The late Nanik Amarnath Bharadwaj, fondly known in cricketing legend as Lala Amarnath, was one of the most triumphant Indian cricketers of the yesteryears. Born in a typical Punjab household, Lala went became the first Indian to score a century in Test cricket – incredible more so that he did this in his very first Test match.
Lala was a dangerous batsman and earned appreciation for his bowling skills as well. He is the only bowler to have dismissed Sir Donald Bradman hit wicket.
Cricketing achievements aside, controversies and Lala could never be separated. He was sent back from the tour of England in 1936 on the grounds of 'indiscipline' by the then skipper, the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram. But the man of steel did not give up; he made a strong comeback and went on to lead India from the front, with his aggression and adroit tactics.
Renowned for being a cricketer who put extra effort to bridge the gap between players of rivals India and Pakistan, the world lost Lala in the millennium year of 2000. However, he left behind an impression of his extraordinary cricketing capabilities in the form of sons Mohinder and Surinder Amarnath. Though Lala -- as a skipper brought grandeur to India by emerging victorious in the Test series against Pakistan, his contribution as a terrific all-round player will be cherished by every lover of the game.
- India Vs England at Gymkhana Ground, Mumbai (Bombay) - Dec 15, 1933
- Last played:
- India Vs Pakistan at Eden Gardens, Kolkata (Calcutta) - Dec 12, 1952