Thursday, August 23, 2007

Newspaper clippings of our matches

It has always been a great thrill to see our own names appearing in the newspapers for a good performance on the field for our teams. Those who score at least 20 runs or take 2 wickets will find their names in the match's brief scores that the press reports in its sports columns. When I began my cricket career, much talk was about that and often was a teasing point that I noticed with others referred as 'playing for paper scores?'. In one of my very early matches for our college, I had taken just one wicket and was disappointed that I could not qualify for this 'paper score'. Lo and behold! The next morning after we won the match, I was so thrilled to see that someone had added my name in that list and made it as two wickets! My hairs stood on end on seeing the name but I had not deserved it. Anyway, little did I know then, that it was the only undeserving occasion, the first and last. Numerous performances later on got its deserving place. Here is the first one that appeared as a headline in my debut match for The Mysore Gymkhana. This time, it was a real thrill. Here are clippings of my first two matches:
Some old performers in this, my second season in the clipping below.
Probably my inspiration was from my cousin B.S. Chandrasekhar's clippings which his father B.S.Subramanyam 'albumed' and used to showed us with great pride. I had seen it as a boy and that was always in my mind. I remember asking Chandra's mother for a cricket cap when she showed us a suitcase full of his prized caps from various teams he played. I can still recall that scene and my disappointment when she replied, "Sorry, they are not the ones to give anyone". I did not know then, the importance at all of "winning a cap" as it is called in cricketing terms!

In 1981, I was already playing for the Mysore Zone Under-25 team for the second time. This has an interesting little story. I took 6 wickets and Sanath took 4 [See headline]. Before that during the luncheon, we had eaten a few 'poories' [I remember it was at Indra Bhavan] - he six and me four. But the number of wickets were interchanged! He later played for Karnataka. Mysore zone won the match easily.
MOMEMT OF GLORY, personal best also:
The Mysore Gymkhana had won all seven matches in the league [and got promoted to the 3rd division, the happiest thing] and the quarter final in 1983. This was the semi-final on a rain affected turf wicket [KSCA Stadium] where batting was very difficult. Winning the toss, our team made a poor decision of batting first and were soon defending our paltry score. At the end of the first day, I had all 7 that fell and on the next morning, Kashi could not latch on to a tough chance that could have turned the match. But their last 3 wickets held on to overtake our score, but never easily. I finished with my best of 8-50.
Same venue, 1986. One of my best innings against a team that boasted 7 Ranji Trophy players. We were never going to win as we had lost early wickets when I went in. I can still remember the shots I played esp. to Sharad Rao who was at that time playing for Karnataka. In one over, I hit 5 boundaries, including a no ball. The third was worst and a lucky one too as it was a bouncer that flew past my head off the edge of the bat. But the one I still can 'feeeeel' is the one I played in his next over's first ball which I took it on the rise and put it away back over his head for four. I hung on for a while but was out attempting a long-off six. Caught [late] Ranjit Khanwilkar bowled Shavir Tarapore 64. Had he missed it, it was a six alright. We soon lost the match, but with some resistance.
Mid-way through the 1986 season, one J.C.Srinath [the world knows him now!] had joined our ranks with great potential as an all-rounder. We had a long partnership together to save the match when a win though within reach, was not possible. This was after I enjoyed taking 7 wickets on this Maharaja's College turf wicket, which very soon got reverted to the old jute matting. FOUR WICKETS IN SIX BALLS -- ALL BOWLED!
After a poor first spell, I bowled the end overs when the match was seemingly far from our reach. They were sitting pretty, lot of wickets in hand and a few more runs to get. I was bowling the 29th [out of 30]. Lo and behold! My rhythm was back and so were four batsmen in that over, ALL OF THEM BOWLED! It was W-W-o-W-W-o - over! The match was now with us when the last over remained. Guruprasad bowled it and there was a run out. We had turned the match!! The paper misses to report this rare feat! I was given the Man of the Match prize from the Guest, A.V.Jayaprakash, which was a cricket shirt.
Ten wickets in the match for a bowler does not occur often, esp. in the club matches as two-innings matches are far and few. I was happy The Mysore Gymkhana entered the final through one such performance besides others' contributions in 1994 .

Next year, there was a repeat, but on a higher stage, the final!

Year 2000 has been a good one for The Mysore Gymkhana. We won the first division league and later went on to win another feather in the cap - the "Special Tournament" beating 3 better teams from Bangalore, convincingly. This was another personal moment of glory. After an enjoyable and productive bowling spell, it was pleasing to hear the Chief Guest of a small function organized at the KSCA, Javagal Srinath showering praise on me as well as our P.Ashok. [Read] The way we crushed the heroes is worth remembering for decades!
It was me with the willow this time having got yet another good opportunity to save the face of our team from a debacle. At one stage we were 12 for 5 and recovered to 149 for 9. This was when No.11 Vedraj joined me at the crease with me also on zero. Vedraj got out at 24 but not before he helped me add a century partnership - probably my best when the chips were down.
Again with the bat, for my highest score for The Mysore Gymkhana - 94.


Score-book preparation and maintenance was a responsibility I undertook myself on behalf of our tennis ball cricket team (Dumma Vasu's team - more on it later). In the meantime, international cricket records interested me through sports magazines and I found it fascinating. What I would do with this tennis ball cricket scores was to work out simple statistics of our players and prepare a sheet to discuss at the ground that fascinated others too. This interest followed me even after I began regular league cricket with the cricket ball. I had developed by habit of maintaining a diary [inspired by my late great grandfather] and this helped me to maintain a separate record of the matches which I entered as and when I played , esp. my bowling analysis. [This book is still in the running!]. It went on and on for many years until one day I felt I should count the number of wickets that have fallen from my bowling. It was 859. So from then on, I knew ONE THOUSAND was near and would come soon. I tracked every wicket as it came by and I knew that my bowling had sent back the one thousandth batsman when P. Ashok caught the ball at long on at the SAI ground in Bangalore in May 2002. It was not a moment I enjoyed because we were not winning that match and all I did was tell Ashok about the landmark as soon as he caught it. It took 24 years for this personal landmark to be reached. I am not the only one in club cricket to have done it as there are quite a few who have played more cricket and with more wickets, but I must say that I might be the only one keeping track of all my own wickets of all the matches I play. I have enjoyed this habit! Here is how I keep the minimum entries. This is a page showing one of my recent and successful league seasons that also helped our club win the shield.

A few weeks after that one thousandth wicket came by, a good friend asked casually what's new. We were meeting after a long long time and since he too was a cricketer for our club, I told him about that landmark and that our club was winning [as usual]. Being connected to the Press, he caught me. He thought it was a remarkable achievement and wanted it to get it out in print, which I really did not want. He cornered me and I had to give way and also give my photograph! This is the first time the individual picture appeared in print! That was the remarkable achievement!

In June 2002, soon after this appeared in the paper, I posted it to my friends with this message:

I think you know that I have been playing a bit of Cricket all these years. Since 1978-79 to be precise. Recording my own match performances (because no one else did it for me!) was an old habit which I have persevered. This record has now revealed a statistically important figure concerning the number of wickets captured by me. Believe me, it has crossed ONE THOUSAND. I am happy to share this revelation with you.
But that was never my goal. The real goal IS always to to try and win the game for the team. Individual efforts and figures have value only if it contributes to the cause of the team's performance and outcome of the game. At the end of the day, what satisfies me more than anything else is to be on the winning side.

There may be a few around, who also have crossed this magic figure of 1K but never keep track. Mine has come to light only because I kept track and recently bothered to total all of them. Probably, I may be one of the few medium-pace bowlers to have done it playing mostly on week-ends while there may be few others who have played more than me and captured more as well.I had the privelege of attending camps twice at Pune where
former Indian Wicket-keeper late "Nana" Joshi was the coach. He had written a letter to me advising me to 'forget the good performances then and there itself after the match and be ready to do better the next time'. Actually I was already of the same mould and his advise only strengthened it.

I have attached a couple of files. One contains the image of the featured article (on yours truly) that appeared in the local newspaper recently. The other one is a rare photograph of me returning after a memorable spell of 6-17, which had a hat-trick in the final at Nagpur on the last day of December 2001. I must tell you about this hat-trick (my third one). The first one was bowled leg stump. The second, middle stump. The new
batsman was sent in with instructions to cover all the stumps to save the hat-trick. He covered. But my third successive in-swinger managed to curl in and kissed the off stump!!

Hope you have enjoyed this mail.


Here are some responses from well-wishers:

Dear Dinu: Heartiest CONGRATULATIONS! We are delighted!!

And, we are all proud of YOU!

What makes your 1,000th cricketing "scalp" unique is you’ve achieved it without fanfare, media blitz, or corporate sponsorship/incentive. On your own steam — with sincerity, passion, dedication, determination, and sublime grace.

… If only you’d had a Godfather, juxtaposed by that extra bit of luck, you’d have surely played for India… Perish the thought, all the same, because you’ve, quite truly, reached a novel summit, which many would only dream of — but, seldom attain!

You’ve done it — in style, yes. With the right temporal mix. To quote Earl Nightingale: "Attitude is the reflection of a person, and our world mirrors our attitude."

Our wholehearted congrats, on your roseate apotheosis, once again!

Much affection/Raj, Shobha, Javvy, and Sanjiv

PS: Got to know about your signal feat through Pushpa, too. Your great pal, Refli, is just as much delighted!

(Raj, my well-wisher... you can see who he is through the links)


Hi Dinoo,

Received your email and was so excited to learn that you have taken more
than 1000 wickets. That's an outstanding achievement. But it does not
surprise me. You deserve it. Your knowledge of the game and the way you
practice, has paid you dividends. I am so proud that I had an opportunity
to play with you. Unfortunately, I regret that I was unable to continue
playing with you. Anyway, be very proud of yourself. Congratulations on
your awesome achievement and continued success in your future endeavours.
Please keep me posted on Gymkhana's matches.
Yours lovingly,

(Our team's captain for a long time, now settled in the US)


Dear Dinu,

I am fine and hope the same from your end, received your mail in connection
with your stupendous acheivement of reaching a very important milestone in
anyone's career of claiming 1,000 wickets in all forms of cricket. The
statistical part of it is okay but the important point to be appreciated is
that you could keep a track of it despite your other committments " Hats off
to you" in addition to you all your colleagues, players, last but not the
least your family needs to be congratulated for all the support, criticism,
and compliments they would have payed to you in your endeavour.

I have always admired you first as a person and then as a dedicated
cricketer who goes all out to do the best and then leave the rest to god. I
am so fortunate that I could play little bit of cricket with you as my co
player and also to have played under esteemed captainship.

Yours affectionately,

(My long time team-mate for CSIR)


Hi Dinu,
Thank you for your mail. Apologies for the late
response. I am very happy to learn about your new
record and read with delight, your account of what
must be a crowning glory in your 20 + yrs in the game.
It was great to see your hat trick photo and the news
article; though I'm sorry to note that it is hardly
the media coverage worthy of a cricketer of your deeds
and stature. I hope your story will be an inspiration to all young
fast bowlers in Mysore. You had always been an
inspiration to me early on from the time I played the
game back in 1990. I remember the thrilling sight of
watching you and JS in action together that year in
the league finals and I still remember your long and
graceful run-up to the wicket and that effortless
high-arm action and follow through. It was a good
education for me and on certain occasions when I was
bowling at my best, I would adapt your style with
wonderful results. In later years, it was also a
privilege to face you in a match and you certainly
made me think a lot and take on the amazing variety
you let loose. It was also very kind of you to devote
some time to try and iron out my problems with the
game and I can't think of any other senior cricketer
who would have taken the trouble to handle youngsters
patiently when approached; definitely not in the same
calm and manner you possessed.
I sincerely hope that the blessed authorities in
Mysore will set aside personal vendettas and other
prejudices and focus on bringing back the glory of
Mysore cricket; should that ever happen, it would be
great to know you're actively involved. Meanwhile I
will raise a toast to your achievement and will look
forward to hearing from you.

Thanks and regards,


(An ardent cricket follower who played with our group)


Dear Dinu,

I would like to appologise for my late reply, since I was out for some time from my office. I am very delighted to know your wonderful performance and great achievements!!!. It is really unimagenable. I am extreamely happy to say now that I have played for many years ( app.10 years) with such a wonderful cricketer. Infact I have learned profession in cricket from you only. I also have the previlage to say that I had the opurtunity to play under your captaincy. If I take my cricketing periods I think I could perform very consistentely either with bat or ball. I remember that you showed so much confidence on me whenever get in to bat and bowl. It brings me the sweet olden days memaries. Now I am really missing to play cricket with you.

You also showed yourself as a role modal for others espicially for youngsters and me as well. It is not you missed play for Karnataka or India, but they really missed to see the wonderful cricketer.

I really don't have words to praise you. I know much more achievements are awaited in near future. I also find the opurtunity to play cricket with you once again.

With regards


(My CFTRI team-mate)


Dear Dinu,

Received your mail. Accept my hearty congratulations on achieving a rare feat of 1000 wickets in the cricket matches you have played. I feel that only very few would have achieved such a feat. I am very glad that I was a part of the few wickets you took with my catching as wicket keeper and a very few as a fieldsman. I recollect those wonderful moments when we enjoyed the game. I had no goals set and I played the game to simply enjoy myself.

Do keep in touch.

Yours truly,


(Lakshminarasimha, former batsman/wicket-keeper for TMG)


Dear Dinakar,
Thanks for the wonderful e-mail. It was nice reading it especially the hattrick part.
As discussed earlier the article in SOM could have been written better but I am sure you must have received a lot of congragulatory message. Is your team doing anything about it. The record is all the more creditable as you are a week-end player.
All the best again.
With warm regards,

(It was this Niranjan Nikam who cashed upon my very casual revelation which he saw to it that this landmark came to light, so publicly.)


Hearty, hearty & very hearty Congratulations dear Dinakar,
After reading your mail & the attachmant, I indeed feel privileged that I know you at my personal level - as I have always felt, u r certainly a national class cricketer in our CSIR family. I also feel bad that as a govt. rules governed orgn., CSIR has not been able to give you your due in terms of recognition and award despite your over two decades of contribution to CSIR cricket. I wud suggest that u may kindly bring the 'star of the week' article to the kind notice of President, SPB.
Let me also congratulate Mrs. Dinakar on your grand accomplishment(s). All this wud not have been possible without her support, as the saying goes, 'behind every successful man there is always a woman'.
Best regards to you & Mrs. Dinakar.

(He was our Secretary for a few years)


That is an awesone feat by any standards! CONGRATS! First for all, thanks
for all the years of good fun cricket we played together since I was in
primary school all the way to my coming here. Secondly, your book keeping.
It takes a lot of disicpline and application to do that sort of stuff
especially over a long period of time. I am amazed at your fitness to keep
playing the game at that level [no small feat for a pace bowler!].

This is excellent news. Hope some this rubs off to our galaga - i recently
read that he has retired from test cricket. The article made some comments
that he had made about not being complete etc - But he is only behind the
great Kapil dev in terms of wickets for a fast bowler! Surely, he should be
satisfied with that accomplishment!

Anyway, Congrats again. It is fun to think of those good old days...


(Stylish batsman for TMG, street-mate whom I have seen from his cradle-days)


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Collection of Autographs of cricketers

Collecting autographs of Test Cricketers has been a great fancy ever since the game has been internationalized. They are treasured possessions and showed to friends and others with great pride. Taking them by hand after meeting has its own pleasure - because earlier, meeting them was not a chance that came by often and one had to be lucky to be able to do that. I remember asking my grand-aunt who was the mother of B.S.Chandrasekhar to get autographs of cricketers for me through him!! Of course, that enthusiasm of a young boy did all that without understanding how trivial for them these are! Opportunities to meet or even have a 'darshan' of cricketers never came by, but when it did, we were ready with the little autograph books, eagerly looking for any chance of having one in our book. I have managed a few. Let me begin with sharing four of my *treasures* that have not been got by hand, but by mail.

I had come to know that National Cricket Teams respond to fan mail. Individual cricketers have done that with great enthusiasm as well, including Sir Donald Bradman and Sunil Gavaskar. They have spent many hours writing letters to their fans. I used to write letters to the captains of teams when they come to Bangalore for a Test Match and mail it with the address of the State Cricket Association. They were duly passed on to the addressee and have promptly responded to my request for autographs of the entire team and mailing it back using the SASE. I feature here four of the many I have got because these are personally autographed while the rest were the printed reproductions which makes no sense!

I had written to Bishen Singh Bedi when England toured India. But to my great surprise, I got this one from him on the BCA letterhead! [I also wrote to Tony Greig, the England Captain and he responded too - this time, I had sent his picture on which I wanted his autograph. Shown at left]. In this, I had the problem of identifying whose signature is which, esp. some were very tricky! In the meantime, there was a Tamil magazine "Ananda Vikatan" which had pictures of them with autographs printed on their own pictures. Using this as a guide, I could identify all those. See below:

Australian Tour to India, 1979. Kim Hughes was the captain. See Allan Border's autograph also.Allan Border's 1986 Australian Team

John Wright's New Zealand Team, 1988.

Around the same time I had written to Tony Greig [above], I had done the same to Sunil Gavaskar sending him a magazine [Sportsweek] clipping of his picture. His promptness in returning it with my request honoured, was astounding.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Cricket and me, looking back

This picture was taken by my Sri B.S.Subbakrishna [eldest brother of B.S.Chandrasehkar, also my first cousin] who was visiting Mysore from Chicago, USA in April 2007. He wanted a picture of me on that famous pavilion at Maharaja's College Ground. Incidentally, my favourite ground and on which I had the good opportunity to play 110 matches! The letter "L" on the "Pavilion" there took a hit from a sixer hit by { in 196_ } . That letter was tilted for a few decades, as if to remember that great hit from the middle. It has since been set right. Sri Subbakrishna remembered his days with the Sunny Side.
My third year playing with the regular cricket ball got me in to the Mysore Zone team, 1981, through The Mysore Gymkhana.