A crowd favourite
Our new chief selector is certainly one of the most indelible characters in Indian cricket, not only because of his swashbuckling batting style, but also because of his characteristic mannerisms that first caught the eye of the public during his playing days.
A thoroughly likeable personality, popular with everyone, one of SrikkanthĂ‚Â’s finest traits has been his happy knack of getting along with everybody. He has remained a bright and breezy person, an approach that has been in keeping with the spirit of his batsmanship.
Hailed as the Indiana Jones of Indian cricket, the Sportsworld magazine once carried a cover story on him calling him Test cricketĂ‚Â’s village batsman, someone who was a throwback to the age when cricket was played just for the fun of it.
And the crowds loved him for it.
Since he was an opening batsman, spectators flocked to the ground early to watch him - and only him Ă‚Â– in action.
When he was out, the vast majority of them just left in a hurry.
I saw it happen over and over again and never ceased to marvel at SrikkanthĂ‚Â’s hold on the crowd.
Text: Partab Ramchand
Image: A typical Srikkanth off drive, unleashed in a Nehru Cup ODI against Pakistan in November 1989 at the Eden Gardens.
Images: Getty & AFP (Unauthorised reproduction prohibited)