Cricketers pay tributes to Hanumant Singh | india | Hindustan Times
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Cricketers pay tributes to Hanumant Singh

BRAUER COLLEGE, Victoria and Daly College, Indore cricket teams played the first match in this season at the DC grounds on Friday wearing black ribbons as the legendry cricketer and eminent old Dalian Hanumant Singh after whom the trophy is named passed away just two days back.

india Updated: Dec 02, 2006 15:48 IST

BRAUER COLLEGE, Victoria and Daly College, Indore cricket teams played the first match in this season at the DC grounds on Friday wearing black ribbons as the legendry cricketer and eminent old Dalian Hanumant Singh after whom the trophy is named passed away just two days back.

Hanumant Singh, who shone as an exemplary cricketer when he scored a century in his very first match after being selected to the Indian team, became an icon for the cricket loving country. However, very few know that he had shown his talent much before when he played as a student on the DC grounds. He also had the unique distinction of playing in the Ranji Trophy tournament while he was still a student in the school. The school has many fond memories of him and it is an irony that he passed away in Mumbai due to ill health just two days before the commencement of this match.

A former Ranji player and an eminent old Dalian, Rameshwar Pratap Singh of Kacchi Baroda did not just share the love of cricket but had family ties with Hanumant Singh who was the brother-in-law to his daughter. Reminiscing memories of Hanumant Singh, he said that he had the privilege of playing against him in the Narsinghgarh Cup matches. He was a good stroke player, a good fielder and he usually batted in the number four position. 

His profound encyclopediaic knowledge of the game, genuine love for cricket, and ability to inspire the team and manage a good performance from them ensured him a befitting position as captain of the Indian cricket team.

After retiring from active cricket, Hanumant Singh refrained from getting involved in sports politics and kept a distance from the various cricketing clubs and selection boards. 

He hailed from the royal family of Banswara (Rajasthan) that gave several cricketing stars like himself, his brother Suryaveerr Singh and cousin Bhanu Pratap Singh, both were Ranji-level players. Another cricketing great and an old Dalian Raj Singh of Dungarpur was not only a contemporary but also a cousin as the royal stocks of Banswara and Dungarpur shared the same lineage.

Twice serving president of the DC Board of Governors and a cricket lover, Narendra Singh of Bidwal who donated the Hanumant trophy in the memory of his mother, was flabbergasted by the demise of Hanumant Singh. He said that he had observed his form in school and was deeply impressed by his style of playing and that is why he named the trophy after his sporting icon.

He described the pleasure of watching both classmates Raj Singh and Hanumant Singh in action on the DC grounds. The two later joined active mainstream cricket and managed the Rajasthan Cricket Board. It was a remarkable moment to have them both as chief guests at the annual day function during his tenure as president in 2001.

Senior teacher and an avid cricket lover Ahmed Ansari said that a general exchange match was initiated between the two schools across the continents during the term of the then principal Dr MV Prasad when the DC team went to Australia in 1998. The favour was returned the next year by Brauer College and it was decided to make it an annul exchange fixture.

The trophy was presented in 1999 by Bidwal through Hanumant Singh in the presence of Brauer College principal Duncan Stalker.

Present DC sports incharge and head of the department of commerce D Verma said that though he had never had the privilege of watching Hanumant Singh play he had heard several stories about his exploits on the field and of his vast knowledge on cricket.

He had seen him giving coaching to DC students for a very short duration after he retired as chairman of the National Cricket Academy, Bangalore. 

Assistant principal Bryan Mc Garve accompanying his team along with staff members Kevin Williams and Jeff Gillies said that they were looking forward to meeting the cricketing great and had the knowledge of his sickness. The news of his death when they arrived in Mumbai came as an unexpected shock to them.

The teams will play their second match tomorrow, while the third game would be played as a final or friendly match on December 4 depending on the outcome of this match. The Old Dalian Association will hold a condolence meeting after the game on that day and formally change the name of the trophy to Hanumant Singh Memorial Trophy.