It has been a long 20 years of journey for Amol Muzumdar. The 37-year-old veteran cricketer reached another milestone when he became the most capped Ranji player by playing his 125th match when he made his debut for Andhra against Services at Anantapur on Friday. Muzumdar was on on par with left-arm spinner Rajendra Goel of Haryana, who played in 124 matches, before creating his record.
Muzumdar has 10,000 runs in first-class cricket and more than 8,000 runs in Ranji. Muzumdar was the highest Ranji run-getter before Mumbai Ranji captain Wasim Jaffer took the record from him in the match against Punjab at Wankhede Stadium. Jaffer went past Muzumdar’s tally of 8237 runs. The Andhra team had a surprise gift for him when they presented a big cake for the veteran cricketer. “This is my 20th year in first class cricket. But I still feel young,’’ said Muzumdar, who has played for Mumbai, Assam and now Andhra in Ranji Trophy championship.
“It is different feeling by playing for three different sides. I played for long 16 long years for Mumbai as a middle order batsman. It was a tough one. I played those many years without ever playing for India. I could never get the chance. It hurts. I scored over 10,000 runs. It is a huge achievement. But there are no regrets. I knew I played in an era when the four greats — Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly — were playing. There was no slot for me,’’ pointed out Muzumdar.
He led Mumbai twice to the Ranji Trophy championship title, which was one of the sweetest moments for him. “It has always been challenging to play for Mumbai. There was fierce competition for a place in the team,’’ he added.
After playing Mumbai for distinction, Muzumdar moved over to Assam in 2008-09 as a professional. “It was a totally different challenge. It was here I had to motivate and lead the team. It was a good learning experience for me as a cricketer. It was a lesser known team. I felt satisfied when Assam were promoted from Plate to Elite Division,’’ he said. Now in his twilight of his first class career, his latest stint is with Andhra. “I came here at the invitation of MSK Prasad. It is a highly motivated team. It is another challenge,’’ he said.