CHENNAI: The birth centenary of late MA Chidambaram, former BCCI and Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) president, will be celebrated in a grand manner next Friday in the city.
Former India captain Bishen Singh Bedi will be honoured with the Dr MA Chidambaram Birth Centenary Award. Several Tamil Nadu cricketers too will be honoured. The idea of having a function and honouring cricketers was mooted by AC Muthiah in memory of his father. “He was very passionate about cricket. Every year, we’ve had a function on his birthday where we honour people involved in fine arts and music. This being his centenary year, I wanted to honour cricketers,” the former BCCI president told Express.
Chidambaram was BCCI president for two years, and treasurer for two decades. Apart from heading TNCA for over three decades, he was also at the helm of All India Lawn Tennis Association from 1963 to 1966.
“His biggest cricketing contribution to Tamil Nadu was Chepauk Stadium, for which he gave a personal bank guarantee. He had a good team, and there was no politics. They laid a good foundation for the future generation of cricketers,’’ recalled Muthiah.
Muthiah contrasted the time when the longest format was at its prime — with Pongal Tests a favourite of Chennai crowds — with the current scenario.“I don’t know whether Test cricket will stay alive, because it has become very commercialised. Every country has started league cricket; it involves big money. I do not know whether it will survive. I hope it does.”
Central Information Commission has brought BCCI under the RTI act, and Muthiah feels that it’s a step in the right direction. “I welcome the decision. There should me more transparency as so much of public funds is involved. BCCI cannot be an exclusive club. It should be an open court. They should be answerable to some extent.”