Viswanath to receive honorary doctorate from Bangalore University

Bangalore: Former captain Gundappa Viswanath will be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the Bangalore University for his contribution to Indian cricket.

"The varsity authorities called me today and informed me of their decision. I have received various awards including Padmashri. But this will be special. Today is an unforgettable day for me in my life," he told reporters at Annual KSCA awards ceremony here today.

Vishwanath, whose favourite was the square cut which he often used to great effect against fast bowlers, said he mastered the shot when he was playing "Gully Cricket" (street cricket) in his younger days.

"Playing straight in the streets could get me a single and playing square could get me a boundary, and therefore I thought it wise to play square cuts," he said.

Vishwanath, who scored 6080 runs in 91 Test appearances, said he smashed at least 4,000 runs off square cut. "Current batsmen do play the square cuts but they are not noticed as it was in his era," he said.

Talking about contrasting cricket eras, he said the sport remains the same but there emerges diffent kind of players in every era.

Asked had he ever been afraid of facing fast bowlers because of his height, Vishwanath said initially he was, but playing with tennis balls earlier and with leather balls on matting wicket
helped him face fiery West Indian quickies with many shots in his repertoire.

"I was called the Rubber Kulla (short boy) for my exploits," he said.
KSCA President Anil Kumble gave away most valuable player awards to C M Gautam, Mayank Agarwal and Karun Nair


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