CHENNAI: The city has a tradition of producing top-class cricketers and the club scenario is probably one of the best in the country. Vijay CC’s win over Globe Trotters in the VA Parthasarathy Memorial Trophy on Sunday completed a memorable treble for the club. For a team to constantly win trophies and maintain the standard over the years, there has to be a secret.
Speaking to Express, who was instrumental behind Vijay CC’s success , KS Viswanathan was elated. “I’m very happy for India Cements as we have been sponsoring cricket for a long time. Winning prestigious tournaments is a great achievement.”
Though the players have done their part, the backstage comprising of Jayaraman Madanagopal and many others have been excellent. Their experience has helped a great deal. “Since VB Chandrasekhar’s time, the standard has been unbelievable. Of course, there were exceptional talents like Dravid, Devanand and DJ Gokulakrishnan back then. The current crop is equally good,” he added.
Winning around 60 titles in the first division alone in the last 25 years is no joke. A part of the success is also down to scouts like S Sharath, who know the local cricketing scene inside out. Thanks to these men, most of the teams have no outstation players or maybe one or two at the maximum.
In the 13 teams owned by India Cements, Mihir Hirwani who plays for UFCC T Nagar, is the only guest player. “We are looking for one more player for UFCC T Nagar and Grand Slam, just to get the balance right,” said Viswanathan.
The TNCA and the teams here are also known for their hospitality. “From 1965, we have been employing cricketers and giving them opportunity to play and promote the game. Even after their playing career is over, we keep in touch and give them various senior roles to help the team.”
Most of the former players still have an active role. “Dravid was here in 2012 for the elite division finals and interacted with players. It’s not everyday you get to say ‘I shared the crease with The Wall’.”