Sunny~~s wicket most prized, says Prasanna

Published: Friday, September 29, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai: ''The wicket of little master Sunil Gavaskar during the Ranji Trophy final of 1973 is my most prized wicket,'' said Erapalli Prasanna, arguably one of India's finest ever off spinners after being honoured with the Castrol Lifetime Achievement Award at a function held here today.

The Castrol Awards for Cricketing Excellence, in its eighth year now, presented three awards at today's function with Piyush Chawla bagging the Castrol Junior Cricketer of the Year Award and India's pacewoman Jhulam Goswami bagging the Castrol Special Award for her outstanding bowling on the recent tour of England.

The other awards namely Castrol Cricketer of the Year and Outstanding performance awards will be given away at another ceremony to be held in Johannesburg in South Africa in December this year.

Prasanna also revealed that how the royal house of Mysore came to his aid when he was chosen for the first time to represent India in 1961-62 for the tour of the West Indies.

One of the famous quartet of Indian spinners recalled how his father was sceptical when he was chosen for the India team. My father was a doctor and for him academics was very important. He thought that this would hamper me in completing my engineering course, which was more important for him.

However, my father who was a medical officer and therefore in the services of the royalty so to say was called by the king and ordered to allow me to go to the West Indies, Prasanna recalled, adding that after he came back he had to complete his engineering course as he had promised his father and therefore played for India again only after a five year gap.

Prasanna received a cheque of Rs 5 lakhs and a trophy.

Lalchand Rajput, the India under-19 coach, who took the award in Chawla's absence as the young leg spinner is playing for Uttar Pradesh against Sialkot in Dharmashala, said that he was impressed by the way the young leg spinner led the team both on and off the field. The best quality about him was his desire not to lose, Rajput added.

Jhulam Goswami was also presented the Castrol special award, the fastest bowler in women's cricket for her match winning ten wicket haul on India's recent tour of England. She was presented with a cheque of Rs 1 lakh and a trophy.

Former India players like Sunil Gavaskar, Ajit Wadekar, Karsan Ghavri, Hanumant Singh were among those present on the occasion.

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