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Sachin Tendulkar’s fond memories of Mumbai Ranji Trophy dressing room

Mumbai’s cricket team will feature in their record 500th Ranji Trophy game and in a function organised by the Mumbai Cricket Association, eight former captains, including the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Dilip Vengsarkar, narrated stories of their Ranji days to the next generation of players.

cricket Updated: Nov 09, 2017 11:09 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Ranji Trophy‬,‪Mumbai cricket team‬,‪Mumbai‬
Sachin Tendulkar recalled some fond memories and expressed delight at Mumbai’s magnificent record in the Ranji Trophy during a function celebrating Mumbai cricket team’s 500th game in the tournament. (PTI)

Mumbai’s cricket team is all set for their 500th Ranji Trophy game. It marks a remarkable journey that began 83 years ago. During this period, the team produced some of India’s finest cricketing talents, all connected and bred by the city’s undying love for the game.

The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) commemorated the landmark by felicitating their former captains at the Sharad Pawar Cricket Academy in Mumbai.

Eight former Mumbai captains shared the stage and told stories of their Ranji days. They highlighted the teams’ unrelenting spirit, having won 41 titles of the 83 on offer. Madhav Apte, Ajit Wadekar, Sudhir Naik, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Sachin Tendulkar, Amol Mazumdar, along with current captain Aditya Tare, opened up on moments that brought out the character of a Mumbai side.

Tendulkar highlighted Mumbai cricket team’s achievements before opening up on his Ranji days. Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Vinod Kambli, all India and Mumbai stalwarts, were also in attendance.

“We have won 47 per cent of our matches so far. The success rate has been unbelievable,” Tendulkar said on Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy record.

Tendulkar revealed spending time in the dressing room, before making his Ranji debut in 1988 helped him mature.

“I was selected at the age of 14 to go to Baroda. We travelled by train. My room partner was Suru Nayak, so it was appropriately selected for me to make sure I sleep on time and all that sort of things. As time went by, I grew up. All in all, the experience was overwhelming. With all these greats of Indian cricket, I started feeling at home. But I didn’t play a single game in that year. I spent time in the dressing room. And it was that time that made me belong to Mumbai cricket. I was never out of place after that,” said Tendulkar.

Another all-time great of the game, Dilip Vengsarkar shared a memory that highlighted Mumbai’s competitive reputation, even if they seemed to be out of sorts.

The Ranji Trophy game between Haryana and Mumbai in 1990/91 season was an epic affair. Mumbai were three wickets down by lunch chasing a target of 355 and Vengsarkar stood tall.

“We had lost our top batsmen by lunch and were chasing 355. In the old Wankhede Stadium dressing rooms, we used to have common toilets. I was padded up and went to the toilet before heading to the pitch. I met Kapil Dev there, who came to me and said: ‘Dilip let us win one time.’

Mumbai went on to lose the game by two runs.

Sanjay Manjrekar, whose 377 against Hyderabad in 1990/91 is the highest individual score for Mumbai, said, “The greatest gift that you got as a Mumbai youngster was the time that all the stalwarts made for younger players. We would get the important advice from them, not the typical how to play your shots,” said Manjrekar.

Of course, these incidents do not even begin to sum up Mumbai cricket’s feats. But for a young Prithvi Shaw, who is making great strides in the Mumbai dream, this would have given him an identity to connect.

First Published: Nov 09, 2017 11:07 IST