Kirmani wishes RCB success, says wicket-keeping is most important job

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Syed Kirmani (centre) along with others during a press conference in Dubai.

Mohammad Abdullah, Senior Sport Reporter

Former Indian wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani, who was also a part of the 1983 World Cup winning squad ruled out any regret for not being able to play in the franchise cricket.

With the advent of Indian Premier League (IPL), the franchise cricket has witnessed an unparalleled and unprecedented success.

Almost every country in the world, has its own domestic league. The franchise cricket has grown by leap and bound in the recent years and believed to be a money spinner.

But during the time of Kirmani there were no such leagues and cricketers had to survive on their salaries given by the board.

“I don’t regret it. I don’t regret for not being able to play in one of these money spinning leagues. During our time, money was never on the mind. We played the games for the love of the game.”

“Nowadays even those who are not playing in the Ranji Trophy, they become millionaires by playing in the IPL. For us playing for the nation was the matter of utmost respect and pride.

“So we won the World Cup for our country and laid down a very strong foundation for a culture wherein  cricket thrived,” said Kirmani, who was speaking on the sidelines of an event held to announce the panel of the commentators who will share their insight and and comment on the lives matches of the IPL  on the radio channel 106.8.

Kirmani will be joined by the West Indies legend Curtly Ambrose and many other big names in the panel as the tournament transpires.

The IPL is turned sweet sixteen as the richest league of cricket got under way with new rules and more glitz and glamour.

“Since our time the games has evolved drastically. It has become very colourful and glamourous. It is good from the aspect of spectators,” he said

Kirmani also hoped that the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) can end their barren trophy run in the IPL.

“Any team who plays the best will win the title l. But, being from Karnataka, I wish RCB to end the jinx and lift their first IPL title. They had always had a star-studded squad but the lady luck is yet to smile on them,” he added.

He also said because of the huge money involved in these leagues, most of the players have to play even if they are not 100 per cent fit as they are bound by their contracts.

“So much cricket is going on around the world through out the year, that it is very difficult for the players to keep them fit. But they have to play even if they are half fit.

“First of all they are bound by the contracts and secondly the competition is so fierce that if a players does not paly in two games, the other one is ready to come and perform. So these players can not afford to stay away from the scene for a long time,” he added.

Kirmani, who was given a silver gloves and a silver ball for his outstanding performance during his hey days,  shed the light on the role of the wicketkeeper.

“Keeping wicket is a specialised job. But this T20 cricket has stripped wicket-keeping of its importance. Now the coaches want the result. They do not want a special wicketkeeper. They focus on bowling and batting and think that any batsman can stand behind the stumps.

“But it is one of the most important jobs in cricket. A wicketkeeper can tell the bowlers about wicketkeeperes of a batsman.

“He can tell the captain about the performance of their bowlers. He can convert the half chances into stunning catches and change the tide of the game,” he added.

“A batsman or a bowler can be nurtured but a wicket-keeper is born. I realised this after my conversation with the greatest wicketkeeper of all time Alan Knott.

“He told me ‘wicketkeepers can not be nurtured but they are born. A wicketkeeper has to be a good athlete. He should be agile and his reflexes should be very sharp. Moreover he should pick up the gloves himself no one should push him for that.’ These are the things that Knott told me,” he informed.

“The best thing that happened to Indian cricket was the appointment of MS Dhoni as the captain. Earlier, it was considered that the wicketkeeper should not be burdened with the captaincy. But the success of Dhoni made it clear that a good wicketkeeper can do wonders if he is given the command of the team,” he apprised.

He also said because of the huge money involved in these leagues, most of the players have to play even if they are not 100 per cent fit as they are bound by their contracts.

“So much cricket is going on around the world through out the year, that it is very difficult for the players to keep them fit. But they have to play even if they are half fit.

“First of all they are bound by the contracts and secondly the competition is so fierce that if a players does not paly in two games, the other one is ready to come and perform. So these players can not afford to stay away from the scene for a long time,” he added.

 

 

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