Home > Features >

Roger and Stuart Binny: like father, like son

Roger Binny (left) and his son Stuart © AFP and Getty Images
Roger Binny (left) and his son Stuart © AFP and Getty Images

Stuart Binny pulled off an astonishing spell of six for four to demolish Bangladesh at Dhaka. Abhishek Mukherjee goes down memory lane to a lazy afternoon in Eden Gardens where he had witnessed a superlative spell from Binny Sr.

The first Test at Chepauk had ended in a drab draw. Sunil Gavaskar, having been barracked and booed at Eden Gardens (quite rightfully, too as he had refused to declare till the fourth afternoon against England in 1984-85 as India had crawled at a run rate of 2.18) had opted out of the next Test at the same ground. Arun Lal, the local hero, had been drafted in.

Arun Lal scored a gritty 52, while Mohammad Azharuddin, one of Calcutta’s favourite adopted sons, carved out 141. Kapil Dev (66) and Roger Binny (52 not out) both helped Azhar put up century stands, and India finished on 403 despite Wasim Akram’s five for 96. Pakistan were comfortably placed at 136 for one on the third morning with Rameez Raja and Rizwan-uz-Zaman piling up the runs.

There was a brief distraction when Rameez was claimed by Ravi Shastri, but that was it. Javed Miandad strode out, and it did not seem that the Indians were likely to earn wickets on the docile pitch. Then Kapil Dev brought back Binny, who had replaced Shivlal Yadav from the squad for the first Test.

This columnist, all of nine years, was seated in one of those uncovered stands at Eden Gardens. They used to have concrete seats in those days, and though the days were often excruciating, the evening breeze that blew from the Hooghly brought back life to the great coliseum. It was no different that day. There was, however, an additional bit: it also brought Roger Binny back to life as well.

Getting a set Miandad out was never an easy ask, but Binny produced a peach. The nine-year old in me could not understand the concept of a straight seam, but I still remember jumping in elation when the ball took the edge and went to Kiran More; and then, I outdid myself later that over, when he trapped Saleem Malik leg-before.

Kapil brought himself back as well and bowled through Rizwan’s defence, but it was clearly Binny who stole the show. Imran Khan looked woefully out of place, playing and missing, before Binny ended his misery by having him caught. Then came Wasim’s turn: he was beaten by the swing (by this time Binny was moving the ball both ways, going past both edges of Wasim’s bat).

One of these came back, and Wasim was bowled. From 178 for two Pakistan were suddenly 207 for seven. The match was not being played in the gloom of Manchester or Birmingham: there was a gentle breeze, and Binny made the Pakistanis look helpless on a rank flat track. It was as good a demonstration a nine-year old present at the ground can have. He took two more wickets the next morning (I was there; I had to be there) as Pakistan crashed to 229.

Close to three decades later, when I witnessed the son take out six wickets (I agree, against Bangladesh, but then, in the subcontinent, and more importantly, defending a target of 106), fleeting memories came back: the father, too, on his day, had an upright seam that never wobbled; he, too, could make the ball talk at the slightest indication of a breeze; and he, too, could make sides look feeble, even foolish, when on song.

Thank you, Stuart Binny, for taking me back to those carefree days. It seems there is such a thing as genes, after all.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 3: Central Zone lead by 111 runs at the end of Day 3

Pakistan vs Australia Live Cricket Score, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 2

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Pakistan 517/4 against Australia at tea on Day 2 of 2nd Test

Misbah-ul-Haq becomes fifth Test captain to score century after age of 40

Younis Khan completes 5th Test double century; Pakistan continue to dominate Australia in 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Younis Khan completes 8,000 runs in Test cricket

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Mythbusting — the claim that playing for a weaker batting side handicaps a batsman has no basis

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here