When Chandra, Guha met Brit gynaecologist!

Published: Tuesday, October 31, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Four Indian Test players suffering from fever were sent to a gynaecologist during the team's 1967 tour of England, says former Indian captain Bishan Singh Bedi.

Bedi, who was also a member of the team, says the team manager asked the players to visit the doctor after they reported sick in England. The players including Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Subrata Guha.

''The manager sent the four players to the first doctor he found in the hotel directory,'' said Bedi at the launch of cricket historian Boria Majumdar's 'The Illustrated History of Indian Cricket' here last evening.

''When the players reached the doctor, they found that he was a gynaecologist,'' he said before comparing the present national team doctors to gynaecologists.

''They are no better than gynaecologists,'' he said referring to the ''state of affairs in the team when strange things happen'' like flamboyant-batsman Yuvraj Singh sustaining serious injuries ''while playing khokho''.

Bedi, the legendary leg spinner, also revealed how the Indian team management ''rewarded'' a victory over New Zealand in 1968 when the daily players' allowance of Rs 50 was deducted after the win in only four days.

''There was Vinoo Mankad, Polly Umrigar and Vijay Merchant in the team when we beat New Zealand in just four days. But unlike the largesse spent on the team these days, the players had to settle for a pay cut,'' Bedi said grudgingly.

The outspoken former cricketer also revealed the balance in the savings account of C K Nayudu, one of the most successful Indian cricketers ever. ''He had only Rs 360 in his account when he had retired from cricket.'' Described as ''common man's history of Indian cricket'', 'The Illustrated History of Indian Cricket' is full of anecdotes derived from personal archives like love letters written by cricket players like Ranjit Singh.

''When I was researching for the book, I received an email from an 87-year-old lady telling me she had 37 love letters Ranjit Singhji wrote to her,'' said Boria.

There is also trivia---What was the other big game played by C K Nayudu? Answer: Baseball! Despite the remarkable romance of the country with the game, Indian cricket has little written about it, said CNN-IBN editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai, whose father Dilip Sardesai is on the cover the book with Sunil Gavaskar, Bedi and Ajit Wadekar, members of the victorious Indian team from the 1971 tour of England.


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