When Polly Kaka approached Bedi with a tea bag

Published: Friday, December 1, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

New Delhi:A burly, six footer ''Palm-Tree Hitter'' who faced the likes of Fred Trueman, Wes Hall, Roy Gilchrist and Charlie Griffith with aplomb, Poly Umrigar was a completely different person off the field, who once approached teammate Bishan Singh Bedi with a humble request to help him make tea with tea bag.

Mourning the recent death of Umrigar and Hanumant Singh, former captain Bishan Singh Bedi described the self-effacing Poly Kaka as almost a naive off the field.

''Poly was in the room next to mine at Christchurch in New Zealand. One day he came to me to ask about how to make tea with pouches provided to him.

''And after I told him to dip the tea bag in warm water, he went back to his room but ended up dipping the milk powder pouch also without opening it!'' Bedi recalled here last night.

Former cricketers and administrators of the game assembled here to mourn the death of Umrigar and Hanumant Singh.

'' Indian cricket is poorer today by their absence. The loss of them is a bigger blow to Indian cricket than what is presently going on in South Africa,'' he said.

The legendary spinner described Umrigar as a naive character but stressed that everything changed when he was on the cricket field.

Everyone has to go at one point of time or the other and it's time to celebrate the achievements of the two giants for what they had done in their cricketing years,'' he said.

Bedi, also was joined by some others who have seen Polly from close quarters, said he never shied from throwing himself in the ground even though there was no laundary allownances in those days.

''They were cricketers who have contributed not only in their playing days but also when they retired. They did a lot of service without asking anything in return. It only shows how attached they were to the game,'' said former opener Chetan Chauhan.

Another former player, Surinder Khanna, said Polly was a teetotaller and if anyone wanted to hit a six, one should definitely learn the art from him.

Atul Wasan, Rahul Singhvi, Prakash Bhandarkar were among others present to pay homage to the past greats.

Umrigar died on Nov 7 while Hanumant Singh passed away on Nov 29.


Write Comments