Home > Features >

Independence Day: R Vijay Bharadwaj, Hemlata Kala only Indian cricketers born on August 15

Hemlata-Kala
Hemlata Kala ended her career with a whopping average over 50 in Tests © Getty Images

R Vijay Bharadwaj and Hemlata Kala are the only Indian cricketers who were born on August 15, Independence Day. Bharadwaj was an all-rounder who represented India in the late 1990s and early 2000s, while Hemlata played for the India Women from 1999 to 2008. Nishad Pai Vaidya looks back at their careers on the occasion of Independence Day.

India celebrates 67 years of Independence on August 15, 2014. Miles away, in England, its cricket team would take on the hosts in the fifth and final Test at The Oval. It is only the fourth time India will play an international on its Independence Day, though one did come during the British times. It may surprise many that India have played only three games on the day through history. But, it is also fascinating that only two cricketers, who have represented India at the highest level were born on Independence Day. Former India all-rounder R Vijay Bharadwaj and woman cricketer Hemlata Kala were born on the day.

R Vijay Bharadwaj

Born on August 15, 1975, Bharadwaj came into the Indian team after some good performances in domestic cricket. The right-handed batsman and an off-spinner, Bharadwaj’s career started off in style when he took 10 wickets and scored a few crucial runs in a tri-nation tournament against South Africa and Kenya at Nairobi in 1999. Though India lost in the final, Bharadwaj was awarded the Man of the Series for his efforts. Bharadwaj continued to play a crucial role for India in the home One-Day International (ODI) series against New Zealand in 1999. He made his Test debut against New Zealand at Mohali and also featured in the white flannels on the tough tour to Australia. Bharadwaj found himself out of the side thereafter and only returned for a solitary ODI against Zimbabwe in 2002. However, he was run-out for nought in an attempt to give strike to the set Dinesh Mongia. He did take the wicket of Stuart Carlisle later, but his four overs cost 32 runs.

Bharadwaj had a promising start to his career, but he could not build on that potential. In domestic cricket, he served Karnataka from 1994 for 2005. After retirement, he has moved into coaching.

Hemlata Kala

Born on August 15, 1975, Hemlata was a batswoman who served India from 1999 to 2008. She played seven Tests, 78 ODIs and one T20 International. The fact that she ended with a 50-plus Test average speaks volumes of her ability. Having made her Test debut in 1999, she scored a ton in her second game against England Women at Lucknow in 2002. She followed that up with scores of 64 and 62 in her next Two Tests and then scored her second ton against New Zealand Women at Vapi in 2003. She played in the 2006 Taunton Test, which was India’s last before the ongoing game.

In ODIs, Hemlata wasn’t as successful and averaged only 20.87. In 78 ODIs, she scored only three fifties. She was also a part of the Indian side that qualified for the final of the 2005 Women’s World Cup. Her last game was an ODI against England Women in 2008.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

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

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

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

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Pakistan hold advantage at stumps on Day 3 of 1st Test against Australia

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

David Warner feels lucky to have equalled Don Bradman’s record

Kapil Dev’s Dev Musco Lighting accused of inflated costs by GCA

VVS Laxman advises budding batsmen to score big hundreds

Pakistan hold advantage at stumps on Day 3 of 1st Test against Australia

West Indies women not distracted by controversy in men’s team

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Spin hunt continues for visitors

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Don Bradman — even if every chance he ever gave in his career was accepted, he would still remain head and shoulders above the others

Len Hutton’s hundred gets reported as illness

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here