Home > Features >

As Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly & Laxman shaped the Indian middle-order, Muzumdar sadly missed out

As Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly & Laxman shaped the Indian middle-order, Muzumdar sadly missed out

Recently, Amol Muzumdar became the highest run-getter in Ranji Trophy history, surpassing Wasim Jaffer’s record run-tally. Photo Courtesy – SJAM

Despite being the leading run-scorer in Ranji Trophy and ignored by national selectors for years, Amol Muzumdar’s ability to redefine career goals are laudable. Abhijit Banare looks back at the life and times of Muzumdar.

While one student of Ramakant Achrekar has captured every summit in international cricket, the other student from Shardashram Vidyamandir he coached remains an unsung hero for a larger part of his cricketing career. However, the hunger to succeed even after being the best in the game for a considerable period is something that binds these two together. Amol Muzumdar, who recently recaptured the crown of being the highest run-scorer in Ranji Trophy has carved a niche of his own having faced a series of disappointments at crucial junctures of his career.

While many refer to him as unfortunate to have been left behind during the Tendulkar-Dravid-Ganguly-Laxman era, it would be fair to argue that Muzumdar wasn’t less skilled or scored poorly compared to the players mentioned above. Instead, it was a lack of vision for him on part of the selectors which kept him away. In recent years one can identify the same happening to Subrmaniam Badrinath — another victim of the whims and fantasies of selectors.

Being in the cricketing circuit for almost two decades, Muzumdar is not hanging around but making his presence felt by being a successful role-model for Assam earlier in 2009, and currently with Andhra Pradesh. Muzumdar’s career is a live manual for young cricketers how to manage their career and constantly reinvent oneself by taking up fresh challenges. And to add to it, he has never jumped into the pool to be a part of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) which has been termed as a career option for youngsters failing to break into the international circuit.

It is difficult to keep going once you accept your fate of being stuck in the domestic circuit. In 2002 Muzumdar was almost on the verge of announcing his retirement, but he somehow managed to hold it back. While it was the same year he got married, Muzumdar has stated that it was due to his wife who helped him to redefine his goals and he decided to continue his cricketing career.

After his two year stint with Assam, he wished to play for his home team again. With his former teammate Abey Kuruvilla at the helm for selecting the team, it could have been an easy process. But Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) strange rule ensured his comeback plans didn’t materialize. MCA’s rule states that any player representing other state team has to serve a one-year cooling period before being eligible for selection. Mumbai who needed a solid middle-order batsman with Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma constantly missing games due national duty, not many would have agreed to subject such a rule on the experienced player.

However, Muzumdar made no fuss of the treatment and gleefully accepted MSK Prasad’s request to join the Andhra Pradesh (AP) team and as expected the Mumbaikar has sparkled yet again.

The 38-year old has the attitude of a typical ‘khadoos Mumbaikar’ which is evident from the way he has played adding a priced value to his wicket. He led from the front during a roller-coaster season of 2006-07 for Mumbai.

At the Platinum Jubilee celebration of BCCI in 2009, Muzumdar recounts the memory of the semi-final against Vadodra (in 2007), “We had failed to put up even one point on the table after our first three games and where confronting the possibility of relegation to the Plate group. It was then that the tide turned. What came to the fore was the Mumbai sprit, a never-say-die attitude and resilience at its very best. We registered five outright victories and clinched the title. Our march to the final featured a thrilling semi-final against Vadodara. We were reduced to 0-5! Only after getting my hands on the trophy did I have a sigh of relief.” For someone who has already been part of six Ranji titles previous to this win, his determination to succeed is laudable.

At the moment, the crown of being the highest scorer is something the Mumbaikar would be happy with. Yet he will be remembered for a long time as one of the finest players not to have represented India which is a silent laugh on the selectors over the years. As they say there’s no place like home, one can only hope to see him back in the Mumbai dressing room before he hangs up his boots.

(Like most Indians, Abhijit Banare has been obsessed with cricket since childhood. He is an avid follower, smitten by statistics and analysis. A journalism student in Mumbai, he considers himself lucky to have grown up watching batting legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. He also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 10, 2014  at Dubai

Australia won by 5 wkts

Photos

India vs West Indies 4th ODI at Dharamsala

Videos

AB de Villiers speaks ahead of New Zealand ODIs

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Virat Kohli takes wicket with the first (0th?) ball of his T20I career

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography — a litany of complaints with a few redeeming patches

Banning West Indian players in IPL can affect the ‘Brand value’ of the event – Will BCCI take this gamble?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 BCCI India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies cancel India tour 2014 West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

IPL success embodies emergence of sports as global industry, says India’s representative at UN

Live Cricket Score: New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI at Mount Maunganui

Live Scorecard: New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI at Mount Maunganui

Kevin Pietersen is probably the best cricketer I have played with: Eoin Morgan

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: SLC defend decision to tour

James Neesham can provide more impetus to New Zealand’s weakened batting up the order

Virender Sehwag turns 36: Five most memorable innings of the Nawab of Najafgarh

New Zealand begin ICC World Cup 2015 preparations with 15 ODIs in store

Virender Sehwag paid birthday tribute to by Sophos Antivirus

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Fan of the Day

Gautam Singh

Gautam Singh

474 Posts | 5 Fans

Video Highlights Mohammed Yousuf drops catch after watching a girl in bikini

सेक्स टिप # 13: महिलाओं में कामेच्छा (low libido) की समस्या

आपकी दिवाली खुशनुमा, सुरक्षित और शुभ हो

iOS 8.1 update now available bringing Camera Roll, SMS Relay, iCloud Photo library among others

Movies to watch this week: Happy New Year!

Narendra Modi personified Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva of popularity at Madison Square Garden

IBM to pay $1.5 billion to GlobalFoundries to buy its chip division

Bigg Boss 8 highlights: RJ Pritam solves inmates problems while Ali Quli Mirza creates more on Day 29!

Dasvandh Network’s appeal to help reach goal of $80,000 to help Sikh cause in North America

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here