Chennai Super Kings to honour former TN cricketers, groundsmen

Indian Premier League (IPL) side Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will honour and celebrate former cricketers who played for Tamil Nadu, at a function in Chennai later on Tuesday.

“Over the past 85 years, Tamil Nadu has produced several cricketers who have built the foundation for the thriving sport as we see it today. Cricketers in the early 50s and 60s did not get much monetary benefits playing the game that we all love so much.

“In recognition and appreciation of their contribution towards the game, TNCA (Tamil Nadu Cricket Association) has instituted a one-time payment of Rs 5 lakhs to cricketers, groundsmen, match officials and others who helped build our sport,” said a CSK statement.

“CSK, whose home base is Chennai, have come forward to show their love and respect to these veterans and will be contributing Rs. 7 lakhs each to some of the veteran cricketers — the number synonymous with our much-loved captain (MS Dhoni). CSK encourages their large fan base of over 27 million to celebrate the achievement and show their Yellove to these veterans,” said the statement.

The beneficiaries include, batsman BR Rajagopal, Najam Hussain and SVS Mani among others.

Rajagopal, a wicketkeeper-batsman who played for Tamil Nadu, was unlucky to miss out on the 1967 Indian tour to Australia despite his prolific scores in that year’s domestic tournaments, amassing nearly 800 runs in Ranji Trophy.

Hussain played for Mysore, Madras and Jolly Rovers in the 1960s and scored a century for Mysore against Hyderabad in a historic match that created a world record for the first time in 80 years of cricket. All the 20 wickets claimed by Mysore were dismissals recorded as ‘Caught’.

Mani played for Tamil Nadu and South Zone alongside legends such as VV Kumar, S Venkataraghavan, AG Milkha Singh, Jaisimha, Prasanna and AG Kripal Singh and was an Indian team Test reserve.

R Prabhakar, a Tamil Nadu Ranji player often opened the bowling with his medium-pace cutters and batted down the order. His 160-plus knock in 30 overs in the Hindu Trophy included 16 sixes and 14 fours is still etched in the minds of people who witnessed the knock.

K Parthasarathy, curator at MA Chidambaram stadium from 1973 till his retirement in 2013 made pitches in all formats including three World Cup matches, four Women’s World Cup matches, India ‘A’ series games and was also associated with the tied Test in 1986.