Celebrating club cricket in Bengaluru
In 1992, I published an ebook on India’s favorite sport. One reviewer, a Mumbaikar named Rajdeep Sardesai, commented in exasperation that ”Guha’s once in a while immoderate love for the cricketers of Karnataka may cause any other Cauvery dispute.” A decade later, in an article in a countrywide newspaper, I wrote that “I do no longer care whether India wins or loses, as long as Dravid rankings run and Kumble gets wickets,” receiving a flow of angry e-mails in reaction. In truth, the nation of Karnataka has a secondary claim to my cricketing loyalty. My primary affiliation is to the Friends Union Cricket Club (FUCC) in Bengaluru.
I joined the club in 1966 when I became eight, and feature remained a devoted member ever given that. Even now, I go several instances a yr to look at my club play inside the Karnataka State Cricket Association’s (KSCA) First Division League. The FUCC was founded in 1936. There is the most effective cricket membership older than ours in Bangalore. This is the Bangalore United Cricket Club (BUCC), which changed into founded precisely a century ago. Growing up, I turned into taught to treat BUCC and Swastic Union as bitter rivals. Our hostility to Swastic turned into undisguised and general.
On the opposite hand, our mindset in the direction of BUCC becomes greater ambivalent. Of path, we always desired to overcome them on the sector; however, we though retained a deep fondness for the membership’s moving spirit, a man named Keki Tarapore. Our own family domestic in Bengaluru turned into in Jayamahal Extension. Living in the same locality became a sure Syed Mujtaba Hussain Kirmani. I grew up hearing tales of ways Kiri learned to keep wickets in our colony’s park, the usage of brick in either hand, and the way it was Keki Tarapore who offered him his first gloves, took him to the BUCC, and made him a Test player.
The different destiny Test cricketers Keki mentored protected Roger Binny and Sadanand Vishwanath. Notably, Keki Tarapore’s mentees covered many that had in no way performed for BUCC. In January 1994, Bengaluru hosted a Test suit, India as opposed to Sri Lanka. It turned into broadly predicted that the young fast bowler, Javagal Srinath, might figure within the gambling eleven.
Srinath had bowled superbly in favorite foreign places excursions of Australia and South Africa, so nicely that he, and we, we’re sure that he would play in this, the first Test on his domestic floor for the reason that he had come to be a worldwide cricketer. The selectors, unfortunately, ca concept otherwise. Srinath became now without query India’s most excellent new-ball bowler. Still, Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar had been extra successful batsmen, and, at domestic, it was thought smart to go in with three spinners. So Srinath becomes made the 12th man. I watched that healthy from the Chinnaswamy Stadium’s P2 Stand, adjoining to the KSCA’s Diamond Box.
On a primary day, as India batted, I witnessed Keki Tarapore talking as frequently as he ought to Srinath. Knowing the person, I ought to guess what he said. The smart old train began telling the teen to place this unhappiness behind him. His time might come as it did. Some years later, Srinath gained a Test in Ahmedabad towards South Africa with the maximum devastating spell of fast bowling by using an Indian on Indian soil. I hope Keki saw that spell on the small screen television.
Among all of Keki Tarapore’s wards, none has accomplished further distinction than Rahul Dravid. Dravid now serves as BUCC’s honorary president. Earlier this month, there was a public birthday party of the club’s centenary, which became attended with the aid of many former and present Test players. Dravid, Kirmani, Binny, S Viswanath, and KL Rahul of BUCC have been there, however so too have been Anil Kumble, GR Viswanath, Venkatesh Prasad, and Karun Nair, who played for rival golf equipment. Asked to talk on behalf of FUCC, I stated that while I could not gainsay that BUCC changed into advancement than us, my club had distinctions our rival could not fit.
For one thing, it became FUCC that had produced Karnataka’s first-ever Test cricketer, the off-spinner VM Muttiah. For some others, while BUCC had thought of getting a membership tie designed most useful for its anniversary, our club had one specially made for its fiftieth anniversary itself. With pink and brown stripes and the FUCC crest, this became the tie that I become sporting that nighttime. I had come, however, no longer to boast however to pay tribute, on behalf of a younger and lesser cricket club of Bengaluru to an older and extra one.
At the entrance to the venue became a board displaying the names of the 11 BUCC players who had represented America’s united states. I mentioned in my talk that BUCC players were inside the eleven that received India’s first cricket World Cup at Lord’s in 1983. These have been Syed Kirmani and Roger Binny. I brought that while three Mumbai gamers had been in that group, they performed for three one-of-a-kind clubs of their quiet town. BUCC had the even more distinction, I said, of supplying players in an All-Time Indian Test XI. These were Rahul Dravid and Syed Kirmani. This time I brought that, having made this assertion, I turned into no longer revealing my face in Ranchi any time quickly.