CCI to feature Mumbai's best in calendar

Written by: Suresh Parekh
Published: Tuesday, November 7, 2000, 15:50 [IST]
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Indore: Cricket Club of India, better known as CCI, have decided to print their next new year's calendar featuring Mumbai's all-time greats. The list of Mumbai's all-time greats as prepared by the CCI was released by club president Raj Singh Dungarpur on Tuesday.

The former Board of Control for Cricket in India president, in fact, said that it was indeed a Herculean task to pick out the final XI for the calendar as a few names had to be inevitably dropped.

"We did not have any problem while selecting the opening pair. It had to be Vijay Merchant and Sunil Gavaskar. They can bat for three days and we had to select the rest of the players for the remaining two days," he said in a lighter vein.

The important number three or rather one-down position went to Rusi Modi, who may not have had such a glittering Test career, but his record in domestic cricket was almost unchallenged and had to his name the fastest 1,000 runs in a single season.

Dungarpur and co., then chose Sachin Tendulkar unanimously as the number four batsman. Dungarpur was quick to remind that any team needed a match-winner and Sachin was a match-winner. The fifth in the batting order was Polly Umrigar, who was also named as captain.

Umrigar could tear apart any Ranji attack and his knowledge of the game and pitches would definitely make him the ideal captain. The most heated discussion and argument was about the selection of number 6 in the team.

The discussion for this spot veered around three former top India players, former national coach Ajit Wadekar, stylish middle order bat Dilip Vengsarkar and current Mumbai coach Ashok Mankad. Wadekar finally got the nod because he was a left hander and an exceptional slip fielder.

When Dungarpur's attention was drawn to the name of Dilip Sardesai, he candidly said, "we discussed only great cricketers". Naren Tamhane was chosen as the wicket-keeper, while the name of Faroq Engineer was suggested. But the panel decided on a specialist wicket-keeper rather than an additional batsman.

The choice for sharing the new ball was Ramakant Desai and Dattu Phadkar, who according to Dungarpur was a great all-rounder. When it came down to spinners again there was discussion between Bapu Nadkarni and Padmalkar Shivalkar. "Maidens man" Nadkarni got the choice as he was rated as a better batsman. The choice of the offie, Subhash Gupte, was automatic. So also the choice of the 12th man and that was Eknath Solkar.

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