Knowingly or unknowingly, one member opened the Pandora's Box.
I have been following Tamil Nadu Cricket for some decades. First, Cricket administration is in private hands. Hence, no question of reservation.
Lakshmipathy Raju and Dinesh Karthick are not brahmins, I think. Hemang Badhani is a Jain, but married a Hindu.
VB Chandrasekhar, who played One Day Internationals, brothers V Sivaramakrishnan, V Ramnarayanan and C S Suresh Kumar, who began very well in Ranji Trophy, were not included.
While watching Senior Division League Cricket, one retired Bank Official, who sons played at higher level, used to say IYERGALUKKU SAMARTHIYAM PORATHU.
Until mid 1980s, TN Cricket was caste centric. The administration was in the hands of Chettiars - Chidambaram followed by his son AC Muthiah and Iyengars had a say in the selection of player, since most of Senior Division Teams were in the hands of Iyengars. The captains of TN team from 1970 to mid 1980s were mostly Iyengars. S Venkataraghavan, P Mukund, K Srikanth and S Vasudevan, who won the Ranji Trophy in 1988.
When V B Chandrasekhar replaced Srikanth in the Indian Team that toured New Zealand in 1990, selection was criticized by a leading English Daily citing age factor - V B Chandrasekhar was 29 years at that time. Subsequently, Srikanth was recalled but failed to impress.
Though Chennai has so many grounds and Corporate Houses have been giving full support, in terms of employment and salary, TN has not done much in producing world class players and winning important trophies. Couple of non-Iyengar players who promised so much, failed miserably due to lack of guidance - L Sivaramakrishnan, V B Chandrasekhar, Sunil Subramaniam may be due to Iyer tag.
Though VV Kumar was an excellent Leg Spinner, who took five wickets in his very first test match against Pakistan, the preference was always Venkat. Venkat played till 1986, became Secretary of TNCA and so on.
Venkat was the Captain of Indian Team for the first two world cups - 1975 and 1979. Gavaskar scored 36 not out in the first match in 1975 in 60 overs against the strong English side, saying he was practicing for the next match. The Fact was Bedi was dropped. Till date, neither Venkat nor Gavaskar is able to give answer for that episode.
Venkat was the captain of Indian Test team for the Delhi Test in 1974 against Lloyd's West Indian side, since Pataudi was injured. Engineer was not considered since he did not play domestic cricket, as he lives in England. India lost the test and Venkat became the 12th man for the next Calcutta Test.
After mid-1980s, corporate egoism replaced caste centric TN Cricket.
But, our neighbouring State Karnataka has produced some of the finest Indian Cricketers of all time:
B S Chandrasekhar
G R Viswanath
Rahul Dravid (some say he belongs to Vadama Sect)
The attitude of TN Cricket admn. has to change. Importance should be given to all.
If the member has any doubt, he can go to any First Division League match and enquire any senior citizen who watches the match about the history of TN Cricket.
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