at the Oval and not against Venkat’s instructions. Unfortunately for Bharath Reddy, it turned out to be his last test innings, for he never played test cricket again.

His Final International Tour
He toured Australia and New Zealand in 1981 alongside his teammate TE Srinivasan but did not feature in a single test on either of the tours. With Kirmani having stabilized himself as the No.1 keeper in the team and a new policy that India began adopting of a single keeper on overseas tours, the curtains came down on Bharath after just 4 tests. With one of the most talented wicket keepers India has seen, Sadanand Viswanath coming into the fray in 1984, Bharath Reddy lost hopes of an international come back. And he joined a long list of cricketers from Tamil Nadu who under achieved at the international level.

But he had enjoyed playing with the cricketing legends of India in the 12 year period from 1973, building a big network of cricketers worldwide and keeping to those world class spinners “VV Kumar would just pin the best of batsmen down to their knees and as a keeper I had to be alert every single ball that would turn square either way. With Bedi and Prasanna, the ball would just hang in the air. How can I have any regrets after having kept to all these legends. Venkat was one of the hardest working cricketers I have seen, though he would rarely talk.”

Helping Kalli win a bet with Venkat
While he was not known much for his batting, B Kalyanasundaram ( once had a bet with his captain Venkataraghavan that he would score 25 in a Ranji match. Batting with grit and determination, he reached 24 when Venkat declared the innings closed bringing a huge laughter in the dressing room. 
Much later in September 1976 playing against Andhra Pradesh at the Agricultural College Ground in Coimbatore, it was Bharath Reddy who partnered with Kalyanasundaram in a 9th wicket partnership of almost 80 runs helping Kalli pass that magical milestone of 25. Immediately after that innings, Venkat walked up to Kalli and handed him Rs.25, the amount he had promised earlier if Kalli scored 25 runs. That also showed Venkat's character of keeping to his word.

A role in LS' Ranji Debut at the age of 16
Venkat had decided to go with just 4 bowlers for that the knock out game and was keen that all the bowlers were 100% fit. When Valson indicated on the morning of the match that he was not likely to be 100% fit through the four days, it was Bharath Reddy that Venkat went up to to seek his views on the replacement. And on Bharath seconding the inclusion of LS (L Sivaramakrishnan), he took the big call of playing the 16 year old Vidya Mandir School boy in the big quarter final clash against a formidable Delhi side comprising of  Chauhan, Lamba, the Amarnaths, Madan Lal and Kirti Azad. Bharath Reddy and LS remained thick friends through that period in the 1980s.

Just minutes before the toss, TN Captain Venkataraghavan walked up to the diminutive 16 year old Vidya Mandir school boy in front of the pavilion at Chepauk and gave him the biggest news yet of his life. ‘YOU ARE PLAYING TODAY’ and the rest is history ( LS took 7 wickets in the 2nd innings to help bowl out that strong Delhi batting line up for just over 100)

800 league runs in the year he was dropped from TN squad
During the final phase of Bharath Reddy's playing career, Tamil Nadu reached the Semi Final of the Ranji Trophy, one of his big moments in his domestic career but as in the past, the team lost to Bombay. He captained Tamil Nadu for a while after the retirement of Venkataraghavan. In the year, that he quit (was dropped) TN cricket, he had scored 800 runs in league cricket  including four hundreds. But it was time for him to give way to a young wicket keeper as part of the transition in TN that saw K Srikkanth bring in a new wave of youngsters.

Star Studded Benefit Match
So networked was he with players around the world, that for a man with just 4 test matches, Bharath Reddy managed to rope almost the entire Indian team at that moment and many of the international stars of that time (Javed Miandad, Imran Khan, Rameez Raja, Malcolm Marshall and Curtley Ambrose, among others) for his benefit match and it turned out  to be a star studded match.

A playing career that flattered to deceive
Bharath Reddy is gracious to accept that he had not done enough to over throw Kirmani from the team ‘I was a happy go lucky guy. I felt satisfied being in the reserves. I was not too ambitious. There was no one to guide us in Tamil Nadu in those days. We were mostly left on our own. I did not realize then that I was playing alongside legends of Indian cricket and that I had to strive harder to topple Kiri Bhai. I made friends with most of the senior members of the team but did not focus enough on converting my ability into performance. Today as I look back, I wish there had been someone to guide and mentor me during that crucial period and helped me correct my mistakes. But there was none. In Tamil Nadu, unlike those from the West Zone, people (cricketers) are generally reserved and most keep it to themselves. Hence, I was all on my own and did not do enough to merit selection at the international level.”

It was now time for Bharath Reddy to move on.
(for the records, he played in 95 first class matches and effected over 200 victims)

Over the next three decades of his life, following his retirement as a player, that was the void Bharath Reddy has filled an achievement that has made him a stand out in domestic cricket.

Club Cricket in Madras
After quite a success in the city league in the 1960s, Jolly Rovers had gone through a tough phase in the 1970s. Towards the end of the decade, N. Sankar, who had just taken over as the MD of Chemplast, with the intention of bringing back the focus on cricket doled out an offer to Bharath Reddy to play for Jolly Rovers. While Bharath also had an offer from the TVS, he opted for the secure officer’s post at SBI. The meeting ended with Sankar making the remark ‘I will call you when I can afford you.” 

And he did, three years later roping Bharath as the captain of the team. Even as a youngster with his love for cricket, Sankar had an innate ability to spot talent. It was he who saw the potential in B Kalyanasundaram and signed him up (initially for Jai Hind) after meeting him at the Pachaiyappas College ground in the 1960s. He saw a spark in Bharath and found him to a natural leader with a great ability to motivate and develop cricketers. It was this spark that led him to handing the responsibility of taking care of the management of the entire cricketing activities of Jolly Rovers.

Thus began an association that continues to flourish even now close to four decades after the initial signing and one that seems to be growing stronger as seen from the Palayampatti Shield that Jolly Rovers won earlier this year. It has been a very long term partnership something that neither party foresaw way back in the early 1980s.

This second innings in Bharath Reddy’s life has seen a success that no other cricketing manager can boast of in TN cricket though it has not been without challenges.  In 1980, he was banned for taking six cricketers to the US.

From the 80s, he has single handedly anchored the success story of Chemplast under the macro management of Sankar by building a strong team comprising of players, coaches and the support staff. His passion for Gardening has helped greatly in the way the team’s own ground has been maintained at IIT Madras that is one of the best in the city, with a British style pavilion.

Reviving Jolly Rovers’ fortunes - 1980s
Soon after taking over the reigns in the early 1980s, there was a big turnaround in Jolly Rovers’ fortunes in the city league. After a lull for almost a decade, the team won the Palayampatti Shield two years in a row soon after Bharath Reddy took over and also won the then prestigious The Hindu Trophy within a year of his captaincy. It was he who identified B Arun and provided him the early opportunities.  He also brought along Abdul Jabbar and Prasad from SBI. A decade after his arrival Jolly Rovers had won both the Palayampatti Shield and The Hindu Trophy four times. As the decade panned out, his eye for spotting talent came to the fore.

Not just local cricketers, he managed to bring in players from across the country to play for Jolly Rovers. Harvinder Singh and Debasish Mohanty were two of the early outstation players that he laid his hands on. Dinesh Karthik was just 11 years when he was taken by Bharath Reddy on a trip to England. Another India cricketer M Vijay was spotted early on by Bharath and it was during his stint at Jolly Rovers that Vijay blossomed into a fine opener and later went on to play for India. Dinesh Mongia was a regular for Jolly Rovers in those days. And now Piyush Chawla has been a star performer for several years. 

While it was a big name in the local league till the 1970s, Chemplast was not known to the cricketing world outside. It was Bharath Reddy who took the club national. When the BCCI launched a national corporate tourney, Chemplast was not even given an entry. A couple of years later, Chemplast won the tournament and it remains to-date the only private club to lift the trophy. As years rolled by, more trophies from national tournaments moved into the Chemplast kitty - Arlem Trophy, KSCA Trophy, Moin ud Dowla and many more.

Fast bowler L Balaji was another who benefited from the world class infrastructure at Jolly Rovers. He too was picked up very early on much before he became a star in TN and Indian cricket. For S Badrinath too, it was Jolly Rovers that gave the early platform to prove his mettle. More recently Natarajan, DT Chandrasekar, Aparjith and Indrajit, Sai Kishore have been players who grew and established their credentials under his stewardship.

He also roped in many upcoming players from outside the state such as Robin Bist, Ankit Bhawe, Sheldon Jackson and Deepak Hooda.

Gets the best out of every player
Former South Zone batsman and currently a Top 20 Umpire Madanagopal( who played over 30 first class matches and topped the run charts two years in a row for TN played for three years for Jolly Rovers, including the year when they won the Palayampatti Shield after a gap of 9 years in the late 1990s rates his association with Bharath Reddy as one of his best phases in club cricket “There were some big established names at Jolly Rovers when I joined and yet Bharath handed to me everything that I could have hoped for as a youngster in a cricket team. I was given every opportunity to showcase my talent. The fact that he is there from the first ball to the last in every match makes him ideally positioned to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the players.” 
It was that understanding that once helped change the course of a match “All of a sudden, he went out of his way to the then international star Robin Singh, who was the captain of the team, to promote me up the order given the state of the match at that time and I ended up with a century. Such was his indepth understanding of a player that he always got the best out of every player in the team.”

Vasudevan even goes to the extent of saying that there are very few in country who can spot talent and make them 'India' ready as well as what Bharath Reddy has done over the decades.
Sankar is delighted at how this cricketing association with Bharath Reddy has turned out “Frankly when I signed up as the Wicket Keeper Captain and subsequently assigned him the challenging role of running and managing the team, I did not foresee a scenario of him still running the team four decades later. For a large part, he has spent the money frugally. The longevity of his stint is a clear indication of his passion for the game and the success he has achieved with the club. To me, the ultimate endorsement comes from the respect he commands from the players over a very long period of time.”

Cricket - The only thing I know
The young upcoming fast bowler Kapil Dev was his roommate in the 1977-78 series in Australia, a tour that Bharath rates as the best for the camaraderie that everyone enjoyed. Since then they have been the best of friends. Not for him, phrases like 'giving back to the game. Like Kapil Dev, Bharath Reddy is not embarrassed to accept that Cricket is the only thing he has known in life “I was not good at academics. Right from my school days, cricket was my passion. It has always been my first love and I have stuck to it. And I have no regrets about accepting the truth that cricket is the only thing I have known in life.” 

It was on Kapil’s request that he went on board as a professional with Tony Grieg and Dean Jones to the Indian Cricket League (ICL) that was later seen as a Rebel League. He helped identify and put together players in three teams in the ICL. But the stint there was short lived and he came back officially  on board Chemplast.

A Big Loss to TN Cricket 
Legendary leg spinner VV Kumar with 599 first class wickets, who has seen Bharath from very early days, says without battling an eyelid that Bharath Reddy has been the best man he has seen in the last 60 years in terms of spotting and nurturing talent. “He was miles ahead of others in bringing unknown talent to the forefront and he worked tirelessly in that endeavour.” 

VV Kumar bemoans the failure on the part of TN cricket to utilize the services of Bharath Reddy for the good of the state and is saddened by the way he has been treated by the state association “He has a proven track record of spotting hidden talent and is a players’ favourite but sadly has not found favour with the association. How would anyone in the TNCA explain the rationale behind never having utilized the services of such a selfless personality who has always stood for the development of the players. Keeping him away has clearly been a big loss to TN cricket.”

PS Moses, who played alongside him in the 1970s compares Bharat Reddy's achievement at the local club level as a cricket manager of Chemplast with that of (Alex) Fergusson of Manchester United.

Uncompromising Personality
For a man touted as the next big Indian Keeper after Farooq Engineer, Bharath Reddy fell short of expectations playing just four tests and three ODIs. But in his 2nd innings in Cricket, much like TA Sekar(, his contribution to the development of cricket in Tamil Nadu far exceeded anyone’s expectations. No other cricket manager in Tamil Nadu has contributed anywhere near what Bharath Reddy has over a long three decades period. His ability to spot hitherto unrecognized talent and to nurture and harness that inherent talent in players converting it to a success story has been second to none. 

The greatest sense of satisfaction for Bharath has been the fact that he has been true to himself, honest with the players and uncompromising at most times. He is not the one to ‘toe’ the line. He was also the Secretary of the TNCA during a phase in the 1990s but really that's story for another time. The discipline that he has inculcated at Chemplast has been a model for other professional teams to follow. He is there in your face and most players know what’s in his mind. Like in his playing days, he did not aspire enough during the 2nd innings in cricket except to make his club the best in the city.

While it is yet unclear as to how long he will be able to sustain the success story in the hostile cricketing environment that currently exists in the city where upcoming players from non ‘powers’ side are shunned into submission and in a scenario where they are forced to pay several times higher a price to secure a player, for the moment Bharath Reddy continues to be passionate about his role at Chemplast. 

While many of the state players have moved on to the powers that be with the latest to succumb being M Siddharth (, they were all nurtured much before their days of fame by Bharath Reddy at Jolly Rovers. Even in a scenario of several top players moving away to those teams, Bharath Reddy showed to the cricketing world that he still has it in him to build a team that can win the Palayampatti Shield as seen from the victory earlier this year.

Committees and advisories are now being formed to try and discover cricketing talent in TN. For 30 years, without any such committees, Bharath Reddy single handedly spotted, invested and harnessed unknown players and brought them to the world’s notice. Irrespective of how the future unfolds for him, Bharath Reddy has already engraved a name for himself in the history of TN cricket and will forever remain a ‘Player’s Man’, one who gave his all for the development of talented players. He has always been a selfless man who looked first at the benefits for his players and gave them what they looked for as young upcoming cricketers - Opportunities, Infrastructure facilities and financial compensation. And very few have left him disappointed. 

At 65, Bharath Reddy is a happy and contended man. He sees it as a great blessing to have had a terrific boss who trusted him and handed him complete freedom to run his team. He remains the only cricketer in the state to have run and managed a top notch team, successfully, churning out high quality players for almost four decades. And that really has been Bharath Reddy’s greatest achievement in his second innings in cricket. 

It will be hard to find another like him.


Anonymous said...

Great Prabhu. You have gathered so much details before writing this. Hats off to you. Only people of my age can appreciate .

Anonymous said...

Dear Prabhu,
Superb article. Really enjoyed knowing more of Bharath Reddy. Truly an unsung hero. Your last line ‘hard to find another man like him’ applies to both Bharath Reddy from your point of view and N Sankar from Bharath’s point of view! Nice way to end����

Anonymous said...

The greatest untold club cricket story of a brilliant partnership between a genius of a cricketer/ manager and his simple and humble boss who gave all the support to script one of club crickets greatest untold story of success. It's a shame that Barath is not recognized and given responsibilities both in TNCA and BCCI.

Anonymous said...

Amazing person Bharat Reddy.
Excellent piece and well written

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

Lovely piece Bharat! Captures you perfectly and paints a picture that even a layman would understand the person, the personality that you are, have always been!

V Prasad

Anonymous said...

Bharath excellent article covering all aspects of your contribution to must be really proud.

Satwender Singh

Anonymous said...

I wish you had people to guide you strongly...i am sure you would have created history with the kind of talent and human being you are..I AM always your well wisher and understand how much you care and do for others..keep going...God bless.

Kawal Singh, Hyderabad

Anonymous said...

Lovely article on Bharath.

Yajurvindra Singh

Anonymous said...

Loved it.
More to come.

Love always

M. Vijay

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

very well written story.

Anonymous said...

Nice Article on Bharath Reddy, da

Pramodh Sharma
(1990s cricketer, Kunal Engineering)

Anonymous said...

Good One. You deserve it,Sir.

( 1990s, Alwarpet cricketer)

Anonymous said...

Very good article on Bharath.

( Fast bowler / Team member from the 1980s)

Anonymous said...

Very good article on Bharath.

( Fast bowler / Team member from the 1980s)

Anonymous said...

Inspiring Journey so far sir... Wish you many more great years ahead.. More achievements more moments to cherish! Proud to be accociated with Jolly Rovers. Cheers ��

Jalaj Saxena

Anonymous said...

The Legendary Skipper.

Dilip Vengsarkar

Anonymous said...

Lovely article about Bharath Reddy. Iam very unlucky i could not play under him. Wonderful thinker of the game. He knows what type of bowler to operate for a batsman. Superb article prabhu

S Madhavan

Anonymous said...

As you have pointed out in the article Sir, cannot believe that TNCA has not utilised his talents ... a dreadful waste of skilled resources.

Anonymous said...

Bombay Univ was a very strong team . They were expected to win easily, had 7 Ranji and 3 West Zone players including Sandip Patil , vijay Mohan Raj, Suru Nayak, zarapkar, The Bombay administrators were more worried about the Ranji final the previous week against a full strength Hyderabad team led by Jaishima and included Baig , Pataudi, Abid Ali and all its stalwarts . Bombay was weakened as many of their players were on test duty in WI . Bombay won the Ranji Trophy but lost the Rohinton Baria ... team work and Vasu, Patel , Moses and a match winning 8th wicket stand between Bharat and Sriram got us thru

Anonymous said...

Excellent Article.
(Former TN Ranji captain)

Anonymous said...

Amazing read. Thanks


Anonymous said...

Very good one about Barath Reddy sir, Prabhu.

Satish Kumar

Anonymous said...

Great article

What an inspiring journey

Anonymous said...

Well written!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Great article Bharath , wonderful reading !! Pity TNCA has not made use of your talent to the maximum !! I hope Rupa gets to read this to know what TNCA is missing out on !!!!

Belliappa (Belli)

Anonymous said...

Very well researched article. Superb, way to go!!!����

B Arun

Anonymous said...

Lovely write up about Bharath Reddy (via twitter)

Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Anonymous said...

Super article. Very well written. Brings out all facets of an outstanding sportsman and able administrator.
A very good read

Anonymous said...

Lovely article on Bharath Reddy. Solid journalistic work

Anonymous said...

Deserves to go on any publication that values good sports pieces. Insight, perspective and heft, it had it all.

Anonymous said...

Nice article, Prabhu

Seshadri said...

I have gone through the article and it is amazing. Hads of to you for having taken pains in gathering the materials
on Mr.Bharath Reddy. Please continue your writings. I am happy to see that so many people appreciated your article.

Anonymous said...

An individual who stands HIGH!.

Anonymous said...

Very well written article on Bharath a cricket fan, enjoyed reading it. ��

Anonymous said...

nice article, good read.

Gautama Rai

ShanthaKumar Arjun said...

Beautifully narration; it felt like walking alongside Mr. Reddy’s cricketing life. I only wished that Venkat Ji had not said ‘shut shop’. Such is life - it has it ways - guess that’s what got Balaji, Vijay, Badri, and their likes. May Barath Ji’s tribe grow. Thoroughly enjoyed reading the article.

Rajagopal said...

Great article - he was also the secretary of TNCA and brought in MRF to advertise on the sight screen. Also got the first computer for TNCA office.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations beautiful article true in every sense of the word. It took me some time to respond to it as it made me go back in time and a Long one too right from the day we first met at the shack of a dressing room at B S nets when we represented City Schools. Even from that time you always played with a straight BAT witch you continue to do till today. I am very happy to see that some good recognizetion has at least come to you as a cricketer and a admiral administrator of game you love so much. There are no words to match your straight BAT even as friend who I have known for over 50 years now. God bless you and your straight BAT be in your ways for the rest of your life. Great praises from some renouned cricketer's of yester years. May God be with and Geetha. She made a Great choice.

Ashok Thambuswamy

Anonymous said...

Excellent tribute to a selfless cicketer who could have gone miles into administrayion and talent scouting had he been used by BCCI and TNCA.vvkumar.

Anonymous said...

👏👏👏Super write up on Bharat Reddy sir!

varatharajan said...

Superb write up on Bharat Reddy. Been following him from our pachaiyappa's college days. Friendly person. Will get best out of each player played under him. Will never forget his help in conducting a first ever day night match at chepauk with temporary light arrangements while he was serving as TNCA secretary. Big salute to big hearted person. Varatharajan, read central excise, chennai

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What i really liked was your writing and the narration. Great skills.

Anonymous said...

May I add a small tidbit? In the 1973 tour of England by India Schools, Bharat Reddy made a match saving 101* in the 2nd innings vs Midlands schools at Trent Bridge Nottingham. In essence he was the first TN player to hit a 100 at the worlds 2nd oldest cricket ground - the only other player is Murali Vijay. I was at Trent Bridge couple months back and got this info.

Also a humble request. Current TN team is placed in 17th spot out of 18 teams in the ongoing Ranji. Please assess and elaborate on the low performance in the last 2-3 editions for the benefit of TN cricket fans.

Shiva Rajagopal said...

Played with Bharath in the victorious Madras university cricket team in 1976 that won the Rohinton Baria. Bharath kept all of us engrossed with his cricketing experience and kept the team together with his humor and camaraderie.... he had a great relationship with PK Dharmalingham, the team coach and the captain SM Krishnakumar and enabled the team to forge ahead of Punjab in the semi finals and Bombay in the finals..... your article is a great tribute to Bharath....