Comeback king Amarnath completes a full circle | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Comeback king Amarnath completes a full circle

cricket Updated: Sep 20, 2011 01:36 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
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As much as his name is etched in cricket history for his match-winning performances in the semifinal and final of the 1983 World Cup, Mohinder "Jimmy" Amarnath would also be remembered for referring to the national selectors as a "bunch of jokers" towards the end of his gutsy two-decade stint in international cricket.

So, when Amarnath was announced as a national selector on Monday, 23 years after that famous comment, life indeed seemed to have come a full circle for one of the best all-rounders India has produced.

Naturally, helping the current crop of cricketers not to feel the way he did about the five wise men in 1988 was on top of his mind on the day of the appointment.

"The idea is to work with the team of selectors and make sure that the guys who are the best will be a part of India's team," Amarnath, who will turn 61 on Saturday, told HT. "It's not that I am going to be representing a state or a zone. I am going to be representing the country. And that is very important."

Amarnath, who featured in 69 Tests and 85 ODIs from 1969 to 1989, is reputed to be a straight talker. As a result, ever since his playing days, he has found himself on the wrong side when it comes to being a part of the decision-making unit.

This image stayed when twice he was interviewed for the post of national coach but wasn't selected.

So, did it surprise him when he was approached for the job? "There are no more surprises in life. I have had too many of them earlier," Amarnath said, bursting into laughter. "It wasn't a tough call or anything. I thought of the positives. I thought that this was the ideal way for me to connect with the game so that I can give something back to the game that has given me so much in life."

Despite being K Srikkanth's senior in the Indian team, Amarnath has agreed to be a member of the panel that would be chaired for another year by the former flashy opener. "There is no ego issue since we have played together. We are good friends, so I am looking forward to a fruitful innings with him."