KSCA honours Ranji champions Karnataka
Bangalore: The R Vinay Kumar-led Karnataka team, which won the Ranji Trophy, was felicitated by the state cricket association for its unprecendented achievement of winning three titles in a single year.
Also felicitated by Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) were six other state squads which had won Ranji Trophy, beginning from EAS Prasanna-led 1973-74 side.
Vinay played a stellar role as captain to win not only this year`s Ranji title after a long wait of 15 years, but also bag the coveted Irani and Vijay Hazare trophies.
"The best thing about this team is everyone wants to play for India and that triggers an undying ambition - and when this happens most things will be taken care of," Vinay said after BCCI Interim President Shivlal Yadav honoured players of different eras.
Lauding his teammates, Vinay said they knew they had the potential but felt something missing in them and hence they huddled together and decided to take extra responsibilities before the start of the last domestic season.
"My team-mates were amazing throughout the season," he added.
The first team to be felicitated was Prasanna`s squad that buried Mumbai`s long dominance over Ranji Trophy.
"We had the quartet best - GR Viswanath, BS Chandrashekhar, Brijesh Patel and SMH Kirmani. But can`t really say we won because of the four - every player played an important role," said Prasanna who went on to lead Karnataka to a second title in 1977-78.
Prasanna`s 1973-74 and 1977-78 teammates - Arun Kumar, Sanjay Desai, AV Jayaprakash, Brijesh, K Laxman, Sudhakar Rao, B Vijayakrishna, B Siddharamu, S Vijay Prakash, Roger Binny, Kamal Tandon, GV Kumar, Imtiaz Ahmed and HT Ramesh among others ? were presented with a 400gm silver replica of the Ranji Trophy.
After Brijesh led the team to Ranji victory in 1982-83, there was a gap of 13 years before Karnataka grabbed the fourth title in 1995-96 with Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and K Jeshwanth leading the side at various stages.
Remembering the humble reawrds the winning teams got in his heydays, Brijesh said, "KSCA rewarded us with a sum of Rs 500 when we brought the first Ranji trophy home in 1973-74.
Comparatively the present team has been rewarded with Rs one crore in addition to the sum announced by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. They are all worthy of praise."
While Dravid, Kumble and Javagal Srinath did not attend the event, Venkatesh Prasad, Sunil Joshi, David Johnson, Avinash Vaidya, Sujith Somasundar, J Arun Kumar among others were there at the function.
To mark the occasion, a first day commemorative cover and a stamp were released by the Post Master General Ramanujam.