KSCA to honour cricket legends in platinum year

Bangalore, Aug 9 (IANS) As one of the oldest sports organisations in the country, the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) will honour some of the game's legends next week to mark its platinum jubilee year in this tech hub.

"We have lined up a series of events to celebrate 75 years of our service in promoting the game and churning out some of the outstanding players in the state and country," KSCA treasurer Tallam Venkatesh told IANS here ahead of the eight-day celebrations.

Beginning Saturday, the KSCA's sprawling Chinnaswamy stadium in the city centre facing the famous Cubbon Park, will turn into a beehive of activity, as the star-studded celebrations kick off with a flea market and cricket cuisine on weekend at its club for former-cum-present players, members and their families.

"Highlight of the mega event will be the recognition of memorable contributions to the game by icons like former New Zealand all-rounder Sir Richard Hadlee, Bishan Singh Bedi, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar at a gala finale August 17 in their gracious presence," Venkatesh said.

Home grown veterans such as E.A.S. Prasanna, B.S. Chandrashekar, G.R. Vishwanath, Syed Kirmani, Roger Binny, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath and Rahul Dravid, who flourished under the hallow precincts of the association, will play host and participate in discussions on the various aspects of the game.

"Presence of Sir Hadlee on the occasion will be historic for both (him and us) as he broke the world record in Bangalore for the highest number (373) of Test wickets held by Ian Botham of England by bowling out Arun Lal of India at KSCA in November 1988," Venkatesh recalled.

To make best use of their presence at the event, the legendary spin trio Prasanna, Bedi, Chandrashekar will discuss the nuances of spin bowling in the sub-continent with leggie Kumble chipping in on behalf of the original spin quartet S. Venakataraghavan, who is away in the US.

Noted historian Ramachandra Guha will moderate another discussion on club cricket between Srinath and Dravid on club day (Aug 14).

The 'Wall' (Dravid) will also shop in the flea market with his family and talk about his favourite food at the cuisine event Sunday.

Set up originally as the Mysore State Cricket Association (MSCA) in 1934 in the then Mysore state, the association is affiliated to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and grew in strength to have about 4,000 members, including players.

"I am filled with great pride and gratitude to have been grown with the association in the illustrious company of legendary players like Srinath and Dravid," Kumble, who heads the KSCA as president said in a statement.

Speedstar Srinath is the association's honorary secretary.

"Our aim is to take the game to rural areas across the state for its development at the grassroots and promote the welfare of our players," Kumble asserted.

"We would like to remember our predecessors with appreciation of their dreams, which allowed players like us to realise our dreams," Srinath observed.

To mark the historic event, the association has released an official mascot 'Doodly'. Proceeds from the mascot stall will be contributed to the state chief minister's relief fund.

"It is a great time to reminisce and prepare for new challenges. We are making efforts to develop infrastructure and ensure similar support facilities across cities and towns in the state to groom talent. Like 11 players on field, we must form a cohesive unit to take the state cricket to the next level," Venkatesh pointed out.

The flea market will display an array of eclectic products - cricket memorabilia, clothing, accessories, jewellry, paintings, stationery and home decor with a chance to interact with some past and present players.

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