In a country where top cricketers are worshipped, it is unfortunate that those who were equally good but could not make it to international cricket are not given their due. In such a scenario, it was heartening to see the bronze statue of a former great as one approached the grand stand of the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium.
The statue of DB Deodhar, the grand old man of Indian cricket in whose memory the inter-zonal 50-over-a-side competition is held, attracts everyone’s attention at the entrance.
Deodhar, who holds the distinction of playing first-class cricket before the first and after the second World War, led Maharashtra to their only two Ranji Trophy triumphs in 1939-40 and 40-41.
“Not only was he a founding member of the Maharashtra Cricket Association, he was also the captain during our back-to-back Ranji triumphs. He is one of the greatest jewels of Maharashtra cricket,” MCA treasurer, Madhav Ranade, said. “So, it was natural for us to pay tribute to him when the MCA decided to construct its own stadium. It will enlighten the youngsters about the rich legacy of Maharashtra cricket.”
By erecting the statue of one of the former greats, who died in 1993 aged 101, the MCA has soothed the nerves of the cricket aficionados who had criticised the association’s move to name the stadium after a sponsor.