Urmi Modi-628
Urmi Modi

 

By Abhijit Banare 

 

Jun 15, 2014 

 

Former cricketers and students of Late. Vithal Patil attended the condolence meeting organised by Mumbai Cricket Association. Sharing the memories of Patil’s dedication and techniques of coaching, former First-Class player and a student of Patil, Urmikant Mody recalled learning swing bowling under Patil. Vithal Patil passed away aged 86 on Jun 10, 2014. He is fondly referred as Marshal, a name given to him due to his army-like discipline and moustache.

 

“I first met Marshal in 1959. He saw me and asked me to come for a friendly match. I had to wait for two years when I joined Podar. Those were glorious years for me. When it came to discipline, I think Madhavrao (Madhav Mantri) had stamped the discipline in him. Those days I was a youngest kid in the team. I was around the likes of Madhav Mantri, Narendra Tamhane, Nanu Pai, Vasu Paranjpe. All Marshal said was ‘Keep years and eyes open, and mouth shut. You’ll learn a lot.’,” Mody said. Mody

 

“Being a left-arm swing bowler, I had a hard time bowling outswing from round the wicket. He insisted and made me bowl it. Fourth time I managed to get it out. He then came up to me and said ‘Don’t use it regularly, use it as a surprise.’ His teachings were very short and subtle.”

 

Patil was a left-arm swing bowler who played only two First-Class matches for Mumbai but was a stalwart in the famous Dr. HD Kanga League in Mumbai. Till date he is the highest wicket-taker with 759 wickets.