Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A couple of my cricket cartoons

Roy Ullyett cartoon in The Daily Express celebrates Laker's achievement, England v Australia, Manchester, July 31, 1956.
Jim Laker had taken 19 wickets in that Test Match, still a world record.
I am not a Roy Ullyett but a couple of them have "happened", much to my own joy! I used to enjoy Ullyett's work carried by Sportsweek in the 1970s.

This is my original. I was bowling in our Mysore Gymkhana nets one evening when this idea flashed after seeing some of the bowlers bowl very short.

When Mysore Zone were in Tumkur in 1981, our manager V.P.Mylevaghanam, a jolly good man, renown for his great abilities and gift of gastronomy and gluttony, shared a joke or an incident [I'm now not sure] while he walked the boys back to the hotel room after dinner. This one is based on that.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sports in the blood

This testimonial of my great grandfather K.Mylar Rao (he seemed to called Malhari Rao earlier) says that he had a good physique and was an ardent cricketer in his college days. He was good at Bridge (cards) also in his later years. He was a life member of Cosmopolitan Club and Mysore Sports Club, Mysore after he retired from service in 1926.

Surely he must have had a good physique as I am told he took regular strolls and used the dumb bells to maintain his body and health. He must have been a supreme example of a healthy mind in a healthy body - he was an avid reader too which the big library suggests.

My grandfather K.M.Subba Rao was even better. He was a much renown sportsman esp. in his heydays and even till the end. aside from his profession as a respected and renown lawyer and a distinguished citizen of Mysore.

H.H. The Maharaja of Mysore, Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar hands over the cup to Subba Rao for Golf at the Mysore Sports Club's tournament, about 1966, at the MSC grounds as Farrokh Irani looks on.

Probably this pic was taken in 1952 at the Cosmopolitan Club during a Tennis tournament. BS Dattatri is to his right.
Madras Christian College Cricket Team, Winners of Inter-Collegiate Cricket Shield, 1918.

Subba Rao is the non-striker at the far end in this picture, probably of the early 1950s or thereabouts, playing in a Lawyers tournament [most likely]. The ground is the "Ovals" [now the Athletic Ground opposite Crawford Hall]. In the background is the Maharaja's / Yuvaraja's College Buildings and the Oriental Research Institute.

This must be a picture of the early 1930s. One of the few where both KM Subba Rao and his father K Mylar Rao are in together [see marked arrows]. Also together in this are HH Krishnarajendra Wadiyar IV, HE Kanteerava Narasa Raja Wadiyar (The Yuvaraja of Mysore) and a young Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar and Sir Mirza Ismail. The building is of the Mysore Sports Club. Probably this is a group of elite Mysoreans who are sports-lovers. Mylar Rao was also a keen sportsman skilled in Cricket in his younger days, Tennis and Bridge. Mysore Sports Club was formed later. The building is still there but a facade has come up.

Below is a letter from Prof. J.G.Tait's letter to K.M.Subba Rao. Tait was his teacher in the Presidency College, Madras. Reading this letter is a pleasure, for many things. He remembers his student with great affection and shares his feelings like a friend. He remembers a few other names also so vividly even after many years after his retirement. It shows how that bondage between the teacher and pupil was in those days. Subba Rao and Tait exchanged letters even after Tait went back to England in the early 1920s after his retirement. Apart from Subba Rao's all-round talent Tait in this letter remembers a cricket match:

[ Page 4 and 1 here] - click to enlarge and read

[ Page 2 and 3 here] - click to enlarge and read

On the left side, which is page 2 of the letter, Tait vividly remembers one of Subba Rao's famous bowling spells where he had turned the match in one over by taking four of their best wickets. It was for Presidency College (in 1920) against Madras Christian College. He also feels sorry when he came to know about the accident Subba Rao sustained and had to stop playing cricket [it might have happened a few months or a couple of years before 1926]. That incident he used to describe to us, showing his little finger that had broken while taking a catch. That little finger can be seen in one of the pictures I am with him [in one of my other posts].

Notable is J.G.Tait, his teacher, seated centre in the picture below.

Presidency College Athletic Association -Cricket & Hockey, Madras, 1919-1920.

Presidency College Football Team, Madras, 1919-20

Medals and Trophies in the showcase.

Left Picture - of 1920s; Right Picture - 1952.

Grandfather KM Subba Rao with his treasured trophies won in many sports: Athletics, Badminton, Billiards, Bridge, Cricket, Football, Golf, Hockey and mainly Tennis. What a list!

I am told by Capt. P.Alasingachar (P.A.Char), who was a schoolmate of my father K.S. Ramachandra Rao that he too was very talented in Football greatly but his poor eyesight curbed it greatly. My father was fond of telling that once his nose was struck from one side by a football and turned it to that side, but another blow from the other side a few years later almost straightened it. But I have seen him play Table Tennis with great skill as he used his spin to great effect and Bridge in which he was quite an exponent.

Ramachandra Rao seen here top row in father's Mysore Sports Club Blazer represented his Institute in Bridge, 1976.

When sports is in the blood, we will not be discouraged at home. Sports gives us so much in terms of joy and friends and develops a personality while it teaches life through its successes and failures, importance of hard work, discipline, etc. Sports makes us as people! It teaches many lessons, if only they are pursued in true spirits.

In the above picture, I walk off after a memorable bowling spell that won our CSIR team the final match at Nagpur, 2001.

B.S CHANDRASEKHAR, nephew of Subba Rao.

Sports in the blood is something quite a fortunate thing to be blessed with!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Some pictures from my Cricket album

Right: 1974 picture from the Box Camera - posing, trying to copy action from sports magazines. The 'backyard cricketer'!

Before the match, during 'warm-up practice'. A fine shot by V.Shankar of NAL, Bangalore who had his camera on tour. Came to know of this shot only when I saw the print! 1985, Poona Club Ground. It seems a perfect shot by me as well!

This one on the right is again taken by Shankar during the Nets at NCL ground, Pune during the same camp, 1985. I was the last batsman for the session and all the fielders had been called on to the off side and I was asked by our coach "Nana" Joshi to hit shots only on that side. Here is my favourite back foot punch that gave me lots of fun if not runs! Again, I was amazed to see in print my favourite shot! Thanks Shankar.

Heads of Sarfraz and Hafeez on top in this picture [left] by a passerby has been chopped off. Very unfortunate. 1985 camp. Nana Joshi with us. Shankar is the one seen with least hair. It was a fantastic camp that lasted ten days. Everybody enjoyed their cricket, their stay, as a team. The coach was a person of great qualities. He used to show how to dive to hold catches and he was 61 at that time.

This picture [right] was taken at Jammu on my first tour with the CSIR team in 1983. The chief guest was the then Chief Minister of J&K, Dr. Farooq Abdulla.

In 1987, our CSIR team played the Nayudamma Memorial Tournament at Delhi. Chief Guest for the Inauguration was the then Indian Captain, Kapil Dev. Seen here is Subramanya of NAL to my right, Hafeez, Venkatesh, Manager Narayanan. Our team won the final.

For the first time, I was representing the CSIR cricket team in a Coaching Camp before we went to Jammu later in the year, 1983. It was at Poona. Former Test Wicket-keeper Nana Joshi was our coach. SS Wazir from Jammu, a Ranji Trophy player was our captain. Traveling alone was an adventure for me as I was doing so for the first time. It was smooth. All travel arrangements there were by letters and not by telephone as we do nowadays! BD Kocchar was the organizer there at NCL, Poona and this picture was sent by him to all the players by post on his own - what a fine gesture! The way he took care personally, of all the arrangements and players was exemplary. It was a great trip to begin my stint with the CSIR cricket team. All faces were new to me! I was happy to have Subramanya, Giridhar and Indrakumar from NAL, Bangalore because I could speak Kannada with them, being not well-versed in Hindi which most of my team-mates conversed.

Smiles on this picture on the left is because it was a re-take as the photographer had missed the moment and that we missed the hands on re-take. Look where the hands are! It was for the CFTRI team.